Truth: Some folks were just fine with the fact that Thanksgiving and other holidays had to be scaled back last year due to the coronavirus. Frankly, less exposure to Aunt Martha meant you could avoid her gloppy casserole and prying questions about your love life.
But we’ll admit that watching the Super Bowl at home—when you’d rather be at your favorite sports bar tossing down hot wings and yelling at the screen—is just a wee bit depressing.
Alas, we still shouldn’t gather indoors as the pandemic hangs on. But the game (and the halftime show!) must go on—and there’s no reason we shouldn’t enjoy it in style. So why not transform your den into your own mini sports arena? For some help, here’s what the pros would include for maximum fun on game day.
1. TV trays
“The Super Bowl is all about the snacks, so I’d pick these retro TV trays, especially since you can also use them as a mini desk after game day,” says Darla DeMorrow, author of “Organizing Your Home With SORT and SUCCEED.”
This wheeled pick can be slid into place easily, plus the lower shelves neatly hold remotes, books, and other den gear ($105, Wayfair).
2. TV wall mount
Among the best parts of sitting in a sports bar are the multiple screens and replays, which means you’ll never miss a single fumble. At home, you can up your game with a sturdy wall mount so your flat-screen TV is perfectly tilted.
You can mount the bracket on wood, brick, or concrete and then relax, knowing the 10-year warranty has you covered ($27, Amazon).
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3. Cozy seating
Comfy recliners or—better yet—smart-looking swivel chairs are the ultimate in seating in front of your big-screen TV, says Karen Gray-Plaisted of Design Solutions KGP.
This barrel shape sports a ’70s vibe as well as durable boucle upholstery that’ll help hide black bean dip drips ($1,199, Crate & Barrel).
4. Themed tumblers
Real fans feature their favorite team’s colors and logo at Super Bowl time, whether it’s a jersey hung on the wall or a set of cool containers for serving drinks.
If your money’s on Tom Brady to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the championship this year, outfit your den with these bright tumblers. Beverages stay cold for a full 24 hours thanks to double-wall insulation ($30, Macy’s).
5. Air fryer
Homemade mac and cheese balls are cheaper (and possibly even more delicious) if you prep them yourself. But the best home cooking perk comes from using an air fryer, which yields healthier results.
If you can swing it, this high-end appliance is a workhorse that air-fries, bakes, broils, and toasts all of your snacks and breakfast foods in a stylish, stainless-steel package ($250, Kohl’s).
6. Floor pillows
“Since this year is all about staying safe at home, I think football fans should get cozy with big floor pillows, and this way, everyone has a direct line-of-sight seat for the game,” says DeMorrow.
This twill fabric features a simple color palette that’ll mesh with most decor schemes ($97, Wayfair).
7. Mini fridge
What’s the one thing you can’t run out of during the Super Bowl? That’s right, cold beer. To ensure easy access to your suds, consider a mini fridge (especially in this sea-foam shade) for your den or rec room. This little guy pulls its weight as it also includes a freezer compartment ($180, Wayfair).
8. Panini press
Wonder why those subs taste so good at the bar? They’re crisped on the outside and melty between the layers—and you can achieve this same hoagie nirvana in a panini press.
“I love to lay out cold cuts, bread, and condiments, and then each person can make their own hot sandwich at halftime,” says Gray-Plaisted.
Thick paninis are no challenge for this nonstick press, which is also aces at griddling quesadillas ($50, Amazon).
9. Cheese tray
Aww, did you think we wouldn’t give the Kansas City Chiefs equal time? They’re in it to win it, too, this year. Plus you can’t have too many trays and serving platters during the Super Bowl.
This well-priced choice comes with its own nifty cheese knife with a handy pick at the end for spearing the fattest piece of brie ($53, Wayfair).