Man cave, definition:
a room or other part of a home used by a man as a place to relax and pursue hobbies away from the rest of the family.
Simply put, a man cave is: A space for a man and his hobbies… That’s got to be the broadest definition of any room, ever. This article could go anywhere. What if a man’s hobby is Netball? Sky-diving? Beetle fighting…?
To keep us on track, we’re going to hit up stereotypes – and outdated stereotypes at that. In fact, the term ‘Man Cave’ is probably outdated. A noughties invention during a global masculinity crisis, perhaps?
Here we run through seven types of Man Cave – less style guide, more ignition of creativity.
- The Muscle Factory – endorphin and protein addicts
- The Film Buff – cinematic enthusiasts
- The Workaholic – zen-like concentration for work hobbyists
- The Gamer – ESports over the Olympics
- The Bookworm – novel escapists
- The Alcoholic – whiskey-infused beer lovers
- The Albert Road – Home’s Got Talent musicians
1. The Muscle Factory
Calling all endorphin addicts and protein powder conformists. Men’s Health is your Bible, the gym is your Church, and Ross Edgely is your God. You salivate over Huel – eating is cheating – and skipping leg day is blasphemy. Welcome to the Muscle Factory, a man cave where burning off stress and making gains is the Garden of Eden.
The Muscle Factory isn’t a big space, but its floor to ceiling walled mirror, that sits at one end of the room, makes up for it. A squat rack and bench press occupy the other end – with plenty of ventilation from the street-facing bay windows. The rubber padded floor helps reduce free weight noise pollution – and is sweat resistant. A cycling turbo sits in the middle of the room for laps of the Swiss Alps in Watopia. And a yoga mat lies parallel ready for hamstring stretches and core burns.
Watch live Tour De France on the small flat screen TV, or drown out the kids with hardcore techno blasting from the built-in sound system. This is the ultimate home gym workout room. And a perfect excuse to hide from the family for an hour or so.
2. The Film Buff
For all the Mark Kermode wannabes and film-buffs, a cinema room cum man cave is a guaranteed cinematic masterpiece. Return to the Golden-era of Hollywood from the comforts of your basement(?). A cinema room will put the Block back into Buster. An immersive experience that traverses time and universes.
A projector, an over sized sink-into U-shaped sofa, dimmer ceiling lights and an immersive surround system. Frame vintage posters of your favourite films, soundproof the walls in a darker shade of grey.
A basement renovation project, that’ll be a marvel to your mates.
3. The Workaholic
Are you a Jordan Belfort of the world? A man whose work is everything. If that rings true, then building a workspace man cave with the aim of pursuing a pure, uninterrupted working utopia, is paramount. The definition of work bliss.
You need a room with unbeatable WiFi download speeds, a desk big enough to house more screens than the Galactica, and a desk chair with unparalleled geometry. Back pain is a thing of the past. Your most idolised and influential businessmen; Gates, Zukerberg, Musk, Trump, create a framed gallery wall. The office stinks of success – osmosis, it’s a thing – surround yourself with those you aspire to be and one day you’ll join them on the podium.
A selection of small house plants are scattered on the desk and in the corner of the room, near the window. Nature helps you connect with the outside, a natural relaxant. It’ll also add a blast of colour to an otherwise minimalist room; off-whites, light greys, teal and forest greens.
A treadmill with a standing desk sits at the far end of the room. You’re aware of the negative impact long hours at a desk can have on your physical and mental health. This set up means you can attain that 10,000 step count without missing an email.
Tip: You’ll spend eight hours a day bashing a keyword, so make the room work. Environment impacts productivity. Investing in the right type of office man cave is an investment into your career goals.
4. The Gamer
Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Halo, Splinter Cell, you name you’ve completed it. Your enthusiasm for gaming is unrivalled. Exercise is limited to ESports. Your relationship with daylight is a constant battle. Natural light affects screen time and your ability to ‘game’. The blinds are blackout.
