Truth be told, when we decide to cohabit, we end up spending most of the rest of our lives in a shared space, but there are times when the need for a separate space to call our own, arises for men, women and all partners.
Now they don’t have to go far to get some personal space. Give them a place to call their own. A members-only clubhouse that feels like home that the husband, boyfriend, partner, significant other can escape to for some alone time, any time they need a break from that weekend to-do list and other stuff called “life”.
Be it a shared space in a garage or an entire basement floor or a corner of the home office or a spare bedroom, the man cave has become a trend that is here to stay. If planned and executed properly it can add to a home’s value.
First things first – Draw up a list of the features that you will want in your man chamber – in order of priority.
- Functionality of the space – Plan what activities, other than watching TV (perhaps a no-brainer) will take place here. How often do you plan to entertain in your man cave? What will be the size of the group gathered here at any given time. Small weekend hangouts or large Superbowl parties? Take into consideration that guests will need access to drinks, snacks, proximity to a bathroom etc.,
- The basics – Plan a Color Scheme, Style and Scale. Get the basics right the first time around as mistakes can be costly! Stick to one or two main colors in the same or a contrasting color family and add pops of color in the same tone and hue – in other words do
not mix warm colors with cool tones or jewel tones with pastels. A clash of warm and cool tones or an uncoordinated mix of styles and shapes will not allow the mind to calm down and chill out effectively.
Interior colors that do not make you feel relaxed or a mish mash of irregularly sized furniture – such as a sofa that is too big for the coffee table or a rug that is too small, objects that don’t mix well – are all going to adversely affect your enjoyment of the space.
- Floor Plan – Measure the room. Taking accurate measurements of the room is crucial in deciding how big a sofa will fit or how far away from the television your guests may be seated for a viewing experience that is not marred by eye strain. This step is crucial.
If I had a dime for every time a client came to me AFTER buying the biggest, best piece of Sofa they could lay their eyes on at the fancy retail store only to discover that the Sofa does not fit at all….. well, you get the picture. This step absolutely needs to happen before you jump in the car to go shopping for furniture and a big screen TV – and fall in love with that sectional couch that looks perfect in the showroom. Remember….head before heart!!
- Furniture layout – After you get measurements of the room you must figure out things like where the sofa goes or where the telly will be installed and what kind of table to purchase for putting beverages, snacks and refreshments at arms length. It is essential to draw out a furniture layout however rudimentary – drawn on a napkin or created using a dedicated home design software.
This allows you to see if you have a clear traffic pathway to enter and exit the room without bumping into furniture and if you and your guests have enough space to move around the room easily. The rule of thumb is – any furniture items should be at least 3 ft away from a doorway. Planning a layout is the design equivalent of measure twice cut once. No shortcuts!
- The aesthetics – Style your space with your man in mind. When choosing the decor, don’t forget to have fun, but pare it down to a single dominant style, especially if it is a small room. If you love something you saw in a magazine or a film set, adapt it to your guy’s taste, improvise. Good taste is always in style, whether you’re going for a Mid Century Modern man’s den or a European loft style lair or an Industrial style retreat or a playfully whimsical Art Deco hide-out.
The preceding four steps will collectively contribute to the aesthetics of a space, which in turn defines the comfort level, the way you feel – relaxed or anxious and stressed out – when you step in the room. When decorating a room – and a man cave is no exception – aesthetics affect our mood and emotional well-being, whether we care for them or not.
Now that you’ve followed these five foolproof steps let your ideas take wings, have fun choosing the various design elements – be it funky paint colors, bold black and white patterned wallpaper or quaint vintage posters in rustic wood frames. Make sure to choose upholstery and rugs that will add texture to create interest. Pick out accessories and artwork that speak to his passions and hobbies.
You’re on your way to creating a really cool man cave – one that reminds us why we love men….!