(Last modified on March 27th, 2020)
A rustic man cave covers far more types of decor than its name would imply. The definition of rustic changes depending on the man, and many times, they can even have conflicting definitions! Rather than argue about who is right, I go over what I consider to be the two types of rustic man cave ideas on this article. Both types of rustic man caves look spectacular in the end and are more than capable of defining a true man cave. Want more tips on making the best man cave? Check here.
The first—and more popular type—involves using wood and classic furniture styles to illicit an old country feel. If it has modern stuff, their importance is toned down. The second type focuses more on rustic color schemes. The stonework and woodwork are still there, but modern furniture is permitted as long as it follows a rustic color palette. No matter what you think a rustic man cave is, let’s talk about rustic man cave ideas that will work perfectly just for you!
Let’s take a closer inspection at what makes a rustic man cave a true man cave. The main purpose of rustic design is to give off a simple feel. Rather than the empty feel that minimalism gives off, this theme lavishes in color and decoration more than utility. Some rustic man caves take inspiration from nature, while others try to imitate the classic lifestyle of people living alongside nature. Either way, the result is a very warm and cozy man cave. It’s the ideal theme if you want to make the man cave a place to relax and don’t want to pay tribute to some sort of fandom. The easiest way to achieve a rustic man cave is just to build a rustic shed and decorate from there. I talk about an easy and affordable way you can do that on this page.
Wooden walls, ceilings, and floors are the go-to idea for rustic man caves. Because of this, I put a dedicated section for wood walls later on in the article. For other types of decor, try getting a fireplace into the room. Follow as many fire safety precautions as you can while you do this. The fireplace both looks great and helps regulate room temperature (which, let’s be honest, is lacking in the average man cave location).
As far as colors go, do your best to make things look muted. There should be minimal—if any—artificial coloring in your decorations. And, yes, that means you won’t be using too much plastic in your man cave either! Your furniture should also use natural materials like cotton cloth or real leather. It has less to do with being a hipster and more to do with connecting to nature via this rustic theme. These natural materials are simple, yet bold, and will always match a rustic color theme.
All rustic man cave decor in general should have as little ‘treatment’ or ‘post-processing’ as possible. It should look like a craftsman made it by hand—something impossible with store-bought furniture. Your best bet for fleshing out your rustic man cave ideas is to browse antique stores. Classic furniture is incredibly durable, so you’re likely to find something good wherever you choose to browse.
As you look around for the perfect rustic man cave decor, take careful note of any kind of woven stuff. Sticks and straw are the perfect complement to a nature-themed man cave. On top of that, these decorations are very cost-efficient. You’ll be spending more on animal-derived products. Speaking of, consider adding in some animal pelts or antlers. Even if you dislike hunting, deer and moose shed their antlers with the season, so you can display a set guilt-free.
And, speaking of display, how you display things matters a lot when you think of rustic man cave ideas. Leave strips of vertical space clear and focus on decorating platforms rather than walls. Your wall decor should focus on utility and a few posters here and there. Photographs and paintings work best for display, though you might want to substitute for something closer to your heart in a man cave.
More than anything, think about the textures that you’re putting into your room. Rather than smooth black out curtains, grab something that feels thick and rough. Natural wood is always a plus, and you can incorporate that into your poster frames, desks, night stands, and so on. When you use metal, look for untreated stuff or find something with a grate-like texture. You can always scrape off a bit of rust if it becomes an issue. If you want more details on decorating a man cave, read my article here.
When we talk about rustic man caves, we’re also talking about man caves with wooden walls. No matter your style, wood and rustic rooms go hand in hand. There are several ways to go about decorating your walls with wood. I find that the easiest is to simply apply wood boards across the walls. If the wood has no paint or markings on it, then it will work fine for a wall. Remove any protruding nails, sand it smooth, and then make sure everything is properly secured. BAM. You now have an amazing wooden wall.
There are a few more unique, complex styles of wooden walls out there. I’m going to skip tiled walls or walls that deal in protruding wood, as that’s more of a modern style and doesn’t go with the rustic theme we want. Rather, one unique way to create a wooden wall is to use cross sections of wood (with the tree rings showing) and using them as if they were boards. They truly bring nature into the room, and it looks unique, to boot.
When designing your wooden walls, consider restricting them to just sections of the room or a single wall. This accents the room and breaks up the monotony. It gives you way more decoration possibilities, since you can match both a plain and a wood aesthetic depending on where you place designs. It also makes the room look very thought-out and professional. It’s a simple trick, it takes fewer supplies than boarding the whole room, and it makes the man cave look amazing. There’s nothing to lose in trying this. The wood itself should not be painted and you don’t need to treat them either. For the blank walls, if you choose to leave some, I suggest painting them white or eggshell white. It makes the room look crisp.
Whether you want to bring nature into your man cave or simply spruce it up with a good barn aesthetic, the man cave is an excellent place to flex your decorating abilities. Use these rustic man cave ideas to the fullest so that you can create a room worth remembering—or, at least, one worth using. A true man cave never relies on the impressions of others, after all. It’s all about accommodating your own needs. Rustic man cave ideas help bring nature to the true man cave of someone who enjoys the simple things in life. As time seems to speed faster and faster with the social media frenzy, relaxing in a rustic man cave helps you set your own pace in life. If that’s not what a man cave is for, I don’t know what is.