In the classic relationship book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, author John Gray asserts that men often need to go into their own private “caves” to relax and recharge from the stresses of the day. I couldn’t agree more. Although a man’s cave can be any simple space, like a garage workroom or extra bedroom, some men go all out in creating a special room that reflects their interests and personalities.
I’ve noticed that these “man-caves,” or rooms designed with a masculine flair, are becoming increasingly popular. I’ve seen caves with themes of classic cars, hunting/fishing and sports teams. Although they may be decorated for maximum machismo, they often become great gathering spots for family and friends regardless of gender. In my own home, the man-cave has become the primary gathering spot when my wife and I entertain guests.
In any given week, I will see dozens of properties, and a handful of man-caves. Over time, I’ve compiled a quick list of things to keep in mind when designing your perfect man-cave:
- Add sentimental items you’ve gathered during your acts of manliness. A few examples are antlers from your trophy buck, the license plate from your ‘69 Charger or your old Stanford jersey. My own man-cave followed an outdoors theme with a few relics I’ve found.
- Stick to a single theme, such as social club, cars, the outdoors, etc. One home I visited in Woodside had a (man) cave of wine with a stone table, stone walls, and racks of rare vintages. This is one theme that could definitely appeal to both genders.
- Just for fun, indulge your inner Mad Man and add a few touches that are classically masculine, like Scotch, bourbon or cigars.
- Mix themes. It can be done well, but in general, mixing themes in a room creates confusion and dilutes the ambiance of the room.
- Add anything that might be offensive. The man-cave is meant to be masculine and in good taste, not a scene from Animal House. Décor that could be considered offensive will detract from the space.
- Clutter up the room. A few well-placed objects and furniture can really bring a room together, but too much stuff will make it seem claustrophobic or messy. There is a fine line between man-cave and cluttered storage.
Man-caves are specialized spaces that can be a fun addition to any home. Call me for any advice regarding the creation of a man-cave or other specialized spaces within your home.