Thursday, October 2, 2014

BIG REVEAL: John's Game Room Makeover!

Several months ago I finally convinced John to redo his office/man cave/game room... by promising to let him build his own entertainment center. (Dangle the use of power tools in front of this guy, and he's on board with redecorating!)

Since I'm in this room a lot, too - either playing games or watching TV with John - I am over the moon with the results.

So let's get right to the pictures!

BEFORE:


 [whimper]


AFTER:
 
 WaHOOOOO!!



BEFORE:

Why yes, that IS a Death Eater in the closet.


AFTER:

It's like being able to breath again. Ahhhhh.

The main problem with John's room - which is a tiny 10X10, like my office - was a lack of display space. So he was cramming all his tchotchkes on the top of the TV, on his hanging guitars, the floor - everywhere.

Plus, since nothing would fit in the buffet under the TV, he was doing THIS with the electronics:

 That's a cheap plastic stand under there. Mercy.

By measuring everything and building an entertainment center to fit, now everything is tucked away under the TV:


The doors have metal mesh screening for ventilation, and hide the gaming computer:




John built the entire unit in under a week, and then spent another week practicing with stains to get just the right color. (We wanted something a little more gray, and less yellow. He ended up mixing two different colors to get the right look.) Then we screwed on a bunch of L brackets - painted iron - for accents. We were aiming for a vaguely-vintage-industrial-but-mostly-goes-with-everything look.

 
The top shelf is perfect for John's cosplay headgear, which was just sitting around on the floor before.

John actually has SO much display space now that I had a hard time finding enough stuff to fill the cubbies! Most everything here is his, but I lent him my cheshire monster & the baby cake we made for the first CW book. Hehehe.


I'm most pleased with his Fluttershy shelf on the left, but the killer bunny above it is pretty sweet, too. (You can click any pic to embiggen, if you want a closer look at the madness.)

Oh hey, we still have to do the other side of the room!

BEFORE:

 John adored this dark blue, so it took some convincing for him to go with a lighter wall color. And, to be fair, this is mostly a TV and gaming room, so John wants it dark in there.

AFTER:
We almost always have the shades down, though, so it looks more like this:
 
The neutral walls make it a lot easier to display John's growing art collection, which was a big sell for him. I'm using black frames with white mats to help tie it all together. 

(And I'm still working on a solution for all those weights on the floor, btw. That is NOT their final resting place. ;))

I also spent a good hour arranging the art so the floor lamp wouldn't block anything from the door.

The best part is John has room to grow: there's plenty of room on both walls to add more!


John also took this opportunity to order & install new in-ceiling speakers behind the recliners. They were only $43 for the pair, and combined with the FIVE around the TV, plus the woofer we tucked behind the seats, this little home theater is now officially rockin'. Awww yeeeeeah.

:D

Before, John blocked the sunlight with lined squares of fabric attached to the window trim. They looked ok, but there was no way to raise them if we wanted a little light.

After shopping for blackout roman shades and finding them outrageously expensive ($150+ each!), I convinced John to make our own:

We did it for the cost of cheap new miniblinds ($15 for both at Home Depot), blackout liner, and linen fabric. (Arg, I don't remember the fabric total! Maybe $50?) 

John's design is a modified version of this tutorial, which I highly recommend. That tutorial makes unlined shades that hang perfectly flat when they're down, though; John's has two layers, and overlapping pockets even when they're extended all the way:

John did all the sewing, I did all the gluing, and together we had both shades done in two nights! They're almost always down, too, so I really appreciated John insisting on the more decorative design:


Plus they block the light even better than the old ones.

Ahh, but we're not done yet. The room's new door has a secret. Can you guess what it is?

I'll give you a hint: How would a door that size open without hitting anything?

That was the question WE asked ourselves, too, since I was dead set on centering the entertainment center on the wall. The hallway outside the door is tiny and skewed at an angle, so there's no room for the door to open OUT, either - it has to open IN.

Give up?


 Ta-daaa!

Yep, when I half-jokingly suggested a bi-fold door during the planning stages, John pounced on the idea. Other than the missing handle, you'd never know the difference when it's closed!

(Before you ask, getting out IS a little tricky for now - I have to grab the bottom of the door with my toe - so I'll probably add a low-profile handle soon. John can reach the top of the door, though, so he doesn't mind.)

That picture is too dark to see, but the black chest by the door has TEN drawers in it, perfect for everything from wires to game controllers to drafting tools. John loves it - and it's still only half full!

 
I love how everything has a place now; the only cleaning I did for these photos was remove John's laptop from the recliner & tuck the PC keyboard & controller away.

We purged a lot of junk from John's closet, but for the most part, everything in the "before" pictures is still in the "afters," with the exception of his hanging guitars. Amazing what extra storage & organization can do, am I right? 

