By Kelly O’Roark
If you’ve always dreamed of designing a man cave for your humble abode, but felt as though you didn’t have any options, it’s time to think outside of the box. If your only option is a space shaped like that annoying piece in your Tetris game that always caused you to crash and burn, this time it’ll finally cause you to win (no Nintendo Game Boy needed)!
Photos by Kelly O’Roark
I’ll show you how I took the T-shaped space in my basement and turned into an epic man cave. (Well, it’s really a “family” cave, but I let the guys think it’s theirs). Here are five aspects that transformed this odd-shaped space into a glorious “guys’ getaway”:
‘Sports and Sophistication’ Décor
When you’re designing a man cave, it’s important to create a sophisticated, yet fun atmosphere that can be appreciated by any adult (beanbag chairs and “Collectors’ Edition” Mountain Dew cans aren’t exactly timeless and grown-up friendly).
I decided on a ‘sports and sophistication’ theme, which took the love of competitive games and infused it with culture and style. I achieved this by decorating with artistic sports-themed décor, and furnishings that created an urbane, cultivated atmosphere (cigar, anyone?).
If you’re an avid sports fan, this is the perfect space to showcase your love for your team (or in our case, teams – we love them all)! Not only is there love for every Pittsburgh team in our house, but the classic game of golf is a close contender.
For the main wall at the top of the “T,” paintings, pendants, and photographs brought the entire space to life by adding lots of colors and visual interest in various art forms. In the wings of the “T,” the golf theme became the focal point with golf balls, trophies, and some vintage pieces as well (you’ll see more of that in a minute).
A Billiards Table
When it came to designing a man cave for this odd-shaped area, it made sense to set up the main source of entertainment in the stem of the “T.” Since this area is long and rectangular, a pool table and/or ping pong table was a perfect choice. There’s just enough room to sink that eight-ball in the corner pocket with one hand while holding a scotch in the other. (No, we’re not that cool, but we can dream).
(To add some versatility, this table can also be converted into a ping pong table, which is perfect for an energetic crowd!)
A Comfortable Reading Area
I don’t know about you, but my family loves to read, so I wanted to incorporate that love for paperbound books by creating a space that was solely for that purpose. I chose to make the left side of the top of the ‘T’ into a sitting area/reading area. Since the space is somewhat small, I opted for a corner bookshelf and a love seat, as they fit perfectly against the perimeter of the area.
This left room for a coffee table since the main furniture wasn’t taking up the limited amount of space in the middle of this square-shaped area. To make it complete, golf-themed paintings, photos, and décor (as well as ‘old world’ furnishings – I love that globe!) were placed throughout to give it an air of sophistication.
A Multi-Purpose Office Space
On the right side of the top of the “T,” I felt that a study would be a great place to get much-needed work done when everyone else isn’t around. (So, for example, if you happen to get “writer’s block,” it’s a perfect place to clear your mind with a billiards table all to yourself).
Even though the space is somewhat small (like the reading area), I was able to fit two desks in there – one for studying, and one for gaming (i.e. business on the left; party on the right). If you feel as though one desk would suffice, you could always put two chairs in there to add extra seating or add additional shelving for books, a movie collection, games, and more.
A Flat Screen TV
There’s something about shooting a leisurely game of pool (during the commercials breaks, of course) and eating some snacks while watching the big game. As a side note, playing ping pong is also a great way to get rid of those pre-game jitters! Anyway, the base of the ‘T,’ provided a perfect spot for an HD television as well as extra shelving space.
Since there’s always a lot of reading going on (gosh, we look like total nerds), this additional shelf space was used for our large collection of books. However, if your book collection isn’t quite as large, this shelving would be perfect for a mini fridge and snack baskets to refuel in between ping pong tournaments!
Ready to give it a go? Designing a man cave is easier than it appears, and surprisingly, an odd-shaped space can actually provide the perfect space for all of your reading, game-watching, studying, and entertainment needs!