The man cave is the idyllic go-to for guys that need that buffer between the real world and their “man world”; but the perfect cave is more than just a separate room or a basement. As they say: “It’s what’s inside that counts!”
If you’re building your own man escape and need inspiration as to what is essential in making the perfect man cave, consider adding these ten items.
Whether you’re looking to watch the big game or are being summoned by your Call of Duty clan, you’re not going to want to have to strain your eyes on a smaller television. You’ll want something that’s vibrant and large.
Not only is a pristine and crisp picture important to the viewing experience, it’s something that will make the other neighborhood men envious. Consider the size of your space before jumping into a larger size, however. A 90” TV in a tight-quartered man cave can be a lot like sitting in the front row of the movie theater.
There are so many options when it comes to 4K televisions, but this isn’t something to skimp on. The Sony XBR-A1E and the LG OLEDC7P are on the higher end of the price spectrum, but with them you get unmatched quality.
So, you have a giant television, what’s your plan when it comes to seating arrangements? Is it going to be one big blanket party on your carpeted floor? It’s doubtful that many of your friends will go for that and you will just be robbing yourself of the entire experience of having a cave of your own.
Man cave seating should be theater style (if space permits), leather, and plush. A large sectional couch works too, so long as there is additional separate seating so not everyone is crowded on one piece of furniture.
HT Design and Lane Omega have fine selections of rowed seating for that theater feel but individual recliners work well, too. Another alternative, though it should be paired with other options, is bar stool seating, should you have a counter top to line them up at.
A television is only half the battle in turning your man cave into a center for entertainment. The speakers built in to most televisions produce the same quality sound. It’s fine enough when you’re catching up on Law and Order with the misses, but when it’s time for Rey to take on Kylo Ren in the snowy forest, nothing short of surround sound will suffice.
A good surround sound system will fill your cave with clear audio. The best surround sound systems will pull you into what’s on your screen. If explosions aren’t shaking your walls, then your cave just isn’t “manly” enough.
Some of the best surround sound systems to consider are Onkyo’s SKS-HT540 7.1 Channel Home Theater Speaker System, Definitive Technology Pro Cinema 800, and Logitech Z906 Surround Sound Speaker System.
Whether you’re a gamer or not, Sony’s PlayStation Pro and Microsoft’s Xbox One X are entertainment centers that do so much more than just gaming. They negate the need for a separate DVD player, can surf the web, connect to the most popular streaming services, and, of course, can provide for a graphically impressive gaming experience.
Though split-screen and side-by-side multiplayer has been on a decline, sports titles like Madden and Electronic Arts’ NHL, NBA, and FIFA series are perfect for some friendly competition. While the standard models of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 play the same selection of games, the X and Pro are more powerful and deliver on a much better sound and picture quality.
Even if your man cave didn’t come with the wall space to have a wet bar installed, there are plenty of portable bars out there for a stand-alone look. Wet bars add the benefit of a sink, but do take up more space. Portable bars let you position your small arrangement wherever it fits best.
Stock it with the essentials – high-end liquor, glasses, a martini shaker – and you’ll have yourself a spot that’s easy to gather around. It’s really like the “watercooler” of the man cave.
You have your bar, now all you need is a place to store your supply of beer. One of the easiest add-ons to a man cave is a small beer fridge. The Igloo 3.2 Cu. Ft Platinum Fridge is the perfect start with a storage capacity of 100 cans. There’s even enough space to hide some snacks or dips from the rest of the family.
Alternative to a beer fridge is a kegerator, a fancier refrigerator that yields a much fresher taste. Essentially, it’s a refrigerator that’s been gutted to fit a beer kit. A CO2 cylinder and CO2 pressure regulator keeps the beer carbonated for lasting freshness. Adorning the top of the kegerator is a tap to dispense whatever brew – imported or domestic – you decide to serve your pals.
When not engaged with something on the big screen, it’s good to have a side activity available to engage one another in. A pool table requires a lot of floor space, but if you have it, you should certainly use it.
Regulation pool tables are not only fun to play on, they double as décor when not in use. If taken care of, the soft felt – available in at least 15 different colors – is appealing. Higher end tables have a stunning shined wood surface that amplifies the look of the table, almost making it difficult to play on without feeling like you’re shooting pool on an architectural work of art.
Not that you want to turn your man cave into an authentic billiard – complete with dim lighting and that stale smoky smell – but adding a dart board to your man cave is a great means of adding entertainment without taking up much space.
A dart board hanging on the wall by itself may not be the most attractive thing, so hide it with a decorated wooden wall cabinet. Be sure to get a cabinet with a chalk board built in so you can best keep score and make things interesting.
Sometimes a man cave can just be your private getaway to relieve some of the day’s stress. Building your own private gym doesn’t have to turn into a big ordeal and in no way do you have to give up every inch of space to bulky equipment.
If it’s a simple but effective workout you’re looking for, consider getting a treadmill – the NordiTrack t6.7i is reasonably sized and provides a great workout – and some free weights. The focus of the man cave can also be shifted to be more of a complete gym with a bench and suspension straps.
Are you a movie buff? A football diehard? Maybe you just love fine art. Let your walls speak to your personality with posters of your favorite films or video games or a shadowbox sporting your team’s jersey.
Don’t crowd the space entirely or you’ll risk ruining the aesthetics of your man cave. Pick a few choice posters or pieces of art as the finishing touches on your own private paradise.