While we at Gentleman’s Journal aren’t particularly fond of the term ‘man cave’, exclusionary as it is to the fairer sex and evocative of those whose greatest desire is to remove themselves from polite society for the sake of watching sport, it is undeniable that we all need a bit of personal space from time to time.
While the first man caves were likely literal caves, for the modern man lucky enough to have an entire room to dedicate to his passions and pleasures, these spaces have evolved to become chic spaces in which to show off your own interior design style. Read on for our top tips for creating your own oasis…
Balance your space
Many men design their room around a central games table – be this table football, pool or even air hockey – and it’s a great starting point. But don’t let that overwhelm the room. Balance is key in a man cave, as it should be a room of many activities. Throw in a bar, a cinema, a sound system – you want options.
Yes, neon is acceptable
Neon, for the most part, is a no-no. From garish 80s cocktail clubs to seedy table-dancing bars, the connotations are of sleaze rather than style. But, for some reason, man caves are exempt from the neon ban. Go as fluorescent as you want, from your name to your favourite drink.
Show your love for sports
Your love for sports isn’t generally allowed to dictate interior decor – and neither should it; football scarves and team posters are for teenagers. Your man cave, however, gives you the option to show just how deeply you care for your favoured team. Just try to do it tastefully; framed vintage photographs and signed memorabilia are a far more aesthetic form of fandom.
Don't be afraid not to have a 'theme'
Framed photos of sportsmen and glowing signs are all well and good, but if you’re an understated person, don’t push your man cave to be something you’re not. If you just want to enjoy a few drinks, watch television and occasionally entertain, keep it simple, chilled and include touches of yourself in the decoration and furniture.
Don't be afraid to go gimmicky
We’d never condone putting a full-size Pac-Man machine in your living room, or tucking a pinball machine in your dining room, but the man cave is a place where you can let your wildest dreams run wild. So if you want to put a full-wall virtual reality golf simulator in your man cave, do it.
Go big or go home
Clearly, at some point money will come into the construction of your man cave. But, if you have the funds to have some fun, don’t hold back. Installing a full bowling alley complete with wet bar into your basement is much more impressive than just moving a sofa and flat screen television into your cellar. Have some ambition.
Do your research
Iconic bars and clubs around the world are famous for good reason so don’t be afraid to borrow ideas and designs from establishments you admire. Be that in colour scheme, furniture, or hanging a huge picture of Winston Churchill on the wall, you can’t go wrong if you follow in the footsteps of the professionals.
Cinema screens are best when hidden
Harking back to our very first point, if you do decide to install a cinema – which is a great idea – try to hide the screen as best as possible. You don’t want your man cave to look like a cinema the entire time, so maybe invest in a projector and a plain wall. A man cave should be a multipurpose room.
Pick your style and stick to it
As it’s just one room, you want your man cave looking cohesive. If your existing furniture is made out of a light oak, don’t buy a mahogany desk to go in the corner – it will just look out of place. Your room should feel like a united space, so approach design with an eye to make a room that is identifiably you – and in which everything matches.
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