Hope you guys enjoyed the tour! Now, I think I'mma go play a video game. ;)


64 comments:

  1. Amazing! You guys totally revamped that space and made it really cool.
    That James Hance Hagrid print speaks to me, so I think your post has tipped me over into needing one myself. Thanks for sharing!!

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  2. I made my own roman shades for my kitchen.They are so simple to do and make such a difference. I love how the room looks now, I love bright rooms!

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  3. Wow! DEF inspired to diy roman shades, now!

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  4. Holy cow, this has sparked all kinds of ideas for our space. That metal mesh is awesome. Where did you get it?

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    1. Both Home Depot & Lowe's carry different designs; I think they're made for radiators?

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  5. Just perfect--you two do great work!

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  6. Love it! Especially your new entertainment center--it's so hard to find the "perfect" piece of furniture at the right price, it must be nice to have the skills to build your own, and yours looks fantastic! This post makes me itch to get back to organizing our house (we moved a year ago), but with a one-year-old and three-year-old, I can never find the time, and it feels like we're constantly adding different kid stuff and needing to reshuffle what we have...I'm on, like, a five-year plan to find places for all the permanent stuff at this point! :-P

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  7. Impressed with the shades especially! I just made a faux Roman shade for our bathroom, and that took all my (limited) sewing and math skills!

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  8. I love the transformation!! for the door handle - what about crafting a loop of leather and attach it to the edge that fits against the door jam. You could just pull that to fold-back the door- save your toes from possible damage. :-)

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    1. I was thinking the same sort of thing, attaching a loop of something for a handle, like braided rope. I had to do something like that as a quick Rube Goldberg fix to a found nightstand I'm using as a printer stand, just some crocheted string and big wooden beads to keep the rope from slipping through the holes for the drawer pulls. It looks really pretty good, but I'll switch it out for something nicer later when I get the chance to sort through my craft horde.

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  9. It looks amazing! Ya'll did great work!

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  10. Where did you find that black chest? I've been looking for something like that for ages to turn into a jewelry storage!

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  11. Jen - How about a vertical storage unit for the weights, tucked in the space to the left of the entertainment center? Something along these lines, but, you know, a lot cuter: http://www.rehabmart.com/images_html2/Ideal%20(IDP)%202012/IDP-VWR30%20Dumbbell%20Storage%20Rack_Weight%20Racks%20Storage.jpg

    Anon @ 9:17- Ikea has a similar chest http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50192822/

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    1. Aha, you read my mind! I just didn't know such a rack even existed, and the weights are, well, kinda heavy. ;) I'll have to look into this more, so thanks!

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  12. I am so bad at design and decor that when people post before and after pictures I usually just shrug and say "what was wrong with the first one?" This was awesome though. It made me want to redo my "game room." I really could use that kind of organization and storage. Well done!
    P.S. My girls are going as Alice for Halloween and I'm going as the Cheshire cat but I wanted to wear a top hat. So seeing your Steampunk Cheshire hat and I remembered your older post and now I am excited!

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  13. I LOVE the entertainment center. It's awesome! But I can't believe you painted over that beautiful blue with beige, lol. We're thankfully getting ready to paint because I kept telling my husband that if I had to look at one more beige wall, I was going to scream. Do you happen to know the brand/color of the blue? It's perfect for my bedroom accent wall!

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    1. Oh geez, it's been so many years, I have no idea! Sorry. :( But definitely go with a low sheen for such a dark color: flat or eggshell. Any shine to it can really cheapen the look.

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  14. I don't know how I didn't realize John likes Fluttershy!! I am sure I read it but I'm forgetful. She's my fave.

    The room looks awesome!! Love the idea on the L brackets. :)

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  15. The room really looks wonderful. Not that it was awful before, but it's like the difference between the room of a teenager and the room of an adult. The update has a sense of dignity without hiding the fact that fun things take place here. And I really LOVE the shades!

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  16. Beautiful! Er, I mean, handsome! Very nice, for sure. I too would love to know where you got the black chest. It is similar to the Ikea one linked above, but they don't appear to have it in black (and theirs is 9 drawers). This inspires me to work on our office, which has never really settled into a comfortable layout since we moved in more than a year ago.

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  17. I love that entertainment centre! especially the l bracket accents, but also the colour

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  18. I love the Disney artwork, which artist is it by? We're planning on turning our spare room into a games room next year, I shall be bookmarking this post for inspiration.

