Posts

Rugged and comfortable place to settle in and watch the game.

Rugged and comfortable place to settle in and watch the game.

A man cave is a space in the home where the men can totally express themselves – both in deciding on the style and the main purpose of the space. Man caves are emerging as an enduring trend in today’s custom home design. That being said, do you really need to consider having “man cave” space in a home?

Sam Gosling, a University of Texas at Austin psychology professor, and author of Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You; said, “It’s incredibly important to be in one’s own space and have it resonate with who you are.” So yes – your man really does need a man cave!

Women traditionally influence how a home is designed and decorated, and the main living areas may be a reflection of her tastes and use for the spaces. That means men can feel isolated in their own homes, even if it’s on a subconscious level. Even in situations where couples both have input in designing and decorating the space – the space is perceived as a compromise, and it may not be meeting the emotional needs for the individuals. Personal space is incredibly important.

Man caves serve a basic psychological function.  It’s especially vital if the guy’s emotional needs aren’t being met in other spaces in the home. When it comes to designing and outfitting a man cave, Gosling says it’s extremely important that there is no compromise. That’s because a space that properly satisfies and regulates a man’s emotional and psychological needs is much less likely to evolve if someone else influences the outcome.

There is a dramatic uptick in the amount of requests for extra man space in a custom home. Men are carving out a space with home theater technology, surround sound, wet bar (including a kegerator), and game table areas. There is going to be space for the prized collection of sports memorabilia. Space for the guitars, amps and concert memorabilia. No compromise!

Man cave spaces we’ve done included a model train room, an oversized garage for restoring old cars, (including lifts to store vehicles) and a state-of-the-art workshop for wood working and tinkering.  These spaces often include a full bathroom; sometimes with a urinal.

When designing a new home, the lower level or the sub-garage area offers possibilities for a man cave space. Another ideal area is the bonus room over the garage. Sometimes it’s making the garage the ultimate man cave garage if your guy loves hanging out there.

So man cave space in your home is a good thing to have.  You work hard and all you want just a little personalized space to hang with the guys, a space that is all yours. It’s not the equivalent of the boy’s tree house with the sign “No Girls Allowed” – because if guys get their man cave space, I think the ladies will still be invited for a beer now and then!

In another blog, I’ll devote some space to what is a mini-trend I’ve noticed on Houzz: “She-Sheds” or “Chick Shacks”, for that private space women crave away from the main house!

 

Man-cave

The idea of a separate zone in the home for guys to hang out is gaining a lot of traction in the homes we build. The earliest know man cave was probably  the cast-off old sofa and battered TV in the basement or a spot in the garage for the Harley or the lovingly restored muscle car. It’s not just about the “stuff”, but a place all your own to hang with your buddies, chill out and bond.  However, just like the garage  – it has evolved. Big time!

How do you start designing your ultimate man-cave? There may be a few nonnegotiable items: A flat screen TV (the bigger the better), a sectional couch (preferably leather) and a well stocked bar. Beyond that, you’re going to need a way to tie it all together.

You can start by picking an object (pool table, poker table, jukebox, sports memorabilia) that you like to begin to create a theme, overall look and colors of your man-cave. For inspiration – there are  great websites devoted to man-cave theme spaces and ideas.

Also, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Builders Association Home Expo (January 11-12-13th)  will have a feature booth dedicated to creating the ultimate man-cave.   Although meant as a guy retreat – don’t be too surprised if the wife and kids also enjoy the “hang-out” ambiance of your man-cave. (Just as long as they respect that no-shades-of pink-allowed rule!)