WRITER | RACHEL WHITE
Fall means crisp air and sweater weather, changing leaves, and back to school. But for many, fall means only one thing: Football. If you can’t make it to the actual game, you’ll need a cool spot to watch it on TV. It’s way better to stay in, and games are best watched with buddies, of course, so let’s get ready to entertain.
For family men, especially – but, really, for any sports enthusiast – having a space all your own, decorated exactly the way you want it, doesn’t happen very often. But it’s good to have a place to unwind, somewhere you can relax and hang with friends and family. Keep reading for tips on how to make the ultimate space ready to host your game-day activities.
Your first consideration is seating – you’re going to need some comfortable chairs. Function is just as important, if not more important, than form. Consolidating space is a good idea because you’re going to need room for toys (see below). So think about sectionals – they save space but have room for everyone. (Bonus: When you’re flying solo, you have somewhere to put up your feet.) Everyone knows that the owner gets the recliner, so take off your shoes and stay a while.
Also, you’re going to need to keep your drinks icy cold. A refrigerator or dorm-size mini-fridge prevents running to the kitchen every time you need a cold one. If that’s not in the budget, a cooler is cool, too. You can find awesome tutorials online for ottomans that do double duty as ice chests, keeping both your beverages frosty and your tootsies comfy.
Turn on the Game
You’ll want at least a 50-inch screen. Surround sound or a cool speaker system is fun, too. Eric Petre recently converted his garage into a “sports pub.” He’s a youth football coach, and his main motivation was watching game film. “My coaching staff often gets together, and we usually do so at a pub,” he says. “Now, we have our own pub-style set-up to game plan and watch game film.” Petre put in a custom hightop pub-style table and seating and finished off the room with wood paneling, a refrigerator, and a 75-inch television. “I’ll definitely be having people over for football games,” Petre says, “and my kids also love to watch movies out there.”
Don’t Hate, Decorate
Here’s the fun part. Include plenty of tables that never need coasters for your refreshments and tailgate snacks. “This is the first room where my wife didn’t get to choose anything,” says Petre with a chuckle. Pool tables, foosball, ping-pong, darts, and just about any other game are always fun in a “sports-cove.” Classic arcade games are awesome and can be enjoyed solo or with pals. Of course, you’ll need to represent: Your team’s colors, pennants, jerseys, and other memorabilia should proudly be displayed on the walls. You may even want to consider painting a wall in your team’s colors.
The most important factor in making a space just for you is, well, you. So make it your own, surround yourself with things that make you happy, and enjoy!