Saturday, October 6, 2018

Game Room Makeover & Tour: Come See Our Nerdy Stuff!

Now that the big renovation at the other house is done, John and I are back to working on our own house. It's been nice getting offline and working on something tangible this week; gets me out of my own head, so to speak, and gives me something fun to focus on.

John's Fan Cave was our first priority, as it was bursting with clutter and the last room in the house to still have carpet, which is a huge dust trap and far too tempting for cats to pee and/or chew on. (Arg.)

 Just... so much stuff.

More of the Before:


The art situation had gotten out of control - we'd been tacking up frames willy-nilly, and were flat out of space -  and the big wall unit was so cram-packed you couldn't focus on anything. Total dusty chaos.

Getting all that huge furniture out was half the battle, but let's pick up here:
 


That's old terrazzo underneath.

 

This laminate is the same John used in the renovation house. It's from Home Depot, cheap, and the easiest he's ever installed - you can see he did the whole room in about an hour and a half. Anyway, A++, would recommend.

Here comes one of my favorite upgrades:

 


And here's how the wires come out in the corner:

 
I love this, since we have a lot of wires to hide! (Mostly speakers; we love our surround sound.)

 

John is a sentimental pack rat, so it took some convincing to get him to purge and prioritize a little. He came around once I pointed out all the new art he's been wanting to hang, and that we could dedicate a whole wall to Harry Potter. At this point John did a full 180, and declared he wanted the walls Hufflepuff yellow. (Aw yeeeah.)

Now, take it from a former pro painter: yellows are scary. To keep it from going too bright or sickly, we color matched our favorite Hufflepuff pillow, which is more of a neutral gold:



 Those are night shots, so it's a lot less mustard-y in real life - you'll see in a sec.

Loading all the furniture back in like:


This made me laugh way too hard. At least I amuse myself.

The next night we started tackling the art:

This paper trick is SO USEFUL, you guys. I can't recommend it enough if you've got several pieces to hang.


Now here's the (mostly) finished room!

New flooring, paint, window shades, and streamlined art in mostly neutral colors. (It turns out almost all of John's favorite pieces are black-and-whites or muted tones, which look great on the yellow walls!)

I know the Lady & the Tramp painting sticks out like a sore thumb with that green, but John won't part with it. (I painted it for him like 15 years ago.) So I think I'll repaint the background to get rid of the green - maybe a darker yellow, or a soft gray/blue? What do you guys think?

This is a tiny 10X10 room, so bear with me as I spin around and give you the whole tour:

That's the Hufflepuff pillow we color-matched in the chair. It's the prettiest pillow in the world and well worth the money - go check out the Etsy seller to see the other Houses, too.

 
 Our new Harry Potter wall. We love it so much.

To save space the door to this room is actually a bi-fold. A little weird, yes, but the added space let us fit the big wall unit beside it:


This is visually overwhelming at this angle, but in real life you're so close to it that you're focusing on individual shelves, so it's not so bad. (Plus it used to be much worse; this is the pared-down version!)


We're hoping to build a wall mount for Figment - get him off that stand and a little closer to that wall, so he won't stick out so far.
 

The shelves are continually evolving, but I'm pretty happy with this latest set-up. I'll give you a closer look at them all in a sec, keep scrolling.


This new window shade is fine but boring, so we'd like to add a Hogwarts crest in the middle. Still debating how best to do that, though: fabric applique? Paint? Iron-on t-shirt transfer? Let me know if you guys have any ideas! I'd like Hogwarts on this one and the Hufflepuff crest on the smaller shade:

Hi, Suki. (She's lying on John's laptop because it's warm, ha.)


Another look at our favorite art wall:


I commissioned this Kreacher from Isabell Angell for John's birthday, then surprised him with it early for the makeover. Kreacher is John's favorite HP character, and this scene is the one John cites every time he's asked why:

John and I both got teary over this. I'm just sayin', if you ever get the chance to hear John's passionate explanation for why Kreacher is the best Harry Potter character, do so.

(John re-sized a thrift store frame for that, btw; still one of our favorite DIYs.) 

We also added a little Luna feeding a baby thestral by Ben Byrd, because ermergersh:


I promise I won't go through ALL the art - though I'm tempted.  

Ok, maybe a few more:

Catbus and Belle getting a tattoo!



