The man cave is widely known as the space where men can retreat, either alone or with friends, to watch a football game, smoke cigars and play cards, or trash talk around the pool table. Although the space by its very name sounds like a place where spouses and children aren’t welcome, that doesn’t have to be the case.
Here are some tips for preserving the best of the man cave for yourself while also keeping the door open for visitors.
A man cave can be located anywhere around the house, from the attic to a spare bedroom to the garage. Consider modeling the room after a hobby, such as football or baseball. Decorate with memorabilia like framed jerseys, signed game balls, or posters of favorite players. Be careful about filling a small space with too much stuff. What starts as a few collectibles can make a room look cluttered and junky quickly. You want to design a man cave, not qualify for a guest spot on “Hoarders.”
A room designed around a sports theme can be welcoming to the whole family, especially if everyone is equally sports-minded. Use the man cave as a place to watch weekly football games and host a party in conjunction with the Super Bowl. Consider designating time during the week when the room is off-limits to spouses or children to preserve the initial intent of the room.
If you’re not into watching sports, make space for celebrating hobbies like watching movies. You may even consider installing two TV’s and two soundbars that way you can have your game on and the kids could be in another corner watching a movie. You can display movie posters and other cinematic memorabilia, such as tickets from that premiere you got in line for at midnight. Deck the room with comfortable seating and a home theater that will open the door to hosting viewing parties with the whole family. You can also make the man cave into ‘recreation central’ with a dartboard, a pool table, a jukebox, and, if space allows, a hot tub.
While not kid-friendly, man cave decorations can pay homage to beer or your favorite alcoholic beverage. Start with a bar sink, beer or wine fridge, signage celebrating your favorite brand, and a selection of glassware, including steins or a decanter. Pick a dark corner of the room and take advantage of LED bar lights and signs to create both a trendy and vintage effect. You may pick a neon LED sign from the popular selection available at the gallery, or you can create one from scratch with a message, name, signature or even a logo. You can see what it would look like in advance, and try different colors and backgrounds until you find a suitable choice. Go across the pond (proverbially) and use dark walls and walnut trim to capture the feel of an English pub. Make the man cave into a place where you relax with friends and/or your spouse in the evening or on the weekend.
Whether your man cave is set up in the den with a pair of the best recliners you could get online and a large-screen television or you turn a previously-unfinished basement into party central with a Jacuzzi and selection of beers, be sure to make the space your own. Everyone needs a place where they can get away and truly feel comfortable, no matter what hobbies are being enjoyed. Whether you and your family don jerseys and cheer on your favorite team or you spend time with your spouse engaged in a microbrewing hobby, the man cave can be your getaway as well as a place where family members are welcome.
[About the author: Maire is an avid gardener, hiker, and big fan of the Chicago Blackhawks. She enjoys watching games with her fiancé in his man cave… when he lets her.]