Constructing Your Home GetawayMan caves have evolved over time. In the beginning, man caves were… well, caves — but modern times call for modern measures. Constructing the ultimate man cave in 2019 is about more than a sanctuary of testosterone and a temporary escape from household chores. Despite enduring the mass stereotype as a simple breed, men are immensely complex beings, filled to the proverbial brim with dramatic ideas, a relentless can-do attitude, and a glass that’s half-full syndrome of creative enthusiasm. Ladies and gentlemen, dare we say it, but the modern man cave has become a male-curated space to entertain others in - regardless of gender; the modern man cave is a Dad-bod wrapped up in a $500 Armani suit.
So, here's what you need to know about building the perfect 'man-cave'!
First things first, you’ll need to pick a space. Unlike the She Shed or the Lady Lair which are predominantly set in convenient locations, like a quaint backyard shed, spare bedroom, or a renovated attic, a man cave is typically dependent on some kind of geographic zest.
Renovating the entire basement, for example, is primary space consideration for the quintessential man cave. This gives designers and homeowners a chance to weigh the current layout, make adjustments to potentially add a restroom, or a secondary kitchen. Basements are essentially caves, after all, and if watching the game or creating a space to get away from it all, underground seems like a good place to start.
Man caves are rarely about creating a space that’s separate from other interests. Instead, man caves seek to unify a number of interests in one space. Similarly, man caves have a tendency to pop up in spaces that are traditionally left empty, making renovating the underused garage into the ultimate man cave a great idea for most. With a big screen TV adjacent to your weekend joy-ride vehicle or motorcycle, you find yourself primed for success.
Wherever you choose to build your man cave, always consider balance. Overdevelopment can lead to a cluttered space, so if you’re considering a poker table, a cinema, and a car - always take stock of your space and ensure you have enough room to build out your plans. This balance is key to your space’s success.
Concealment Is Key
Hidden appliances and concealed storage solutions are staples of 2019’s most exciting kitchen design trends, and because we imagine there will be some eating and drinking going on in the majority of man caves, concealed cabinetry and storage seems like a perfect fit.
Even the smallest man caves should have a dedicated space for a corner cabinet well stocked with snacks, electronics, books, a hidden wet bar, or a beer fridge/microwave combination, and concealing the obvious location of those features helps to maximize the perceived floor space while simultaneously adding a modern style, sensibility, and polish not associated with man caves of the past.
Concealed cabinetry can also play an important and stylish role in hiding the contents of your space; like a wall-mounted dart board, a cinema screen, or the flat screen itself. This way, the man cave becomes a chameleon of sorts, convertible into a guest bedroom, or even a home office at a moment’s notice.
Sports & Electronics
Man caves are synonymous with sports. Regardless of your sport of choice, this is the space to declare your affinity for your team. Don’t be afraid to shout it from the rooftops - this is space that needs to portray your identity, your personality, and reflect your interests. If hockey is your thing, a massive portrait of Luongo, Gretzky, or Mr. Hockey himself is perfectly appropriate.
Most man caves are geared specifically at watching sports, movies, or TV as well. This is a great time to investigate audio/video equipment and begin planning how best to outfit your space to accommodate your program of choice. Surround sound set up is obvious, but if you’re primarily there for the football or baseball game - it may be overkill, and those resources can be better injected to other pursuits. If music is your thing, perhaps a tasteful vinyl station is more up your alley. In this case, opting for a corner listening lounge in place of a reading nook is a great place to begin your design.
Invest in a great screen and take the time to properly measure the space for optimal viewing distances from your seating arrangements. Comfort is pivotal in a man cave, so angling a TV too far up can be painful on the neck, and squinting at a TV that’s too small can ruin the energy of the game.
The Wet Bar
One staple of the man cave is being able to enjoy an adult beverage with your friends, your spouse, or some family when entertaining. This makes the design and installation of a premiere wet bar a mainstay of the design and construction process.
Your wet bar can be as simple or as intricate as you wish, but special consideration should be given to spatial requirements and access to refrigeration before you go buck wild with lights, mirrors, displays, and bar decor.
Cabinetry is required here, and a custom approach to storage and cupboard space to hide away your bottles and bar accoutrement like openers, glassware, corkscrews, etc is critical for keeping a tidy space that doesn’t get over-cluttered easily. Using high-quality hardwood cabinetry in your bar construction ensures your cabinets are able to stand up to years of wear and tear, and can better withstand the potential for spills and the effects of moisture on wood products.
Consider adding under cabinet lights for overhead cabinets to create a unique ambiance - perhaps using LED lightsthat showcase your team colours? Also, explore glass fronts to display your glassware in a more sophisticated manner that compliments a glass-door wine fridge or a stainless steel draft tap.
The modern man cave isn’t just a boys only space to enjoy a few drinks with the guys, nor is it a space dedicated to sports, muscle cars, and extreme sports; these days, constructing the ultimate man cave is all about how to harmoniously unite the tenacity of the male persona with the budding familial values of a society of men who don’t mind inviting others in.
Constructing the ultimate man cave is about going all out with your ideas, finding innovative ways to create excitement and fun is your home, and - at its core - creating a space to spend time with family and friends. Call it what you like, but that’s an idea we can support, regardless of the gender in charge of decor.