Almost two decades ago, John Gray put things into perspective: men are from Mars; women are from Venus. It wasn’t rocket science, but it simplified how we looked at men-women dynamics.
Gray's Men Are from Mars; Women Are from Venus has received a modern classic status, but even so, it remains controversial. For what it’s worth, though, it gave traction to one of our favorite terms in the home improvement industry: man cave.
A man cave is a man’s safe haven, sanctuary (or mantuary), dugout, enclave. Men and women have different ways of dealing with stress. Men retreat to their caves to relax. This cave has evolved over time—from a necessity to an editorial-worthy space.
COVID19 has people on edge. It affects men and women from all walks of life. No wonder more men are itching to carve out their own space or upgrade their current one. If it were possible, we'd hibernate until all this is over too, but we can only do the best with this new normal.
Now, if a man cave will help you thrive or escape, we’re more than happy to give you a few pointers to create the fort of your dreams.
A theme will ground your next steps. Whether you’re taking over an unused garage or upgrading your current setup, decisions have to be made. Perhaps you’re a sports enthusiast who wants to watch games uninterrupted. Perhaps you’re looking forward to a home theater. Perhaps a pool table and cold ones will help you relax in spite of this global pandemic.
One thing is certain: the last thing you need is a junkyard for a man cave, so just say no to dirty clothes on the floor, empty beer cans, and senseless odds and ends,
Your man cave decorations should be cohesive and should reflect you and your interests. After all, this space is yours, so indulge in things that make you who you are.
There’s no need for extravagant, luxurious decor, but certain things are quintessential to a functional and comfortable man cave.
Socialization is fun, but while social distancing is a must and you can’t invite your buddies over, use this time well and enjoy your space with your family. Challenge your little boy to some games or, as a family, decide on a great flick to watch.
Do something that you and your family will enjoy. If you’re stressed about the world right now, imagine how it is for the kids. Play is a very good way to recover from challenges coming from inside and outside the home. So let everybody into your sanctuary and have fun. Just because a man cave is dedicated to the man of the house doesn’t mean you can’t share it from time to time.
Get enough comfortable seats. And to support you when you pull in an all-nighter, get ergonomic ones. The last thing you want is a painful back or a stiff neck.
Most men will agree that a television set is a must in a man cave—the bigger, the better. In some male sanctuaries, it’s the focal point. Add a surround sound system and you’re guaranteed superb viewing experience.
Wall decor makes or breaks the look and feel of a space, so take your time to curate the items you hang on your wall. Our all-time favorites include sports paraphernalia, funny man cave warning signs, and oversized artwork. Hanging “welcome to the man cave” signs are perfect too. They add great value to a room and are super easy to maintain.
Choose one wall to serve as your accent wall or find strategic spots around your man cave. Start on your door with a catchy man cave door sign to set the tone for the rest of the space.
What’s a man cave without cold drinks? Having a bar or fridge requires no explanation.
Alternatively, a built-in bar works just as well. Or, at the very least, a man cave must have a refrigerator. This will allow the man of the house—you—access to ice-cold drinks anytime you want one. Going up and down the stairs or across the hall for drinks just sounds too much of a chore. For convenience, put a fridge in your man cave.
This is when you get extra creative and add more layers of styling.
We talked about ample seating, but did we tell you about leather tufted sofas or plush seats? They give a sense of luxury to a room, something you will find in many sophisticated lounge areas. Plus, they last longer than ordinary sofas.
Bar stools add a sporty element that’s perfect if you’re going for a sports-themed dugout. Get a few metal ones and line them up the bar.
Aside from watching TV, men are known to love their table games. Poker, for instance, is a huge hit among men, and you’ll be hard put to find a man who doesn’t enjoy a game of pool or billiards. Just like television, men seem to naturally gravitate toward a great 5- or 8-ball game. So bring in another layer of fun inside your cubbyhole and add a pool table. If that’s too much, find the right table for your table games.
Usually, the man cave is in the basement, den, or garage, but a spare room or an attic may also serve the same purpose. It is important that you maximize the amount of light you have and learn how to accentuate your mantuary with artificial light.
Open the blinds when you’re reading the newspaper or playing some table games. When you’re simply checking out your feeds on Facebook, don’t sit in the dark and let natural light in. When you’re watching Star Wars for the nth time or when you’re pretending you’re in a bar, that’s when dramatic lights come into play.
In conclusion, gone are the days of musty-smelling, perpetually darkened hubby holes with faded wallpaper or peeling-off paint on the walls. There are many ways to create an inviting space that offers plenty of room to stretch and recharge.
A man cave is a reflection of the man of the house. Just like a lion’s den, it should be fitted for a king. Are you king enough?