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Decorating with Spirit: A Guide to the Fan’s Home

How do you show your school spirit in your house?

The ultimate fan cave. Or, a disgusting display of wealth and poor taste. You decide!

I bought a house this summer. In between the mundane tasks like finding a spot to store my immersion blender in my tiny kitchen, I’ve given a lot of thought to the overall aesthetic of my house. Briefly, the themes of my home can be described as travel, literary, antiques, and Target, because, well, I’m a 30-something female, so what did you expect? (No shiplap though—I have some self-respect.)

Anyway, the previous owners left a flagpole bracket on the front of my house, and this morning I found myself googling Husker flags, a small nod to my fandom. The previous owner had Husker stuff EVERYWHERE, but fan though I am, team paraphernalia doesn’t really feature in my design scheme.

However, that’s not true for many of you. As a born-and-raised Nebraskan, I have seen more than one Husker-themed bedroom/bathroom/basement. I know you people are out there, the Joanna Gaineses of Michigan, fervent acolytes of maize and blue wallpaper instead of trendy rustic light fixtures.

So, let’s hear it: Do you have a yellow and black toilet? Is your bedroom painted like the Maryland flag? Does Sparty adorn every wall of your Man Cave? What’s your level of interior design fandom?

MNW: I will begin by telling a story about a friend of mine who bought a house in the madison area where the basement was carpeted with green flooring and the walls had a huuuuuge wisconsin ‘W’ that looked like the Minnesota ‘M,’ just turned upside-down. I think there was a set of goalposts painted on the wall, etc. It was disgusting, even by badger standards, and he painted over all of it/knocked out some of the walls.

My level, to date, has been a Northwestern flag adorning the walls. HOWEVER. My basement is currently unfinished, and I have a tacit understanding with the wife that it is where I will go to watch games, etc. I plan to finish it this winter, though I may hurry that up if football season proves a strain on our marriage. I am actively soliciting suggestions for this.

The wife also consented to the name “Fitzgerald” for a corgi puppy, should we ever get one. Sure, honey, it’s totally because I read Tender is the Night and really love a Minnesotan author. Suuuuuure.

And, a late edit, because I realized a lot of that stuff has already infiltrated my office. I have a Northwestern growler that I use quite often on the research grind, particularly for fillups in Iowa and wisconsin, where bartenders are most likely to notice/comment on it. That’s sitting on a shelf in my office right now, along with a weird purple pom-pom my mom thought it was funny to give me. Assorted buttons from Northwestern games/the NCAA Tournament, of course, a little basketball for the dorm hoop, and other miscellaneous knick-knacks. Currently working on getting more Northwestern bar stuff for the basement.

WhiteSpeedReciever: So I currently have two different items. First, there are at least a decade’s worth of schedule posters hanging up in my garage. It’s about time to go to the State Fair and get this year’s. And at the request of PreschoolSpeedReceiver, a massive Gopher hockey fan, we are putting starting to put up the Women’s Hockey Schedules on the wall out there as well.

And then, inside the house, there’s one little subtle thing (not including the 40 years of media guides on my bookshelf): Above the landing to the basement there’s a little ledge. And on that ledge are a few different pieces of memorabilia, including a few bobbleheads and my oar I got last year. It’ll do until I get a house with an office in it for me.

LincolnParkWildcat: My ex girlfriend made me a Northwestern nacho bowl.

StewMonkey13: Not much, yet, and I haven’t found a good place for them in our newish house, yet. Maybe when we get around to finishing the basement. I have a big, framed, photo of Legendary, Historic, Kinnick Stadium. I have a framed picture of Warren Halloway on The Catch with my ticket to the game inside:

What I want to do is get a one of these and put my game tickets to the home games in there:

And do the same with this:

Stew is in there somewhere.

Creighton: My old apartment was a shrine to the Hawkeyes, but all my memorabilia got boxed up when we got married. Apparently there’s something inconvenient about having a toaster that burns a big tigerhawk onto every slice of bread.

So right now I’m relegated to some coasters, pint glasses, and a big magnet on my fridge that I stole off of my sister’s ex-boyfriend’s car.

BRT: I hate Iowa like every good American, but even I have to admit that sounds like a boss toaster. Shall we start a petition? #freecreightonstoaster

Creighton: Lol it was the worst toaster. Every slice looked cool, but tasted burnt, regardless of how much the rest was toasted. And a lot of bread was too big for it. I had to stick pop tarts in vertically, and the end stuck out and was always raw.

However, my uncle has a black and gold pontoon boat with big decals of Iowa’s Mount Rushmore type guys all over it.

Beezerooski: I really don’t have that much stuff. I have a Bucky bobblehead on my desk, a little wooden basketball thing with a Motion W (Editor’s Note: WordArt) on it...also on my desk. I have a lot more Twins stuff than Wisconsin stuff. But I also spent much of my life not wanting to spend a dime on anything or caring about decorating/collecting, cuz broke. So my level of interior design fandom is quite low as far as Wisconsin is concerned.

Thumpasaurus: I do have free reign for decor in the office. Isn’t it convenient that that’s the room where all our (men’s) boxes and shit ended up? I can get a lot of those boxes out to the soon as i create space in the garage for them by putting up some shelves. Then, maybe just maybe, I’ll be able to decide what small amount of my stuff will fit on those walls (contenders include my instruments, various Illini shit, my autographed Dale Earnhardt car, a fly-ass beer stein collection bequeathed to me by my dad, and other various shit).

I did successfully lobby for one piece of decor: a full size Illinois Fighting Illini flag flying from the front porch. It has two purposes:

  1. It helps people find my house
  2. It lets the neighbors know that I have a problem

Andrew Kraxshevski: I go for clothes more than memorabilia, though I have a few posters. There are stacking dolls of MSU players on my office windowsill which my girlfriend found for me in Austria of all places a few years ago.

There you have it, folks. Aside from Creighton’s uncle and LPW, we’re all disappointingly restrained in our fandom decor. How crazy have your significant others let you get in the home dec department?


How many pieces of team-based swag are in your home?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    (9 votes)
  • 46%
    (77 votes)
  • 28%
    (47 votes)
  • 19%
    (32 votes)
  • 1%
    My house is painted in team colors and I exist in a constant state of war with my HOA
    (2 votes)
167 votes total Vote Now