Let’s face it. Most men aren’t interested in watching the game while sitting on the squishy sofa that perfectly matches the floral rug that coordinates with the drapes and the throw pillows. And all those accessories – the glass bowls filled with pointless objects and the candles in every size, shape and color? Those only take up space that could be filled with pizza boxes, bowls of chips and beer.
The solution is the man cave. Whether it’s in the basement, a converted bedroom or even the garage (or in some cases, a shed!), the man cave is the place where a man can feel free to yell, burp, scratch and enjoy his favorite pursuits without fear of staining or ruining the ecru couch that his wife or girlfriend spent hours agonizing over.
What makes the perfect man cave?
The man cave is no place for dainty little chairs and glass tables. Think leather, overstuffed and durable. A recliner is ideal, as is a large couch that can fit several of the guys without um, invading each other’s personal space. Big sturdy tables to hold food, drinks and feet are important, as well as an entertainment center to hold the big screen TV and gaming systems.
If you’ve got the space, a mini-kitchen with a fridge and bar area is ideal. But if you’re working with limited space, a mini or apartment-sized fridge is necessary to hold drinks and snacks.
The toys are really the center of the man cave. Most guys don’t head to their sanctuary to read books, right? The biggest, best TV you can afford, game systems, a computer, Blu-Ray or DVD player and a stereo or other music system are all musts in the man cave. It’s probably best if these are all hooked up together to create deafening, lifelike sound when playing “Call of Duty” with the guys.
No, this doesn’t mean the embroidered pillow that your grandma made. The man cave should be the place where a man’s true passions come through, whether they take the form of autographed sports memorabilia or a full-sized foosball table. Neon beer signs, road cones – all the stuff that was relegated to the garage when you moved in together can reappear in the man cave.
Gear for Hobbies
Whether you prefer lifting weights or playing chess, keep your gear in the man cave. You can at least pretend to do some bicep curls while you watch UFC.
Additional Things to Consider
Before you start loading up your man cave with all the cool stuff you find, it’s good to keep a few basic ideas in mind.
Reserve Your Space
First, make sure that your cave isn’t taking over the only free space in the house. If your room takes up the entire basement, for example, it probably won’t be long before the kids are hanging out in there, playing “Dora the Explorer” and eating all of your snacks, or the wife takes over the table with scrapbooking supplies. Find a space that can be all yours, even if it means cleaning out the garage or the shed in the backyard.
Second, consider noise. If you’re going to be using the cave for band practice – or just playing video games on full volume – you probably want to locate the cave away from the main living areas and bedrooms in the house. Do you want to deal with your wife when the baby wakes up screaming after the opening strains of “Louie, Louie?”
Built to Last
Finally, start with a good foundation. Install tile, durable manufactured flooring or an easily cleaned indoor/outdoor rug. You might think that cleaning the man cave will be the least of your concerns, but when beer and Buffalo wings are spilled, you’ll be grateful for the easy cleanup. Also, consider adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls. Go with a basic neutral, or choose a color that would never fly in the rest of the house, like your favorite teams’ colors. A washable, odor-absorbing paint is a good choice, for obvious reasons.
The best part about a man cave is that it does not have to be perfect. In fact, the whole idea of the
man cave is to have at least one room that doesn’t look like it came out of the Pottery Barn catalog, where a man can be himself, relax and unwind. The room might make your wife cringe when she sees the Steeler gold walls surrounding a pinball machine and the hideous, duct-taped easy chair, but hey, she gets the rest of the house. Now you can settle in and watch the game without worrying about the ecru (or is it cream?) colored couch ever again.