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Summer Projects: The Nerd Cave

Nerd Cave Hallway

Setting up your own man cave is truly an act of dedication. Sports fans, pool hustlers and poker players alike show their love with traditional man caves. But what if your ideal cave is less sports and more tabletop fun or movie night? What if you prefer comic books, or video games, or even the wizarding world of Harry Potter? What if your idea of a man cave is closer to a Batcave? Holy hammer and nails, reader, here’s a quick guide for figuring out how to tackle your own nerd cave as a summer project.

What’s Your Fandom?

Ready to assemble your Avengers collection? Are you a bigger Ghost in the Shell fan than Terry Crews? A Death Star lounge is a pretty cool concept, but it’s no doubt been done. If you’re a bartender, why not show your Star Wars love with a home cantina sure to impress the Sly Snootles in your life? Decide what your fandom is and how you want to show it. It can be something you can be proud of sharing with friends and visitors. A secret passion or book nook to hide away and read through the Silmarillion or the collected works of J.K. Rowling is equally as valid. It’s practically a room of requirement.

Do You Rent or Own?

Whether you rent or own your property is going to be a big consideration when you start planning out your nerd cave. The benefits of renting and owning might seem clear, but you need to know exactly what changes a rental agreement allows. You may find yourself unable to repaint, replace appliances, cover carpeting or even hang items over a certain weight and size on the walls due to landlord restrictions.

If you own your property, you’re probably in the clear, unless you go all out and transform a space to the point that it needs additional inspector clearance to remain up to code. It happens, usually with nerd cave home theaters or when you take things outside with roofing repairs and remodels that can cost thousands of dollars or more. Of course, these also give the exterior of your home a look as unique as your nerd cave and make it easier for friends to find the place. You’ve always wanted to share your fandom with the neighborhood, right?

What’s Your Budget?

The sweetest nerd caves don’t always require taking out a second mortgage or blowing through your summer fun cash stash. Putting up your favorite posters, adding a few bookcases, some seating and a table (with a mini-fridge) is plenty to get started. As your budget and your nerd cave grows, consider swapping out these items for matching or themed collectibles. Get that R2-D2 mini-fridge, and later upgrade the space again with a full-sized Han Solo in Carbonite refrigerator. A computer chair is a decent starting captain’s chair. Slap on a Federation (or Klingon) decal to make sure everyone knows who is in command. Q’apla!

With all that decided, it’s time to get to work. Roll up your sleeves and gather your collectibles. Work from the outside in as you shelve your favorite things to create a space as unique as you. Put those Packers fans and pool sharks to shame with a space that shows your fandom is every bit as impressive as theirs.

Written by Bradley Robbins

Bradley Robbins is a tech, trade and travel writer with a lifetime of experience with North America, Europe and Japan. With over a decade of experience as a copywriter and blogger, "Scratchpad Brad" is back in the writing game after too many years in a cubicle slaving away as an overnight crisis expert.

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