By Vince Mancuso, Storage.com
Everyone has that one room in their home that they’d like to change into something else. Storage.com is here to help provide you with ideas and the storage necessary to make a transformation.
As summer slowly comes to an end, preseason begins, with football season looming on the horizon. Soon, men will heed to the instinctual call to begin fall hibernation by spending hours watching their favorite teams, entertaining friends, or just lounging in their man cave in general. And while there are common threads through out all man caves—the comfortable couch, a well stocked bar, and a pool or foosball table—the cave can be just as unique as the man. Here five essentials for individual man caves, from the academic to the “Legend of Zelda.”
1. A HUNTER’S DEN
Hunting is a favorite past time for many. While a hunting lodge may not always be feasible, transforming a spare room or basement into your personal den is very doable whether you’re a DIY guy or someone who prefers to buy the perfect item.
- Gun racks: You need to rest your guns, of course, but why not display them with style?. You can use a vault, display case, or even follow this AIM Surplus post to build your own rifle crate coffee table to add some additional function to your rack.
- Trophies: A hunter isn’t a hunter until he brings something home. Find your local taxidermist to show off your skills—and make sure you’ve got a good hunting story to match.
- Antler art: Whether you’re displaying your last buck or turning some sheds you’ve found into a lamp, antler decor in your hunter’s man cave is a sure sign that you love the hunt. Use your antlers as a curtain tieback, turn a pair into bookends, or even purchase an antler chandelier.
- Shotgun shells: Much like antlers, shells can be used in a variety of places such as fan pull-chains or in a piece of shotgun-shell deer art.
- A good couch: This is a pretty universal need for all man caves, but a hunter’s den requires a particular type of couch. One that is big enough for a fully-grown man to take a nap on after a long day. It also doesn’t hurt if the couch is covered in your favorite camouflage print.
2. THE FAN CAVE
Men love sports, and the only thing they love more than spectating is relaxing while spectating. Enter the Fan Cave. While going to the sports bar is a great way to get out of the home every once in awhile, bringing the sports bar home is a great way to get away any time.
- Multiple television screens: There is rarely only one game on that you want to watch. You can attempt to relive the 90s with picture-in-picture or gamble missing a crucial play by flipping channels back and forth. Instead, get a minimum of two televisions with at least one of them being HD. This way, you can watch all the games you want with only having to turn your head, not the channel.
- Represent your team with paraphernalia: Place posters on the walls, display signed helmets and balls, and become part of the cave yourself by always wearing your favorite jersey. Of course, by now you know this is a must in order to send your team good vibes during a game.
- A bar: Bring the sports bar to you! Whether it’s a small shelf space and mini fridge or a full counter with a tap and stools, a bar ensures that you have plenty of brew to get you and your friends through the game. To keep your friends coming back, be sure to have a popcorn machine or other snacks on hand as well!
- Bar games: You’re going to need half-time and commercial entertainment. Fortunately, there’s a variety of options that can fit in large and small spaces, from a dart board on the wall to an air hockey table, entertainment opportunities in your fan cave are endless.
- Recliners: Combine support and comfort for hours of spectating by getting a recliner. Find the perfect location with proximity to both the snacks and the bathroom for the least amount of time needed to be out of the chair.
3. HIT THE GYM
Some men prefer to relax by working out. An in-home gym can be a great way to save some money from monthly memberships and have 24-hour access to your own space to pump some iron.
- Rubber or anti-fatigue matting: It may not be the flashiest of essentials, but it’s needed nonetheless to protect your home from any collateral damage from your lifts. You can find interlocking foam tiles for an easy DIY install as well.
- A power rack: A simple power rack helps get the most use out of one space, as it can be a spot to bench, squat, deadlift, and even do pull ups without eating up too much space in your man cave. Plus, they provide a safe way to lift heavy when working out solo.
- Cardio machines: These machines are essential when you’re living in a region with seasonal weather that may prevent you from running outside. If a treadmill isn’t your thing, go for a row machine for a full-body cardio workout.
- Mirror walls: A mirror is needed for two reasons: First, to make sure you’re lifting correctly to provide both safety and maximum performance. Secondly, you get to look at your arms.
- Free weights: Not all homes have space for a full barbell set.Thankfully, free weights are versatile enough for most workouts. Dumbbells can be used for presses, curls, squats, and can even provide a deeper push up.
4. AN ACADEMIC RETREAT
Call it classy, call it scholarly, call it manly— some men just need a place that smells of old leather and book bindings with the faint aroma of cigars. A private study would be a more appropriate term for this man cave, but more importantly, it’s yours!
- Leather furniture: An iconic part of a manly study, a high-backed leather chair or a Chesterfield couch will set this man cave apart. Find a good mix of support and comfort for when you lose yourself in your books.
- Book shelves: Elegant book ends and leather-bound books are key to a study as well. Without your books, it’s just a room with fancy furniture. Just be sure that you actually read a few of them.
- Reading lamps: Place them near your desk or reading chair to give the much needed light for hours of reading. The softer light provided from a lamp versus a ceiling light will also help you relax, which is exactly what you should be doing in your man cave!
- A drink cart: A small, yet essential part of any study, a drink cart gives you a place to store and keep your favorite beverages and ice for those moments you need to pour a drink while pouring over a good book.
- A chess set: Sharpen your intellect while entertaining a guest with a stylish chess set. You can even kill two birds with one stone by finding a humidor chess set as means to play and keep your cigars in ready condition.
5. THE BOSS ROOM
If you’re a gamer, you know that there is nothing worse than having to pause your game, and that’s assuming you’re not in the middle of a boss battle or pivotal cut scene. So turn your man cave into a gamer’s haven for some solitude when you sign in.
- A game console cabinet: A cabinet both proudly displays your systems as well as keeps them orderly, especially when dealing with a lot of wires. You can buy cube cabinets or learn how to make your own console cabinet.
- Monitors: Whether you’re a console-gamer or consider yourself part of the PC master race, you know that the more monitors you have, the better your gaming experience will be. It’s great for multi-player, but even better when playing solo.
- Gaming decor: This is a perfect place to display that Master Chief helmet you got with the special edition Halo III or even combine looks and function by hanging the entire map of Skyrim. For those vintage gamers, check out more unique decorations like this 8-bit Mario light.
- Gaming chairs: These distinctive rockers support your back and help immerse you into the game. Look for chairs that have both cup holders and built-in speakers to provide the ultimate gaming convenience.
- A companion: Whether it be a Dogmeat to roam the Wastelands at your side or a the stoic Companion Cube to help you think with portals—you can even build your own—you should never game alone. (Hint: if you don’t get either reference, this man cave isn’t for you.)
Don’t procrastinate in making a man cave that fits who you are and what you enjoy. Use these essentials to make your in-home retreat, and as you go, you’ll find more and more pieces that will make your space as unique as you are.
What essentials do you have in your man cave? Let us know in the comments!