At the time of writing, most of us are stuck inside. You probably need an escape. Believe it or not, there is a way to keep your hobbies going, even if you can’t get out to a sports club, a bar or the movie theater. It’s time for a new project: the ‘man cave.’
What is a man cave, exactly? It’s a space for you to devote to your interests and get out of the daily drudgery to enjoy some free time. Despite the name, anyone can have a man cave. Equip it with the comfiest seating and exciting entertainment and share it with your friends of all genders (once social-distancing is no longer a thing). Make your man cave personal and atypical: after all, it’s the space that is all about you and your hobbies.
Man cave essentials
When coming up with man cave ideas, think about what’s most important to you. Center it around your hobbies and interests.
If you like gaming, make sure you have a generous table for war campaigns. Perhaps you want to create an old bar feel - in that case, leave a space for a pool table. Are you into video games? Allow room for a gaming system and plenty of shelving space to stack your games.
It almost goes without saying that most man caves include a TV. You can make it a focal point - make sure that you don’t place it too high or low so that you don’t need to strain to watch it. When it comes to choosing the TV, think about your needs. Is it going to be incidental, like in a bar when you’re drinking with friends? In that case, a smaller or flip-model is an excellent option. If you love watching films in HD, make sure you get a TV that honors that. A larger model or a projector will allow you to create a home-cinema vibe.
What is entertainment without excellent sound? Invest in some good-quality speakers to create a cozy atmosphere. Surround-sound is what it’s all about for immersive films and games. Make sure to soundproof it from the rest of the house if your superior sound system is likely to disturb other people or neighbors.
It’s a given that at some point you’re going to need refreshment. But who wants to interrupt the mood by having to go to the kitchen? Always include a fridge. Whether it’s beers for the game or snacks to share with friends, a well-stocked man-cave fridge will save you time and sanity.
Remember, this space is for relaxing. So you need incredibly comfortable furniture. Leather and faux-leather offer the ultimate in comfort.
Finally, a man cave wouldn’t be complete without the touches that make it your own space. Decorate it with what’s important to you: a team kit, your favorite movie posters, or album covers. If you have souvenirs and memories, this is the perfect room to display them.
Man cave colors
Just because man cave has ‘cave’ in the name doesn’t mean it has to be a dark, depressing, or damp space. Think about the atmosphere you want to create. Deep colors such as red create a sophisticated vibe, while earthy tones add coziness. For a modern feel, experiment with greys or monochrome and bring warmth in using other details on the furniture. You could even celebrate your favorite football team by experimenting with a palette based on their strip.
Man cave furniture and decor
As mentioned before, your furniture should offer the utmost comfort. Your man cave is a place to relax, so you should feel as though you’re sitting on a cloud! Leather or an equivalent is often the material of choice, as it is easy to clean, cozy, and looks sleek.
If you include a bar in your man cave, you’ll need to add bar stools. Make sure they fit the bar well - there’s nothing worse than bashing your knees because the seat is too tall.
Decorate according to your personality and favorite things. Liven up your walls with album covers and film posters. If you’d rather keep your decor subdued, experiment with a highlight wall of textured wallpaper. This is a great hack to create interest without overwhelming the room. Decide on your theme and stick to it.
A man cave doesn’t need to be dark and dreary. Well-planned lighting creates a cozy setting. Choose warm tones for an old-fashioned, snug theme, and accentuate it with fittings in gold. If you’re all about the retro bar feel, neon lights are a fabulously atmospheric choice. Looking for something more modern? Experiment with underlighting cabinets and bars, and use strategically-placed LEDs to get the most out of your space. Decide which areas you have in your man cave and what needs lighting - do you have some art or a trophy cabinet that you want to highlight? LEDs are your friend.
The ultimate lighting advice for a man cave? A light with a dimmer switch. This way, you can create the desired atmosphere. Turn it up for when you’re playing board games and need to be able to read the tiny text on instruction leaflets, but turn it right down for a more intimate atmosphere.
Man cave basement
The basement might seem like the most suitable place for a man cave, as it is the most cave-like part of the house. Separated from the rest of the house, it gives a feeling of ‘escape.’ Basements are notorious for dampness - you can avoid this by allowing air in through small windows or a ventilation system. As there’s no natural light, it could get dingy - consider decorating with light colors.
