Imagine a castle dungeon, a medieval ambience of intrigue and history. Now, imagine your dungeon reverberating with soft moans of pleasure, the crack of the whip, the clinking of chains…
Your Grownups’ Dungeon Playroom can be a fun décor project, and inexpensively put together, or it can be a knockout room for a great Halloween gathering, or, it can be a terrific party room for all your Renaissance Fair friends. Your imagination is the only limit!
I started out by completely emptying the room I had chosen for our Dungeon, to get an idea exactly how much room I had to play with. It helps to roughly sketch the dimensions, as well as the features (doors, windows, closets, light fixtures and wall plugs, etc.) on a sheet of graph paper, but blank drawing paper works nearly as well. Now, decide what you want to put into the new Dungeon. I wanted a corner cage, several stools (high and low) for seating or whatever, some interesting castle type lighting, maybe a few ‘tapestries’ on the walls, a small daybed for cuddling or daydreaming, and starlight on the ceiling. Not that much to ask for, I don’t think.
First, I removed the sliding closet doors, to give me more room. I placed a small twin sized mattress on top of front loading storage cubes in the closet, so that the mattress was half in and half out of the closet, making it very cozy and ready for dramatic draperies. The bed canopy I made from inexpensive sarongs, purchased at import stores for around $5 a piece, but you could also use large swaths of any gauzy fabric, attached on the ceiling over the center of the bed with a staple gun. I like the Celtic design sarongs in blues and reds for draperies, canopies and window treatments, but you could choose any theme you particularly like.
Next I wanted to change the look of the stark white walls. A roll of corrugated cardboard “rock wall” is cheap and so easy to put on the walls! Almost any costume or display store will have it, or you can order it online and have it delivered. Another staple gun project! Simply unroll the cardboard rock roll and start stapling it, from a corner wall and the edge of the ceiling to keep straight lines. Take a small Xacto knife and trim out around fixtures and wall sockets, and trim as needed with wide black tape. The tape, coincidentally, adds the look of wrought iron, which enhances the ancient dungeon appearance.
For lighting, consider flameless candles for safety, but I was lucky enough to have two cauldron-type fake lamps leftover from Halloween, and found torch styled wall sconces that flicker or provide steady light at IKEA, in the children’s section of the catalog online. These make for very traditional dungeon (castle) lighting.
While you are at IKEA, online or in person, check out the great castle, princess and fairytale accessories, you just might find more great and inexpensive décor items for your dungeon.
For the ceiling with starlight, I first stapled (I LOVE my staple gun!) black matte plastic sheeting over the entire ceiling. I got the sheeting cheap at Display and Costume Supply, in the table supplies section. A few rectangular black tablecloths and I was set. This also gives the illusion of a much taller ceiling. I rummaged through my “ready to go to Goodwill” bags and found a piece of sparkly fabric that used to be an evening gown, but any thrift shop will have plenty of sparklies to choose from. I cut the side seams of the dress skirt and just, yep, you guessed it, stapled the whole piece to the ceiling.
The finishing touch was the corner cage. A leftover section of fencing stood vertically in the corner and attached with 3 gate swing hangers, another Halloween leftover, a skeleton, piled in the corner and I was done. Use your imagination and you can have a great Home Dungeon, too! Lots of fun, and the total cost of our Dungeon was only $134.72, not counting the four hours labor I put into it. Of course, I will have many more hours than 4 of great fun in the Dungeon. Speaking of which, I need to go now and enjoy my handiwork!