Man Cave Ideas
The man cave, our Fortress of Solitude. A place to escape, watch the game, have a beer in peace or do whatever you want. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where the concept of a man cave was born, Dads have been hanging out in garages tinkering on cars, drinking beer, and shooting the breeze for years, but the modern man’s desire for a place to call his own has evolved into less of a work zone and more of a chill zone.
In this article, we take a break from fantasy football to feature and create a new piece for our random guy stuff category to showcase some Man Cave Ideas to help get the juices following to design your Man Cave hopefully someday soon.
One of my biggest inspirations for a quality man cave came from old episodes of the 1990’s sitcom “Home Improvement” starring Tim Allen. Specifically, they had segments where they created “The Man’s Bathroom” which was 100% stainless steel and featured a La-Z-Bowl reclining toilet. They also created “The Man’s Bedroom” which was really a solid layout for what could be a man cave. This was no lace in your face honey’s hideaway. It was a place where you felt just as comfortable as if you were at your favorite neighborhood pub. The flooring was made of AstroTurf and had the 50-yard line painted on it. Channel your inner Tool Man when it comes to creating your own unique cave.
Classic: Home Improvement “The Man’s Bedroom”
It can be a bit daunting to take on the planning of constructing the perfect man cave. If you have just moved into a new space and have the perfect room for it or have finally decided you are just going to turn your garage or basement into the coolest place to hang out, I got you covered. We are going to go over some of the best and most creative man cave ideas we have come across to make your man cave stand out and debate some of the options you will have along the way.
Man Cave Ideas: Pick a Theme
It’s always good to keep a solid theme in mind to make a space that seems well thought out and organized. This is what separates a quality man cave from a dingy dorm room. Here are some high-quality themes to consider:
Man Cave Ideas: Sports Theme
This is one of the most popular themes you will find out there as a man cave is a great spot to catch a game without the distractions of home life. There are great ways to tie sports design and memorabilia into your man cave.
One of the biggest decisions you will have to make when planning out a sports-themed man cave is the option of getting one huge projector screen or multiple flat-screen TVs. This really comes down to personal preference and how much of a sports nut you are. If you’re the type of guy who wants to catch multiple college football games on Saturdays, multiple NFL games on Sundays, or even get a solid mix of a combination of sports to follow all at the same time, then multiple TVs is probably a better option. You have to take into consideration the trouble you’re going to have to go through to get all the TVs set up, wired, and get all your wires hidden properly as well with multiple TVs. Having more TVs also will usually mean that you are going to have to compromise on the size of each individual screen.
If you are cool with catching NFL Red Zone on Sundays, have just one particular team you follow closely, and if you are also a big movie buff, then you will probably want to go the route of installing a projector. The price has become a lot more affordable for projectors over the years and the picture quality has gotten much better as well. If you decide you want to share your space with the family on occasion and have your man cave double as a family movie room as well, then the projector is a no brainer. Some other small things to consider if you go the route of more of a theater atmosphere are reclining couches with cup holders and a legit popcorn maker to set up by the bar.
If you’re a baller, you can just choose both multiple TVs and a projector though like these guys who also smartly put their seating on a rotating platform so that you will always have to perfect seat:
Aside from the TV ideas, here are a few other design elements to consider for sports-themed man caves:
If your cave is in a basement setting, this is an awesome way to utilize that area under your stairs. If you don’t have a bunch of game-quality autographed helmets laying around, you can always buy them online or if you are strapped for cash you can feature whatever collection you may already have in this area.
The sports bar look is also a great way to go for the overall theme. Including realistic artificial turf with painted lines is an excellent way to set the tone and well as tying in all your classic sports pub games like a pool table, foosball, air hockey, and darts.
Speaking of darts, there are a few ways you can go with just the design and layout of your dartboard.
If you want to get creative and add a little class to your man cave, utilizing wine corks and wooden crates is one idea. The corks are a great way to recycle. The crates can be harder to come by. You can buy them second hand but if you just go into some of your local liquor stores and wine shops you can usually ask someone to set some aside for you and they will give them to you. Even Costco can do this if you catch a stocker on a good day.
Man Cave Sports Themed Ideas
Man Cave Ideas: Car Theme
Car themes almost seem to be a thing of the past with fewer people capable of being at-home mechanics these days. Cars are so reliant on electronics and computers now that it has taken the hobby out of hanging out at home and working on your car. There are still plenty of classics out on the road though and an automotive theme gives an excellent vintage touch to your man cave. It’s also an easy thing to mix in with other themes.
There are plenty of clever ways out there to tie in old car parts to your furniture or overall design of your man cave.
Mounting the front of an old favorite car or truck can easily become the centerpiece of your bar or man cave. This is definitely a conversation starter and something you can pick up at an old pick and pull or junkyard.
These guys nailed the automotive theme by turning pieces of classic cars into furniture. There are a lot of ideas out there for turning cars into couches, tables, and even using an old truck bed as a bar top that adds a killer element to your man cave. The use of an old jukebox also helps tie in the vintage diner/pub feel. A jukebox is also a great way to show off your vinyl collection if you have one.
Man Cave Ideas: Beer/Whiskey Theme
One of the key elements of any quality man cave is the beer or whiskey theme. This is also something that intertwines with sports and car themes as well. The straight beer theme can give you that hipster, craft beer vibe if that is something you’re going for while the whiskey theme can help you lean a little more vintage and classy. If you go with the whiskey theme then tying in elements of cigar culture is an obvious pairing as well. Here are some of the cooler ideas I could find for adding that beer or whiskey flair to your cave.
This is an absolute must in my opinion if you have a bathroom in your man cave. Turn an old keg into a urinal to add a gastropub vibe to the restroom.
