Every guy needs a man cave. A place to unwind, relax and get away from the outside world. Whether it’s built in the basement, the garage or a spare bedroom, the modern “mantuary” should feel comfortable and industrious without sacrificing style. Think refined leather couches, an antique billiard table and a mid-century bar cart for his finest whiskey. But, where to begin? From the floor to the finishing touches, here are a few tips from Lofty to bring elegance and style to your man cave.
When styling your man cave, it’s important to research and carefully select every detail of the space, including the floors. Whether you prefer the timeless look of wood flooring or the soft feel of a plush carpet, be sure to choose flooring that is easy to clean and fits your needs.
For a polished, sophisticated feel, consider installing hardwood floors. We recommend oak flooring, which is resistant to dents and deep scratches. It’s a perfect option for those who don’t want to invest in an area rug. Mahogany flooring is also a great choice, as it is not only classic and timeless, but highly durable and water resistant.
If you’re man cave is located in the basement of your home, you may want to install carpeting. A carpet will not only add charm and warmth to your space, but help reduce sound echo. If you do decide to install carpeting, it must be properly cared for. We recommend durable carpets, made of burlap or nylon, which will clean up nicely after a rowdy sport’s night. For a touch of class, try placing a large oriental rug on top of your carpet.
How you choose to decorate your walls contributes significantly to the overall look and feel of your man cave. For a bold and masculine vibe, build an accent wall. Cover your wall in stones, or experiment with textured or patterned wallpaper. If you prefer a more classic, timeless look, consider adding burlap-wrapped panels trimmed with bronze or warm wood paneling.
Decorate the walls with artwork, posters or other treasured collectibles. If you prefer a more contemporary feel, try either of these silkscreens by Ken Price. For a more classic look, go for traditional sporting art scenes.
Remember, your walls should display your passions, interests and past experiences. Love to travel? Consider hanging an antique map or a travel poster. Movie buff? Try out a vintage film poster. Use shelves or a display case to exhibit trophies, collectibles, and other memorabilia. After all, a man cave is a better place for your antique toy car collection than a living room.
When choosing furniture for your man cave, buy high quality pieces that are crafted with care. Consider the scale of your room and choose items that not only fit the space, but also multipurpose.
Seating is the most basic and important part of any mantuary. After all, you’ll need a place to sit and relax while watching the big game or playing Xbox with your buddies. Leather seating such as club chairs, sofas or stools will add a touch of elegance to any space. The pieces should be comfortable and if they’re properly cared for, the leather will distress nicely over time.
Prefer function over fashion? Consider adding a futon. This versatile piece of furniture can be converted into a bed, while allowing the seating space of a normal sofa. If your man cave is on the larger side, consider purchasing a sectional sofa. Sectional sofas can be set up in multiple configurations, making them an excellent option for rooms with more square footage. For parties, stackable chairs are easy to keep on hand for extra seating without taking up too much space.
Seating aside, you should also invest in a simple, solid wood dining table that could easily serve as a workspace, as well as a gaming table or impromptu bar. We recommend West Elm’s Industrial Oak and Steel table, because it can be bought with matching benches that can slide underneath when unused. Style the table top with minimal, but useful objects, like a small beer stein doubling as a pen and pencil holder.
Whether you’re a card shark, Bobby Fischer’s protege, or a gamer, cultivate your man cave with conversation-worthy games. Consider installing vintage arcade games, a pinball machine, or an antique billiard table. Stock up on a few of your favorite board games and don’t shy away from the classics, like Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit. An antique chess set or backgammon set are also nice additions.
A well-styled man cave features a large television and a high-quality sound system. Whether you’re watching a playoff game or the newest action movie, home theater systems are the perfect addition. Entertainment systems can be quite expensive, however, you can install a new home theater system for less than $1,000. For a simple solution, try mounting a flat screen television on the wall or over a fireplace.
While we may mourn the end of Mad Men and the antics of Don Draper, let’s not forget the show’s classy culture of personal office bars and cocktail hour. Set up your own bar with a classic bar cabinet and stock it with your favorite liquor, bitters and tonics.
Any self-respecting gentleman will invest in a high-quality decanter, cocktail shaker, ice bucket and glassware, as well as a book or two on traditional cocktail making. The notable PDT Cocktail Book, for example, does a great job of teaching the classic recipes without complicating the steps.
If the man cave is a relatively small space, consider transforming one of the walls into built-in library unit. Leave a section open for a wall mounted TV where the shelves can be used as storage for barware, board games, music equipment, and, of course, books. We’re partial to adding in antique books, but create your library with what interests you most.
You can also use the shelves to display sports trophies and medals as well as small works of art. Small, framed prints and paintings work as well. We love this mixed media piece by A. George Miller from 1970, measuring only 8.5 x 10 inches.
You may be in a man cave, but you’re not a caveman. Don’t be afraid to add a few plants into the room to help air circulate naturally. Disguise trash in a fun container. If your space is lucky enough to have an ensuite bathroom, stock it with high quality grooming productions. Molton Brown’s Men’s Collection is a great option with light, masculine scents of ginger, black pepper, and mint.
No matter what your ideal man cave may look like, this private sanctuary should be distinctively your own, a place where you’re free to “man-ifest” your personality. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles or designs. Try out a sleek, mid-century desk, hardwood floors or textured wallpaper. Mix antique and vintage furniture with more contemporary pieces. Hang some artwork on the walls. Above all, aim to create a living space that is refined, functional and modern.