So back in December I started this ongoing series of posts about creating my own game room and blogging office. The first part of the series, which you can read here, focused on my initial plans for how the room would be laid out.
Since then, we’ve now (finally) moved into our new house (you can read about that adventure here and here), and the last couple of days have been spent getting the first iteration of the gaming room/office put together. So, now is the perfect time for the next part in this series. Thus, today we’re going to take a look at how I turned at 2.16×1.96 metre box room into a comfortable space to both game and work on this blog.
How It Started Out
I guess I should start by point out that the room is, in fact, the third bedroom of our new house. Therefore, it is also the smallest room in the house. On top of that, it was incredibly dirty, with mouldy carpets and ruined wallpaper throughout. The skirting around the floor was broken, with some bits crumbling to the touch, and overall, the room was in a right state.
Even the blinds were filthy, covered in some sort of gunk with rotten string that snapped under the slightest pressure.
It had originally been used a bedroom, but as the house had last been occupied by an elderly lady living on her own, it hadn’t been used or looked after whatsoever. In fact, it was so bad that for the first few days since we moved in, we used it as a dumping ground for boxes and bags of stuff we hadn’t unpacked yet.
There was an awful lot of work that needed to be done with the room to make it habitable, let alone comfortable.
What We Did
It started out with clearing everything out of the room and dousing the walls with wallpaper stripper. From there, we had to peel off multiple layers of old and worn out wallpaper, revealing a far less than smooth wall underneath. This was smoothed down using some B&Q own-brand filler before we proceeded to paint it white with Leyland “brilliant white” paint. It only took two coats to get a nice finish, which was really lucky!
From there, we replaced the broken skirting with the cheapest alternative we could find, again from B&Q as it is only about 5 minutes drive from our house. This was applied with low cost, high strength adhesive and stuck to the filled wall almost immediately. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the work being done, simply because the work was more important at the time than taking photos.
Anyway, from there, we cleaned up the blinds considerably using half a packet of Tesco anti-bacterial wipes before reinstalling them. Finally, we fit the carpet ourselves, using a fitting kit we bought from Amazon (here). The carpet itself was incredibly cheap, at just £3.99 per square metre, from Flooring Superstore. This gave us a great looking room which I could start to fill with all of the different things I needed for a game room and office.
Putting It All Together
Now that we had brought the box room back to life once more, it was time to start furnishing and decorating it. To begin with, we put together the computer desk that we have bought from Argos, which was really nice and simple to do. Once we’d built it, we decided that it would sit nicest against the right hand wall, in front of the plug socket. This way, I could hide the wires and cables behind it.
Next came the bookcase that would house my games and DVDs, as well as various memorabilia and cool gaming stuff that I had. Because the room was so small, we needed to be clever about which bookcase we bought, so we ended up going for the thin Billy bookcase from IKEA. Luckily, IKEA is quite literally across the main road from our us (I can see it from my window), so I hopped in the car and picked it up, rather than waiting for delivery.
It fit perfectly on the back wall, between the window and the left hand wall. So that worked out brilliantly.
The final step in terms of furniture was the seat. Now, you may have read my recent review of the Brazen Shadow Pro gaming chair (here), and therefore, you can probably guess that this is the chair we put in the room. Despite being a large (and very, very comfortable) chair, the way we had laid out the desk and the bookcase meant that I had enough room to move around in the Shadow Pro chair.
The Finishing Touches
Okay, so since this is just the first iteration of a room that will no doubt evolve over time, “finished touches” may not be quite the right heading, but I’m going with it for now. Anyway, now that the furniture was all sorted, it was time for me to start putting the personal touches into the room. This started with sorting out the computer desk area.
I used the two shelves on the left to house my PS2, PS3 and the AT Games Mega Drive, with all the cables going through the ready made cable hole in the back of the desk. The drawer above the the shelves was the perfect place to store my controllers, and this left enough room for my PC tower to sit under the desk and there still be space for my legs.
On top of the desk, I put the 32″ Philips TV that we had previous used in our bedroom, which would act as both my gaming TV and my PC monitor. Around it I placed a pair of Silvercrest USB speakers that I bought from Lidl, and a lamp that we bought from B&Q. This also left enough desk space for the Powercool RG100 gaming keyboard and my replacement Silvercrest wireless mouse (my Areli gaming mouse doesn’t work anymore). Then, to finish off the desk, I put a picture of my daughter from when she was just 3 days old.
Next on the agenda was the bookcase. The first thing I did was put all of my PC games and DVDs on the bottom shelf, and my PS2, PS3 and PS4 games on the top shelf. I may have thrown in a couple of classical music compilations as well, because they can be great to listen to when you need to think about what you’re writing. These are, of course, sorted alphabetically as well. Half way up the bookcase, I also put my wonderful Arcade Fight Stick from Venom Gaming.
From there, it was time to put together the two “feature” shelves together, above and below the Arcade Fight Stick. The top feature shelf now holds my copy of Koudelka (my all time favourite game), my copy of The Crow comic book, my novel, my Google Partners notebook and the Famicom Disk System version of The Legend of Zelda 2 that I won in a competiton run by Retro Gaming Geek. However, that needed a nice and safe place to stay, so what better place to put such an awesome game than in a Legend of Zelda themed box, hand crafted by The Burnt Tree on Etsy? It’s a wonderful addition to the feature shelf, and is a perfect home for such an amazing game!
The bottom feature shelf, underneath the Arcade Fight Stick, was reserved for the awesome 3D printed retro gaming models from VoxelZoo, specifically Pac-Man and a family of Space Invaders. This makes for a really cool little shelf for you to see as you first walk into the room!
The final aspects of the room were the walls. There are more things to add to them yet, including my Google Specialist certificate and my signed The Walking Dead Season 2 poster, but for now, I have put a New York landscape wall sticker on the left hand wall, just as you come into the room. This was bought for £3 from Lidl. Then, on the right hand wall, just above my TV-monitor, sits a wonderful poster of the Final Fantasy 7 world map, created by Majestic Posters. The contrast between the real world photo as you enter and the FFVII world map when you sit down really helps you transition from “real world mode” to “creativity mode”!
And That’s All Folks
So there you have it, that’s how I turned a very much dilapidated box room into a nice and comfortable room to both work on my blog and enjoy my gaming hobby within. The finished room is lovely to be in, and I’m really happy with how it has turned out so far.
It really has come a very long way, as you can see from the image swap above. And it really didn’t cost that much either…
- Wallpaper Stripper – £3.50
- Antibacterial Wipes – £2.50
- Brilliant White paint – £12
- Skirting – £7.50
- Computer Desk – £45
- Bookcase – £25
- Shadow Pro Gaming Chair – £150
So, for just £245.50, we managed to turn a bedroom that had long been forgotten and left to rot into a great little gaming room and blogging office space! Even though the room is really just a very small box room, planning it out and furnishing it like this, we’ve managed to make the most of the space. And as the room evolves, I’ll be expanding upwards, using more shelves (maybe floating ones), rather than outwards.
Do you have a game room or office space? Are you planning one? Did this post help you come up with a plan of attack? Let me know in the comments below!