Billiard room

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The Billiard Room at Schönbrunn Palace, c. 1855/1860, chromolithograph after a watercolour by Franz Heinrich

A billiard room (also billiards room, or more specifically pool room, snooker room) is a recreation room, such as in a house or recreation center, with a billiards, pool or snooker table. The term billiard room is sometimes also used as synonymous with "billiard hall" i.e., a business providing public access to hourly-rental or coin-operated billiard tables.

The billiard room may be in the public center of the house or the private areas of the house.[1]

Billiard rooms require proper lighting and clearances for game playing.[2] Although there are adjustable cue sticks on the market, 5 feet of clearance around the pool table is ideal.[2]

Interior designer Charlotte Moss believed that "a billiard room is synonymous with group dynamics. It's where you mix drinks and embark on a little friendly competition..."[3]


Billiards probably developed from one of the late-14th century or early-15th century lawn games in which players hit balls with sticks;[4] the earliest mention of pool as an indoor table game is in a 1470 inventory list of the accounts of King Louis XI of France.[4]

Following the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, billiard rooms were added to some famous 18th-century cafés in Paris and other cities.[5]

Billiard Room - Mark Twain House

Although billiards had long been enjoyed by both men and women, a trend towards male suites developed in 19th century Great Britain; these male suites paired billiard rooms with smoking rooms and sometimes libraries. One example of these male suites is Castle Carr near Halifax.[5] By the turn of the century, billiard rooms were considered a standard feature in great British houses with House Beautiful claiming "Up-to-date owners of English estates have installed billiard rooms..."[6]

Many mid- and late-19th century billiard rooms were designed in an Oriental or Moorish style.[5] Mark Twain's billiard room in Hartford, CT was decorated with quasi-Moorish stencils.[5]

The late 19th and early 20th century represent the billiard room's heyday.[5]


  1. ^ Publications, Home Buyer (2016-11-29). Old House Interiors. Home Buyer Publications.
  2. ^ a b Harbinger, Phyllis (2014-08-04). The Interior Design Productivity Toolbox: Checklists and Best Practices to Manage Your Workflow. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781118680438.
  3. ^ Moss, Charlotte (2011-01-01). Charlotte Moss Decorates: The Art of Creating Elegant and Inspired Rooms. Random House Incorporated. ISBN 9780847833696.
  4. ^ a b Levinson, David; Christensen, Karen (1999-01-01). Encyclopedia of World Sport: From Ancient Times to the Present. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195131956.
  5. ^ a b c d e Banham, Joanna (1997-05-01). Encyclopedia of Interior Design. Routledge. ISBN 9781136787584.
  6. ^ House Beautiful. Hearst Corporation. 1908-01-01.