(Last modified on March 30th, 2020)
Planning a man cave? Decorating your manspace? Or maybe just upgrading your mantuary? I gathered some amazing man cave ideas and tips from all across the net to help you in your quest. You can’t just walk into some kind of man cave store, looking for an item that fits the bill. Man caves are personal spaces, meant to satisfy your needs and possibly the needs of your guests. All of your items probably come from hundreds of different locations—which makes online shopping all the more convenient for you! But let’s not get into that yet. Instead, I want to talk about just the best man cave ideas you will ever see on the net!
This little article serves as a guide to upgrading and making a man cave. I go over all the basics—from what sets a man cave apart from a normal study, all the way to setting up a bar and food station in there. For more detailed instructions, ideas, and man cave tips, the rest of the site covers everything. Building the idea of your man cave into something desirable takes a lot of contemplation. On top of that, actually materializing it takes time and money…two things that most men can’t throw around frivolously!
Making sure your man cave suits your lifestyle becomes easy after reading these quick tips. On top of that, we offer some man cave tips to help you lower spending and time spent on your cave. While the journey of every man ends at a unique man cave, we all share the same crossroads and bridges to overcome. This page lets you know exactly what to expect. Use your extra time to relax in your own, personal man cave![toc]
Before we set out into the great unknown…let’s make it a little more familiar. Maybe you heard about man caves, mantuaries, or manspaces through a friend. Maybe you saw it on Tumblr or Reddit. In any case, man caves represent a personal room for people to relax. It’s called a man cave to separate it from the living room—where certain furniture rules and guest accommodations became the norm. Furthermore, the man of the house uses it as a sanctuary to separate himself from the job duties, husband obligations, and noisy kids that might bar him from relaxing in the rest of the house. The same applies to the man cave synonyms—mantuary and manspace.
The different between a man cave vs. a study is that studies imply that some sort of work happens within its doors. The room encourages cleaning to access files and books with minimal time searching. Adding in a bar, workshop, or entertainment distracts from the purpose of the study room. In other words, the opposite of relaxing! On the other hand, a man cave meaning encompasses a way to relax. You add whatever you want to the collection and use your brain only to keep the room cohesive or think of creative man cave names.
Like study room rules, man cave rules sometimes apply. Set in place by the men who use them, they ensure that the room stays a place of relaxation. One common rule is that no women or children are allowed. Another rule states that no mention of work or chores happens past the entrance. It’s your room—you make your own rules!
To start with your man cave ideas, think of your own personality. What sort of theme expresses yourself? What sort of features do you want in your man cave? All cool man cave ideas sound stupid in the beginning. However, in executing the design itself, everything falls into place and looks spectacular. Your versatility and creativity in working with a theme directly affects how impressive your man cave looks.
In order to create an amazing mantuary for yourself, consider your own limits. For example, without experience in engineering, a complex light system or movable blinds go incomplete for years. By limiting the number of insurmountable tasks in your design, you achieve your design with amazing speed. Plus, once you finish, adding features at a later date works just as well.
But, even more important than looking cool, you need to think about the functional uses for your man cave. Ideas for a man cave fall flat when you find yourself only using a corner of the room in the end. If you spend a lot of time grooming yourself in the bathroom while your wife or girlfriend bangs on the door, a tiny setup with running water and a minimalistic mirror works great for you. Solve any fighting with your kids over whether you play games or Saturday morning cartoons by creating a home entertainment system in your own special man space.
Of course, finding that special theme for yourself proves difficult when you simply want a room to yourself. For your manroom ideas, you need to consider the location and shape of the room, what sort of features you desire, and what matches the money in your wallet. Keep reading for some man cave quick tips!
A man cave room takes many different forms—and location defines those forms the most! While some people look at a basement, small room, or shed as ‘constrictions,’ they actually work to your advantage! A small space fills up easily, saving you money on décor, and forcing you to streamline everything in the room. They feel much cozier and personal! A larger space allows for big furniture and impressive set ups—ideal for inviting friends over to chill in the cave. I wrote a few tips on the most popular man cave locations below, and you can check the rest of the site for dealing with more locations!
When looking for man cave garage ideas, consider the floor first and foremost. The oil that stained the floor and the gas that soaked into the walls pose a unique problem—unless, of course, you want an auto-themed man cave. Using a resin to lock in the smell of the floor works incredibly well—plus, a clear resin allows you to place some permanent decorations beneath the floor! As a second priority, consider replacing the garage door with something a little more convenient or smaller. This frees up space on the ceiling, gives you more security, and even provides you with an extra wall to decorate! I advise using an exterior that looks like a garage door, though—or you pose the risk of angering your HOA.
