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What You Need to Make a Man Cave

Alcohol entusiast since age of 18 (my countrys legal age) and self-educated mixologist.

Do you often come home to find your home reeking with estrogen and can't find a place to wind down? Probably, what is why, a masculine man like yourself, are reading an article like this. And I feel sorry for you.

What you need are a sanctuary for your manly needs. A place just for you and your buds to kick down and relax for a while. A room for all your recreational needs.

Home-bar, hunting-room, workshop, study, call it whatever you want. It's still a man cave in its core.

How do I get one?

Well, my manly friend, you just have to keep reading.


Choose a theme

First before you start to build, you need to decide on a theme to tie the room together with. What do you like to do? Do you like fishing? Whisky, cars, gaming, sports? Just take a look at you inner self and find what you like.

Your theme will guide you in which part of the man cave you want to take extra care on. You don't want a bookshelf in your gaming-room destined to collect dust before being replaced with something else.

Following is a list of suggestion to spark your imagination:

  • Boats - Maybe you dreams of the sea or sometimes just can't be on your actual boat. Then you need a room with a marine theme. Mahogany might look better than bricks, and textile upholstery over leather.
  • Cars/MC - You might be a pure unleaded piston-head who needs a place for thinking or working on vehicles. Make the room look like a MC-bar or Volvo's showroom. A plain garage is just too normal. Or think classic and have a 50's room.
  • Cinema - Could you maybe be one of those movie-buffs that knows everything that is to know about movies, Classic or new? Or maybe you just loves Batman and needs a bat cave for your bat marathon? Have a silver-screen with great sound and some fancy recliners with cup-holders and you are all set.
  • Computer gaming - When you reads LoL, do you read "laugh out loud" or "Leagues of Legends". If the latter, you probably want a secluded place to have your gaming rig, far away from your wife (or mother). You are a simple man and only needs your computer, darkening curtains and a storage for Doritos and Mountain Dew.
  • Fishing - If your partner says: "You can't bring those nasty smelling rods and tackle inside the house". Clear out a room to have those in, and let that room be the place where you also manufacture your own equipment.
  • Hunting - Weapons needs care to not fail on you. But the missy might not be okay with you taking apart your rifle on the dining table. So have a room for that.
  • Library - Maybe you are a big bookworm and just want to learn something everyday. Have a library or a study. (A study was actually one of the first man caves in history, originating in Brittany).
  • Liquor - A bar is actually essential in every kind of man cave, but if you just loves to have a drink to relax, or loves cocktail-parties. Then you need to have an actual wet bar, not some bar cabinet. Decorate the room with alcohol-themed posters and gimmicks.
  • Music - Heavy metal or classic? It's music anyways. And for a musical hobby, you need a sound proof room for your guitars or grand piano. Or maybe a good Hi-Fi setup to listen on other people's music.
  • Sport - You need a place to watch the game without the wife's nag about "laundry" and "cleaning"? Then you need a room big enough to fit a big screen TV and a comfortable sofa or recliner for you and your supporting friends.
  • Video gaming - PC-gaming is for kids, real men have a Playstation or Xbox. Or they go retro with Nintendo and Sega. Nevertheless they need a good room for their video-game needs. Or an arcade hall of they want to go all the way with their retro fantasy.

A suitable space

Next thing is to find or build a suitable space that are big enough for your fine stuff and you with some friends. Ideally are basement, sheds, storage units, extra bedrooms or that home office that you never use.

When selecting a room, think about everything that you want to have in there. The essentials are:

  • Stuffs for your hobby (e.g. golf-clubs, cigars or camera equipment)
  • Actually useful stuffs (e.g. gym equipment, tools or storage loft)
  • Audio & video
  • A fridge for beverages
  • A bar or cabinet

Keep in mind that you might do some modification on the area. A tool-shed might need isolation. If you plan on loud noise, sound-proof the room. A wet bar needs running water and sewer. And a workshop or gaming-room could need some electrical updates. Or you build a shed from the ground.


Bring out the theme early on

What your holy ground will be all about should be brought out as early as possible. Set up a TV with some media devises and bring a makeshift chair to watch a movie or the play. Or lay out a putting green for you to enjoy yourself during the building process of the man cave. Set a table for you and your crew to play some cards and drink beers.

This is for you to not lose touch of why you are making the man cave. You probably need a man cave to relax in, so having a room with planks laying around and no place to sit isn't good for stress.

Then you get the screen

If you haven't already, this is the time for you to find the largest screen your budget can afford.

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If video-games are your thing, choose an old CRT for retro-gaming, or a new LED for newer gaming.

Sport and other TV-related things look best on LED, but an old plasma is more budget friendly.

Movies looks best on a quality silver-screen with a HD-projector, but can be viewed on any of the already mentioned screen-types. Never ever get a LCD-screen.

And around the screen you need at the very least 2.0 speakers, but the more the merrier.


The party zone

Dedicate a space for food and drinks. You could go full-on and build a complete wet bar if you want. But if yo can manage the water-runs to the kitchen, a dry bar does the job just fine. Or if you are tight on space, it's nothing wrong with a bar cabinet.

You also need a cabinet for chips, nuts, pretzels and other kinds of snacks. If you like popcorn, a microwave should be on the shopping-list.

And for the beverage that are ment to be served cold, you need a fridge. I would recommend a combined fridge-freezer. The fridge is for beer, soda and hard cider. And the fridge is for vodka and Jägermeister.

Have somewhere for you and your friends to sit while drinking. It is just rude to invite your best pals for some refreshing drinks without offering a seat.


And last but not least

This will be your main selling argument to your wife for her to allowing you to have a man cave. It's the things that are actually useful. You could say something like this before building:

  • Honey, I can keep my wood-working tools there.
  • Honey, we can also have some storage boxes on a loft.
  • Honey, I wont clean the rifle on the dining table anymore.
  • Honey, it can be a gym for both of us...
  • Honey, think about all the cocktail parties we can host.
  • Honey, you can have the living room TV all you want. I can watch the play in the "basement".
  • Honey, the garage will still be for fixing the car.

It's the things that will actually bring something that your wife can benefit from. Take my former man cave as an example. I had it in the storage unit connected to my apartment. (It was insulated (sort of), had electricity and light, privacy and was really big). I dedicated a third for storage and stocking car-parts.


My former man cave

The picture above with the brown shelf and two CRT-screens are my former man cave during the building process. My passions are retro-gaming, movies and cars. So that was the theme.

I used two CRT's to have all my gaming consoles on one AV-channel each (and I had two 32" laying around). Movies came secondary. A small corner was dedicated for my manufacturing hobby.

This was my first place since living at home, so money was short. I reused my old bed as a sofa. And that bed came in handy as that fiancée I had then made me sleep down there several nights.

And for food and beverage I reused my old bar cabinet from my childhood-home and an old microwave.

And the useful (and selling argument to the fiancée) was to still have some storage boxes down there. Plus all my car-parts that I had laying around.

I don't have that man cave anymore as my present fiancée let me have the living room as a fully functional man cave. But I still have to call it the living room.

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