How to Make Your Man Cave Awesome
The man cave is a sacred haven, a convent where sports and fart jokes are religion. Your man cave is where you go for sanctuary. Its your highly customized, personalized and actualized escape from all societal woes that epitomizes your manhood. So knowing that this is the one and only physical place in your life that is actually "yours" to the fullest extent possible (let's face it, you can't even do what you want to your car I'm sure...), what are you doing to make your man cave the most awesome place in the world?
There are literally thousands of ways you can make your man cave one for the ages - and more importantly, one that is so personal to you it becomes as essential as your right hand. Here are some key elements that shouldn't be overlooked when creating your man cave:
1. I suggest one item that takes up a considerable amount of space
That could be something like a pool table (I personally like one that is branded with my favorite sports team), a poker table (poker is essential in the man cave!), a pinball machine (preferably vintage), a foosball table or an air hockey table.
Quality time with the boys is an important way of keeping your general sanity. Games and activities like these are timeless, and, from my own experience, when a group of guys get together at a poker table or one of the other forums, memories are made.
2. Wall paraphernalia
In my own world, this would consist of the following:
- awesome vintage license plates
- sports memorabilia for my favorite sports and teams (jerseys, autographed pictures, banners, etc.)
- a bottle opener
- an ode to my favorite TV shows
- actual sporting gear (i.e. fishing rods, guns, hockey sticks, etc.)
- pictures of my favorite cars, both current and past
- dartboard (possibly magnetic, depending on how heavy your boys drink and how fragile the items next to it are!)
The walls of your man cave should be your canvas. You know you can't hang your signed, framed CC Sabathia photo or your awesome samurai swords in your bedroom, so make sure you use your given forum wisely. One suggestion I do have: Men are generally considered slobs. Your man cave should not be sloppy. It will be praised higher and get more use if your walls are done in an organized fashion. Google "man cave images" and you'll see that the best of the best are meticulously laid out and very organized.
3. A GIANT TV
(Girl should not be included!)
The right viewing portal is absolutely essential to any and every man cave. If you don't have one, I'm not sure you can call it a man cave.
Some suggestions are either using an over-sized TV (don't go cheap here, get one with a fantastic picture), or using several TVs. The solution depends on the cable set up you have or are willing to splurge on. If you're really a die-hard football fan, your man cave might be dedicated to showing every game simultaneously on Sundays. For those of us less fortunate, well, thank you for NFL RedZone! It is quite possibly the BEST thing that ever happened to sports!
Another route that works well is opting for a projector in the man cave. There are positives and drawbacks to both. What's great about a projector is it usually hides away in the ceiling when not in use. This buys you more real estate on the wall for some awesome decor. However, if you do elect for the projector you could jeopardize picture quality. I suggest doing the proper research either way.
4. A kick-ass sound system
Every TV, and every man cave in fact, needs to have a sound system that kills. Not just good speakers, but complete surround sound with clean, crisp output and throat-closing bass. It will enhance your movie and sports experience to the fullest and make every moment spent in your man cave unrivaled. My suggestion: don't live in the 90's. The 90's were all about these huge speakers sitting there right in front of your face. All of that's out. Today its about minimizing the space occupied by the actual speaker while maximizing the decibels and quality of the sound. "Do more with less" should be your motto when it comes to sound. Bose and Samsung are always on the cutting edge of great sound, I suggest starting there with your research.
5. Comfortable chairs and/or couch
Plenty of your man cave hours will be spent planted in a quasi-comatosed position, usually hypnotized by sports or movies on your unnecessarily large screen (but completely necessary, of course). To ensure maximum enjoyment within the confines of your man cave, its wise and highly suggested to invest in some comfort. Recliners are a great option, and in your couch selection I recommend picking something that also has recliners. Nothing like kicking your feet up and enjoying life!
Another component to your seating selection could be the features included in your seats. These days your options are plentiful. You can grab couches and chairs with built-in sound systems, drink holders, massage capabilities and electronic reclining capabilities with multiple motions so just when you start to feel a bit of discomfort, you can move the head rest or lumbar support to readjust. A great place to start your hunt is this page on themancave.com - awesome selections!
For those opting to go with non-reclining seating, I suggest a good ottoman or at the very least a table close by that can double as somewhere to prop the old dogs up on. The man cave should live and breathe comfort as well as functionality.
6. Workout equipment
I'm not proposing you turn the man cave into a full gym (unless of course that is what suits you). But knowing that your haven is a place to go when you need asylum or, perhaps more importantly, need to blow off steam, weights are a great way to release the beast.
A set of good, adjustable dumbbells will probably do the trick for most. A punching bag is also a great idea; I prefer this to a speedbag for the purpose of a man cave. It's more, well, functional, in stressful situations.
A bench press is a good idea, especially some sort of multi-function full body machine. However, given that space is usually limited in the man cave, it could occupy too much real estate. You've already got a poker table, right? If not, see #1...
7. Food & Beverages
Generally the time you spend in your cave comes in clumps of hours. If you're anything like me, that means you're going to need to be fed and hydrated often. If you're hooked up right, perhaps a mini-fridge is a good solution to that. It helps you to remain captive of your man cave for longer periods of time while avoiding as much contact with the outside world as possible. If your space allows for it, go for the full monte - a full-size fridge/freezer combo. You can even throw a microwave on top of it for quick snacks. If you do elect for the freezer, you'll likely have meat in it, so you should check out these indoor grills. Again, all the amenities right on hand so you never have to leave your man cave!
Now, inherently as men we know what to stock in our man cave. So here are some things you should not stock in your fridge: wine (you're not entertaining women!), lime juice, cordial liquors (i.e. ouzo, dessert wines, etc.), Jack Daniels (you should have bottles of the good shit on hand!), cheese and crackers (again, you're not entertaining women!), fruit juices (do I have to explain this?), ice cream (in fact, no woman comfort food allowed whatsoever!)...
8. Bathroom Access
When there is food close by, there should be a place to release it as well! Strategically, if possible, a bathroom should be available and accessible in a manner that you can reach it without contacting the physical world. If you're lucky enough to have an exclusive bathroom that is only reachable via your man cave, even better. This also gives you more real estate to tailor to your liking.
9. Video games and/or computer
I put this last because I believe its a good, yet non-essential addition to a man cave. Video games can be great in a group setting, but they can also promote isolation - its a double-edge sword so you'll have to make that decision in accordance with your crew. What I might suggest is that, rather than the latest PS4 or XBox One, go for something vintage. An old school Nintendo with Duck Hunt, or even Intellivision. How awesome would it be to relive the old days!
However you decide to tailor your man cave, at the end of the day I hope that it fulfills its main purpose, which is to be your escape! Enjoy!