Game Changer

From mahjong to chess to rummy and more, people have a renewed sense of home entertainment in this post-pandemic era. And we’ve been keeping score of the newest and coolest game tables (and games) out there.

When my chess-enthusiast husband came across an antique Chinese game table in a back storage room in my parents’ house a few years ago, the avid gift-giving mother of mine knew that was exactly what she would give him for Christmas that year. What I thought would be a beautiful statement piece to include in our formal living room turned out to be the MVP for the foreseeable future. As we all know and remember, COVID-19 struck, and life as we knew it came to an abrupt halt. Stay-at-home orders were put in place, and so were we. With three children ages three and under, our chess evenings became our post-bedtime routine respite. As it turns out, we weren’t the only ones who were rediscovering how we leisure. The what-day-is-it? days were innumerable, but as humans have shown, we adapt and evolve to carry on. Or rather game on. In response to the months and year(s) of quarantining, people renewed their sense of home entertainment, resulting in a proliferation in game tables and accessories. But what was thought as a trend piece is now cementing itself as a staple in the home. We’ve compiled a list of some of the latest and greatest out there for your viewing pleasure.

Corner of living room with game table topped with backgammon board and large vase of pink-flowering cherry branches. Interior and table design by Mary Beth Wagner.
Photo by Nathan Schroder

When Dallas-based interior designer Mary Beth Wagner was designing the formal living room of her client’s home, she was mindful of how she wanted it to be used. An expansive space and located right off the front entry, it needed to be purposeful and not just a pretty room. Her client has four children and lots of people are going in and out, so Mary Beth wanted the living room to be a space which was occupied often. Her client plays mahjong and hosts groups, so it was fitting to add a game table for when she entertains, as well as when the family wants to play games. The game table is custom, which Mary Beth designed for the space.

The Game Tables

Madre x The Mahjong Line Lacquered Card Table with Lucky Line Tiles and a Botanical Bird cocktail table.
Madre x The Mahjong Line Lacquered Card Table with Lucky Line Tiles and a Botanical Bird cocktail table.
Madre x The Mahjong Line's Grasscloth Card Table with Cheeky tiles, and a Cheeky Zig Zag cocktail table.
Madre x The Mahjong Line's Grasscloth Card Table with Cheeky tiles, and a Cheeky Zig Zag cocktail table.
Madre x The Majong Line Burl Card Table with Cheeky Tiles, and a Cheeky Zig Zag cocktail table.
Madre x The Mahjong Line Burl Card Table with Cheeky Tiles, and a Cheeky Zig Zag cocktail table.

Madre x The Mahjong Line Card Tables

Mahjong is having a don’t-hold-your-breath kind of moment. Across the country and beyond, it’s taken cities by storm. And there’s no sign of letting up. Fittingly, Dallas-based Madre and The Mahjong Line joined forces to create a power collaboration of finely crafted game tables. Fabricated in either lacquer, burlwood, grasscloth, or cerused oak, these game tables are as refined as they are fun. And what’s a superhero without its trusty sidekick? The collab’s cocktail table, of course.

Silhouette of Woodbridge's Draftsman table with open top.

Woodbridge Draughtsman Table

Versatility is the name of the game with the Draughtsman Table by Woodbridge. With its two-sided inset top, which can lay flat or angled for an ergonomically friendly craft surface, the table is an ideal spot for a range of uses and users. On one side is covered in wool, which provides the right amount of traction for puzzle pieces, while the reverse is an oak veneer finish, ideal for drafting plans or assisting with homework.

Silhouette of Made Goods Maurice game table with wavy legs

Made Goods Maurice Game Table

We’re swooning over the Maurice Game Table by Made Goods. With its wavy silhouette and two-toned olive ash veneer, it’s handsome and cute at once.

Century Compositions Game Table

There are no faux pas about it. The Compositions Game Table by Century Furniture provides a sophisticated setting for your everyday entertainment needs. Composed of faux painted horn with off white and grey palette along with the blind-tooled charcoal leather top and four pullout cork-lined drink coasters with pewter hardware, this sleek piece checks all the right boxes.

Silhouette of black Oomph Everything Table card/game table.

Oomph Everything Table

There’s that saying you can’t be everything to everybody. But what if that wasn’t so? When it comes to entertaining, this table has it all and perhaps for everyone. The Everything Table from oomph is a culmination of form and function. Wrapped in raffia with a lacquered game tray and offered in dizzying color combinations, this chess-backgammon-checkers-cards-table truly delivers.

The Games

Piecework Tall Poppy puzzle box on tabletop with puzzle pieces

Piecework Tall Poppy Puzzle

It’s time to unwind, and what’s more relaxing than solving a jigsaw puzzle? One that’s as enjoyable to look at as it is to compose, of course. Known for its illustrative and enchanting graphics and simple yet sophisticated packaging, Piecework is the perfect indoor antidote for the dog days of summer.

Printworks tumbling tower game with red and burgundy blocks and box

Printworks Tumbling Tower Game

How tall can you go? A fan favorite for all ages, Printworks offers up a tasteful twist on the classic tumbling tower with its cheery, colorful blocks.

Silhouette of Edie Parker four-in-a-row game with burnt agate marble finish

Edie Parker Four-in-a-Row

Edie Parker, the modern accessories label where “fashion meets flower” has reimagined the cult-classic Four-in-a-Row. Handmade in America, the game that you can’t stop after just one round is now updated to look like burnt agate marble using luxe acrylic and is supported with a sleek metal base.

The Majong Line's Neon Purple Release 2.0 bold, purple majong tiles and box

The Mahjong Line Neon Purple 2.0 Release

Brand-spanking new to The Mahjong Line’s Minimal Line comes the Neon Purple 2.0 release. Each hand-painted tile depicts a simple mid-century modern design. And with its vibrant color that gives off an electric feel, you’ll know exactly what you brought to the table.

Aerin Colette cain chess set on tabletop with green and white flower arrangement

AERIN Colette Cane Chess Set

Inspired by bamboo and raffia designs of the 1970s, the Colette Cane Chess Set by AERIN scores serious points with its beautifully woven cane case with brass detailing. Accentuating the stunning board and case are streamlined pieces in gold-plated and black satin finishes. Check. Mate.

Round pink and hot-pink box with L'Objet Haas poker set

L’Objet Haas Poker Set

When it comes to collaborating, there’s not a more fantastical partner than Haas Brothers. With its delicious lacquered chips and whimsically illustrated playing cards, the Haas Poker Set for L’Objet knows how to up the ante.

Jonathan Adler Scala backgammon set in turquoise, purple, and white

Jonathan Adler Scala Backgammon Set

Mod maven Jonathan Adler continues to score points with followers and newcomers alike. New to the line of games comes the Scala Backgammon Set. Crafted in lacquer and featuring 1960s concentric squares in cool blues and shades of lavender, this colorful set gives off chic retro vibes with winning appeal.

By Ashley Hotham Cox