Man cave shed
If you want even more detachment from the busyness of your house, set up your man cave in the shed. This might take more work than situating it in another area of the house - consider how you’ll need to insulate it. Otherwise, you’ll need a generous supply of blankets, which is fine if camping is your thing! Unless you’re building a purpose-built shed, you’ll be working with a smaller space, so plan carefully. Prioritize your main interests - this might mean making a choice between a pool table and a bar or a big screen to catch the game.
Imagine a man cave that feels like escaping to the countryside. Enjoy the best that nature has to offer: classic wooden furniture, warm natural materials, and even a roaring fire. Stone features play on the ‘cave’ name while providing a cozy atmosphere. Decorate it in country bar style with signs or with succulents like cacti - or both!
One of the biggest design challenges is being strapped for space. But it’s also a chance to use your imagination! The secret: plan, plan, plan. What’s your essential hobby? Center your man cave around that, and keep the design simple to avoid clutter.
Use the space cleverly: store books, games, and decorative pieces on sturdy, masculine shelves to create a feature. If the room is small, always buy multifunctional furniture: tables with drawers, chairs with drinks holders. Floor-to-ceiling curtains make your room look dramatically taller and also keep the light out when you’re watching movies or gaming. Handily-placed mirrors can widen your space.
Man cave bar
A bar is an excellent theme for a man cave, especially if you’re in isolation, unable to visit the real thing! Enjoy the almost-bar experience with your loved ones. First, the essentials. Make sure you have proper storage: a well-stocked fridge with a transparent door and/or a classy wine rack. Build a bar with a surface that’s easy to clean, such as polished stone, varnished wood, or stainless steel. Make sure your bar has enough legroom for your bar stools - it needs an overhang of at least 20cm (8 inches).
Lighting plays a massive part in the overall look of your man cave bar. Lights over the bar give a cozy vibe, while under-bar lighting makes it feel more sleek and modern. A clear, lit-up fridge with lights also offers some of that relaxed cocktail bar atmosphere. You could also incorporate lights behind your spirit shelves, making a feature out of your bottles.
If you only have a small space available, don’t despair. Create your own pop-up bar: bring in a bar cart, or source a long, thin cabinet to store your bottles and glasses. Your man cave bar could be a smartly-placed tray with your favorite beverages on it: tiny but effective.
When it comes to decor, hang bar signs for authenticity. Retro neon signs also give a party vibe, and a pool table not only looks fantastic, but it’s fun, too!
Country ranch style
Want a man cave with a classic American feel? Transport yourself into a Western with wooden beams and faux kerosene lamps. Place a small circular table and wooden antique (or replica) dining chairs for playing card games. Don’t forget to include a comfy buttoned-leather armchair or two for sipping whiskey and discussing your day by the fireplace.
Garage man cave
Imagine lighting a barbecue on a summer evening and then retreating to the man cave when it gets dark. A garage man cave provides an effortless transition. If you have somewhere else to park your car, turning your garage into a man cave gives the ultimate escape. It does require more work: you’ll need to insulate it and make more effort to decorate - although simply painting breeze blocks can give a fresh, industrial feel!
Industrial features are a way of making a man cave extra manly. The first order of business: assess your current features. If your man cave is situated in the basement or garage, leave the pipes exposed - paint them if you want to draw attention to them, but make sure they’ve cooled down before applying paint.
Sleek metal surfaces, such as a stainless steel bar, create a desirable modern aesthetic. Industrial-style might seem austere, but there’s no need to skimp on comfort. Choose soft seating with metal accents.
Whether you’re a board gamer or a video gamer (or both!), there’s a man cave for you.
We’re always going on about comfortable seating in your man cave, but this is even more important when gaming. If you’re gaming on a PC, get a chair that supports your back, shoulders, and neck - an adjustable screen and a keyboard designed to avoid RSI are another two investments you won’t regret. For board games, a generous table is of utmost importance, and your chairs should be comfortable in case someone’s brought extension packs along…
If you have physical games, well-organized storage must be a priority. Bookcases are a good bet if you want to show off all of your games and keep them on-hand.
