man working in man cave

10 Creative Man Cave Ideas To Inspire You

Morgan McBride7-Minute Read
November 22, 2022

Many men dream about having a private space within their own home so they can relax and enjoy their hobbies or interests. These rooms are known as “man caves” and have become an increasingly popular.

What Is The Purpose Of A Man Cave?

A man cave is a place men can retreat to while remaining in the home. There, he can practice his hobbies, hang out with friends, enjoy a few indulgences and just relax.

The term “man cave” gained popularity after it was published in the popular book “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” by John Gray. While the gender-specific term has received strong criticism for being just that, it’s often used to describe a room that carries a precise purpose.

In the same way, the term “she shed” is used to describe the female equivalent – a space designed for a woman to relax, hang out, indulge and pursue her hobbies just steps away from the home.

Choosing A Theme For Your Man Cave

Man caves aren’t usually found in common areas of the home, like living rooms or bedrooms. Instead, they’re built in less frequently used rooms, like garages, dens, spare rooms and basements. This separation means that men can choose a theme for their man cave that reflects their interests and hobbies, and not something that needs to flow with the rest of the home.

When choosing a theme for your man cave, think of your hobbies and interests and the ways in which you plan to use the space. An easy theme is a favorite sports team, especially if you plan to use the room to watch games. If you prefer to play video or card games, design a room with a theme that coordinates with that both functionally and aesthetically. The most important part of any man cave design is that it makes you feel comfortable and relaxed.

What Goes In A Man Cave?

The items a person puts in their man cave will depend on the theme they chose. Here are some common items that may go in a man cave:

  • Recliner, couch or other seating
  • TVs, record players and other media players
  • A desk and bookshelves
  • Different types of games
  • Signs, posters and artwork
  • Mini fridge or wine fridge
  • Wet or dry bar set up with glassware storage
  • Collectibles or memorabilia

Man Cave Ideas For Decor And Design

If you are still trying to decide how to decorate your man cave, it is best to start with an overall theme and purpose to guide your interior design. A man cave can be a space that makes a house truly feel like a home for many male homeowners. Here are 10 ideas for how to design and decorate yours.

1. Game Room

poker table in game room of man cave

When you need a break from screens, find entertainment the old-fashioned way inside a classic game room. Choose game pieces made of rich woods, including a billiards table, dartboard, poker table and chess or backgammon set. Tall wooden bookshelves can be the perfect storage space for a large game collection. If you prefer table games and have the space, consider adding a pool table, foosball table, or poker table.

2. Home Theater

Theater room.

Movie buffs will enjoy a quiet space to screen their favorite flicks in what feels like an actual movie theater (at a much lower cost). For better views, install a platform to create tiered seating, with one row of oversized, leather home theater recliners on the platform and another row in front of it.

Connect your cable and streaming services and gaming consoles to have endless options of movies and TV shows. A sound system that features surround sound will heighten the experience even more. Of course, no home theater is complete without a concession stand, so keep a mini fridge or vintage popcorn cart in the corner for quick refills during the show.

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3. Home Gym

Private gym in basement.

If you love working out, you may choose to use your bonus space as an at home gym. Home gyms are usually best in garages, basements, or spaces without rooms underneath. Add your desired equipment such as weights, a treadmill, or an exercise bike. Add a TV or sound system for entertainment, a large mirror for checking your form, a fan to keep it cool, and a mini fridge to keep yourself hydrated.

4. Home Office

Small home office.

A home office isn’t the most glamorous of man caves, but it can be a super practical use of space. If you need to work from home – making a home office is a great idea. Make the space really custom to your working needs with a comfy chair and extra desktop monitors so you can really immerse yourself in your work.

You could also make a home office look like an at home library if you have a large book collection. Having floor to ceiling bookshelves filled with books and large leather chairs can add to the office feel.

5. Sports Center

Sports center in basement.

A sports-themed man cave can be the perfect replacement for sports bars and arenas for you and your friends to cheer on your favorite team. Get a big-screen TV or projector screen with surround sound to make it feel even more like you’re at the game.

