Think your man cave is missing that extra something to make it truly awesome? Follow these tips to ensure your personal space is somewhere you never want to leave.
So, you've dedicated some square footage in your home to the man cave of your dreams. You've set aside time and hard-earned money for putting your own living space together, and have a few ideas of what to add to your place of manliness.
What if it doesn’t live up to your expectations? Maybe you've already been occupying your man cave for a while, but it just lacks that special something that you were hoping for...
Well, fear not, fellow cave-men! Those dreams you had of designing your own personal basement of brilliance are still alive. Lifestyle magazine editor Brandon Smith recently said that when it comes to man caves, "not just any jersey-strewn space with a massive television will do". We couldn't agree more, and those dreams of yours can become a reality if you follow these essential Dos and Don'ts for maintaining your man cave…
DO: Have a vision for your man cave
A man cave should have a decor that suits the style of the man who created it — it’s the one place you can express yourself totally without having to worry about what someone else might think. Putting together a man cave allows you a totally blank canvas on which to get to work on, so don't pass up the opportunity.
Have a little creative flair, if you want to, and do the sort of things you couldn't normally do in a living room or bedroom. If you've managed to fit in a pool table and want it to be the premier attraction of the room, add in an awesome oak wood cue rack or even some unique designs for the balls. If things are a little more open-plan and there's wall space to fill, put up wall hangings that speak to your interests, such as vintage movie prints or famous photographs.
Whether it's a color scheme to match your favorite team, your choice of material for furniture and surfaces or even which drinks you stock, each factor of your man cave will play a part in how satisfying it is to be in. Choose them wisely, and you'll never want to leave.
DO: Keep the man cave's purpose in mind
Guys create their own space within a home for multiple reasons, all of which need their own special design and layout.
If your man cave's purpose is simply to offer you another room to stay in exclusively, a similar approach to designing any living space can be maintained: comfy furniture, ample lighting, and a welcoming atmosphere. However, if the room is created for a specific activity, such as watching sports, playing music or shooting some pool, those activities can become the focal point. If sports is the focus, there's no reason to not fill the room up with some classic memorabilia and team rugs or banners. A music-orientated room could do with a touch of soundproofing, floor space to use instruments and a strong audio setup.
DON'T: Ignore the senses
The first impression of yourself and any potential visitors to your man cave is important — and that will be shaped by simple things like how the area looks, feels and smells.
There's nothing wrong with a rustic decor and a hint of whiskey in the air if your man cave focuses heavily on a bar area where you and your friends can relax with your favorite refreshments. However, leaving open bottles lying around and not putting the beer pong table away once in a while can lead to off-putting smells and sticky surfaces.
If sports are your thing and you want your living space to be the ultimate viewing room for the big game, a strong sound system may be a smart purchase. As might an extra television screen or two for wall-to-wall viewing — perfect for NFL action on Sundays, when you can watch your favorite team on one screen and keep an eye on the Redzone action on another. All while keeping your feet warm on a rug that represents your team, of course.
DON'T: Forget the essentials
No room, regardless of its purpose, can do without some key features to make it a long-term living space, and your man cave is no different.
Make sure there's plenty of access to power along the walls — preferably in areas that are easy to reach and don't require extension cords to be strewn scruffily (and dangerously) across the floor. For tech-heavy man caves, using a dedicated circuit or having a small generator are not bad ideas, either.
Fit in a radiator or at least bring in a heater of some sort for the winter, but also make sure there's a chance for fresh, cool air to get in when it's hot out. If you plan on using online features or watching TV, make sure a WiFi system and satellite provider are easy to connect to.
Oh, and lock it up when you leave!
DO: Plan ahead
Without a little organization and pre-planning, what you imagined as the ultimate destination of masculine interests can easily turn into an overstocked spare room.
Impressive man caves do not necessarily require acres of room and pockets full of expendable income. All it takes is some preparation and dedication to not just get the job done, but to do it in style.
Go into the design process of your man cave with a clear idea in mind of what you want to achieve. Is the room just for you or also for your friends? Do you want a place for quiet relaxation, or a room full of noise and activities? If every idea for your man cave looks to achieve a certain goal, your own little Feng Shui masterpiece will be complete.
DON'T: Let your man cave go to waste
It might not be sexy, but a little maintenance from time to time, preferably once or twice a month, should ensure that your man cave stays as welcoming and enjoyable as when you first walked in.
Dust down those counters and fixtures on the wall so cobwebs don't form. Get a vacuum cleaner on the floor and under the furniture to ensure crumbs don’t attract animals like mice. Make sure any wood is treated, get some coasters to avoid rings on table tops from beer or coffee, and take out any dirty dishes or clothes to keep the room smelling fresh. If you've got a dartboard, pick up a dartboard cabinet to help limit the board's wear-and-tear and the stop the darts from rusting.
All minor things, but overlooking a handful of these instructions can make your space a far less enjoyable place to be. Stay on top of it, though, and you'll be able to reap the full potential of your man cave.