The Man Cave. It’s become a staple in the American males vocabulary. It’s a magical place where a man and his friends can escape to a realm where they can feel comfortable and at home. According to wikipedia a Man Cave is “A man cave or manspace, and less commonly a manland or mantuary is a male retreat or sanctuary in a home, such as a specially equipped garage, spare bedroom, media room, den, or basement. The term “man cave” is a metaphor describing a room inside the house such as a basement or garage or attic or office, or outside the house such as a wood shed or tool room where men are supposed to be able to do as they please, without fear of upsetting any female sensibility about house decor or design.” In reality, the man cave is much more than that. The Man Cave is an extension of the man himself.
Essentials of The Man Cave
In that spirit, let’s take a look at one of the things that guys love the most. Beer. It is an essential part of every man cave. Watching the game? Have a beer. Playing some cards? Drink a beer. I think you get the idea. Drinking beer is absolutely not the only thing that goes on in a man cave. It’s a place for relaxing, reading, playing video games, watching your favorite shows, and movies.
I’ve seen a large variety of man caves. I’ve seen sports themed rooms with Signed football helmets encased in glass, baseball’s signed by some of the game’s best in a display case on the wall, and a binder full of trading cards. There are coffee table books that cover the history of football to the 1980 Miracle On Ice. It’s really cool to see all the different pieces of history.
I’ve also seen music influenced man caves. Music is such a large part of our lives. Even if you aren’t a musician you can still have sentimental attachments to songs that last a lifetime. Musicians love to adorn the walls with posters of their favorite artists, or signed vinyl album covers. Guitars hanging from the wall in a neat row is pretty cool. The music lover may have an amazing sound system, a great collection of music, and unique ways to play them like, record, CD, or even jukeboxes.
A big trend today is to have a video game themed man cave. Video games are no longer just for kids. Adults play them as well. Having multiple TV’s and systems hooked up so you can play multiplayer with your friends in the same room is pretty cool. Having all the different systems from the latest console to retro gaming stations like the original Nintendo or Atari systems is also a big fad right now too.
One of the most important things about your man cave is the “wow” factor. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but men can appreciate a collection when they see it. Whether it’s a wall-to-wall bookshelf with classic books, hunting trophies, or a movie collection, you want people who enter the room to say “This is cool”.
Along with that “wow” factor you also want there to be a very relaxed and calm demeanor to your man cave room. Remember that, although cool, the purpose of your man cave is for your own relaxation. That means that you’ll need to balance cool stuff your friends would like with functional and comfortable things.
Another important part is the bar. Whether you have a small liquor cabinet, a mini fridge or a full blown wet bar, it’s important to have some drinks ready for entertaining. Stock up on all the classics to make sure that you have something to offer everyone. I hate to break it to you but not everyone is going to want your latest Vanilla Cream Coffee Stout. Craft beer is awesome but it’s too diverse for everyone.
It’s All In The Details
When putting together your ultimate man cave there are several things you have to consider. You will want to stick to a theme. This will help guide you during the creation of your man cave. If you want the look and feel to be like a bar then you will want to pay attention to things like what kind of bar stools you put next to the bar. High backed leather chairs like these are very reminiscent of bars. You could also go with a more retro, no back, metal bar stool like these.
You’ll also want to consider what to do with your walls. White walls are boring. You want to give the walls some character. You can try adding wood planks, stone work, or brick to give it a more authentic feel with some character. You want it to feel like you’ve been transported into a different are or space. Walls are going to be a big part of this.
Another detail that you’ll want to think about is where exactly you’re putting your man cave. Is it a room in the basement? Is it in the Garage? Is it just an outdoor space? Outdoor spaces can be cool if you prepare them the right way. A tiki bar is a great theme for a man cave if you’re doing outdoors. You can also have a grill nearby to make your famous burgers or a smoker to make the “juiciest” ribs in town. You can even substitute a wet bar for the always dependable cooler. I mean, is there anything that goes better with grilled food than an ice cold brew? Seriously. You can even have a fire pit or stove for those chilly evenings when you still feel like hanging outside.
Hang Up Your Best Stuff
One of the coolest man caves I have ever personally seen was a room in my friends basement. The basement was normal when you walked down the stairs. There were kids toys, an older couch and TV for chilling out. The walls were finished but the ceiling wasn’t. You could see into the laundry room where there was a folding table and some laundry baskets. All normal. Until it wasn’t.
Once you walked in the room at the back it felt like you were in a different house. Actually, not even a house at all. It felt like a pool hall I used to go to when I was a teenager. Right smack in the middle of the room was full size pool table. It had the stained glass lamp hanging above the pool table. The rack full of pool cues and probably my favorite part; the vintage beer signs.
He had tin signs that were beat up, dented, and all around in rough shape. You could barely tell what they were for, but that was the cool part. It was historic. He had about 20 of them. Some of them were more legible than others but you could tell what they all were. He had a mirrored glass Budweiser sign that was probably about 4 feet long and 2 feet tall.
The corner had a small bar that was made of mahogany, and when I looked around the room all the accents were mahogany as well. That’s when it hit me. The whole room was tied together perfectly. The walls, the accents, the main focus of the pool table, with all the appropriate furniture. The furniture, by the way, were a couple of high top tables with bar stools. It was classic pool hall. It WAS a pool hall.
I think that is the point of a man cave. You want to feel like you are in that room. If you’re going for a dive bar, then you want to feel like you’re actually there. If you want a futuristic, automated light, sound, and TV system so you can feel like you’re living it up like the Jestson’s, then that’s what you should do, and you should do it well enough that you feel like you are right there. So get your ideas flowing and have a great time with it. Cheers!