The most popular of man caves, this subterranean abode fits the bill more than any other room. Making a manspace out of an area completely separated from the house feels like a dream. Nothing separates you more from the rest of the house than a flight of stairs—I promise! When constructing a basement mancave, consider two important factors. First, you need enough outlets to support your entertainment setup. Blueprints allow for basement outlets—but only in the strangest of places. Second, consider fire safety. Your basement should have full ventilation with the rest of the house, along with two exits. Make sure your fire department knows about both of them!
Alright, remember that bit about separating yourself from the rest of the house? A man cave shed does that, literally. Setting up electricity and keeping out bugs takes priority when using a shed as your mantuary. Once you take care of those, use your unlimited creativity to turn the space into whatever you like, with no one telling you ‘that color sucks’ or ‘no antlers on the walls, ever.’ Plus, you incorporate the natural light of windows (or even sunlights!) into the rest of the room. With a little bit of automation, a single switch turns a sunny room to relax into a dark and dedicated movie room.
No matter what type of mancave you choose to build, small man cave spaces take a little more planning. Small basement man cave ideas run into the problem of utilities taking up space. The water heater, dryer, sink, furnace, washing machine, and whatever else take up the space. Similarly, building a small man cave shed takes a lot of ingenuity to make that small space usable. For mini man caves in a tiny house, I highly recommend looking up the architectural feats in Japan and China. With incredibly limited space, creative individuals find ways to completely transform rooms—usually through hidden furniture. In any case, a small man cave proves the coziest of all, if a little bit cramped.
Man caves take on any theme you desire—from a man cave bar, to man cave archery range, and even to a D&D man cave. Whether private or public, your man cave shows a personal side of yourself and accommodates everyone who enters. When you search for your man cave things, a theme helps bring the room together. Beyond matching colors, a theme gives your manspace a certain flair. Walking into your mancave feels like entering a different realm—one made just for you! I cover the most popular ones here, but feel free to find your own theme!
Preceding the concept of the man cave itself, workshops provide a place of relaxation to creative-minded people. Customized autoshops, woodshops, art studios, and more make up the foundations of the man cave. Once the utilitarian elements fit into place, extra comfort pieces go in. Usually, that means a television to entertain the mind during menial or repetitive tasks. A radio proves a good substitute, along with a means to play podcasts or talk shows. After that, furniture to relax and reference materials line the floor and walls. Lastly, décor goes all across the walls until no paint shows through.
While the steampunk genre usually sits in the realms of nerds and cosplayers, well-read creators of man caves may find themselves attracted to the décor. And what’s not to like? Bronze, silver, and gold gears match furniture easily while appearing expensive and intricate. Of course, we all know the secret…DIY steam punk costs very little and looks excellent in the end! Perhaps its cost made the steampunk theme so popular. Bonus points if you build actual contraptions in your man cave to match the theme!
Man cave bar ideas would be incorporated into every man cave…if only everyone had the knowledge to run a bar! While bars fit into nearly any mantuary, thematically speaking, realizing it takes a huge amount of effort. First, you need special refrigerators that monitor the temperatures of wines and spirits. Second, you need to stock up with expensive wines and spirits in the first place! Fitting it into the décor takes time, especially with more abstract man cave themes. And most importantly, you need knowledge and experience to run that bar. Mixing, spiking, and matching wines to occasions only makes up a part of that knowledge. Of course, the effort pays off in the end!
Arguably the most expensive of man caves, this manspace requires tons of money to purchase actual arcade machines. Furthermore, classic arcade machines fetch a high price and prove difficult to locate. My personal favorite arcade game, Ocean Hunter, can only be found in select locations in the Pacific Isles. That’s just a little expensive to ship, you know? The most cost-effective way to create an arcade is to build the frames yourself and use a cheap computer base (such as a Raspberry Pi) to run an emulator.
Of course, many more man cave themes and ideas exist. We plan on covering all of them—so feel free to browse the rest of the site for some unique and interesting ideas!
Even ancient mancave designs focused on one thing: man cave art! While you don’t need to grab some chalk or clay to decorate the walls, I highly suggest using posters and signs that represent the theme of your room. Man cave room ideas center around the theme of the room, after all—even if that theme is just minimalism! A steampunk theme definitely needs some furniture, lights, and wall ornaments covered in gears and moving elements. On the other hand, something video-game themed wants for electric displays, multiple screens, and serious wire management.