Get creative with your seating options by installing bleachers or stadium seats. Decorate the walls with sports memorabilia and jerseys of your favorite teams and add different sports memorabilia, like helmets or balls, to bare spaces. Use lockers to store personal items and outline the floor to look like your favorite sport’s court or field.

6. Wine Cellar

Wine cellar.

A wine cellar can be a great option for narrow rooms and basements because wine needs a cool, dark climate to stay in good shape. The ideal temperature for wine storage is around 55 degrees, though different types of wine require different temperatures. No matter the wine, you don’t want to go higher than around 65 degrees and you don’t want the temperature to fluctuate much.

For the most functional wine cellar, you’ll need wine racks and shelving to properly store and display your collection of bottles and the proper glasses and hardware. If you have champagne, dessert wines, sparkling wines or wines that require temps in the 40s, a wine cooler may be ideal.

7. Recording Studio

Recording studio in basement.

Whether you plan to record music or podcasts, a room dedicated to recording audio can make all the difference in the quality of what you’re producing. When choosing a room, make sure you consider:

  • Acoustics
  • Space needed for your equipment
  • Noise from cars, nature, neighbors, TVs and other appliances in the home

Make sure you soundproof the room – for your and your family’s sanity. To do this, lay down rugs and install acoustic sound-proofing foam to the walls. Using high-quality headphones can also help. Depending on what you’re recording, you’ll need the proper equipment, which often includes microphones, pop filters, a mixing board and a computer with digital audio software.

Build your dream home theater.

Take your viewing experience to the next level with pro installation.

8. Man Cave Bar

Basement bar.

With this option, happy hour can happen at home. All you need to create yours is a bar counter with bar stools and a place to store your glasses and bottles of liquor. A mini fridge can hold beers and mixers along with such drink garnishes as limes, olives and cherries.

If your bar doesn’t include storage for glassware and mixologist tools, consider getting a bar cart, cabinet or bookshelf to hold and display everything you need for a functioning bar. You’ll also want to include bar stool seating for samplings and conversation and a small table or surface area to prepare a few types of cheese and charcuteries to pair with your selection.

9. Man Cave Garage

Man working on birdhouse in workshop.

If you like tinkering with hobbies like woodworking, metal working, or car repair, the garage might be the perfect place for your man cave. But converting your garage could take some work.

Set up your dream workshop with a big worktable and ample storage for all of your tools. Don’t forget to use pegboards to hang and display tools on the wall to take advantage of the vertical spacing.

Garage workshops need to keep lighting and temperature control in mind. Assuming that your space is unfinished, you will want to install large fans to keep the air from getting stagnant. Also consider installing additional overhead lighting so you can work well, even at night.

10. Collector’s Room

Vintage collection in room.

A collector’s man cave can provide a space to store and show off your collection, whether that be coins, stamps, action figures, antique cars or comics. You’ll want to have ample shelving to hold your collection, along with protective display cases for rarer items that need protection from moisture or dust.

If you collect art, photographs, stamps or comic books, consider displaying them with a gallery wall. Whatever your collection, do your research to make sure the room’s climate is ideal for keeping your collection in mint condition. For example, stamps should be kept at room temperature (about 60 – 70 degrees) and around 50% humidity.

The Bottom Line

If you’re struggling to settle on an idea for your man cave, keep in mind that the best theme is one that helps you relax and surround yourself with the things you love. If some of your most appealing options are looking pricy, you might want to consider a cash-out refinance.

A cash-out refinance is one of the most popular ways to fund higher-end home upgrades like kitchen and bathroom remodels, pool installations, and yes, even man caves. With this financing option you will typically be paying a much lower interest rate than you would with a personal loan or credit card, and you might also have the chance to secure a more favorable rate on your mortgage, if rates are down. Why not start the process to get a cash-out-refinance today?

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Morgan McBride

Morgan McBride is a DIY-lover and home decor enthusiast living in Charleston, South Carolina. She has been blogging at CharlestonCrafted.com alongside her husband since 2012, where they empower their readers to craft their current home into their dream home through the power of DIY.