6 Things You Must Have in Your Man Cave

Man Cave must-haves are all about comfort, convenience and a custom feel.

A flat-screen TV, an Xbox and an awesome sound system are three essentials for any man cave. But there’s more to outfitting a guy’s go-to hangout than the latest electronics. Things like flooring, lighting and furniture also play into the design, which men are happily being a part of.

“Getting the man involved is starting to be a trend,” says Abbie Jacobson, owner of Abbie Jacobson Design & Decoration in Chicago. “Instead of the woman decorating it the way she thinks he wants it, he’s now making the decisions himself.” When a man chooses everything from furnishings to flooring, “it really becomes his sanctuary.”

But whether or not he picks out the sofa, all man-cave dwellers must figure out what they want the room’s purpose to be (to get some alone time or to watch sports with pals) and its vibe (sophisticated club or casual hangout).

Here’s what’s to consider when designing your man cave:

Find the right flooring

What type of flooring you choose depends on where the man cave is located. “In a basement, I like concrete, which is coming back in style,” Jacobson says. “You add pigment and you can make it green, brown, whatever color you want.”

To avoid the space having the ambiance of a garage, throw some area rugs on top. “I don’t recommend carpet because of possible flooding,” she says. In any room where water isn’t an issue, like a first-floor study or attic, a hardwood floor would give the room instant character. An option that works for any room: carpet tiles, which can be customized by color, pattern and size, and are made of nylon and vinyl composite that can be washed.

Have adequate seating

For the guy that plans to host a crowd, a sofa, chairs, benches and bar stools (if there’s a bar) are essential. And to encourage everyone to put up their feet, get a few poufs, which are large cushions for the floor – like an ottoman without legs; add a wooden tray and you’ve got an instant side table. If you prefer a high-end look, install tufted leather club chairs, ottomans and a really comfortable leather sofa, Jacobson says. “ A room with a midcentury modern look, which is popular for man caves, would look good with iconic pieces such as Eames or Eileen Gray chairs, or something timeless from Design Within Reach.”

Focus on lighting

You can figure out your lighting needs by determining the room’s purpose.

“Is it to do work? If so, I recommend task lighting like a gooseneck lamp or one that can rotate around with good LED lighting,” Jacobson says. “Do you want to read in a chair? Then you need a floor lamp.”

If your plan is to escape from the world, put your lights on a dimmer switch. And so your buddies aren’t sitting in the dark, install a chandelier that’s got a funky, sculptural look.

Install an upscale mini fridge

Whether to hold beer or bubbly, a small refrigerator is a man cave must-have. If you want something that doesn’t look fit for a dorm room, find a fridge in chrome, a highly polished stainless steel or a cool color like red or lime, Jacobson says.

Provide a variety of entertainment options

Besides TV, you’ll want to provide other activities to keep yourself and the boys amused. Having multiple interactive entertainment options, such as video games, TV and a pool table, will help keep guests off of social media during bonding time. Go old school with classics such as poker, a ping pong table, a pool table (get a combo pool/ping pong table if space is tight) and a dart board.

Display your vinyl collection

With turntables enjoying a resurgence, your man cave is the perfect place to showcase those vinyl albums you’ve held onto from decades past. “People want to see the album covers, so I like to wall-mount them or put them in a really nice bookcase with an open back,” Jacobson says.

Don’t have any vinyl? Then proudly show off your baseball cards, comic books or your favorite special collection. Your man cave is all about you.

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