And finally, let me show you the shelves I'm so proud of. John gives me free rein on these, and I like to arrange each one by theme:





 


Oh! That reminds me, here's a fun upcycle: The Sorting Hat is sitting on this display stand:

And that stand is actually the top of our old floor lamp, just turned upside down:



We never used that top light, so John took the lamp apart and converted it into a single short goose-neck, so it wouldn't block the art:


As I was about to toss the leftover top piece, you might say a light bulb went off. :D :D :D

So we jammed a big styrofoam ball on the end of the pole, and voila! A hat stand! You can barely see it under the hat, but that's kind of the point:




There's a blast from the past: remember when I made my Portal lemon grenade?






Quick Tip for shelf displays: keep lots of small sturdy boxes and lids on hand to use as risers: it's all about getting that back stuff up high!


More sentimental tidbits. I've learned the hard way to be careful what I give to John, because he will never ever part with it. (That card was one of my first attempts at watercolor; he snatched it out of the trash.)

Ok, I think I've sufficiently bored you guys with Show & Tell over here.


I hope you liked the tour! Let me know if you have any ideas for those Hogwarts crests for the curtains, and I'll update again once we have them installed.

Also let me know if you have questions about any of the art! Pretty much everything in here is by people we love, so I'm more than happy to link you to the artists if you see something you like.

Happy weekend, everyone!

61 comments:

  1. Are you certain he snatched that card out of the trash for sentimental reasons? Perhaps he just has a good eye for nice art. And color me impressed at your first attempt at watercolor. My attempts look like a 3rd grader.

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  2. For the curtains, it depends on what the fabric is like. If it's fairly smooth, you should be able to use an opaque iron-on transfer. It will also be pretty easy to paint. However, if the texture is closer to canvas or burlap, the transfer won't get into all the valleys of the fabric and will look old or faded.

    Not that you need another project, but I noticed that the top shelf of the wall unit was all helmets, hats, and masks...except for the speakers. If you want them to blend in more visually, could you make something that looks like a mask or helmet, but would still let the sound through? Just a thought!

    The makeover of the room looks great, by the way. I hope John is happy with it!

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    1. Good points on the fabric; it *is* a little rough, so I'll have to look closer at it.

      And oh man, I would love to camouflage those speakers! It'd have to be a thin fabric scrim to not interfere with the sound, though. Hmmm. ::off to ponder::

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    2. Totally un-asked for opinion/idea: Could you take the speakers, and your Wizarding World tutorial, but instead: paint the pots pink, and perhaps use colored batting for the top? So they'd be Pinkie Pie cupcakes on their sides?

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    3. LOL... nevermind - just saw the MLP comment below. :)

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  3. Hello, Suki! 💖 This looks amazing!!! What happened to all the Fluttershy stuff, though?

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    1. The Fluttershy shrine got phased out in favor or more current fandoms, I'm afraid! We still have everything fans made for him, since I do my best to keep those, but the store-bought dolls & plushies went to a friend's daughter. :)

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  4. Regarding that gorgeous Lady/Tramp painting: instead of changing the background color, why not digitize it, change the color digitally, and then get it printed (either as a print or on canvas)? That way you can keep your original work intact, while having a new version to hang in the room that doesn't clash. Plus, if you ever want to change the color again, it'd be much easier. :)

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    1. That sounds awesome, but expensive. :D I mean, it'd cost me $2 for a bottle of paint to change the background color - and then I wouldn't have to store this ginormous painting somewhere! (Although I do like the idea of printing it smaller! If John ever decides to replace the original I'm totally doing that.)

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  5. I say leave the lady and the tramp with the green background. Maybe it doesn't "go" exactly (and that's a big maybe) but it is how it is and you made it and it's John's and it should stay as you made it for him. I, for one, think it looks great near the figment.

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    1. I love the pop of color, and how it 'goes' with Figment as well. I wouldn't change a thing! It keeps the room from being too monochromatic. I love it!

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    2. Agree with Betty and Travelgrrl! I like the pop of color. Plus if you end up changing the room again in the future, what if the new color you chose this time doesn't "go"? How many times do you want to repaint this? :)

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  6. We are currently house-hunting, which is exciting but sooo wearying, and your posts have given me a ton of great ideas for our new home! And I am in awe, as always, of your creative re-use of all the things! Hugs to you & John from Martha in Kansas City!

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  7. P.S. I remember when you made John's toe. And your tiny little hand holding it. It looked like a giant's toe.
    PPS "Pivot" is the most widely referenced ummm reference from Friends in my family. Hilarious!

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  8. The room looks amazing. I say leave Lady & Tramp how it is. That's how you gave it to him. Suki looks very much at home there. Where is Eva's favorite hangout?

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    1. Eva likes to hang out *inside* the chairs (she climbs through the bottom) and dig around while we're trying to play Overwatch. It's greeeeeeeeeeat.