Utilizing old beer caps is a creative and green way to create a one of a kind bar top for your man cave. This is also a good idea if you’re looking for a way to cover a boring coffee table. As for whiskey themes, one of the best components to utilize for this is the staves of old barrels. There are countless ideas out there for this, but here are a few that caught my eye:
As a musician, I absolutely love this idea. Turning an old stave of a whiskey or wine barrel really into a wall-mounted guitar holder is a million times cooler than the basic guitar holder you will buy from a place like Guitar Center. You can actually purchase these for only around $50 from an independent, family-owned company in the U.S. called Holtz Leather Co. They have tons of products and some utilizing whiskey barrel pieces that will set off any man cave.
Using the old staves to create an accent wall is another classic way to add texture and a vintage feel to your man cave. There are also great ideas out there to use these staves as the front of a bar top.
Man Cave Ideas: Music Theme
One of my favorite themes of all is the movie and music theme. As a former touring musician, music will always have a place in my heart, and bringing that out in a man cave is an absolute must for those who are inclined. Using your man cave as a jam space is a great way to turn it into a multi-purpose room that supports your creativity while giving you a place to relax. A quality music themed man cave would not be complete without a full set of instruments. We’re talking a drum kit, guitar rig, and yes, even a bass rig. The goal with this is to find that happy medium between a recording studio and a man cave. Here are some cool ideas I came across while looking for inspiration for a music-themed cave.
This is a perfect example of a classy yet relaxing music-themed man cave. This is actually a little bit less of a cave and more of a living room set, but utilizing the large picture frames as a way to display your instruments and casually placing amps next to comfortable seating creates a less formal jam space.
Man Cave Ideas: Arcade Theme
There is a little gamer in all of us and the man cave is the best place to let that gamer out. We’re not just talking about Xbox here either, we are talking full-blown arcade games. No man cave is complete without at least one vintage arcade game like Galaga or a pinball machine at the least. There are lots of vintage machines you can pick up second hand and they create an entertaining aspect to your cave as well as add a focal point to the room as well.
Man Cave Ideas: Bar/Beverage Theme
One of the focal points to a lively man cave is the bar. The best type of bar really is a matter of preference as well like most things in your man cave. You need to make it yours. But one of the biggest debates will always come down to, do you offer a full wet bar, do you go with the kegerator and taps, or do you just have a fully stocked beer fridge?
I actually have a lot of experience in this department as a former bartender. I also helped open a successful craft brewery as well so I have seen both sides of it. My best advice is unless you are comfortable with the ins and outs of assembling and cleaning a beer tap system properly, don’t get one. Beer lines need to be cleaned out on a weekly basis and purists in the industry will recommend you even replace your beer lines frequently to make sure you are not getting any off-flavors in your brew. This is especially important if you like to rotate between beers and ciders or have sour beers on tap. Ciders can stain your beer lines and if you go from a cider to an IPA, you will most likely be tasting notes of that cider in your IPA for as long as it is hooked up. Most smart pubs will always have a dedicated line for ciders for that reason.
My best recommendation for a beverage offering is absolutely a combination of a beer fridge and a full wet bar. The great thing about this is you get the combination of both to satisfy all tastes. Unless you’re hosting a party or something, a keg of a hoppy beer for just at home drinking isn’t really a good idea anyway. Hoppy beers are meant to be drank fresh and best within two weeks after production really before they start changing in flavor profile. The best way to get quality hoppy beers for your man cave is to go with a growler option and get them filled before a hangout or go with cans of hoppy beers.
You can also slowly stock up a wet bar over time to increase your offerings and creativity with cocktails. You will want to start with the basic well spirits at first (vodka, rum, gin, tequila, whiskey, triple sec) which will basically make you the majority of all drinks anyone will want. For mixing, you don’t have to get crazy with expensive liquors. Your basic call brand labels are fine with the exception of tequila. You always want to make sure your tequila is made with 100% agave. There’s some gross stuff out there that is basically malt beverage mixed with trace amounts of agave that people will call tequila.
Once you get your basics, you can start focusing on some higher-end impressive spirits to break out for your friends you actually like or after a really long day. These are the types of spirits you will really want on display as well.
When it comes to bar layouts, it really depends on the amount of space you have to work with and how much space in your man cave you want to dedicate to the actual footprint of a bar.
A corner bar with the “L” shape is probably my favorite layout. This is easy to do in a corner of the room if you are working with a smaller space. The shape of it though gives you the feel of a legitimate bar worthy of entertaining guests but still comfortable enough to just hang out at as well. This gives you ample space on your back bar for a large spirit offering of you can combine liquors and odds and ends as eclectic design to help fill space. If you’re looking for a more affordable way to do this, you can use pallets and metal siding to give a rustic-yet sturdy bar set up.
There are so many directions you can go with a man cave and it all really depends on the man himself as far as the best way to achieve it. You want this to be an expression of yourself. Your passions, hobbies, and tastes. The budget you have available to work with will also largely depend on the final outcome of your space. The best man caves I have seen have always been the product of evolution, they are always changing and adding and making the place more and more their own. This is something to keep in mind when building yours as well. Get what you need to start and work your way up from there. Don’t sacrifice comfort when it comes to your seating and don’t be afraid to slowly build up your wet bar as opposed to dropping a ton of cash on all spirits at once.
Cheers to all and good luck in creating your perfect room! If you have any additional Man Cave Ideas you’d like to share, please comment below.
John Ferguson is an avid fantasy football fanatic with 10+ years of experience in competitive leagues and DFS. Ferguson specializes in draft strategies, trade negotiations (Buy Low/Sell High), DFS value picks, and sports betting amongst other parts of football analysis. He follows the Oakland Athletics closely as a diehard fan and enjoys spending quality time with his beautiful wife and three children. A native of Monterey, California, Ferguson now calls Quintana Roo, Mexico home.