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    1. Um, well, the Tigger is by me - I think I used a coloring book as a reference - and the Lady & the Tramp is technically by Allison Lefcort. But I painted it. (Yes, I copied her design, about ten years ago. I'm a bad person, and I *do* feel bad, so I'm just going to slink away now. [slink slink])

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  19. I totally thought the little Lady and the Tramp figure next to the killer bunny was Simba kissing Eeyore o.o .....now excuse me while I go get some more coffee and wipe off my glasses :D

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  20. SQUEE! I have been waiting for this post for SO long, and it didn't disappoint! That entertainment center...gorgeous! The shades...perfect! The bi-fold door...genius! The framed artwork...beautiful! The tchotchkes...so cute!

    WAIT! John plays guitar and works out with weights and can install speakers in the ceiling?...Does his sexy NEVER end?

    Now about that popcorn ceiling...hmmm...*face gets green*...ummm...*holding hand over mouth*...uhhh...*running to bathroom*

    John doesn't want some ceiling tiles in there like the ones in your office, laundry room, and bedroom? Or something else? Anything...anything at all...to cover up the horror of the styrofoam niblets? Is that a stage 2 redo? Or is he perfectly content with having that cottage cheese stuck to his ceiling? *hurk*

    Anyway...altogether it's a great job and very inspiring. Maybe one day I'll finish this damn kitchen of mine that I started two and a half years ago. Painting is the next step. Hey, former pro painters: is the quality of expensive paint worth the price? Which brand do you guys favor for a kitchen where food splatters will have to be washed off the walls from time to time? I'm doing white or whitish, and my walls are nice and smooth after excruciating sanding/mudding/sanding/mudding. Should I go with a satin or a semi-gloss?

    KW

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    1. I don't know about Benji Moore paint, but I can tell you that Sherwin Williams, at least in my experience, is SO NOT worth it. I actually prefer Valspar by far. Much much better coverage and durability. As for sheen, depends on the wall and color. Just remember that shine makes little bumps, divets, scratches or humps show, so if you have a nice new wall that hasn't had many hangings on it, shiny should be fine. Older house? Older wall? Lots of spackling? Then I would opt for eggshell or below, personally.

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    2. Ha! We're slowly replacing all the popcorn ceiling in the house, and I just realized John's room & the guest bath are the last two holdouts! Since this wasn't a complete makeover, though, the ceiling never even came up. ("Came up." *snerk*) I'll be sure to tell John how much he's disappointed you on that count, though. ;)

      As for paint, and as a former pro painter, I agree with string-o-numbers up there; Valspar from Lowe's has come a long way, and is on par with the premium stuff from Porter we used back in the day. Definitely spend the money for the premium quality, no matter what the brand; it will cover better, go on easier, and last longer. Also higher quality paints let you get away with a lower sheen, since they're so durable, and lower sheens ALWAYS look better than semi-gloss (blech). Go with a satin, since it's in a kitchen; for everything else I'd use eggshell.

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  21. I love the "after," but I do have to admit I love Tigger in the "before," giving the squinty eye to whoever is watching TV. ;-)

    Is that a Dean Winchester Funko on the left of the TV? Please tell me it's Dean.

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    1. Yes! Tigger was the first thing that caught my eye! Jen, please tell me that wasn't a special gift and that I can find a way to get one of my own!

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    2. Yep, that's Dean!

      And Kristy, I actually painted that Tigger. I call it "Where's the Orange?" because he's in black & white and surrounded by every color *except* orange. Heh.

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    3. Wow, your Tigger is amazing. But your Dean looks lonely - he needs Sam!

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  22. The room looks beautiful, but I can't stop snickering over the Death Eater mask with the Mickey Mouse ears on top

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    1. I know!! I came here to post that exact comment. Maybe he'd heard how Disney is the most MAGICAL place on earth, so he decided to investigate?

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    2. Plus they're Canadian Mickey ears, so that makes him a really polite Death Eater. Who loves poutine. :D (John loves Canada & wants to move there, but I suspect it's mostly for the poutine.)

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  23. Idea for the weights! At my chiropracter, they have a stand that looks like a wooden base and back riser with parallel large hooks (like bike hooks?) going up the back riser that the weights sit on, from heaviest at the bottom to the lightest at the top. If you did something similar but gave it a box casing and door, you could put it next to the black drawer unit and have them out of the way, but easily accessible. Just a thought!

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  24. That entertainment center though!! So Much space. Now I want a powerdrillsawhammer!! That looks so awesome. I had a basement that was that color blue before the brand I used was called "Saturn blue" and it was just some kind you get at walmart. Oh my soul I made an already small windowless room look so tiny! Now I am all about color and bright though (yay me). I would really love to see the planning designs yall had for that entertainment center though I would like to get rid of my three wonky not very useful shelves and replace it with a wall of awesome like this .. yes I just named it the wall of awesome xD

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  25. Cool! The only thing I would have done differently would have been to make the door a pocket door.

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    1. I love pocket doors! But since their door frame is at an angle, I don't think a pocket door would be possible there.

