The London shopping guide to a retro 50s game room
It seems to be every guy’s – and many a girl’s – dream to have a proper den, a room to hang out in, play games and party in style. Well, and what could be more stylish than a proper Fifties or early Sixties American-inspired leisure room complete with bar and juke box, a room Don Draper would be proud of? Here’s our guide to recreating a perfect mid-century den, including expert tips on where in London to shop for everything you need.
Olivia Pott, interior designer and juke box expert, knows exactly what you need to get an authentic vintage feel for your Fifties leisure room: “No Fifties bar should be without an original Fifties AMi I vinyl jukebox. Their sound is so evocative and in my opinion wins hands down over modern sound systems. Moreover, the styling of the AMi models of that era was so elegant.”
Manufactured in both spearmint green and pink and black, the AMi I vinyl is one of the most iconic and the most popular of the Fifties juke boxes with its automobile screen and lit pierced chrome bumper. To get your hands on one, Olivia recommends The Games Room Company (Chertsey, Greater London), “Their vintage jukebox range is the best I have seen and they offer a fantastic warranty on all of their products, as well as a sourcing and restoration service. Look out for their 1957 AMi I Spearmint Vinyl Jukebox – just stunning!”
A vintage juke box does however come at a price, expect to pay £10,000 upwards for a decent model in good condition. So if that’s a no-go (and let’s be honest it will be for most of us), get a vintage Dansette record player or follow Olivia’s suggestion and get a Roberts DAB Revival radio (pictured below), which is available in a plethora of vintage colours that can be matched perfectly to your interior.
Speaking of interior, no game room would be complete without a well-stocked bar. “A Fifties cocktail cabinet is a must for mixing those martinis and a super stylish standing light will create the right atmosphere,” Olivia suggests. Head to Decoratum on Church Street to snap up a natty cabinet like this small and unusual Fifties cocktail bar(see below) from Brazil, a must for the vintage inspired gent.
For stylish and unique Fifties lighting Olivia goes to Morris Interiorsat 641a Fulham Road, SW6. Their mid-century Strand Standing light is perfect for creating the right ambiance for a gentleman’s leisure room.
If you’re after a more kitsch Americana feel, then Olivia recommends Cola-Red, who are based in Buckinghamshire. The company sells reproduction Fifties diner style stools and tables in an array of different colours, just like the real thing. You could also create a statement wall or framed panel with Deborah Furness’s wonderful Fifties inspired Clock’s & Phoney Phones wallpaper kit, available from Shoreditch-based shop Caravan.
Last but not least- for the gentleman who has everything – Olivia suggests a Fifties V81 Refrigerated Coca-Cola Machine available from The Games Room Company. Stock it up with glass bottles of Coca-Cola, his favourite bottles of beer and even quarter bottles of champagne. It’s a real show-stopper!