How much passion is too much passion when it comes to decorating? How much is too much when it comes to displaying what gets you geeked? Is there a need to balance the twain… (spoiler alert: I say go all out.)
Last week was a somber week made for reflective writing. Today, I’m just ready to flip the deadbolt, flick my shoes against the mudroom wall, burst into my living room and melt to the floor just like Lloyd Christmas after getting robbed by a sweet old lady on a motorized cart. When I look up from the floor, I want to be surrounded by things I love. My husband. Our sprightly old dog. The adorable terror of a kitten. And my things. The Rutherford-Bohr molecule clock which tells me the hour while reminding me that life is made up of more than just timecards. I gaze passed it and see insignias of worlds that transport me from reality. Reminders of characters that represent the ability to change my reality. And scientific identifiers that teach me the wonders of my own reality. If I need to buy a bedside rug, why not make it a Wampa rug? So each night, when my feet hit the floor I can be happy that they’re toasty and that I’m not trudging through Toth to get to my bathroom. It’s a double win. That’s how I see geeked-out decorating (Nerdecor). Surround yourself with things that you need and things that you love.
There are times when I’m left to tap a TARDIS-detailed nail against my cheek. I mean, I like this Han Solo-in-carbonite refrigerator, but is it overkill if you can see it from the Han Solo-in-carbonite area rug in the adjacent living room? More importantly, I worry the 6” Star Wars appliance will clash with all the Star Trek kitchen utensils; the Enterprise pizza cutter, the Federation cutlery, the Captain’s uniform apron, the Starfleet emblem ice cube trays. And really, if I load up my digs with so many fascinating elements of iconic science fiction, will it draw too much attention away from my forays into the world of Fantasy? I wouldn’t want to short-change the stateliness of the Valyrian steel hanging over my mantel. Such are the hard decisions we all must make in the name of adulthood.
Have you seen the whimsical items they’ve made functional these days? Production companies have gone pro with their merch offerings. Fanart has blown up with likenesses, spinoffs, and DIYs. Websites like www.thinkgeek.com and www.nerdapproved.com bring in a perpetually fresh rotation of fun and functional TV, Film, Entertainment, and Geek swag. Office widgets, household doodads, witty decals, and pop-culture couture. Much more fun than their ho-hum contemporaries, like: a normal lamp, a plain set of oven mitts, a black rectangular flashdrive, or a small tabletop chest without a trio of dragon eggs inside. So one dimensional.
The dilemma, of course, is that I have gone through puberty and I don’t really want my personal space to come off like a nerdy rendition of Neverland Ranch. (Not that there was a thing wrong with the level of passion and imagination that comprised Neverland Ranch). Any fandom in me is only part of the whole being reflected in my choice of surroundings and tastes therein. So how does an adult go about adulthood whilst simultaneously flying their geek flag or hanging their dorky bunting?
These are the options with which I’m familiar:
The focal point – for those who want just a little bit of flare in an otherwise matching sofa and loveseat world. In a room full of mature colours and luxury fabric pillows complementing plush throw rugs, strategically positioning a single element of geekdom can have a dramatic effect. Let’s call it the Fulcrum Point; the spot around which the rest of the room is balanced. A death star chandelier in a swanky dining room. Minecraft flowers in a Minecraft vase on an antique wooden coffee table. Or a table more like these:
It’s hard to stick to just a single item, however, even when it comes to ruling a room (there were 19 other rings of power after all). When that initial cherry grows branches and bares fruit, it’s time to move on to a showcase. A Curio of Curiosities, if you will. All the nerdy little treasures encapsulated in a concentrated space. Situationally, you’re left with 3 walls of business and 1 wall of awesome. A spot where the DC figurines live in harmony with The Walking Dead bobbleheads. Where replica phasers are propped up delicately beside a single can of rare (and surely disgusting) unicorn meat. A portal of wonders, to draw the eye, and satisfy the spirit. Like so:
Some passions burn so brightly they require more than just a wall as proportional representation. For those who hear video game scores in their dreams and spend their daylight dry-running scenarios for the zombie apocalypse, it may be worth having an entire geek den. Fan Cave. Fandora’s Box? A self-contained room oozing animation. Filled with what ever helps you think, escape, enjoy. It’s like a smorgasborg of personal delights, eye candy every which way you look. Done properly, a 360 panoramic of single-theme content can transform a casual bystander into a specific region in the realm of fantasy. Nurseries wrapped in Mario Bros. level 1-1 scenery, equipped with Toadstool seating and a King Koopa crib. BSG bathrooms, with New Earth propaganda posters, a Galactica shower curtain, and Cylon soap dispensers. Maybe recreating a pirate ship on the sea or Krypton in a pocket universe is your thing. How about this opulent Batman boudoir:
If you’re like me though, your interests are much more widespread. Why stare at a warehouse stock pictures of sunflowers in a field, when I can transfix my gaze on the blown up, luxuriously framed cover of The Incredible Hulk #180 introducing Wolverine? Why listen to a regular intercom buzzer, when I can be alerted to a visitor’s presence by the hidden chamber music from Zelda? Why make my tea in a regular tea pot, when I can enjoy it out of my Mr. T pot? I do pity the fool who doesn’t take every opportunity to get more enjoyment out of their day. There doesn’t seem to be a judgement-free, unstigmatized reason for not incorporating my interests throughout the entirety of my personal spaces. The self-contained room of remarkableness has exploded out into the rest of the house like some fantastic Dorkgasm. A zombie arm wine bottle holder here, a periodic table table-runner there, and an NES shaped chaise lounge in the middle of it all.
I find the difference between this upheaval of marvels…………………….. and this arrangement of awesomeness:
comes down mostly to organization (and a reasonable amount of room to maneuver). Uniform, opulent golden framing for your Seinfeld portraits. Clean lines of comics in a display case. Cluster displays of NFL memorabilia on shelves encircling your workspace.
This type of Fanterior Decorating isn’t just about sci-fi, literature, or physics of course. It covers anything that you’re passionate about. An artist. A hobby. Photographs. Momentos. Ideas. Incorporate your interests into your living space, I say! At home, at work, in your car. Anywhere you’ll see it and be reminded of the things that bring you peace, laughter, and appreciation. It’s possible to take control of your environment and individualize it by having some fun with it. Wear your badges and wave your House’s Flag with honour. Decorating in geek fare once was considered an adult faux pas, and then we realized we are adults, and the real faux pas is a lack of passion. We make our own decisions now and we can buy Hogwarts towel sets if we want to.
Thanks to our friends at Two Geeks Talking for letting us share this content.
Two Geeks Talking is a partner in Crossroads Alpha along with Comics Bulletin.