Having a man cave in their homes is one of the things most modern guys long for the most in this world – a quiet corner where everything is an homage to their inherent manliness and a place they can call their own. In other words, a place their wives and kids are banned from, at least most of the times. All jokes aside, such a room can have a huge positive effect on a man’s psyche and help him deal with the struggles of the everyday life in a more fulfilling and meaningful way, giving him a peace of mind no other room in the house can provide. But, in order to have such an effect, a man cave has to be designed in a certain way, and as this usually requires quite a lot of money, lots men take inspiration from more frugal and financially-aware ideas they can find online or from their friends. Here are a couple of ideas for creating your own man cave and doing so on a decent budget.
Words: Emma Joyce
Choose the perfect place
First of all, you need to think three things through – location, location and location for your man cave! You can’t just put it in the middle of your family living room or evacuate your kids from their room just to make yourself some free space, can you?
That’s why you should consider the options your home offers and find the one that might suit you the most – the majority of men simply opt for the garage or the basement, as that’s the way to get the most privacy even though remodeling it may require a lot of work. Of course, you should be ready to take your wife’s input in consideration as well, since she’ll surely present you with lots of useful ideas and help you decide on the best spot for your man cave.
Prepare the space
Once you’ve picked the spot for your man cave, it’s time to turn it from a dusty garage or a moldy basement into something actually livable. This could take your energy and force you to reconsider your budget more than you’ve hoped, especially if your garage or basement have never been lived in.
What you need to do is deep-clean everything, declutter – mind you, getting rid of all the things you don’t need means you’ll not just get more free space, but also earn a couple of bucks by offering your junk on a yard sale – and then inspect the space. Now you can lay a subfloor, reframe the walls, install some insulation, repaint the drywalls and invest in proper flooring. Only then can you consider your man cave ready, so you can start decorating it and arranging the furniture.
Protect your man cave
Although a man cave is supposed to provide some privacy for a modern man and be a sort of a safe haven where he can spend some alone time, don’t take things so rigidly. Yes, you need some separation, but too much separation leads to divorce, so check yourself before you wreck your marriage and try to understand that you don’t need that much privacy after all.
If you’ve turned your garage or basement into the space where you plan on binge-watching Californication, playing darts or losing your mind over the March Madness with your buddies, you need space that’s safe and adequately isolated. On the other hand, many man caves have a balcony attached so you need to think about installing timber sliding doors and connect your man cave to the great outdoors.
Pick the perfect furniture
Depending on the size of your man cave and the ideas you have for it, you need to be very careful when picking the furniture – namely, you should find that fine ground between not providing enough seating options for your guests and overcrowding the space with too much furniture.
Start by thinking about how many people you are going to invite here and how many chairs and sofas you need because these will occupy the most of your space. You can deal with this problem quite easily by getting one huge sectional sofa that can accommodate at least five or six grown men and even be turned into an impromptu bed where your kids can spend the night. Bring the overall design to a new level by adding a couple of comfortable armchairs you can get at your local flea market cheaply and reupholster them for just a few bucks.
Organize the space
Make a list of things you like doing and think about the activities you’re going to focus on in your man cave – from playing foosball to watching TV and everything in between is quite all right, but try to keep in mind that not every single activity you’ve had in mind is going to be possible. That’s why you should prioritize and cut deals with your own wishes, but all that will benefit you in the long run.
After deciding what your main focuses are, organize the space so that you have enough room for all your separate activities. Dedicate each corner of the room to something else – set up a TV and a sofa in one corner, a pool or a dartboard in the other, a small bar in the third and a stationary bike in the forth. This way, you’ll separate different activities and always know where your things are, but also allow other people to do something on their own while you’re watching TV or preparing the drinks.
The DIY essentials
In the end, a man cave is a perfect way to showcase your crafts and skills to the world and prove to yourself you’re just as handy as the guys you see on TV. Pick a couple of small and simple project to get you going and boost your motivation, and then move onto more complex ideas later on.
One of the things you can try making is the bar – after all, it doesn’t have to perfect nor too complex, as long as it provides you with a space for keeping your beer and serving it to your friends. Building a bar might not be as hard as you think and you can probably complete this project on your own in a matter of days, but the pride you’ll feel every time you look at your creation will last a lifetime.
Some people think a man cave is an overrated and unnecessary wish middle-aged men who want to feel young and free again have, but it’s actually much more than that – it’s a place where your Average Joe can relax after a long day at the office and gather some strength he can use showing his wife and kids how special they are. Therefore, a man cave can turn you into a better husband and father, and that’s something all of us need nowadays.