Music nerd? Film geek? Both? A projector gives that home movie theater feel, and surround sound with excellent speakers will allow you to enjoy films and music the way they deserve. Just make sure your man cave is soundproof, so you won’t get interrupted with noise complaints.
Store your records and magazines in a sleek, sturdy rack. If you play music yourself, consider mounting your instruments on the wall as a decorative feature. Whether you’re into performing, listening, or watching, display your favorite albums and movie posters in frames on the wall. Make it a perfect place for audio and visual treats.
A vintage-style man cave is a great way to keep it timeless, meaning you will have to spend less time updating it. Start the 2020s in roaring 20s style by creating your own man cave speakeasy - add glamorous 1920s touches such as art deco designs, mirrors, and geometric prints. The perfect place for whiskey cocktails.
Sports man cave ideas
Make your man cave all about sports. Do you have a favorite team? Represent it by decorating using their color scheme, flags, and kit. If you’re lucky enough to own signed photos of your favorite players, show them off on the wall.
Put your TV pride of place in your man cave, and make sure there’s enough seating for the whole team! And don’t forget to place your mini-fridge in a handy location, so you don’t miss any of the action during big games.
If you’re into doing your own sport, dedicate an area of your man cave to exercise. If you have room for standalone exercise machines, great! Otherwise, use walls to hang weights on - they show off your love of sport while being easy to reach.
A movie theater in your own home - isn’t that the dream? Invest in a projector and devote a whole wall to showing films. As usual, choose the most comfortable seating with conveniently-placed surfaces to keep your snacks handy. Decorate it with iconic movie posters and shelves and shelves of DVDs (if you still watch them).
Wine cellar room
Forget the damp basement -turn your man cave into an epic wine cellar. Keep your favorite red vintages on a wine rack and display your whites and sparkling wines in a see-through fridge. Make sure you have somewhere to sit and a table to enjoy wine-and-cheese pairings. Make a focal point out of the wine you have, and use the old bottles to decorate!
Contemporary man cave ideas
Contemporary interiors are all about minimalism. Include one or two statement pieces and keep the rest of the space relatively clear. This means investing in simple, elegant storage. Keep the color scheme simple - monochrome is your friend. Good lighting is essential - be inventive with it. Install it under surfaces, or in LEDs.
A man cave can be a place to display your awesomeness. Whether your medals are from the Olympics, or from a sports day twenty years ago, frame them on the wall. If you have trophies, show them off on a shelf or in a cool cabinet - experiment with spotlights and LEDs to draw attention to them. These are also good ways to make a feature of collections you’ve accumulated over the years.
What’s the point of a man cave?
A man cave is a place to escape everyday life and devote your time to hobbies. It should be a cozy environment, somewhere you love to be!
What is a woman’s man cave called?
It’s up to you. ‘Lady lounge’ and ‘femme den’ are two possibilities, but if these make you cringe, call it something else. Some gender-neutral terms include simply ‘cave,’ ‘den,’ or our favorite, ‘grotto.’
What goes in a man cave?
Anything fun! At a minimum: somewhere comfortable to sit. Add whatever you enjoy, whether that’s a TV, a bookshelf, or a selection of guitars.
How do you set up a man cave?
Planning is essential. First, choose which hobbies you want to include. Choose a space: if it’s in a shed or garage, do the groundwork to make it livable. Decide on whether you’re going to install a TV and build the room around that. Different areas for different activities are always a good idea.
How much does a man cave cost?
It depends. If you’re just moving your hobby equipment to another place in the house, then nothing. According to 'Man Cave Know How', the average cost of a man cave is $5000-$20 000. Prices vary: redecorating an existing room costs a lot less than refurbishing a shed or garage!
Does a man cave have to be masculine?
No, of course not! If you like traditionally ‘masculine’ things, celebrate that. But there’s a man cave for everyone, whether it’s covered in pictures of cars, pink fairy lights, or a combination of the two. It should suit you and your style.
Creating a man cave is the ultimate indoor project, which makes it perfect for those days when you’re stuck inside. Whichever theme you choose, and whichever hobbies your man cave focuses on, make sure it’s all about you. Play around to create the man cave of your dreams on Planner 5D and let us know on Instagram - what would you put in yours?