A man cave can be many things, from a sanctuary to escape the real world, to a dedicated space for hobbies. Above all, a man cave can be a place to call your own. As well as being a personal refuge, you might want your man cave to be a place where you can occasionally entertain guests.
Designing your own man cave can be exciting, but first, you need to decide on exactly what you want it to be: this will depend on the space available, which could be a garage, cellar, attic, extension, loft conversion, or garden room. You might want to create a sports bar, a gaming room, or a rustic cabin-type look. A man cave really can be a blank canvas, allowing for lots of expression and creativity.
The first step: choose a theme
This could focus on your passions, for example, film buffs might opt for a movie-inspired vibe, decorating the space with cinema posters, from early black and white images to modern day, while sports fans might go down the route of sport memorabilia such as hanging framed football shirts. Other popular man cave ideas include a home bar, a gaming room, a gym, a home theatre, or a combination of all these.
Man cave décor
Contrasting the décor of a man cave to that of the rest of the house can be revitalising, for instance by adopting a totally different style of pictures and furniture. A man cave can be personalised further by displaying items relating to a hobby: perhaps maps, vintage sailing or fishing equipment. Add personal touches such as family photographs, awards or mementos that showcase your journey through life. Shelves can be used effectively to display collections or memorabilia.
Keep your colour palette simple, by sticking to variations of one colour. Adding a luxurious fabric such as velvet can add a touch of opulence, and mid-century modern décor ideas conjure up a vintage feel.
Once you’ve decided on your theme and décor, you can unleash your inner designer and let your imagination run wild! Here are some great ideas for creating the ultimate man cave.
Arcade and bar
This look stylishly recreates the arcade-bar experience, featuring a bar with fun memorabilia on display and bar stools. The space transitions easily into the arcade area and there’s also room for lounging on sofas.
Sophisticated gentlemen’s club
Dark browns and clever lighting create the warm, cocoon-like atmosphere of a gentlemans’ club. Colours such as blues, greens, browns and mustards give a suave, masculine feel and work well with leather chairs and dark wooden furniture.
Art Deco lighting and dark-coloured walls and furniture create a mellow atmosphere in this man cave which is full of eye-catching vintage items from quirky prints to a bugle and a period fireplace – all watched over by a china dog!
Rustic and cosy man cave
Here, dark walls create an intimate atmosphere while the wooden crate furniture gives a rustic feel. Sticking to a palette of grays, browns and creams makes the space seem luxurious yet simple.
With the current focus on wellness, there are several advantages to having a home gym in your man cave, not least saving money on gym membership fees and travel time. Home gyms work best in spaces with lots of natural light and air. If you have extra space, you may be able to set aside an area for sports gear.
A home bar
This is often a top requirement in man caves and there are endless options out there. You may want a social space for welcoming friends, involving comfortable seating, a sports bar feel or both: man cave combination rooms come in many varieties.
You could opt for a basic bar with a rustic vibe, or feel that a more sophisticated design is more your style. You might decide to build a bar in your man cave complete with bar stools and a mini fridge, and many men opt for a beer tap. Floating shelves over the bar can hold decorative bottles and glasses. If creating a wine cellar atmosphere appeals, a wine rack storage system creates an effective look in a man cave, along with a wine fridge. If there’s not enough space, you could introduce a well-stocked retro drinks trolley.
This slick sports bar features framed sports shirts, multiple TV screens and it even has an overhead scoreboard. Comfortable leather chairs, an inviting bar, and soft lighting complete the look.
Here’s another sports bar with warm lighting and a wooden floor giving it a cosy feel. The well-stocked bar is the focal point with its illuminated beer taps and bar stools.
Man cave games rooms
Man caves make great game spaces: staple man cave games include pool tables, table tennis tables, table football, golf simulators and dart boards. You might want an area for playing video games, so dedicated space for a console and gaming chair is essential. To add some personality to the room, you might want to display a collection of sporting trophies gained over the years, or photographs of teams that are important to you.
This basic games room has plenty of light, airy space for different activities. The huge corkboard is a fun addition, and the ski-themed artwork on the walls injects interest and personality.
A combination pool/table tennis table is the focal point of this games room which has a warm atmosphere thanks to the neutral walls and curtains and richly patterned rug.
A gaming room man cave
There’s no doubt about the purpose of this man cave: the fun neon lights really spell it out! The rustic wooden beams, floor and ceiling give a warm vibe and the comfy gaming chairs take center stage. The blue rug is an effective contrast to the warm tones of wood and leather.
If films are important to you, investing in a home cinema room means you can host movie nights. A big-screen TV, projector screen, and high-quality home theatre sound system are essentials for creating an immersive experience. If sport is your passion, with a comfy sofa and atmospheric lighting, you’ll be able to create a great big match atmosphere when you watch your favourite team. Consider soundproofing your man cave if noise might be an issue.
Here. a cosy man cave has been created featuring a moulded ceiling with recessed lighting which provides interesting texture, inviting leather sofas, and walls adorned with movie posters. The wooden floor and patterned rug add to the feeling of warmth and richness as you watch the big screen.
Industrial vibe man cave
This is achieved with the concrete floor and exposed pipework to the ceiling. The use of materials such as leather and stone gives a masculine feel and the exposed brick wall works well with the metal and leather fixtures and furniture.
Other things to consider when designing your man cave:
If you have the space, a large, comfy sofa is a great idea as it will create an instantly inviting atmosphere in your man cave. Comfortable seating is important and leather sofas are a good choice as they work in many spaces. Cult designer furniture such as an Egg chair or an Eames chair adds a touch of style, and the choice can be made to suit your theme.
How you choose to decorate the walls will really set the tone. Rather than painted walls, you might select wallpaper that offers more texture: there’s a variety of themed wallpaper out there that may be fun to use and topics range from science fiction to outer space.
It’s important to set the mood with proper lighting. If natural light is limited, you might need to invest in some high-tech solutions. Consider dimmable lights, neon signs or themed fixtures to enhance the ambience. If there’s no window, consider fitting a daylight bulb.
Man cave accessories could include smart home technology such as voice-controlled systems to make the space high-tech and efficient.
As you can see, a man cave gives you endless options to express your creativity – the sky really is the limit! However, this makes it easy to get carried away and fill the space with an eclectic mish-mash of things, so it’s best to decide on a theme at the outset and stick to it. It can be worth going the extra mile and considering lots of man cave ideas before getting started.
Above all, man caves spell fun and escapism – somewhere that you can escape everyday life and unwind by yourself surrounded by things you love. And remember, if you don’t have the space in your house for a man cave, you could create an outdoor man cave which could be as simple as a garden room with a bar and pergola over for summer evenings.
Have I missed anything?
If you’ve created a man cave and would like to share your experience, perhaps offering some dos and don’ts, we’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment in the box below.