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Games & Things wins showroom award

Games & Things, 10706 Kingston Pike, has been awarded the grand prize in Billiard Retailer Magazine’s 2009 Design Awards.

The retailer recently moved from its former location in Lovell Heights to a larger showroom at the intersection of Lovell Road and Kingston Pike.

“We were encouraged by some of our vendors to enter the contest,” Lisa Mellon, co-owner said.

“It was a challenge, but at the same time we were excited that we got it,” she added.

The grand prize was awarded to a new store with more than 10,000 square feet. Games & Things has 13,000 square feet, most dedicated to showroom, but some set aside for an on-site warehouse.

Games & Things will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year.

“Not to sound cheesy, but we feel like we wouldn’t have ever got this far if we didn’t have the customer base we do,” Lisa said.

The new store was completed in June. Lisa and husband, co-owner Scott Mellon, worked with an architect, builder and designer to create a space that was “not just a vanilla box,” Lisa said.

The store features stained concrete, carpet and tile floors. The showroom is separated into a large showcase area, smaller vignettes and a raised theater room.

“When people walked into this [theater] room … We wanted it to kind of look like a movie theater,” Lisa said.

The room features a wide selection of theater seats on angled risers, all facing a 123-inch project screen with surround sound. A drop ceiling makes the area feel cozy and separate from the rest of the showroom.

“This is just something we invested in, you know, the sound system, the surround sound, with the big screen so people could really feel what it was going to be like,” Lisa said.

Home theater systems, she said, were growing in popularity in the down economy, as people invested in home entertainment rather than spending evenings out.

In the design of the building, Lisa said she and Scott focused on using “natural materials such as granite, the wood and the brick and stone.

“And as far as the design colors, we tried to use a lot of natural colors to coincide with the furniture,” she added.

Continuing with the nod to natural materials, the Mellons included lots of natural light through a wall of windows at the front of the store, as well as motion-sensored track lighting.

“We have a sensor on the lights to conserve energy. … It’s more eco-friendly. It doesn’t use as much energy to have the sensored lighting and the track lights,” Lisa said.

The Mellons stayed away from fluorescent lighting as much as they could.

Design variations in the large building are created with drop ceilings, curved features and the creation of miniature rooms within the larger showroom.

“The customer can get a better feel of what a [table] is going to look like in the home, and what it’s going to match and so forth,” Lisa said.

“The visual, to me, is just so much better: having them in the rooms, with wallpaper and pictures.

“We’re actually a fun furniture store,” she added.

Games & Things sells everything from pool and billiard tables to ping-pong and poker tables to pinball machines and video games, as well as each game’s necessary accessories.

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