You may enjoy family time in your home’s common spaces, but you probably have a hankering in your soul for somewhere to call your own. A place where your solo time is your own and you have a bit of blessed silence. It’s not that you dislike your kids, but you may just prefer a lower dose of them on a tough day or lazy weekend.
In the last couple of years, “she sheds” tailored to women’s need for seclusion roared into popularity. While these are popping up everywhere, and their precursor, the illustrious man cave, has a decades-long history of manly expression. Here are some tips for building the ultimate man cave borne from that longstanding history.
Do Technical Work First
Before making any major design decision for your man cave, do the grunt work to accommodate it. Or rather, get a professional to do it. Your present wiring may need upgrading to fit a higher electrical demand. If you’re just now finishing your basement in preparation for a man cave, extending your plumbing appropriately can be a tall and time-consuming task. Get these and other structural concerns out of the way so everything is fully operational once you finish the build.
Pick a Theme (or Not)
Next, decide whether you want to theme your space. Some guys dream about a sports-themed haven while others find a themed space to be quite tacky. We’re not the arbiters of that decision—it’s more up to personal preference—but know the general direction for the room.
For those who do want to work in a theme but need some inspiration, you can pick from:
- Sports Themes: Stuff it full of memorabilia from decades gone by. Don’t be afraid to include some interactivity—a basketball shooting game or high-tech golf simulator bring the fun meter up a few notches.
- Superhero Themes: Let your inner comic book nerd out. Display your precious collection and illuminate everything with neon. Give your favorite hero a prominent place.
- Music Themes: If you play, store your drum set and guitar here in anticipation of future jam sessions with friends. For the collector, find a quality place for your immense record library.
For the theme-less, isolate a design aesthetic that help bring what the room could be into focus. Decide between dark wood tones, a cheery, lighter space, a modern metallic look, a leather-heavy lounge zone, and many more possibilities.
Strategically Place Comfy Seating
With a blurry idea of what you want, pull in your biggest pieces first. Your furniture is a good place to start. A man cave is a spot for utter comfort, thus the crux of it all is your choice of seating.
Often, a big ol’ sectional couch does the trick. When it arrives, be careful where you put it. Unless you want your seating to orient around a home theater, don’t let it eat up precious central space. Along a wall is fine, though every man cave’s dimensions are different. Otherwise, try to ride the thin line between providing enough seating for a large group and crowding everything else out. Plan for ways to expand seating during times of need rather than wasting space with everything out all the time.
Bring in a Throwback Gaming Table
A man cave isn’t complete without some medium for interaction. To accomplish this, reserve the center for communal gaming tables. A ping-pong table is great for having active fun, while a pool table is ideal for classy recreation. Also, a pool table accents a pub theme perfectly if you go that route.
For arcade fiends, orient your man cave around a retro game you love. Splurge on Pac Man, Space Invaders, Dig Dug, or another game you couldn’t leave when you were a little kid. Not only do these provide ample nostalgia time, but they give you an opportunity to introduce your children to it.
Install a Booming Entertainment System
While so much of a man cave engages the eyes, you can’t neglect the ears. Regardless of style, every man needs a substantial entertainment system that combines both senses seamlessly. Playing video games, watching a movie, or listening to your favorite oldie tunes are all better with walled-in speakers, a booming subwoofer, and a rich screen. To press into the cinema style, install a screen and hanging projector.
All of these larger-than-life features create a uniquely visceral viewing or listening experience you’ll love. Also, as COVID-19 spreads and no one’s going to the movies, you may as well construct your own in-home theater replacement.
Fit In the Bar of your Dreams
For those who fancy a drink or two, find a spot for a personal home bar. Make sure there’s plenty of space for your spirits and bar-specific seating. Maybe even hang some televisions to fully mimic a rowdy pub. A classic warm-toned wood bar counter goes well with a lot of themes and lends the character you want to your man cave. Nothing looks quite like a solid bar surrounded by iconic memorabilia, and having utter control over the drink menu is a huge plus.
Get the Right Décor
With your larger pieces in place, the next tip for building the ultimate man cave is to accent appropriately with décor. You have two roads you can go down—making it manly or going for a homey feel.
Making It Manly
This is for men who want to completely prioritize creating a set-apart man cave. Search strictly for period-specific décor your kids would turn your nose up at. Not for that purpose, of course, but just focus on what you would like without wondering what others around you would think.
We’re talking old vintage toy trucks and decades-old advertisement posters. Don’t forget the manly scents—you can get candles that bring out a fresh-cut grass or a hardware store smell that you gravitate to but others in your family think is gross. Make it manly, and make it your own!
Making It Homey
Whether under orders of the spouse or in an effort to invite everyone into your new man cave, go for homey décor. Quinn’s offers many unique man cave gifts ranging from attractive puzzles to creative drink recipe books. Help your hubby along by getting him some of these to fill out available surfaces tastefully. By collaborating on it together, and perhaps giving your kids a nook of their own, you can enjoy the mancave together. That said, give your man some alone time when he needs it, too!