There is nothing more indulgent than the man cave, which can be luxurious and up to date with all the toys and high-tech electronics men can fit into them.
I have been doing an informal poll of what men want in their man caves and all of them said as their first choice they would want the biggest TV possible, followed by a great sound system and a bar of some type. A few want a place to be left alone to hang out with their friends uninterrupted by a “honey do” list. Most men like to make their man caves a cross between a home office and recreation room. Think, too, about the location of the man cave. Should it be in a quieter part of the house, a room above the garage or maybe in a separate structure on your property?
To make the most of your man cave, start with a masculine palette. I like to incorporate dark lacquered or wallpapered walls. I also like walls sheathed in leather, grass cloth or flannel. Color is important, too, so design the room to reflect your man’s favorite color or colors.
Add in comfortable seating that he can sink into after a long week of work. A great sofa and chairs enhance the space. Although recliners make designers shudder, there is a crop of hip, sleek ones that are so totally disguised that we’d gladly put one into a client’s home or man cave. Put in a desk with a comfortable chair — an Aeron chair is always a classic choice — and various types of lighting. Overhead lighting is needed, along with task lighting to read by. Lamps will create warmth, as will the finishing touch of a rug.
But nothing adds warmth like a fireplace. If you are building your home or renovating and space permits, including one will be an asset. I personally like a gas fireplace, because you get the heat and glow of a real fire without all the hassle of dragging wood through the house and starting the fire. Just a quick click of the remote and instant atmosphere. Plus, you now have one more remote control to argue over.
As for the bar mentioned above, you can add a great-looking bar cart stocked with top-shelf spirits, glasses and bar accessories, if you don’t have room for an actual bar. If there is room for a bar, then include a built-in beverage center and wine cooler. If room permits, a built-in wine wall can be an attractive industrial or high-tech focal point. Add in some great glasses that match the drinks you are going to pour and keep nuts, crackers, olives and chocolates on hand for snacks.
Some of the guys I spoke with would like to have built-in shelves for their books. A library of shelves full of personal collections of books that have the client’s interests or hobbies in mind rather than a row of old encyclopedias (remember them?) is a terrific touch. However, the two retro items that have become insanely popular again are a stereo and an impressive vinyl collection. Game tables for cards, chess or backgammon are also popular. Some guys want pool tables, which have really come a long way. Although a classic pool table with a green felt top can still be purchased, pool tables now come in a wide range of styles from traditional to modern and in colors to suit the décor of your room.
Man caves can be either ultra modern in style or warm and cozy but, most important, they are personal spaces and should reflect the interests and style of their occupants. I love to bring artwork into the man cave. Paintings, sculpture, vintage rock ’n’ roll posters and sports memorabilia are always a hit. Black-and-white photographs that reflect a hobby or interest that the occupant may have can also work well. Family photo walls and maps are also good decorative choices.
Just as long as you remember that it’s all about him.
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