4 Tips for Building a Man Cave

Written by Haley Burres
Updated August 19, 2013
basement man cave with dark lighting, wood panels, alcohol ads and bar stools.
A basement man cave with dark lighting, wood panels, old posters, ads and bar stools. (Photo by Jessica Anderson)

As the phrase "man cave" infiltrates our culture, design and real estate, should you convert that unused space into one?

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Everyone is talking about man caves. Realtors, girlfriends, wives and men of all ages are talking about what it means to have one and how to carve out a sacred space for all things manliness.

The subject of man caves is a complex one, and it can make a woman think her man wants to get away from the family or needs somewhere to relive bachelor days full of beer, ugly furniture and football games. However, there's a lot more to a man cave than a keg and comfy couch.

1. Pick your cave.

Creating the perfect man cave can be fun and challenging. First, you'll need to pick a space. Whether it's the basement, the garage or a spare room, the man cave cannot double as a guest room. Once the space has been declared a man cave, the decorating can begin. Be sure the man is the driving force and decision maker on all decorating, all while focusing on your budget and spacial needs.

2. Decorate your cave.

If you need assistance with decorating, consider hiring an interior designer. A designer can help you add personal touches — like a framed football jersey on the wall or a chess board on the shelf — that are especially important to the man in the home. Remember, too, that a man cave doesn't always have to be sports oriented. If your man loves playing music, consider turning the garage into a recording studio or practice space. An artist might want an art studio with a quiet space for him to paint and create. Communicate your preferences to your designer to find decor elements that suit his style.

Related: 6 essential elements to include in your man cave

3. Stay on budget.

Establish your budget in advance and stick to it. If you go way over budget, you might end up resenting the man cave. Again, honest communication with your designer is critical, especially when it comes to budget.

4. Don't go overboard.

Keeping your lifestyle and home needs in mind is also a crucial step in decorating. If you have small children, placing a recording studio next to the toddler's bedroom might not be the best situation for afternoon napping. Likewise, putting a woodworking shop next to the kitchen might drive everyone crazy.

More: Find your sanctuary with a man cave (or mom cave)

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