A man cave is the ultimate realization of the dream of having a personalized, comfortable space of your own. The entire room is a space where a man can truly feel at ease and surrounded by his hobbies, passions, and interests. By harnessing a few key points of advice, you can create a man cave that will remain fresh and interesting for years to come.
As any designer can attest, great lighting can take a space from drab and boring to cozy and welcoming. Think about what you want your lighting to accomplish and what pieces you need to accentuate. For basements or darker spaces, the glow of cove or valance lights are best for general lighting. For a creative glow that opens and brightens dark spaces, install a lighting strip behind furniture. This has the bonus effect of transforming your furniture into a unique accent piece. Including small lights like lamps or candles gives you the option of turning down a room’s brightness for a more relaxing space.
Throw out the idea that shelves are just for storage. Using generic shelving units is fine, but you can always go a step further. Turn the shelves themselves into dynamic wall art or exciting feature pieces by picking odd shapes or materials. They can also be used to hide away any element of a room that you don’t like, such as old vents, wires, or pipes.
When designing a man cave, it’s okay to think outside the box. Pieces don’t have to be just practical or just decorative. Old truck beds make excellent desks and wooden pallets can be transformed into rustic furniture. If you need to muffle the sound of your man cave but hate the look of traditional acoustic treatment, carpet can muffle sound and look striking. You could also take different colors of standard acoustic tiles and cut them into a weaving pattern of practical wall art. Your options are limitless.
At the end of the day, the entire purpose of a man cave is to be whatever you want it to be. It should feel like a natural extension of yourself. Displaying memorabilia from your favorite sport or movie is a great starting point. Comic book and graphic novel fans could paint a wall to resemble a comic panel. Sports fans can transform spare player cards into eccentric wallpaper. Think about what would elevate the room's theme and aesthetic.
If there’s one thing that almost everyone can agree on, it’s that wires are ugly. People regularly tuck cords behind furniture, use cable holders, or even drill holes in the walls just to keep them out of sight. Thankfully, the 21st century has brought massive innovations in technology and nearly everything a man cave needs can be completely wireless. There’s no point lugging a vacuum from a different room when a roaming robot can clean the floors. Why run tons of cables from your TV, when you could invest in some high-quality, wireless speakers?
Some items just aren’t easy to store and you have to hang them on a wall. They can still be decorative and improve the room's atmosphere. Rather than setting your guitars in their stands on the floor, hang them on walls so they can become pieces of art. You can do this with almost anything, such as gaming controllers and sports equipment. For some additional interest, avoid a standard grid layout and instead hang items dynamically.
Bars reign supreme as the dream item for most man caves. However, if your room doesn’t have water and drain lines, it can be a massive investment to build a wet bar. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that your bar dreams are over. With a counter, some cabinet space, and a refrigerator, you can have a dry bar up and running with ease. You could stick with bottled beverages so you don’t have to wash dishes, but a few steps to the kitchen are still better than costly plumbing expenses.
A common issue many people first have when building a man cave is trying to do too much. Everyone dreams of having a bar, a movie screen, a gaming corner, couches, pool tables, and every other luxury good. Scale down the ideas and let the area breathe. By keeping it simple and clean, you can save money and make a room that functions better as a space you can enjoy.
Chances are, something inspired you to make a man cave. Maybe a friend just built his or you saw an incredible room on social media. Regardless of what drives you, don’t forget that this is your space. It’s okay to pull design ideas and inspiration from someone else, but copying entire rooms won’t create a man cave that feels like you. Don’t break the bank trying to emulate someone else’s ideas. Rather than lots of expensive items that you feel lukewarm towards, choose a single luxury item that you truly love. Some favorites are a deluxe beer fridge, a massive recliner, or an old-school arcade machine.
Man caves that follow an exclusive theme or concept are extremely popular. Some people build miniature sports bars, some create movie theaters, and others have gaming nooks. While themed rooms are a ton of fun, they’re not the only way to create a man cave. Even when following a theme, it’s okay to deviate from it. If you feel that something must be in the room but it doesn’t match your theme, go ahead and include it. A man cave can be whatever you want it to be.