How to Make a Man Cave

Three Parts:Preparing the SpaceInstalling Furniture and EntertainmentDecorate Your Man Cave

A man cave is a special part of the house dedicated to the man's own pursuits, including spending time alone, or with his mates. A man cave should be filled with the essence of the things you enjoy, from football and hobbies, to sports paraphernalia and a well-stocked bar. There is a lot you can do in your man cave, but before that, you'll need to make one. This article provides some ideas on how to go about setting up your own man cave.

Part 1
Preparing the Space

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    Choose the space. Naturally, the word "cave" is very loosely used in the case of developing a man cave. It can be the attic, an unused bathroom, the shed out the back, the garage, or the basement. Or anywhere else that's spare, has adequate elbow room, and is left currently unused or pretty much abandoned.
    • Build a shed or dig out a basement if your options are looking thin.
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    Be prepared to negotiate. Having a man cave in the house may require delicate household negotiations and compromises. You may have to agree to something in exchange for your man cave been allowed into the house. If your man cave is using up the only relaxation space, no one's going to end up happy. Try offering one of the following in exchange, if your partner or housemate is interested:
    • Setting up another room as a sewing room, exercise room, sauna and spa, playroom, model collection space, or astronomy observatory.
    • Promising a certain number of hours each month on household repairs, odd jobs, or chores.
    • Arranging regular dates or family time.
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    Insulate and sound-proof the room. Man caves often start in corners of the house without insulation. Make your man cave warmer and more sound-proof by installing fiberglass or other insulation material between the wall studs.
    • Unless your cave is in a stand-alone shed, or you're living alone, put a priority on sound proofing when choosing insulation material. You don't want your midnight sports or poker game to be interrupted by a tired spouse or neighbor.
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    Paint or wallpaper the room (optional). If you've been relegated to the dingiest, smallest room in the house, bright colors will give a sense of more light coming in, and more space. On the other hand, dark colors are good for home theater setups, or a relaxed bar-like atmosphere.
    • If you couldn't care less and just think a wall is a wall, congratulations. Skipping this step is the first benefit of having a space where you get to make the decisions.
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    Add lighting or curtains if needed. Install recessed lighting or a light on a dimmer switch if you want to watch movies in your man cave. If your man cave has windows, put up blackout curtains so you can pull them closed and game at three in the afternoon without the outside world butting in.

Part 2
Installing Furniture and Entertainment

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    Add comfortable seating. Get the comfiest couches, armchairs, recliners, or beanbags you can find. If you're looking forward to a lot of spilled beer and take-out food, find a beat-up leather couch that can handle the damage. If you're building more of a "gentleman's cave," select quality matching furniture instead.
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    Put in tables and other furniture. Most man caves can get away with a couple end tables to put a drink on, and maybe a bookcase to hold trophies, books, and decorations. If you like board games or card games, though, put in a card table and a few compact chairs.
    • Outdoor wooden furniture is more rustic and durable, and fits in with a rugged man cave style.
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    Add the TV and radio. If you watch a lot of sports, save up for a 50 inch+ (127cm) flat screen TV, although keep practicality in mind if you're going to be sitting 5 feet (1.5 meters) away. If television isn't going to be the main entertainment in your man cave, you can put in a small, cheap set, a radio, or nothing at all.
    • If you want a home theater setup, a projector and canvas screen can create the largest image and takes up barely any space when not in use.
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    Put in a bar and/or fridge. If you like mixing drinks or keeping a large booze selection, class up the experience with your own bar counter top and shelving, plus a bar stool or two. If the goal here is to keep a few beers cold, or to store some easy snacks, just go with a mini-fridge instead.
    • If you party in a giant man cavern, buy a kegerator.
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    Hook up a computer. If you have a laptop, just make sure you get internet access. What you look at online is your own business in the man cave.
    • If your home wireless signal is poor in the man cave, try purchasing a WiFi range extender.
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    Install a surround sound system. If you enjoy quality audio, this is another big ticket item to save up for and really spice up your man cave. Keep in mind that most living situations will make sound-proofing a necessity before this goes in.
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    Set up your gaming supplies. From board games to card games, from a pool table to a table tennis table, whatever fits in and makes your world rock is absolutely fine. The man cave is a great place for console gaming, too, especially for less family-friendly games.
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    Include sports equipment. Reserve some space for the physical activity of choice to keep you fit, strong, and manly. Think about dumbbells, a bench press, or whatever you can fit into your space.
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    Create a workbench space. If you're into home projects and have the space, set aside a corner for carpentry, home improvement planning, or other projects. If you are in a garage or basement, you can include a workbench for vehicle maintenance and upgrades.
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    Add anything you desire. There are a thousand ways to customize your man cave. If you have an indoor hobby, make a space for it. Here are even more ideas to customize the space the way you like it:
    • Arcade games and pinball machines
    • Indoor bowling, golf, or other miniature sports
    • Musical instruments you or your buddies can play.
    • A smoke machine or other completely gratuitous, awesome man toys.

Part 3
Decorate Your Man Cave

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    Add signs to the walls. Neon bar signs make classic man cave décor, as do old-fashioned liquor ads and traffic signs with funny messages or images. You can buy these from specialized stores or online, so there's no need to look for one that "just fell off the truck."
    • You can also search online for "man cave decorations" or "man cave signs."
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    Put up posters or artwork. Display posters of your favorite actors, athletes, or anything you like. Frame your favorite movie posters in lighted frames, or negotiate with other people in your house to move a couple pieces of wall décor into your cave. Posters of models are another classic man cave decoration, although they can be a sore point for some spouses and partners.
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    Display your trophies, collections, and memorabilia. Hang up your medals and place your trophies proudly on the top shelf. If you hunt, fish, or play sports, display your equipment, along with photographs of great moments. Your man cave is also the perfect place to display any collection you have, or at least the most prized examples.
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    Keep reading material and gadgets on hand. There should be plenty of small things for you and your mates to grab during the lull in TV, audio, or video game activity. Include such items as:
    • Magazines and books
    • 3D puzzles, handheld games and toys, and other small time wasters or challenges
    • Strange gadgets, flea market deals, and other odd, interesting stuff you've picked up — especially if your family won't let you keep it anywhere else!


  • Put a lock on the door if there are children in the house that could wander into your Closet of Booze, Guns, and Bear Traps™.
  • Check out the many photos of man caves online for more inspiration. Men are rightfully proud of their man caves and many have willingly uploaded great shots of their efforts in creating one.
  • A man's cave is his kingdom; if someone doesn't like it, they don't have to enter. (But be warned, that conversation will go over a lot more smoothly if you get permission for the man cave before you start taking over a room.)


  • The habits created by having a man cave can cause family tension. Try not to spend every spare moment in it.

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