Portal fan turns home office into Aperture Laboratories


Detailed at Telnets.org, a fan of Valve’s Portal series converted his computer room into a full-blown Aperture Laboratories office complete with a Cave Johnson oil painting, Test Chamber sign, lemon grenades and even a hidden message within the room. After leaving the home office beige for the last three years, he decided to give the entire room a theme rather than simply changing the paint color. While Nintendo’s Mario franchise was definitely in the running for a theme design, he eventually decided on Portal after seeing other DIY Portal designs on the Internet. For instance, Vector Farr’s bedroom made headlines after appearing on YouTube during late 2011.

portal-office-closetThe main focal point of the room is the Test Chamber accent wall with a giant Aperture Laboratories logo. After designing a scale mock-up of the wall using CorelDraw, he masked off panels using string guides as well as painter’s tape before painting select panels to match the design of a typical Aperture Laboratories room. Using a vector copy of the logo, he shopped around with local sign makers until finding a company that would provide a paper template of the logo for less than $100.

The entire cost of the logo with painting supplies was $142 and he even had enough paint left over to create a hidden message within the closet. Painted in a similar fashion to the messages hidden within the Portal 2 environment, it says “Though Earth and Man are gone, I thought the cube would last forever. I WAS WRONG.”

cave-johnsonTo the left of the accent wall, he wanted to hang a Cave Johnson oil painting. Voiced by actor J.K. Simmons within Portal 2, Cave Johnson is the founder and CEO of Aperture Science. While Thinkgeek has a similar portrait for sale, the Portal fan wanted to create something more unique for the home office.

He hired an artist to create an oil painting of Cave Johnson from a photograph and mounted the finished version inside a 16”x20” wooden frame. At the bottom of the frame, he also fixed a brushed gold nameplate that says “Cave Johnson: Science isn’t about why, it’s about why not!” This portion of the project cost $105 plus shipping for the print. 

tech-chamber-lightNext to the main desk on the opposite side of the accent wall, he mounted a lighted Test Chamber sign identical to the one found within the Portal games. With a budget of less than $100 for this portion of the project, he started with a 16”x31” shadowbox frame which he painted gray. To light the inside of the box, he used a 10 meter strip of LED lighting mounted to white foam core board which reflects much of the light when turned on.

After acquiring a sheet of translucent white plexi-glass that was cut to the right size, he found the Test Chamber icons in vector format on the Web as well as the font used within Portal. After working up the project to scale in CorelDraw again, he sent off the layout to a friend with a vinyl cutter and eventually applied the sticky film to the front of the unit. 

The final DIY addition to the the Portal-themed home office are two lemon grenades. Taking about an hour to create, he purchased two fake plastic lemons from a crafts store as well as two inert grenades that he found at a local army surplus store. After applying a coat of paint to the top of the grenades, he cut holes in each lemon and screwed in the grenade tops as well as adding a bit of adhesive caulking. Using the vinyl cutter again, he created a stencil of the Aperture Laboratories circular logo and airbrushed that onto the side of the lemon. The entire project cost approximately eight dollars per lemon grenade. 

Other Portal-themed additions to the room include a Companion Cube cookie jar converted to a planter, a set of Portal bookends, a GLaDOS model and a “Don’t drink the water!” drink coaster. A full gallery of the project’s creation can be seen here.


Amazon and Best Buy halve the price of the Facebook Portal for Mother’s Day

Amazon and Best Buy both cut the price in half for the Facebook Portal smart display for Mother's Day. The Portal's smart camera will follow you as you move around the room during video calls. The Portal also has Amazon Alexa built in.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Hook up your stream setup at a great price with these Stream Deck alternatives

The original Elgato Stream Deck is a great device for managing your content while you stream games on Twitch, but there are plenty of Stream Deck alternatives that can do the job, as well.

The best video games for kids, sorted by age group, for April 2019

There are a wealth of great games out there that both parents and kids can enjoy together. We compiled a list of 30-plus games across all genres that are sure to make family game night a great time.

You can score an Xbox One X and three games for $339, but you have to act fast

Microsoft’s latest console is easily the most cost-effective way to get your game on in 4K, and this sweet limited-time deal – which brings the Xbox One X and three games down to just $339 through April 17 – makes it even cheaper.

Cuphead bosses ranked from easiest to hardest to wallop

Cuphead is notorious for being an exceedingly tough boss rush game. Now that the gorgeous action game has arrived on Nintendo Switch, we decided to rank all 19 of its bosses from easiest to hardest.

Travel in style with our guide to getting the Regalia mount in FFXIV

Final Fantasy XIV is currently running a crossover event with Final Fantasy XV, and the famous Regalia vehicle used by Noctis is part of the fun. Here is how to get the FFXIV Regalia mount.

Did Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown fall victim to the Madden Curse?

Join us as we take a tour through the long-running history of the Madden Curse — and Tom Brady's recent accolades. We all know John Madden is a longtime NFL talent, but is he also an agent of dark forces?

Get in control with some of the best Xbox One gamepads you can get right now

A number of different controllers are available on the Xbox One, from gamepads made by Microsoft, to third-party controllers loaded with special features. Here are the best you can buy.

Pro Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players react to Joker gameplay reveal

Joker's gameplay in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was revealed and professional players are sharing their thoughts on social media. We also reached out to a pro player to get her first impressions and fears based on what she's seen.

Play The Sims 4 the way it was meant to be played using a keyboard and mouse

The Sims 4 recently added keyboard and mouse support on Xbox One and PS4, giving players the chance to experience the game as it was designed. Here is how to use keyboard and mouse in The Sims 4.

10 Nintendo Switch tips and tricks to get the most out of your hybrid console

Have a new Nintendo Switch? Awesome! It's a great console from the moment you turn it on, but owners can make it even better by using a few simple tips and tricks. Here's what every Switch owner should know.