Ah, yes the man cave.
A place for man to be exactly who he is, a man.
A man cave is defined by Urban Dictionary as, “a dedicated room, space, corner or area of a dwelling that is specifically reserved for a male person to be in a solitary condition, away from the rest of the household in order to work, play, involve himself in certain hobbies, activities without interruption.
This is quite an excellent description for what a man cave should be. A good man cave is all about the man, a reflection on his personality, past experiences and conquest, present hobbies and thoughts, future goals and projects.
This area must be decorated by the male, and it must be utilized without interference from any female influence.
This is an important part of the definition we must emphasize. That is, put simply, a man cave cannot be correctly defined as such if there is any womanly influence. A man cave is a place to reflect a gentleman’s own personality, without any meddling from a lover or for that matter, offspring.
The ability to escape to your own personal space is not only good for the mind, but also for your relationships with significant others. The ability to escape from responsibility and recharge to focus on the things that keep a man motivated, like hobbies and entertainment, can have a positive influence on all who may encounter this man in everyday life.
The ability to rejuvenate in a relaxed, comfortable and familiar atmosphere, either alone, or with fellow man mates for a game of football on TV, some beers and perhaps manly games like pool or mario cart, can be a real lifestyle winner. So, without further adieu, what makes the a perfect man cave and how does one go about creating a desired man cave?
Step 1: Where To Create Your Man Cave
Be it a garage, a shed, cellar or bottom floor room, the pool or games room, or perhaps a large study or unused bedroom. Choose wisely based on your preferences for activity (eg making things, playing pool, watching football, listening to music, reading).
Step 2: Visualize What You Want Your Man Cave Space to Be
Once you’ve decided on where you Man Cave will be located, its important to visualize how you might want your space to look like and what purpose it will fulfill. Realistically assess the space, what could function here and what kinds of installations and furniture you wish to keep in the man cave. What kind of crap do you currently have that would work well in the man cave space. What things do you wish to purchase or obtain to include in the man cave.
Step 3: Design
Wherever it be, the first step of creating a man cave is ensuring you have complete creative design control. Spend time listing your ideal space colours, objects and environmental feel. Put a step-by-step process into play.
Some must haves for any man cave include: Movie Posters, Bar Fridge, Stools, Recliner, Big Screen TV, DVD collection of action movies and classic sporting moments, leather bound books, wood furniture, sports memorabilia, dart board, pool table, poker table, wine and or whisky collection.
DIY network has some great ideas:
- Measure your space (length, width, height) and transfer these measurements to graph paper using a 1/4″ or 1/2″ scale. Use it to plan your man cave in detail. The more details you work out on paper, the easier the task of building will be.
- Make a list of all the materials you will need to accomplish the build. If you’re working with a budget, make sure to leave yourself a 10-15% allowance for miscellaneous or unforeseen costs. There will be some!
- Make a list of all the tools you will need. Whatever you don’t have you can either borrow from friends and family or rent from your local home improvement store.
- If your build requires plumbing, electrical or HVAC work, contact licensed professionals for their input or services. Don’t tackle something you’re not comfortable with. If you hire a contractor, get a signed quote from that contractor for the work to be done.
- Before you start your build, make a step-by step list of what needs to be done in order. Schedule these plans with your contractor.
- Ask friends and family to help with the build. Try to get people with some building skills so that they might help you direct your plan of attack.
- Set goals for yourself and your team to accomplish each step of the build in a given time frame.
Step 4: Enjoy Your Man Cave
For the sake of your relationships and your overall mental health, set aside some time on weekends or weeknights to get into the man cave and enjoy what you like. Spend some time alone working on some pet projects (brew your own beer, create a cabinet, learn a language or read a non-fiction book) Whatever your activity, make sure you’re learning and rewarding yourself.
Bring over your friends or invite the kids for activities. Working on some joint projects or spending time with your kids in the man cave will be a rewarding experience. Using your man cave not just to escape the world, but as a way to nurture and grow relationships will have all sort of wonderful mental health benefits and overall well being.
Man Cave Inspiration:
Man Cave’s in Popular Culture (via Wikipedia)
Al Bundy’s garage. From the TV sitcom Married… with Children. Al Bundy’s garage was his only sanctuary. It was also used to hold No Ma’am meetings.
Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment. One report suggested the Manhattan apartment of the character Jerry Seinfeld from the TV show represented “the epitome of a male hangout devoid of any female influence” since cereal boxes and mountain bikes suggested to viewers that “Guys rule.”
Chandler & Joey’s apartment. From the TV series Friends
Tim Taylor’s garage. In the TV sitcom Home Improvement, Tim Taylor used to “bring to life all manner of high-powered monster machines.”
Bada Bing room. In the TV show The Sopranos, Tony’s gang would meet in a windowless “dingy office” at the Bada Bing strip club. It was a “guys-only place within a guys-only place.”
Barney’s apartment. In the TV show How I Met Your Mother, Barney Stinson’s apartment is designed in such a way that women will not want to stay there very long.
Movie References to Man Caves:
Tony Stark’s Garage In the Iron Man movies, Tony Stark (AKA Iron Man) does most of his best work among a cache of luxury vehicles and robotic aides.
Sherlock Holmes Bedroom/Laboratory. Where Holmes, the sometimes antisocial recluse, often spends time experimenting with the latest 19th century technology, or solving crimes with thought experiments.