Monday, April 20, 2009

Moving Beyond the "Man Cave"

Quite a few times in my professional and personal life, I have met men who speak very highly of the “Man Cave”. Men wanting to retreat to a dark, dank and dirty refuge usually in a garage or basement. They want a place to go away from the wife, the kids and the floral wallpaper that they were forced to hang throughout the house.

I guess I get this weird ritual. I go to a lot of homes where the décor looks more like a beauty parlor or a tea room than a family room. I understand why some men might feel they need to go to a place that is all “guy”. What I don’t understand is the décor of these so-called “man caves”. Walls plastered in beer and sports memorabilia, old recliners stained with spilled beer and nacho cheese dip. Why is this so much better than the other rooms in the house? Maybe this is not for females to understand??!!

However, I do feel like these rooms could be done more traditionally tasteful and still be filled with plenty of testosterone. I like the idea of having that “pub” feel for a man cave. Maybe a nice bar with comfy stools, a few tasteful pictures on the wall of old brew houses or old mirrors. I like the thought of having items from a favorite sporting team, however, they need to be a bit better than a foam finger or shot glass collection. Maybe an antique pennant in a frame, golf balls or baseballs in a wooden display case. Avoid posters if you can unless they are framed. (That does not include posters of half naked women, those should just go!)

Furniture in a man cave can still be clean and comfy without being old a dirty. A great leather sofa and a comfy leather recliner make the room feel like a den, a place where you could go and watch a game or maybe read a book. A cocktail table and end tables would give the room a complete look and a place to put drinks (with a coaster of course). A pool table with a great Tiffany hanging lamp would complete the overall “Man Cave” look and give the guys something to keep them entertained.

I may never understand the need for a “Man Cave” but I do understand the need for good design. Maybe we should re-think the “Man Cave” idea…maybe move onto the “Gentleman’s Lounge”. I think that has a nice ring to it!

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