Josh Whall’s special place began, as many such projects do, with a wish.
When he and his wife, Rachel Whall, married in 2008, one of the things he really wanted in his home was a game room.
At the time, they were living in a small house. The way to begin, they decided, was to just start collecting his must-haves one at a time.
Three years ago, they bought a larger home in Marysville, in part to make room for their growing family, which would grow to three kids now ages 7, 4, and 2.
There was one other need, too. Josh wanted a place to establish his long-awaited game room. They decided the garage would be converted to fill that need.
“Basically our whole plan was the game room is a gathering place for family and friends,” he said.
There was a pool table, a family legacy passed down from his grandfather, that had remained stored in a box until there was a place big enough to set it up.
Among his tasks was refelting the pool table to make it show-ready and setting up 10 extra pool cues he had collected over the years.
There were blue-and-black overhead lights for the pool table that he spotted on eBay. He snatched them up, knowing someday they would be the perfect complement to his game room.
Whall worked six months rehabilitating the shuffle board bought off Craigslist with its original scoreboard, recarpeting and repainting it to match the game room’s blue and black colors.
The room has turned into a magnet for family and friends. Every year it’s the spot where buddies gather for a fantasy football draft. “Once we’re done, we play pool, shuffle board or are at the (air) hockey table,” Whall said.
If you’re wondering what his wife thinks of all this, not to worry. “Oh gosh, I don’t mind it at all, especially now that we have the room to put all the things where they need to go,” Rachel Whall said.
“I think it’s fun. I enjoy seeing him having a good time with friends and family. He takes a lot of pride in that room.”
Of all the things in his game room, the pool table is Josh Whall’s favorite. “Growing up, it was always pool at Dad’s and Grandpa’s house,” he said.
A soda fountain dispenses eight flavors of pop — Dr. Pepper, Coke, Diet Pepsi, Barq’s root beer, Hawaiian Punch, grape and orange Fanta and Sprite.
“The thing that makes it the best is the ice maker that comes with it,” Whall said. “It makes the nugget ice — little nuggets that melt in your mouth.”
Whall, 39, who works in Snohomish County’s information technology department, said he always had a vision of what he wanted for his game room.
“With the first and second house, I knew what I wanted some day,” he said.
Along one wall he has a collection of nearly 100 jerseys, mostly from football or baseball teams, including the Seattle Seahawks and Mariners.
Nearby is a collection of Mariner bobble heads and bright yellow “K” placards. In baseball, the letter K stands for “strikeout.” Fans waived the cards and chanted “K, K, K” when Felix Hernandez was pitching in the hope of inspiring him to another swing-and-miss strikeout.
The room is so packed with memorabilia, it’s hard to find room for any additions.
There is a fix for that problem, though, and you might anticipate what Whall has in mind.
The family’s home has a steep driveway down to the street level. His plan is to build a new garage at street level and extend the game room on top of the garage.
And what might go in that larger space?
“I wouldn’t mind having a pinball machine,” he said. “And an arcade game. I wouldn’t mind having that, as well.”
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or email@example.com.
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This story is part of an occasional series on themed rooms. Do you have a Greta Garbo bedroom? A living room that maps your world travels? A Seahawks or Sounders man cave? We want to feature your special room in the Homes section. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.