Other man cave décor ideas center around utilities. In example, a room with a sink could use many different designs. You could choose minimal metal, a granite counter top, a designer sink, and more! Similarly, lighting ranges from string lights at the top, to switch-controlled rainbow LED lights, or perhaps just traditional lamps. Custom electricity outlets ensure the room never goes without electricity—although make sure a technician handles that, or you may accidentally create a fire hazard.
Finding different ways to construct old things gives your man cave a unique flair. Your room not only looks unique, but it also suits your needs perfectly! Some common examples of unique décor include hidden furniture and movable walls. By constructing customized décor, you maximize your man space and increase the number of features that fit in there. Even stashing extra chairs in the unused space of your room helps when you invite others over. When you consider your décor, make sure to also maximize all of your space! It seriously pays off in the end.
Related Read: Man Cave Decor
With man cave flooring, a lot of options present themselves. Carpet obviously works great in basement or garage environments—where the floor becomes uncomfortably cold—but it also comes with drawbacks. Carpets stain and cleaning them takes time and machinery. For a smaller—and cheaper—option than carpets, rugs do the job. Plus, customizing the room with rugs adds a bit of flair to the room. Even if you choose a different type of flooring, try adding in some man cave rugs to give the room a little flair! Amazon carries no end of exotic rug designs to sate your desire for personalization.
Of course, carpets sit somewhere on the bottom rung of the ladder compared to other floor types. Wood flooring installs easily—even without a lot of experience woodworking—and it cleans easily. Many different types of wood exist to liven up the room, although some of them take a lot of money to obtain. Using smaller pieces of wood to create unique designs, patterns, or murals makes the floor a show piece of the room.
Ceramic tile also goes in easily, although that sort of floor also gets chilly, and installation reaches a pricy high. In the future, replacing a tile proves difficult if the manufacturer stops producing it. Nonetheless, tiles look amazing—especially in sunlit rooms. Reflective tiles bring out the colors in any lights you placed in the room. For a cheaper option, simply apply glue and unwrap some linoleum tile. However, linoleum tile looks far less spectacular than the other options here.
The very last option is also the cheapest, but it only works for certain types of mancaves. Basements and first floors in homes without basements both share something in common—a cement floor. While you may need to remove carpeting or tile on top, the cement floor gives a grungy, minimalist, or utilitarian appearance to a mancave. Anyone with a workshop knows the value of a simple, smooth floor that withstands even the craziest of disasters.
Once again, before deciding accessorizing with man cave accessories, the furniture goes first. Of course, following with your theme, different types of furniture take precedence. Man cave desks, chairs, recliners, tables, shelves, and entertainment systems feature in almost every manspace out there. Hopefully these tips for finding the right kind of furniture for you—and within your budget—help.
Let’s start by considering your wallet. The fastest way to find fitting furniture, along with the cheapest, is to browse yard sales and antique stores. Refurbished man cave antiques look brand new, and they allow for a customized look. Refurbishing furniture takes a little bit of cleaning, a bit of material fabric, a staple gun, and some sense of aesthetic (I’ll trust you on this one). For man cave tables, a little bit of sanding turns an old piece of junk into a rustic piece of woodwork. Never overlook furniture just because of their color—they contain the base for whatever pattern you want!
Where you sit in your own special room matters more than you would think. A little bit of comfort goes a long way, while managing with the mere minimum for your precious butt sends you away from your room sore, on the best of days. For man cave chairs—even with modern man cave furniture—make sure some sort of cushion or soft plastic keeps you from the hard frame of your chair. Man cave recliners push the whole comfort thing further by allowing you to lay back in your chair. Ideally, the chair feels so comfortable you could fall asleep while sitting!
For man cave wall ideas, start with your base theme and explore from there. What sort of props work well with that theme? Imagine yourself on the set of a theatre play. What would the stage hands put around the stage to suspend your belief? This helps you start your quest for the perfect wall ideas. Beyond the theme, let’s talk about essentials for your mantuary.
What sort of man cave signs tell others about yourself? Incorporate that into your room—either literally (as a sign on your man cave door) or through an abstract type of man cave vinyl wall art. Posters of all different shapes and sizes show the theme spectacularly—but other methods work just as well. For a typical setup, I like to include both a moving eye-catcher and a stable-eye catcher. The mesmerizing effect of an aquarium or light show complements the antlers or posters on the other side of the room. No matter where you look, your eyes always find somewhere to rest.