Nowadays gaming lives in the cloud, yet an entire wall is dedicated to the pre-digitised age. Hundreds of discs line a shelving unit. An antique collection of your most-prized possessions. Gaming requires fibre-optic download speeds; the WiFi router has its own special corner in the room.
This gaming man cave consists of two stations:
1) A desk occupied by three screens, a keyboard and mouse that looks like the cockpit of an aeroplane. And a professional gaming chair that has more specifications than a Macbook.
2) A 60” TV screen hangs from the wall, linked to an Xbox and Playstation. Bean bags dot the carpeted floor, where a 3 seater sofa bed (the man cave doubles up as spare room for guests) hugs the wall opposite. The TV is linked to a surround sound system built into the ceiling. The ultimate immersive experience.
5. The Bookworm
For the Bookworm, a library man cave is the pinnacle of success. A space closed off from the world. An odyssey for solitary confinement.
An oriental rug (hand sewn in the depths of Persia) sits in the middle of the room, creating a central focus. The rug is overlooked by a charcoal velvet armchair and a leather-clad Chesterfield sofa. Winston Churchill quotes are framed and hung on the one empty wall. Books coordinated alphabetically by author, only separated by fiction and nonfiction, populate a wooden two-walled bookcase. A decorative, but otherwise useless, bookcase ladder takes you back to childhood daydreams of Indiana Jones escapades. The ladder adds an ora of grandeur to the interior.
A mushroom cloud of Tar pollutes the light-deficit oasis. As you relive the adventures of Tom Sawyer, ash from your cigar falls voluntarily into the glass tray sat on the antique coffee table. An orange glow from a brass Art Deco table lamp creates an inviting, yet atmospherically claustrophobic aroma. It’s a welcomed claustrophobia. Pure escapism from the family madness that lies beyond your library’s forest green door.
Yes, you are Mark Twain. At least, momentarily, until you return to the reality behind the green door.
6. The Alcoholic
We say ‘alcoholic’ with utmost affection. Every brotherhood has one. A man who likes his whiskey, port or craft IPAs is not to be frowned upon. If you choose to dabble in a little beverage tasting from time-to- time, who’s to judge?
A sign swings over the bar entrance: ‘No women allowed’. But that’s not strictly true, is it? Just bravado. A pub-style bench encourages friends of the watering hole to instigate jovial chatter whilst they wait for the landlord to quench their thirst.
A selection of local ales and IPAs are on draught. Behind the counter, a mirrored wall is doused in a handful of spirit bottles. A juke box sits in the corner playing the best of Brit-pop – a nostalgic soundtrack that romanticises your youth.
Placed under a hanging billiard lamp, a pool table takes up most of the room. Like moths to a flame, the visitors flock to the table, ready to engage in their fortnightly pool tournament. A dart board hangs at one end of the room – interim entertainment for those who wait for their cue.
The introvert of the group watches from afar. Sat in a leather armchair next to a roaring fire, he takes a drag on his cigarette and has a sip of his Jack Daniels. He’s planning his escape route.
7. The Albert Road
For the virtuosos who didn’t quite make it. Albert Road is your music man cave. A musician's wet dream. A sound-proof, ear bleeding, experimental musical oasis that celebrates everything from Jazz to Classical, Heavy Metal to Indie, Punk to Trance.
Instruments line the cave’s walls, placed delicately on stands. Electric, bass and acoustic guitars, a saxophone, a keyboard, maybe a harp. Signed records of your favourite artists – eBay purchases that equate to a small mortgage – hang on the walls, each frame has its own overhanging lamp. You're a music fanatic that knows no bounds.The room is immaculately minimalist; clean room, clear mind and all that. The pride and care taken upon on your instruments is unwilted; the definition of: music to my ears.
The music cave is a home recording studio. Yet its orchestrated sounds are for your ears only, a solitary studio for relaxant ecstasy.
A man cave is not about being a man, it’s a reflection of you, your interests, your hobbies. Make it a space for pure innocent enjoyment. A place to forget, escape, unwind, or to funnel hyper focused concentration. Just make sure its interior design reflects its purpose.