Thinking about geekifying your space, but scared to look too young? We can help.
Brad Vigesaa, the co-owner of NerdinOut, a local comics and collectables store, says decorating in a nerdy way should be fun, first.
“It’s all about what your flavor is,” he says. “With art or anything else, you select what you enjoy.”
Karen Vangsness Allen, a design principal at Design Studio B, says the same.
“If you want to really embrace and go all-out, you can create a whole identity in a space,” Vangsness Allen says. “If you’re going to do it, embrace it – go big, because that’s what’s going to be fun.”
Start with wall art
With art, you can get specific, Vigesaa says – pick a favorite artist or character, then find a piece or panel that speaks to your aesthetic. Comic book artists tend to have a few characters in a specific style they’re known for, he says, but other artists (who may take commissions) can draw an array of characters in a variety of styles or mediums.
Usually, the art at cons or other events comes in an 11X19 print, Vigesaa added. He hits up Michaels for frames and other hanging supplies.
Don’t feel tied to framed prints
There are tons of ways to get some great, geeky decorations up – and they’re not limited to traditional posters or pieces of art.
Vigesaa has framed, autographed flyers from different events (including the first NerdinOut Con last year!) hanging up around his house – clear displays of geekdom, but also mementos of great times and trips.
Some people hang pages from comic books, or arrange collectable cards, he adds. As far as comic display goes, NerdinOut uses soft covers (check them out in front of the register) that open and close with velcro for ease of access.
A staple of fandom! But once you’ve accumulated collectibles, how do you display them?
Vangsness Allen says Design Studio B added a ledge to client’s home to display collectibles before, in a crown-molding style. “There’s all sorts of shelving scenarios for displaying whatever you have,” she says.
Vigesaa likes DETOLF shelves from Ikea – those glass cabinet-style display boxes, which are very much like the display cases you’ll see in collectibles stores.
If you do want to use shelves, Vigesaa says floating ones offer options. For example, artsy types could paint a wall to look like a cityscape or other backdrop, then place floating shelves with figures into the scene.
One note: with any collection, you want to keep the items together, Vangsness Allen thinks. “It has more of an impact if you see the collection cohesively, rather than splitting it up,” she says.
That goes for art, too, she says – if you’re framing items, grouping six prints on a wall is better than having two here, two there, and two in another room.
Looking to just dip a toe into the nerd decorating waters? Accent pillows, throw rugs, or blankets featuring fandom prints are an easy way to spice things up juuuuuust a little.
“They make comic book fabrics, so you can add just a hint here and there,” Vangsness Allen says.
Decals also offer a quick way, maybe-cheaper way to decorate walls. Marvel comics wall coverings are available, Vangsness Allen says. “They’re not all juvenile,” she adds.
The most important part of nerding out your living space? Relax about it all!
“Make it fun,” Vigesaa says. “That’s what this is about, it’s showing it off. It’s not about how clean and neat you are, it’s about showing your interests. Release your inner nerd!”