To add to things, creating sections of your wall with different wallpaper or tiling makes the room seem bigger and distinguishes the different areas of your man cave. Easily change the look of your room by adding interior facades! Or, you could add a tiled section of carved wood branches to show off your wild side. Themed hanging shelves go the extra mile and allow you to best utilize space.
Lastly, put a clock in that room. I don’t care if everyone uses their phone as a watch. A clock turns empty space into a tool, and plenty of them look amazing.
Believe it or not, man caves on a budget exist. By planning all furniture, paint, decorations, and materials ahead of time, you already go a long way towards cutting costs. At the same time, purchasing cheap man cave furniture only saves you so much money. That’s why mancave DIY makes up the majority of amazing rooms out there! For someone first learning how to turn your room into a man cave, DIY work looks very appealing. These cheap ideas for man caves save you a bit of cash, no matter your experience!
First, all of your furniture should come from thrift stores, yard sales, or pawn shops. Strip the furniture of their upholstery, tweak the frame however you like, and then reupholster it according to the style of your room. Naturally, steam clean it to ensure no pests follow it from its original location. This creates custom furniture for an affordable price—without the woodworking experience!
For other cheap man cave stuff, purchase only the wires and plugs for all of your lighting and create your own display for them. Just make sure the display withstands high amounts of heat! For pictures, look around for cheap frames. Use FedEx or similar printing shops to make incredibly cheap custom prints. A full, customized poster costs very little to print, and you can cut it down to fit even the strangest frame shapes. For antique frames that you want to renovate, simply sand down the frame into your desired shape (I recommend a sander for this), then paint or stain as desired.
After situating your furniture, your electronics come next! Depending on the theme of your room, you decide on lamps or ceiling lights, TV or radio, and even mechanics to automate parts of the room (for example, closing and opening the blinds). The number and location of outlets sometimes limits your distribution of electronics…but that’s what extension cords are for. Don’t tell an electrician that I said that, though. In this section, I talk about all the man cave essential electronics, along with the best ways to organize them. Along with that, I talk about wire management, high-tech options, and even budget options for your home entertainment room.
With TVs, a lot of options present themselves. Believe it or not, huge flat screen TVs save money compared to the high-tier televisions. However, to go the extra mile, I suggest looking for other forms of display. Hanging or hiding a projector somewhere in the room to display on a wall or screen saves a lot of space and offers high quality resolution. Projectors support up to 4K resolution, and you tweak the size and shape to suit your room. Modern projectors avoid screen glare and even shine brighter than sunlight—so the lighting of your room never reduces quality.
That leaves 4K TVs with curved screens as the last option—which sits somewhere in the middle of those two in terms of price range. 4K screens look spectacular, and with visual media slowly switching to the 4K resolution, your TV remains the standard for at least a decade. Curved screens work great for solo play, but if you want to invite friends over frequently, check how multiple people see the TV from other angles.
With the display part out of the way, let’s talk about how to use it. To reduce the amount of visible wires, create a specific electronic hub where all your display options go. To hide the machines, use drawers, shelves, or other miscellaneous furniture. Instead of finding a TV or projector with a million ports, look into buying a selector switch box. That way, only a single wire needs to reach your display of choice. With a click of a button, you switch between your computer, Blu-ray player, game console, or even to a radio. A switch that allows you to choose different audio and video outputs opens up even more uses for your display system.
Completing the list of essential man cave electronics, video games bring together people like no other form of media. Even for a solitary mantuary, games offer a welcome form of relaxation. Lots of people ask about what sort of games suit their mancaves, but the answer always goes differently depending on the person and their game consoles. For Nintendo consoles, Super Smash Bros games obviously takes the cake. On the Switch, where no Super Smash Bros game exists, try Switch 1-2-3. For the XBOX One, Minecraft and Halo 5 Guardians make up the core multiplayer experiences. For Sony…well, that’s more of a single-player console. However, showing off the VR headset capabilities always livens up a party.
Related Read: Game Room Decor
More important than man cave gadgets or man cave games, consider what sort of food you put in! For your man cave diet, make sure to distinguish what you eat in the cave as opposed to what you eat in your dining room. Focus on food that needs no electricity or heat to prepare. Along with that, keep your calorie count low and nutrition high. This includes celery, broccoli, pre-cooked or dried meats, fruits, nuts, and so on. With these power foods at your disposal, you keep your focus during your work and relaxation. If health man cave foods aren’t your thing, don’t worry. Simply keep stocked on your favorite snacks.
