By Jessi Minneci
Not too long ago, when we conjured up an image of a man cave in our minds, we imagined a landscape strewn with empty beer cans, half-eaten boxes of pizza strewn about, a dingy old couch in front of a television, and an old Game Cube. It was more or less a completely neglected, stereotypical bachelor pad.
But more recently, the term “man cave” has become a known part of homeowner vernacular. The area usually develops in spare bedrooms, unfinished basements, or garages, and is devoted to the hobbies and interests of the man (or men) of the house. In fact, for many families, the man cave is now the de facto recreation space in the home.
And I salute you, man cave dwellers, and your dedication to chilling in your spaces.
Now, if you don’t have a man cave, and are longing for a total “bro zone” to spend leisure time in, you’re in luck (especially if you have an open, unused basement, garage, or other spare room). Because here, my friend, is the ultimate guide to designing a man cave.
Choose Where to Chill
No matter where you choose to build your manly empire, you’re going to want a space that’s able to be completely dedicated to the idea – AKA, NOT your wife’s powder room. Today, I’m going to focus on the basement, though, as mentioned above, several rooms will suffice based on your needs.
You’re going to want a multipurpose space that’s able to adapt to different uses. The less your space feels like a customized escape from reality, the less it has to be. In many cases, the basement presents an added bonus. It’s on a separate floor, and likely won’t share much foot traffic with other areas that your family members regularly congregate. However, most spots will do. It’s the decorating that really matters.
Start with the Couch
Your man cave’s couch is more or less going to be the most used piece of furniture in the entire room, and for good reason. You’re going to want to invest in a sturdy sofa that will anchor the entire space in both comfort and style.
Traditional sofas, like this one, can add a ton of badassery and class to a man cave setup. These more classic pieces add a dose of richness and elegance to any space. Furthermore, they’d be right at home in a room fit for cigars and brandy!
For extra comfort, or if you’re looking for something a bit more modern, consider a recliner, like this one. After all, recliners offer the perfect solution for wanting to put your feet up when the game is on.
Get the Entertainment Center up to Par
Your entertainment system will most likely be the cornerstone of your man cave, especially if it’s one centered on sports or video games. When it comes to your own home, you’ll want to choose a system based on your specific needs. For example, if your man cave is centered more on being a cigar and brandy room than a sports fanatic’s dream, you may opt for a more refined piece of entertainment equipment, like this one.
The amount of storage space could be your top concern, needing a place to keep your movies, remotes, and game controllers. Or maybe you want more display space, with plentiful shelving for your art and music collection.
When it comes to the entertainment system, don’t make any split decisions. Shop around first, then decided on which piece of furniture speaks to your inner bro.
Get Ready to Pour
Is a man cave even a man cave without a home bar? After all, a home bar is one of those dream features, and while your living room or office den may be able to hold up a few, makeshift barstools, there’s nowhere more appropriate than in the man cave for your drinks, glassware, and associated goodies.
The home bar need not be over the top and extravagant (unless that’s what you prefer) but more practical and sturdy. I really dig this option. Luxury meets convenience for all this home bar provides in storage and usability. There’s even a lower bar surface for mixing and pouring drinks.
Your man cave’s bar can even be made into a DIY project. Just ensure you have enough space to store a beer cooler, your favorite scotch, and the appropriate glassware.
Space to Work Off the Beer
This is where the basement, with extra space and a multipurpose area, comes in handy. Now, I’m not saying that exercise equipment is required in a man cave, but I’m throwing it in here for the more exercise-savvy man.
If including a home gym or any exercise equipment in your man cave, here are my suggestions:
1. Design and set up the equipment so that it’s facing the television. Having a view of the television or a game console within arm’s reach when the treadmill starts to feel like a drag is a blessing.
2. Designate an area specifically for exercise. You don’t want to cram everything into one area. And when heavy weights are close to bar glasses and an expensive entertainment system… Well, that doesn’t always make for the best combination.
Round it out with a Game Piece
I’ve covered a few honest-to-goodness, essential man cave items (couch, entertainment system…) and a few that are a bit more aesthetic wants than needs (hello, home bar!)… This one, when it comes to a man cave, definitely falls under both categories.
When it comes to the staples of a man cave, the table top game board takes the cake. Ping-pong, foosball, pool, air hockey, and so on, as seen in every great dive bar, every awesome rec room, and every cool friend’s basement, the table top, classic game is a presence anywhere it appears. And by topping off your man cave with a pool table, foosball table, or your game of choice, you’ll make your man cave feel more authentic.
All right, bro. Now you’re armed with the knowledge of how to build the ultimate man cave. What are you waiting for? Time to man up and do it.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.shutterstock.com and www.dreamstime.com