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Home comfort: Create the ultimate fan cave

Former CFL player turned handyman and HGTV star Sebastian Clovis was first introduced to carpentry and building when he was 15.
Former CFL player turned handyman and HGTV star Sebastian Clovis was first introduced to carpentry and building when he was 15.

The countdown to the next NBA and NHL seasons is underway – the NFL got rolling last week – and you’re eager to see your favourite teams back in action. But if you haven’t yet carved out a space to watch the games or still need to put the finishing touches on your fan cave, CFL champion-turned-handyman Sebastian Clovis can help you avoid any fumbles.

He knows his stuff. He was defensive back for the B.C. Lions, helping the team clinch the Grey Cup championship in 2006 before going on to play for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. After retiring from football in 2009, Clovis launched a home reno business and joined HGTV Canada in 2014 as the affable host of Tackle My Reno.

He’s also a member of the all-star Home To Win cast and co-host of $ave My Reno . He’s tackled countless kitchens and other renovations over the years but assures us there’s nothing quite as exciting in his book as creating a fan cave. His list of essentials – handed out with his trademark sense of humour – includes the following:

Dedicated space A basement is the ideal location for a fan cave because its underground location ensures natural sound insulation and great acoustics. As an added benefit, it’s out of the way of your home’s foot traffic. “But converting a shed or having a cabin in the backyard – somewhere you can separate yourself from the rest of the house – is also fantastic,” Clovis assures.

If you’re starting from scratch, don’t skimp on sound insulation, such as a cork underpad beneath engineered or hardwood flooring. “There are also some great in-wall solutions when it comes to soundproofing,” says Clovis. Of course, it’s also possible to create a fan cave in a condo. Consider convertible pieces, such as a pool table that converts into a dining room table.

Sports memorabilia Begin decorating your space with memorabilia from your favourite sports team. “You want to pay homage to the legacy of the players and stadiums that have had an impact on your life,” he says. If you have room for arcade games and/or games tables, all the better.

TVs and surround sound “I think having a couple of TVs in your fan cave is a definite,” says Clovis. “Surround sound is very important. You want to make sure you have great speakers and subwoofers so can feel the impact of the tackles and, when they’re kicking the ball around, you can hear and feel that sound.”

Seating “This is an important part of a fan cave because you’re going to have people coming over to watch the games,” says Clovis. His go-to material is leather. “That room is going to be full of so much excitement – people jumping up and spilling their popcorn and spilling their drinks that you want to have something that’s easily wipeable.”

If you have the space, consider a recliner for yourself. “The reality is, your team isn’t always going to win. Also, there are some very stressful games so I would suggest that recliner chair be a massage chair as well to work out the kinks when your team is down a few points,” Clovis says. Don’t overlook the value of perimeter seating, especially if you can get your hands on some old stadium seats.

Wet bar No game is complete without refreshments, so carve out space for a wet bar, complete with a fridge and microwave and perhaps even a popcorn machine. The reason it’s important to have that in a fan cave is you don’t want to miss a single second of that game,” says Clovis. “Let’s face it – sports are all about having friends and family over to enjoy the games, so having a space where they can feel relaxed and you can entertain is the way to go.”

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019


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