$2,000 to transform HDB room into jungle hideout for man and his pet spiders

$2,000 to transform HDB room into jungle hideout for man and his pet spiders
PHOTO: Facebook/StaceysSWDC

Spiders may seem to be more of a pest than pet to many, but not for one homeowner in Singapore.

Recently, Facebook user Kelvin Lee wowed the internet with photos of his "nature-themed" work cum gaming room.

Kelvin wrote that he had built the room about two years ago when he needed a home office but only got around to posting the photos on Sept 19 due to "procrastination". 

The room not only serves as a "man cave", but also happens to house three pet spiders — Coffee and "her husband" Siew Dai, as well as Hershey, a new addition. Coffee, an Asian Hermit Spider, is Kelvin's unabashed favourite, and the couple even gets pride of place beside his desk in the room.

"I found Hershey on a wall of a condo lobby and brought her home. I don't actively search for spiders to keep, but if I do bump into one day that might be in a little need of help, then I'll bring it home!" Kelvin told AsiaOne.


To commemorate his unique space and interests, Kelvin's Facebook page is cheekily named "Stacey's Web" — Stacey being one of his earliest pet spiders who has since died. "It's a page for happy stuff," shared the 34-year-old, who's also a keen photographer.

In the description, Kelvin noted that "Stacey's Web Development Company" or "SWDC", is "a company run by spiders for spiders".


"It's a joke name I gave the room after Stacey started building webs all over my room," wrote Kelvin, who very incidentally, works as a web developer and graphic designer himself. 

Because of the Facebook page, Kelvin has even received inquiries from unsuspecting "customers" looking for tech expertise.

The description added: "We are terrible at making money, but will win your heart over with adorable spiders and cool photos." 

We're not so sure about the adorable spiders, but from the photos, the 3m by 2m room is indeed impressive. Based on the before-and-after photos, it's hard to believe that it's the same room.


First of all, with its dark, full-carpeted interior brightened by pops of green from the plant walls, the room looks much more expensive than the $2,000 it cost Kelvin to build.


What's amazing is that Kelvin DIY-ed the entire project himself, using a combination of upcycled and new materials.

When asked about the inspiration behind the room, he replied: "I love nature, and I love tech, so I did my best to combine the two into a modern design."

The car-modification enthusiast stated that the reason for going the DIY route was because he "loves building stuff". Kelvin added that the project was a "good distraction" from the time when he was going through a difficult period in his life.

With tools and "some expertise from modifying cars", deciding to do everything himself was "a no-brainer", said Kelvin.

Besides painting the walls black with the help of his wife, Kelvin did his own mounting for ceiling spotlights, installed the feature walls, built his own tabletop as well as carpeted the entire room, among other things.



The gamer and audiophile also made sure that the room was soundproof and spent some time in his Facebook post describing all the equipment that lay well-concealed in the room. 



There’s even what we think would be every gamer's dream set-up — a massage chair with a keyboard facing a large overhanging screen. Kelvin called the recliner "his wife's throne".


The whole process of the renovation, shared Kelvin, took a couple of months of planning and experimenting through "trial and error". 

Professing to be "very particular" and stating how he “hates” exposed wiring, Kelvin added that with his own project, he can “take the time to perfect every measurement, hide every cable".

With his exacting requirements, he was also sure that no one would have wanted to undertake this project.

"Knowing how everything was built makes it easier to do any modification work in the future," said Kelvin.

And what about the spiders? 

Yes, it's a room where man and spiders have learnt to coexist harmoniously, it seems. 



With four "web developers" in one room, it sure can get a tad crowded in there. 

Kelvin noted that certain parts of the room such as his standing desk and the area near the window have become the spiders' favourite spots for spinning webs. 


Wrote Kelvin, who chooses to leave the webs as they are, untouched: "That's why my standing desk is no longer a standing desk".

Surprisingly, his long-legged friends "don't encroach often" into his space. He added: "I feel that it is my decision to let them roam free, so I do my best to not destroy what they have built."


Kelvin told AsiaOne that his passion for spiders started when he was about eight years old, "catching and rearing spiders and sneaking off to nature reserves without my parents' knowing".

"I just always found small wildlife interesting when you really look closely," he shared.

The internet's response to the elaborately done up room has been overwhelmingly positive, but understandably mixed when it comes to the spiders.  

Of course, there was at least one Spidey joke thrown in.

However, fans can expect new changes coming up soon, as Kelvin noted that he intends to renovate the room once again, to "remove the carpet and set up a live plant / high humidity area for free-roaming spiders".

"Also to paint the ceiling a lighter colour so I can attach some cove lighting and brighten the room up," he wrote.


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