Jessie Richardson | 16 June 2014

Renovation recreation: How to turn your bedroom into an arcade

Renovation recreation: How to turn your bedroom into an arcade

The most exciting design feature in your home is the contrast between that white and neon chevron throw and your tasteful dove grey couch.

When you step into your house, you’re greeted by a sea of neutral tones. You’re sick of pretending to care about scented candles.

Perhaps you, like Manhattan resident Chris Kooluris, could do with a trip down memory lane. This used to be his bedroom:

Some US$48,000 later, this is his bedroom:

Chris and his home made headlines last week when he revealed his home, which he transformed into a home arcade – complete with pinball machines, arcade games, and action figures. 

If you’re feeling a little jealous of Chris’s apartment, never fear. You too could one day live in your own video game arcade.

First, you’ll need to get rid of all that timber. Timber floorboards, desk, cabinet, bedhead – there’s no room for organic materials in a 1980s style video game arcade. Out it goes.

Next, paint those sandy beige walls over to dove grey, and move in your first arcade game. This one’s pretty special: it’s a Donkey Kong: Kong Off game.

Chris tells Property Observer that this game used to belong to Donkey Kong champion Steve Weibe himself, and is signed by Weibe and his supposed nemesis (and hot sauce purveyor), Billy Mitchell. For those who aren’t as well versed in their Donkey Kong battle mythology as they should be, it might be time to take a break from the renovations to sit down and watch King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.

  • Cost: US $3,000 (AU $3,184)

The next arcade game in Chris’s collection is the Punch Out!! (fully restored, of course)

  • Cost: US $2,100 (AUD $2,229)

Then comes the flooring. Chris chose colourful carpet floor tiles for his home arcade.

  • Cost: US $1,200 (AU $1,274)

Time for some more games, courtesy of Disney. There’s Tron, which Chris tells us is an original, “in very good condition with new side art, control panel and plastics”.

Then there’s Fix It Felix Junior, which some might recognise from the movie Wreck It Ralph. According to Chris, as few as 30 Fix It Felix original units exist, with less than 10 in private homes. He also got a Ms Pac Man unit, which plays 60 different games.

  • Cost: Tron – US $2,500 (AU $2,652). Fix It Felix Junior – US $6,500 (AU $6,897). Ms Pac Man 60-1 – US $2,000 (AU $2,122)

But of course, you don’t want to let your hobby make you anti-social. You’ll need a multi-player unit, like this Street Fighter II themed Dream Home Arcade Pedestal, which plays 25,000 different games.

And, of course, a television to go with it. And don’t forget the décor. It will look best surrounded by video game marquees.

  • Cost: Dream Home Arcade Pedestal – US $3,000 (AU $3,184). Sony 55 inch television – US $1,700 (AU $1,804). Video game marquees – US $500 (AU $531).

Even the most enthusiastic gamer has basic human needs. For that, there’s a vending machine. Look, it even has fruit.

  • Cost: Rhino vending machine – US $350 (AU $371)

You tossed that bed, but you have to sleep on something. Chris went for a leather fold out futon, so there was plenty of room for game play in waking hours.  And, of course, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles quilt.

  • Cost: Fold out bed - US $750 (AU $796). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles quilt - US $45 (AU $48).

Any renovation show will tell you that details are everything. There’s Transformers artwork by Tom Whalen, stools, Twin Galaxies logo decal (apparently drawn up by Chris’s then fiancée) and Street Fighter action figures.

  • Cost: Transformers artwork by Tom Whalen (framed) - US $350 (AU $371). Stools - US $300 (AU $318). Twin Galaxies Fat Head - US $120 (AU $127). Street Fighter SOTA Action Figures - US $600 (AU $637)

But if you think that’s those constitute the finishing touches, you’re wrong. First, you’re going to have to lay down US $15,000 (AU $15,917) on a collection of Transformers. Property Observer, having a few Transformers collector contacts of our own, guesses that this collection (partially pictured below) took quite a few years for Chris to amass.


  • Cost: Transformers collection - US $15,000 (AU $15,917).

Finally, there’s the pinball machine. While Chris told Wired that he once promised to contain his hobby to a single room of his apartment, it seems that it’s spilled over into his living room, with this Lord Of The Rings themed pinball machine. 

  • Cost: Lord of the Rings pinball machine - US $7,000 (AU $7,428)

“Arcades are a gateway drug for a pinball collection,” Chris told Wired. While it looks like he'll press "A" to continue, the average person might put have put the controller down a long time ago.

All photos supplied by Chris Kooluris.