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    2. There's a hole in the top of my couch, and inside the couch is where Chaosti likes to hide if he gets overstimulated. I love how Suki is helping in the best way cats do, supervising!

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  9. I love the idea of digitizing Lady and the Tramp so that you can still maintain the gorgeous original. Then you could do a copy with a soft orange background that would not only compliment the yellow walls, but might also be a lovely time-in with Figment. Not the same shade that he wears of course, but maybe a few shades lighter. I could be wrong; I'm typically completely useless when it comes to decorating. But when you mentioned changing the background the idea of matching with Figment sounded like a fun touch.

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  10. Looks so great! I have a question (for my own knowledge) - would you recommend for most folks to paint the walls before installing new flooring? I assume you guys are such pros at painting that you don't worry about drops on the floor, but I fall on the clumsy side...

    I haven't read the story behind the toe. My first thought was of this article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/toe-stolen-yukon-dawson-city-sourtoe-cocktail-1.4168541 :)

    As for the blind, is it always kept down (I know some keep their gaming room windows dark)? If so, it could possibly be replaced with a lightweight picture (maybe of a representation of looking out of one of the Hufflepuff common room windows)?

    Lastly, looks like Suki has some Birman breed in her! It's cool how the darker colour shows up as they age.

    Lisa

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    1. Re: painting, yes, generally any time you can paint without having to worry about the floor, that's the way to go. So paint first, floor later. The reason we did it in this order is because we're night owls, and the noisy power tools had to be used first, before dark. Painting you can do late into the night.

      Re: the toe, have you seen the second Guardians movie? It's part of a very funny scene in there. And we molded John's actual big toe to make ours, one of the more ridiculous things we've done. :D

      I love the picture idea for the window, although John *does* open the shades sometimes. That's a huge area for more art, though, so I'm on board. :D

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  11. I love it all and back up all the keep L & the T, although I kinda like accentish non matching. May I request a video, interview style or recording of a conversation of John’s Kretcher explination. I would love to hear it from him and am having a hard time picturing me meeting you guys any time soon in a situation that would be conducive to hearing it. Thank you for all you do. I enjoy “visiting” you here. :-)

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    1. That's a fun idea! John's not hugely comfortable talking on camera (heh, look who's typing) but maybe I can interview him some time. :)

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  12. I say paint out the green. You painted it originally, you can certainly change that one aspect without too much hassle. I think a nice grey-blue would be lovely!

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  13. I may have missed this but... did you guys get a buyer for the renovated house?

    I second the caution that if your shade will wrinkle as it goes up and down, paint will not be your best option as it will wrinkle and flake off. I’d go with fabric/iron-on (with flexible puffy paint accents to add dimension?)

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    1. Ah, no, you didn't miss anything; I haven't mentioned the fate of the renovation house! We're actually planning to rent it for the time being, though long-term I'm hoping my parents might live there - once they're done exploring the country on their Harley. ;)

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  14. Very good point! What if you were paint/print/whatever the crest on lightweight black core foam core and suspend it from the ceiling on fishing line just in front of the shade? For all intents and purposes it would look like it's part of the shade, but you could still lift the shade without worrying about ruining your artwork with the wrinkling or rolling.

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  15. Could you use some sort of stamping technique for the window shades? Make it look like a "Property of Hogwarts" sort of thing? Also, I'm a Ravenclaw so take it with a grain of salt, but I have to ask: are you going to hang additional wands below the sign that says wandS? ;) :P

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    1. Ha! TYPICAL RAVENCLAW.


      No, no I am not.


      :p

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    2. Typical Hufflepuff response. :D p.s. Your favorite, Donald, is featured in this year's Halloween villain show at Disneyland Paris. I posted a picture on your Facebook page, but you might want to look the show up on YouTube. It's pretty cute. There are two versions as they run pretty regularly. The version including Frollo and Hook isn't the one with Donald. The one with the Queen of Hearts and Captain Hook includes him.

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  16. I know they're expensive, but have you ever considered getting a digital cutting machine(cricut or silhouette)? There's a material called Heat Transfer Vinyl that you can iron on to any fabric and it's very durable. I've used it on t shirts and they don't fade after washing or wear and tear. Just an idea for your window shades.

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    1. Oooh, I've been thinking about getting one of those for papercraft, but the iron-on possibilities may push me over the edge!

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    2. I was gonna suggest fabric vinyl as well, although given all your craftiness you might look into finding a maker space because a lot of that is laser cutable and I can only imagine the shenanigans you guys would get up to with access to laser cutter.

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    3. Get a Cricut! I have been having so much fun with mine. I wish I had bought the Maker so that I could cut fabric & leather, but I wasn't sure if I would use it. I may have to gift my old one to my daughter and buy the Maker.