For drinks, the obvious choice is beer. However, a lot of people neglect to think of man cave caffeine in their designs. Similar to planning for an included bar, you can also plan for a tiny café of your favorites. Soda, energy drinks, tea, sparkling water, sports drinks, or plain old filtered water all round out your room’s sanctuary.
I want to mention the caveman’s diet specifically, since it suits mancavers quite well, don’t you think? Also called the Paleo diet, it focuses entirely on unprepared foods. Something that needs to be milled (like flour) stays out of the food. It changes depending on seasonal availability. Thankfully, mancave meats need little preparation! These foods, which require zero prep and only a bit of cooking, work perfect for a hangout room. Just make sure you put in your man cave fridge! For cooking your meats and other foods, an induction cooker or microwave cut down on both space and fire hazards.
Home bars in general vary depending on their purpose. For attending to guests, you need a tall table, bar chairs, a hidden countertop for mixing things, and perhaps a footrest. If the bar exists for you alone, then all that other stuff makes no sense. Along with your regular man cave refrigerator, grab a wine cooler for the room. Adjust the wine cooler to your preferred temperature—most people prefer 45*F for their beverages.
Search for materials that match your theme or personality. Most men use granite countertops, but wooden countertops give off a rustic feel. For do-it-yourselfers or thrifty spenders, check your local area for closing restaurants or bars. They sell cheap seats, tables, and bar pieces which you easily update to suit your needs. Otherwise, grab some lumber from your local stores and construct your own frame. The flexibility of the wood matters just as much as its color, so select your base material wisely!
When building, consider whether or not it cleans easily. Seal up any spaces that could enter the frame, preventing waste and mold from building up in the interior. To help with that, construct a fully functional sink to drain excess liquid and provide water for your drinks.
While the world thinks of ‘grooming’ as a female hobby, keeping yourself suave and sexy in the man cave takes a lot of work. For a good business man or an outgoing character appreciate a nearby bathroom—or at least a grooming area! Bring together a sink, a mirror, and a shelf for all your necessities, and you construct a bare-bones grooming station for your guests and yourself. As far as picking the right products for your cave, think carefully. After all, you can’t exactly find a proper mancave facewash review just lying around. This time, rather than talk about brands, I focus on necessities.
First, hair products! Even if you skip the sink, keeping a mirror and some man cave hair gel around saves you from an embarrassing appearance at the wrong time. Putting in a man cave shower lets you use shower gel and shampoo whenever you need a quick rinse. A perfect grooming station looks like a man cave salon—but instead of the obnoxious perfumes and beauty tools, it contains clean and effective man cave moisturizers, face scrubs, razors, combs, and so on.
To go the extra mile install a toilet for your man cave. This completes the grooming station and sets any guests you invite at ease. The plumbing for this entire part of a man space takes a lot of work and experience, but obviously, you and anyone who visits your cave appreciates the ready access to some bodily essentials! Just don’t forget to put in toilet paper and a plunger when you finish the project. Too many of us fall victim to the inescapable and embarrassing toilet trap.
So, to all of you dreaming of the perfect manspace and the rest of you who spend their time mancaving, hopefully this little guide gave you some new types of insight. On one hand, constructing your room into something spectacular proves an amazing feat. But when you look out across your domain, remember—there’s still work to be done. New additions, new necessities, maintenance, and even deconstruction go into making your cave perfect. Very few people actually reach a stage where they call their mantuary ‘perfect.’
Instead of focusing on making it look perfect, focus on making it suit your needs. You need an area to relax, somewhere to retreat when life throws its worst at you, and a space you keep everything precious to you. Invariably, your room never matches your design perfectly. Thankfully, most of the ‘mistakes’ turn into happy little miracles. On the other hand, partway through, you may realize something you create won’t work and find yourself challenged to build around the failed start. Persevere through it all and find satisfaction at the end of it.
Many men already use the secluded rooms of their home—offices, guest rooms, basements, and garage rooms all provide ample alone time. However, taking the extra step to make these places livable—rather than simply a secluded room—turns them into true man caves. More than anything, as you sit in your man cave to relax, take pride in the work you accomplished, and think ahead to even bigger ventures! The best man cave ideas create a brand new man out of you!