The man cave – that bastion of masculinity where a guy can entertain his friends and retreat to play music, watch sport or tackle another level on his Xbox or PlayStation without interruption from the family.

Whether you’re a proponent of the man cave or not, here’s a list of essentials that every red-blooded male should have in this territorial space:

Masculine finishes – In terms of design and décor, think masculine lines and materials, such as wood panelling, frosted glass, dark-wood cabinets and furniture; polished concrete, textured tile or laminate flooring; playful upholstery fabrics and designs (like faux leather vinyl, plaid, houndstooth, assorted stripes, diamond patterns and studded trim); exposed brickwork, stone-clad walls, corrugated steel, blackboard-painted walls (for impromptu scoreboards and betting odds), etc. For smaller, darker rooms opt for lighter wood finishes to expand the space a little.

A big screen(s) and surround sound – Obviously the best way to watch the game is from your seat in the stadium. If you can’t do that, then only a giant screen (or multiple screens, each one set on a different sports channel) will do. Point is, if you don’t have a high-tech, audio-visual wonderland, you can’t call it a man cave, can you? And don’t forget the concert-quality speakers either.

Comfortable seating – Ample seating goes hand in hand with big TVs and booming sound systems. Of course the ultimate seating plan is that of the ‘home theatre’. Think comfortable leather recliners (preferably with cup-holders), oversized sectional couches and weathered armchairs.

A bar – Not just a small wine cooler in the corner, but a full bar complete with counter, bar fridge (with icemaker, LED lighting and glass door), bar stools and all the other essentials needed to create that proper ‘pub vibe’. If you’re a wine enthusiast, install some wine racks that place the bottles horizontally and parallel to the wall so you can easily see the labels. A cigar-filled humidor box will look completely at home on the counter.

Organisation – Clever built-in storage can help maximise space and custom display cases will do your trophy collection and sports memorabilia proper justice.

Good lighting – From TV backlighting and display lighting (to light up those trophies and sports memorabilia), to switching from sports-bar lighting to movie-theatre lighting at the flick of a dimmer switch, the right kind of lighting can add a whole new level of greatness to your man cave. Add a statement light fixture over your snooker table and run some rope lighting under your bar counter and along the shelves to make everything glow.

A bathroom – Your man-cave bathroom should match the rest of your man cave. Again, think masculine lines and colours and replace standard fixtures with ‘rougher’ pieces (like a rustic cabinet and stone basin, for instance). Or go with an industrial-style basin and a barber-shop mirror. Chrome bathroom accessories go with just about anything. If you have the space, consider a shower and even a urinal.

A theme – A man cave isn’t only a place to get away from it all, but a place to truly express who you are. Choose a theme that reflects your hobbies, interests and personal style. If you love old music, line the walls with vinyl records; if you’re a car enthusiast, create a statement wall with license plates; if you’re a movie buff, put up some iconic movie posters, or dedicate the room to your favourite football or rugby team.

Games and tables – Be it a poker table, a roulette table (complete with casino-grade wheel) or a customised pool table with felt trim in a colour of your choosing; a dartboard, foosball, pinball, classic arcade games, a jukebox, putting green or bandstand… the list is never-ending.

A sense of humour – No man cave would be complete without a few funny signs with quirky sayings and at least one truly ‘kitsch’ item, like a plastic pink flamingo, to tie it all together.


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