Home Bowling Alleys: The Obsession You Didn’t Know You Had

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bowling ball bowling shoes

Take a look at these awesome home bowling alleys with many different decor styles. Inspiring!


I used to play a bit of bowling as a child. My dad would take the family out to the local alley on Saturday or Sunday afternoons, and we’d rent smelly shoes and laugh our hearts out as we tried different “techniques” for throwing the ball… not always successfully, I might add.

You know the kind of alley I’m talking about: bland, with white walls and stark neon light, ugly carpet in the waiting and watching areas, and orange-and-red seats that literally come out of the 70s.

My childhood bowling alley might be gone (sniff), but bowling itself is still a popular activity. It’s accessible, easy to learn and fun… especially on Friday Disco Nights with plenty of beer and dance music.

But I digress.

Flair and decor

Nowadays, bowling alleys can have flair and decor value. Especially if you have one at home. Which I didn’t know people did, but somehow I’m not surprised! Home bowling alleys are now my new decor obsession. They go from 70s kitsch to laser-tag-futuristic, from retro-vintage to contemporary-elegant.

Let’s have a look at how amazing bowling alleys can really look, if you just give their decor a chance.

I don’t think you can build a bowling alley in Minecraft yet, but here’s an idea of what it could probably look like:

Rustic Family Room by Bozeman Architects & Building Designers Locati Architects

Bowling alley in a mining shaft. I’m in love. This has retro flair, a little “Old West” flavour, and definite originality. I love the authentic touch of the oil lamps and how the technology doesn’t impede the overall look.

Eclectic Basement by Denver Building Supplies Reclaimed DesignWorks

On the same theme, here’s a bowling alley set in a cave. The rough stonework is really realistic! (I hope this isn’t actually in a cave.)

Contemporary Basement by Atlanta Interior Designers & Decorators Tamara Bickley Design

And how about this 50’s-diner-cum-graffiti-park home alley? I love the overall blue theme with the touches of red. These two primary colors work really well together, especially in something that’s very American-themed.

Rustic Home Theater by West Chester Architects & Building Designers Archer & Buchanan Architecture, Ltd.

The style of this alley is a little harder to nail down, but I mostly notice the industrial-style stools to the left. The open woodwork of the ceiling and stone walls have a “cabin in the woods” flair that I particularly like.

Traditional Basement by Dallas General Contractors Gage Homes Inc.

My favourite feature in this home bowling alley is the background image. It’s hard to see on this photo, but it’s a vintage poster for a winery, featuring wine barrels on either side of a wine cave. It actually suits the bowling lane by extending the length of the alley even further.

And those blacklights are just downright cool.

Contemporary Basement by Boston Architects & Building Designers Catalano Architects

All right, here’s something a bit more traditional. The couches are perfect for watching or waiting, but then there are BOOKS! The alley itself is set apart from the rest of the basement, which means that it doesn’t overtake the entire decor. The colors are traditional and neutral–I especially love this leafy green and the diamond patterning on the wall and ceiling sections. Great detail.

Contemporary Home Gym by Jacksonville Specialty Contractors Fusion Bowling

Prefer a minimalist approach? This is your deal. A few spaces for seating to the sides, giant screens for your favourite sport, and not much else to distract you from your next roll. Even the cabinets are set within the walls!

Traditional Basement by Saint Louis Architects & Building Designers Schaub+Srote, Architects | Planners | Interiors

Last but not least, this elegant basement with bowling alley will let you play your favourite kitsch guilty pleasure in style. I love the curved ceiling and the elaborate lamps along the wall of the alley.

Your turn to play

All right, all these home bowling alleys have a different style. Which one is your favourite? Would you do something completely different? How do you imagine you own personal and private bowling alley, if you could have one? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

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Anabelle Bernard Fournier

Anabelle is a freelance writer, writing teacher and blogger. She spends a lot of time at home, so she likes to make sure that it's cozy and nice, especially in her reading nook. In her free time, Anabelle knits, walks and learns how to write stories.