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    2. Anony is right; both the angle & the fact there are two doors directly beside this one in the hall meant no pocket door. (And ditto for a barn slider door, because you KNOW I'd have done that if possible!)

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  26. I am on John's team. I love the blue color. I think you should have stayed dark since this is a man cave and movies/video games are played.

    BUT on that note, the lighter colors to open up the room. But I still like the blue color. BLUE BLUE BLUE!

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    1. We've had that shade of blue in there for, gosh, 8 years? So while we both still love the color, this change is pretty refreshing!

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    2. Next blog post: "John Snaps" 'So guys, I woke up at 2AM last night and found John in his game room painting the walls like a crazed Lisa Frank. "Colors!! I need colors!!" he screamed...'

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  27. Wonderful & inspiring!! We need to redo our tv room, so maybe this will encourage us. On another note: HOBBES HOBBES HOBBES!!!!! where did you get that Hobbes in the lower right corner? I adore him...

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    1. Our friend Renee made Hobbes! It was her Christmas present for John. :)

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  28. So cool, Jen!
    When you said the door was a surprise, I couldn't help but thinking elevator doors! Or even a garage door type deal that just kinda rolled up. But it looks SUPER chic and calming. What a great space!
    When do you want to come help me redo my place? :)

    --Piper P from Washington State

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  29. I'd just like to say that I didn't even notice that the 'after' door didn't have a handle! I'm not super observant today, I guess! We are about to redo 2 rooms in our house (one is our gaming cave), and one of them is a bit smaller than your room. I wouldn't have thought of using a chest of drawers like that for all of the cords/controllers/etc. Makes so much sense! Your remodel has inspired so many ideas for our remodels! Amazing work!

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  30. Looks great! This is very inspiring as I'm attempting to redo my whole dang house (no shelves anywhere!).

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  31. Maybe you could split the bifold doors and hinge them to either side of the door frame so they split down the middle. You could even paint them to look like TARDIS doors!

    And I, too, would like to know where you got that ten drawer chest!

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  32. Ermagerd...that entertainment unit is amazeballs! Very much love the design of the room, wish I had a space like that!

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  33. I loved the blue walls too. I thought the first photo was the finished room before I realized it was taken before the makeover. Everything popped against the blue. With the new room color, the furniture melts into the walls so the trinkets on them look to be suspended in mid-air. :o That's an magnificent entertainment center! I love all the toys and treasures on the shelves!

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    1. That's the look we were going for: furniture that kind of "goes away" so the treasures stand out! Plus it makes the room feel so much bigger.

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  34. Huzzah! I love it, but of course, the main thing is that you guys will love it (and Jen shouldn't get claustrophobic). Since you tow are so amazingly crafty and clever (really!), maybe you could make your own design for something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Cap-Barbell-Type-Dumbbell-Rack/dp/B002OOYIOY/ref=sr_1_10?s=exercise-and-fitness&ie=UTF8&qid=1412446493&sr=1-10 The shape of a Death-Eater sigil maybe? Something.

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  35. Like all of your remodels, this was fantastic! I loved watching the room transform through your photos. I was wondering about the painting on the bottom right of the wall behind the chairs, the one below your Castiel painting. I can't quite make it out, but it kind of looks like wings and fire. Is that another Supernatural painting? Could you share the artist?

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  36. Amazing make over!! Can you guys come do my game room? Love the TV console, wish I could do something that crafty. Big question tho....where do you stash all your video games or movies?

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  37. Looks great! I love the dark blue, but sometimes a change is nice.

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  38. If I do end up meeting you at Dragon*Con next year, you'll have a few more things to hang on the walls!

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  39. YAY FOR CANADIAN MOUSE EARS

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  40. I wish I had a gaming room like this! Or just a gaming room for that matter. Love the Dean Winchester pop vinyl on the top shelf. I actually have that one

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  41. Please please reply and explain your method for the Roman shades with the more decorative finish. I love yours more than any one else's on the interwebs! Amazing job!

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    1. Thanks, Aimee! This isn't going to be a great answer, but essentially the only difference is ours have extra fabric between each sewn horizontal edge on the pleats, allowing them to hang down with that little decorative roll. (We even debated sticking skinny pool noodles in there, just to puff them out more. :D)

      We managed it by arranging the outer fabric on the shade while it was flat on a table, overlapping the edges 'til we were happy with the look, and then pinning & sewing it in place horizontally to the shade underneath.

      I realize this is almost impossible to "get" without visuals, but I hope that helped a little!

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  42. I'm specifically interested in how you got them to lay so prettily when they are all the way down :) thank you! I've followed you forever!!!

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  43. The new room is amazing! And I didn't even know they made bifold doors. Wow. What a large improvement.

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