By Isabella Caprario
Whether you call it a sportsman cave, a garage man cave, an outdoorsman cave, or any other variation on the man cave idea, space where guys can hang out, watch sports, maybe play some pool, have a few drinks, and just kick back and relax is a great addition to any home.
Step 1: Plan Your Man Cave
The first step to get started building out your best man cave is to think about what inspires you. If you’re not sure, go online to look for inspiration and clever man cave ideas.
You’ll also want to figure out where it can go: garage man caves are popular, as are basement man caves. But you can also create a man cave office or make use of a room for a little man cave. The space you have will determine the best layout but most of the main dos and don’ts of and common mistakes when creating a man cave will apply to whatever kind of space you have to work with:
- DO think about how you’ll use the space. That may help determine your layout, furniture choices, and even your theme.
- DO consider hiring a pro to help with a bigger man cave conversion in garages and basements.
- DO try to keep your man cave away from bedrooms to prevent noise and sleep disturbances.
- DO think about how your man cave can be used by the rest of the family for movie nights, board games, etc.
- DON’T try to make a man cave out of a corner of a room used for another purpose, if possible. For example, a man cave garage that’s also still used for car, tool, and gardening equipment storage won’t be a very fun place to hang out in.
- DON’T think you need to spend a lot of money on your man cave if you’re on a tight budget. As long as you have space, you can repurpose furniture and accessories already in your house to create the basics of a great man cave, and build on it slowly as your time and budget allow.
One of the funniest parts about planning a man cave is choosing a theme. Popular man cave themes are rustic, garage-style, bar or tavern-style, old-time, and modern. You’re limited only by your imagination when it comes to choosing a theme for your man cave, so have fun with it!
Even if your space has challenges, there are some helpful tips and ideas to help make the most out of your man cave space:
- Small man cave ideas: just because your man cave is small doesn’t mean it can’t be a relaxing place to hang out. Take a less-is-more approach and choose only the focal points that matter most and will actually fit in the room. Select furniture that’s comfortable while still staying on the small side (think chairs instead of sofas, for example). Use light paint colors to make the room appear bigger, mount your TV on the wall, and use overhead lighting rather than floor and table lamps to save space.
- Garage man cave ideas and garage bar ideas: Garages are popular spaces to convert into man caves. There are some specific questions with a garage conversion you’ll need to answer, however. Is the garage weatherproof? Does it need insulation, heating, or air conditioning? Does the garage already have power? What about flooring? Do you want to install a bar or bathroom, and if so, is plumbing and water available? Do you need to get a permit for anything related to your garage conversion?
- Man cave ideas for basements and rustic basement ideas: Basements can also make an ideal place to create a place to escape. Like garages, however, basement man cave ideas will depend largely on the space. Is the basement waterproofed? Do you need to add insulation, heating, cooling, or flooring? Is there enough headroom to stand comfortably? What about emergency exits, windows, and other legally-required features? When in doubt, be sure to consult with a pro if you’re not sure about what you need to turn your basement into a killer man cave.
Step 2: Choose Your Man Cave Features
Once you’ve decided on the placement, layout, and theme of your man cave, you can start thinking about what to include, the best furniture, best accessories, best features, and best materials to use. No matter your budget, you can still create the man cave of your dreams:
Next, figure out what you want to include in your man cave. Are you a gamer? A big-screen TV, comfy seating, gaming systems, and the right lighting and sound system is a must. You could even go all out with some standalone man cave arcade games. Love to entertain the guys? If you have space and the budget, why not include a bar? (Do a web search for man cave bar ideas to get inspired.) If there’s no space for a bar, you could instead get a small man cave refrigerator. Or if you love to work out, why not include a weight bench and other workout equipment in the space?
Just try not to cram everything in, even if you have space and the budget for it. There’s no point in having a pool table or a ping pong table if you’ll never use them. Think about what’s important to you, how you want to use your space and choose the focal points that matter most to you.
The best man cave furniture
It’s important to select furniture that suits your space and is comfortable and welcoming. It should also be plentiful enough to allow for guests and parties. Different types of seating such as sofas, overstuffed man cave chairs and recliners, bar stools, and table seating will offer versatility to the space that you can use for parties, watching the big game, playing video games, family board game night, or just kicking back with a beer.
The best man cave accessories
Man cave art: Art is a great opportunity to show off your personality and include a little humor and playfulness with the room decor. For example, some man caves feature literal caveman drawings as a fun play on words.
Man cave lighting: the right lighting can go a long way in creating the right ambience in a room. Make sure you have proper lighting for your cave, such as a hanging light over a pool table, ambient lighting for gaming, dimmable lights for watching TV and movies, and spotlights for art.
Man cave signs: a man cave sign, such as something outlining your man cave rules is a fun touch to add a little personal touch to your space.
Man cave wall decorations: decorations are an easy way to show off your theme and your personal interests and hobbies.
Man cave bar ideas and accessories: many man caves will feature some kind of bar or beverage station. You can go rustic or modern; simple or more elaborate: try to find barstools, glasses, and other bar accessories to match your theme to tie the bar area in with the rest of the room.
Step 3: Build It Out
Once everything is planned out and you’ve done your research, the next step is to build out your man cave. It doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated: there are a lot of DIY man cave ideas on the web that offer tips, tricks, and advice for building out a great space. But if your plans require permits, moving walls, or other bigger construction or remodeling, consider hiring a pro to do the work for you.
One Last Step: Enjoy Your New Space!
This is the most important part of the entire process. If you followed the process, you’re more likely to end up with space you’ll enjoy for years to come. A great man cave will be a place where you can relax with friends, enjoy the game, and have a whole lot of fun.