Interview with Lauren Jennings: The Portal Room DIY Makeover

Lauren Jennings takes us through her Portal Room!
Have you thought about commercializing those mirrors, and having your friend sell
the design to a site like Think Geek? You'd make a serious killing.
 

Thanks! We were both really pleased with the end results. As for selling the design, we’ve discussed it, but with the amount of time and materials it took to make (about $100 in materials for each mirror) it might be difficult to sell to a specific audience such as Portal fans and make a profit out of it. But the initial design worked out great, so it wouldn’t be out of the question, it’s just nothing we’re planning on right now.

Recommended Videos

What made you decide to dedicate your bedroom to Portal?
 
Well, I knew living in my own place, I could decorate however I wanted, which is an opportunity some people don’t get. I also like to change up my room every few years or so to keep it interesting, so I figured I could try something really different, and in a few years switch it up again. I’d tossed around some ideas, such as other possible movie/video game themes. Right before I moved, I finished the 2nd Portal game, and I had seen how other people designed their rooms around the game, and thought it would be the best choice to try and pull off design-wise.

 Any plans to do another game-inspired room in the future? Do you have any currently?
 
No immediate plans… I always tell my friends and co-workers that if any of them need help designing anything in their house I am available… so potentially there is a Doctor Who-themed room and/or a Mario-themed nursery for one of my friends, but nothing really set in stone.

Any other examples of unique game-centered decorating that you’ve seen and liked?
 

Oh I’ve seen tons online. What I’ve seen most are kids’ bedrooms or offices/computer rooms. Mario, Zelda, Deux Ex, other Portal rooms, it’s always amazing to see how people can take a fictional world and integrate it into a room (and while not necessarily video-game related, I’ve also seen some incredible Batman and Star Wars rooms as well).


So, ball-park figure--how much did this bad boy cost you?
 

Well the most expensive items were the two Portal guns, which were $240 in total. The infinity mirrors cost about $200. I think I calculated that I was able to buy everything else (paints, tools, shelf, Portal stuff I didn't already own) for $150, but to be safe I’ll round up and say an even $200 for everything in the room. I’m somewhat of a thrift shopper. For example: the orange pillows I got for $4, the comforter was $25, the Portal shelf was $8, etc. So depending on how much official “Portal” stuff one wanted, I’d think one could re-create a Portal room at any price level.    


Did you ever second-guess dedicating an entire room to a video game?
 

Only in the very beginning…when I first posted an in-progress picture online (of just the room, not with me in it), the comment was made that I was an “Overweight virgin neckbeard” and “is the reason the rest of the gamer guys get a bad rep.” While the gender confusion part was somewhat amusing, it was a bit shocking to read some things absolute strangers assume about somebody and their hobbies, without knowing anything else about them. 

I’ve enjoyed interior decorating, as well as video games, for most of my life. But These are just 2 of the many hobbies I've discovered over the years. Everybody has their different hobbies, and each person finds different ways of combining their hobbies together. Some people mesh their love of video games and music to compose soundtracks. Some use their fondness of movies and writing to create their own fan-fiction novels. Some use their love of sci-fi and costuming to make incredible cosplay outfits. Some people love sports to where they devote all their free time to fantasy leagues, or invest thousands of dollars into season tickets. With every hobby or activity that somebody can enjoy, there will be people that are as passionate about it as they are, and there will be people that don’t enjoy that hobby at all, or “don’t get” how somebody can invest so much time or money into it. For sure though, the best masterpieces I’ve seen, whether it be artwork, stories, costumes, or music, is when a person is so passionate and excited about what they’re doing, that they commit wholly to what they’re doing, rather than shy away, afraid that somebody will call them “obsessed” or a “loser.” So really, in having this mindset, there was no second-guessing my ideas, there was only finishing the project as best I could.


Was there something you really wanted to include, but couldn’t?
 

I really wanted to do either a full-sized companion cube cabinet, or a full-size bean-bag cube. I’ve seen people create some AMAZING ones on the internet, but alas, I am neither an experienced carpenter or a seamstress. The bedroom is most notably missing the infamous Companion cube, so sometime in the future I will probably just settle for one of the miniature cube plushes I’ve seen on the internet. 

 

What is the best compliment or comment you’ve received on this room?

A few people have told me they thought it was concept art, or some in-game mod… that it didn’t look real to them (which was really cool to hear). But my favorite comments have been less about the room, and more about how I’ve inspired other to want to try to design their own room. I think it’s the coolest when your creativity, actually inspires others to be creative. 


Would you do it again?

I don’t know if I’d re-create this exact same Portal room a second time… I have too many ideas in my head to not want to try something new the next chance I get, but for sure this was a really fun project to do from beginning to end, and I loved sketching up ideas, mapping out the room layout, discovering new Portal props and/or decorations to add. For sure I have no regrets about designing it the way I did (other than omitting that little Companion Cube).

 


GameSkinny is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Best Sims 4 CC From Pinterest
Sims character lounging with menus for more traits and interactions
Read Article 10 Best Food and Cooking Mods for Stardew Valley
Farmer holding cake in the field
Read Article Best Quality of Life Features Coming in Destiny 2: The Final Shape
The Witness's fortress in The Pale Heart in Destiny 2
Read Article The 10 Best Games Like Fallout
Read Article Is Ma June in the Fallout Games? Dale Dickey’s Character, Explained
Ma June, played by Dale Dickey, talking to Lucy in the Amazon Fallout TV Series.
Related Content
Read Article Best Sims 4 CC From Pinterest
Sims character lounging with menus for more traits and interactions
Read Article 10 Best Food and Cooking Mods for Stardew Valley
Farmer holding cake in the field
Read Article Best Quality of Life Features Coming in Destiny 2: The Final Shape
The Witness's fortress in The Pale Heart in Destiny 2
Read Article The 10 Best Games Like Fallout
Read Article Is Ma June in the Fallout Games? Dale Dickey’s Character, Explained
Ma June, played by Dale Dickey, talking to Lucy in the Amazon Fallout TV Series.
Author
Katy Hollingsworth
whale biologist.