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    4. Selfishly, I very much hope you get a Cameo because I have one and I am looking forward to you sharing your actual cut files when you share your craft. They can also be sold on Etsy. ;) They make versions that are great with paper and fabric and vinyl. and they make one that will cut foam and balsa wood and engrave stuff. Just saying. ;)

      also, we have that exact same flooring in our house. I second the recommendation. Super cheap, pretty durable, and it looks good installed. We've been very happy with it.

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  17. Where did the little 'puff badger come from? The little fella sitting on top of the Sirius wood (?) print thingie.

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    1. That's by our friend Christie Cox. She sells a similar badger as a magnet in her Etsy shop!

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  18. Is Belle getting a tramp stamp?! That is fantastic!

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  19. WHERE did you get those delightful owls wearing Hogwarts scarves? They are sheer perfection.

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    1. Those are by my friend Dennis Hansbury! Here's his Etsy shop. He did have printed standee versions of all the owls, but I don't see them in stock right now. I'll ask if he's going to re-list them.

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  20. I have the same Belle print! Thanks for the wire-hiding tips... maybe I can try that someday. We aren't very handy & my s.o. doesn't like change so I usually just daydream about redoing our rooms & live vicariously through your blog.

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  21. As for the green on the Lady and the Tramp pic...I'd keep it. Contrasting with the other, more muted colors, makes it pop, which is better than "standing out like a sore thumb." Sometimes having something that contrasts with it's surroundings actually looks pretty good.

    Otherwise...NICE WORK! :D (Is Suki going to be the cat bomber like Lily was?)

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  22. I would keep the Lady and the Tramp background green. I like it against the yellow wall, and it was the original color you intended it to be.

    Just my $$.

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  23. As opposed to painting/stamping/fusing crests to the curtains, can you do a house banner that hangs over them? Easy to just drape over the existing rod?

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    1. Aha! That's is brilliantly simple, and now I'm feeling a bit dumb for not having thought of it! Off to look at banners now...

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  24. I'd go with fabric and iron on interfacing .

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  25. WHERE did you get both Nifflers??????? I needs them to store my shinies!
    As for re-painting the background, go with a brown based olive green. Grey will not let your painting pop out. Blue will make the walls go ugly yellow.

    But please tell me where the nifflers came from.
    IFY - anyone in New York City should get tickets to the Harry Potter exhibit at the NY Historical Society. WOW!

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    1. The plush niffler was a gift from my friend Sharyn, and I *think* it came from the HP Loot Crate. The niffler statue is 3D printed - another gift - and then we painted it. It's free on Thingverse, so if you have a friend with a 3D printer...

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  26. So...what color paint is that? I'm wanting to do my kitchen in a nice deep gold, and that looks perfect!

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    1. The color is Artisan Loaf in the Sherwin Williams deck, #SW2165. (Bring that number to Home Depot or Lowes & they should be able to make it; it's in their systems.)

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  27. Thanks for the fun tour and for the pics of Suki. I'm not on social media, so haven't seen pics of either kitty since they were little kittens. She is so pretty!

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  28. What a fun room! I have a question on how you hid the wires, which is also awesome. How do you attach the quarter round with wires behind it? Isn't it usually nailed?

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    1. Yes, and this is still nailed... carefully. John aimed the nails straight across and higher up - then we tested the wires before continuing to make sure he hadn't pierced any of them. They were only speaker wires on top - very low voltage - so even if he did nick one it's not dangerous.

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  29. I love the Epbot & hedgie watercolor! You should totally scan it & put it up for sale!

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  30. Oh, that's a spectacular room! I love the shelves arranged by theme instead of all shoved together. Baby Groot and the thumb is AWESOME!

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  31. Fantastic job! You guys are amazing. I love the little buildings of Gringott's and 12 Grimmauld Place (I think that's it) behind it. Where did those come from?

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    1. Those are Hallmark ornaments! You can plug in a Christmas light in the bottom and they light up a little. This year Hallmark released HoneyDukes - I hope someday we have a whole street of them. :D

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  32. If you repaint the background on L&T, I vote something in the blue family. Should look nice with the yellow, and might be easier over the green.

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  33. " So I think I'll repaint the background to get rid of the green - maybe a darker yellow, or a soft gray/blue? What do you guys think?"

    Since you're customizing, do with the French grey of the squishy chairs. It will tie a major colour block and looks great with b&w.

    P.S. Awesome painting! Your hubby is right to insist on keeping it.

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  34. Done with the art? But you didn't tell us about the amazing crocheted Hobbes!!! We wants the Hobbeses.

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