Havenly Man-uals: Reclaiming The Man Cave

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY The Havenly Team

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Published on March 25, 2016

This Havenly Man-ual is brought to you in collaboration with  Frank & Oak

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Hey Dudes,

What’s up? Wait, shhhh. We’ll just tell you: Something bad. Something real bad is up. And you know what? Everyone’s in on it.

Don’t look around, they’re watching. Quick, look at this instead:

A bad man cave

Sorry, we had to do it. We had to do it because they’re onto us. If we’re lucky, they think we’re talking about DVD racks and television trays.

For the record, though, we’re definitely not talking about those things. We’re here to reclaim the man cave!

Urban Dictionary defines a man cave as a room that’s “specifically reserved for a male person to be in a solitary condition.” Aside from sounding like a spiteful prison warden’s favorite disciplinary measure, this definition paints a clear picture of the man cave as a pacifier. They think they can stick us in a room with a giant TV and we’ll be happy as a dog in a kennel. Growl if you agree.

Who can blame them – They want to keep all the room envy for themselves. But it’s time to flip the script on this man cave game, and there’s only one way to get it done: Together.

Redefining The Man Cave

Metro Man Cave

Burn the image above into your man cave memory. The next time they try to sell you on an room concept featuring an overstuffed leather sectional with matching kegerator, let your inner designer out and say, “Dang, I think – honestly – I hate it.” It’s OK, in fact, it’s good to strive for great design. You deserve it.

To successfully reclaim the man cave, we need to set some ground rules:

1. Man Caves Are Sophisticated, Fun & Functional

Man Cave Sophistication

One of the best things about having a well-designed space is the ability to invite people over without embarrassing yourself. Ultimately, it feels really good to have people over and know that they’ll be impressed with how your place feels. Because there’s something about a well-designed space that makes people think, “wow, this person’s got their life together on all sorts of levels.” So when you’re breaking out of the man cave cage, remember:

  • Take storage seriously (and stylishly)
  • Leather has evolved – a Mid-Mod leather tufted sofa is probably manlier than you are
  • Art can represent your interests and origins without being a neon bar sign

2. Man Caves Can Be Minimal

An envy-inducing mix of rustic and contemporary distilled into the perfect living room.

The bacteria living in your maroon shag carpet won’t be happy about it, but striving for a man cave with a minimalist elements can be incredibly rewarding. Trust us – If you end up having friends over at the end of the evening, they’ll be more impressed by a sparse, curated feel than they would by an overwhelming collection of junk. Consider these tips to maintain an unburdened feeling:

  • Opt for an area rug rather than wall-to-wall carpets when possible – they’ll add dimension and flow to your cave
  • Keep the consoles, hide the chords – because people love being entertained, but they hate seeing the cords behind the magic
  • Decorate with plants – they won’t judge you and they’ll warm the corners of your cave

3. Man Cave Color Is A Great Thing

Man Cave design ideas that strike the balance between function and style.

The appearance of vibrant colors doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s a poisonous snake in the vicinity. Take a few deep breaths and let the soothing effect of coordinated colors embrace you. Feels alright, doesn’t it? Strategically-chosen colors bring depth and character to a room. Plus, your cave buddies might not show it, but they’ll be envious of your well-thought-out color scheme. To keep the cave stylish:

  • Select colors that contrast but don’t compete
  • Don’t go overboard with color – pick a few accents and let them shine
  • Keep your clothes out of the picture – a clean and organized closet will keep your space habitable

Truth Time

The journey from simple to suave can take time. It requires us to incorporate design into our lives in meaningful ways – and that ain’t always easy! However, if we keep our mission simple, we’ll get there. So just like our man cave comrades at Frank & Oak, we’re embracing our mission to help a generation of men live well.