When I walk my dog, I also peek through neighbors’ windows and wrinkle my nose at textiles, wall paper designs, and furniture. When I attend parties, I pretend to engage in conversation while I discreetly determine how to rearrange the hosts’ furniture. I know that’s not polite, but I’m being honest here. I also know that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and decorating budgets are often slim. But adding a touch of style to your gamer pad is sure to win over your guests. Please note: heat sensitive Atari mugs and Pac-Man oven mitts don’t count as style. However, here are five items that do:
1. Cho Hyung Suk Series
Since Namco released Pac-Man in 1980, pop culture has featured this bright, big-mouthed, bulbous character in the form of t-shirts, toys, character-shaped pasta, and even a Weird Al Yankovic parody of the Beatles’ “Tax-man”, titled “Pac-Man.” Now, thanks to South Korean designer, Cho Hyung Suk, you can buy a furniture series including a table, chair, and bookshelves inspired by this favorite childhood game. After earning a degree in art furniture, Cho Hyung Suk set out to design modern, useful pieces. Pac-Man games contain an abundance of simple, geometric shapes, and these proved ideal for inspiring Cho Hyung Suk’s furniture mission. Just a few pieces can store the maze of books, cartridges, and Atari mugs that clutter your place.
2. Brave Space Design’s Flat Pack
Designers at the Brooklyn-based firm, Brave Space Design create multi-functional objects for homes. The team takes a hands-on approach to design, and their Tetris Shelving flat pack allows you to participate in the fun. The unit, made of wooden sides and metal backing, ships directly to your door and assembles in minutes. As with the Tetris video game, you determine how the blocks fit together.
3. Kyle Downes’s Table
This is a do-it-yourself project inspired by Kyle Downes, a motion graphic designer from Melbourne. In 2008, Kyle built a super sized NES controller coffee table. The control, made of an MDF board and topped with protective glass, not only serves as a coffee table and storage trunk, but it also works like any other NES controller. When the table caught the media’s attention, including The Harold Sun and Higher Education, people begged for Kyle’s blueprints. On his blog Kyle wrote, “I basically stuck my NES controller in a scanner and scanned it…the second part of these blueprints was a list of the pieces I needed to cut.” If anyone is capable of this challenge, it is a tech-savvy gamer with critical thinking skills.
4. M.J. Bing’s Prototype Chair
Martin J. Bing’s furniture prototypes demonstrate his understanding of fine art, which he gained as a web developer and carpenter. His pieces also display his love of video games, especially those from the late 80s. The German magazine Gee wrote that Bing developed a bond with the crumbly graphics of games such as Great Giana Sisters and Maniac Mansion. This attachment is evident in his furniture. Bing’s chair, featured in Gee, is titled Rockford, which is also the name of Boulder Dash’s protagonist. Imagine playing a vintage adventure-based video game from the likes of this chair.
5. Kristian Aus Stool
Sydney based studio owner and designer Kristian Aus premiered his Splash Stool at the 2009 Hidden Heroes Exhibit in Milan. A year later, Italian manufacture B-Line licensed the design. While B-Line attributes the stool design to a raindrop hitting the ground, the less poetic description hitting the Internet is that the stool design is based on the 1980s video game, Space Invaders. Aus says of his designs, “The project must be unique in some way….The tactile sensation and a sense of fun are at the top of the list of features that should be in every work.” Maybe your housemate won’t find the idea of French Urban Artist Invader decorating your pad with mosaics of this pixilated enemy alien as unique as you do, but that doesn’t mean this culture enemy can’t invade your home in a less abrasive manner. Whether you like video games or not, Aus’s stool design is fun.
The next time you have friends over to your place, make sure to do so in style. Adding just one of these stellar designs will make your pad subtly geeky and completely chic.