Top Five Pool Tables and Game Room Trends for 2016
As we approach the end of 2016 here in the Maryland, Virginia, and DC area it is pretty clear what the best pool table and game room furnishing trends are this year. With our new Pool Table Design Center location in Rockville Maryland opening earlier this year feedback from the local design community in DC has been eye opening. Here is a list of the biggest trends for 2016 coming to a game room near you!
Number 5: Made in the USA Pool Tables
We have seen a huge demand for pool tables and furnishings Made in the USA for 2016. Home buyers who have done their homework on manufacturer quality, warranty, and resale value come from all over to see real USA hand made pool tables and come up with custom designs. Companies like Olhausen Billiards, Plank and Hide, and California House dominate not only our residential sales but also our commercial sales to designers who require something custom and with a heavy duty commercial warranty. "You just can't get parts down the road from China, so Lifetime Warranties can have very nebulous meanings" as one industry insider recently quipped.
Number 4: Lacquer Wood Finishes
In 2016 our best selling custom wood finish was Black Lacquer for the first time ever. The natural wood finish has been replaced by the contemporary and very European filled/uniform lacquer process. Companies like Billards Toulet in France do over 70% of their tables in lacquer finishes so this trend has made its way to the USA. Mid century modern style tables, contemporary clean lines, and transitional tables all look great in lacquer finish options ranging from Blacks to greys in most cases. This trend has been picking up for a few years but has finally peaked in 2016
Number 3: Built in Hidden Accessory Storage
The pool table storage drawer has been around for many years but it has never been more popular or available on so many different pool table designs. Contemporary, rustic, or traditional everyone is adding built in drawers when available to the pool table. Bench seating with built in storage and clever or unique accessory storage on the floor has taken the place of "on the wall" accessory racks in most homes. Nine out of Ten buyers in 2016 have opted for a built in storage drawer or a floor rack they can hide away over a traditional on the wall rack display. The trend to de-clutter the living space and open things up leads this trend and really can be considered the norm going forward into 2017
Number 2: Matching Shuffleboard Tables
Very recently major Pool Table Manufacturer's like Olhausen added custom built to match shuffleboard tables and this category has taken off unlike anything in years. In 2016 one out of five of our custom pool table customers ordered a matching shuffleboard table to go with the pool table. With the most popular size being 12' in a transitional style and dark finish, many companies are scrambling to get on board with this trend. Based on current sales the shuffleboard category may surpass billiards in many US markets inside of the next three years
Number 1: Dining Pool Tables
Wow, what a strong trend for 2016! More and more buyers both residential and commercial are looking at pool tables that will double as dining or conference tables with finished wood or glass conversion tops. Demand for this category is so great we show FIVE types of dining pool tables in our Rockville location for Winter 2016. The price range and styles are abundant and varied, but the main questions buyers have is 7' or 8' and at what height, 29" for dining chairs or 32" for billiards? Few dining pool tables do both so many times compromises are necessary, but the end result is the same: A pool table that gets used more than most tables ever do because it is upstairs and front of mind!
- Patrick McGarity