Father’s Day is a perfect time to celebrate that special dad who works so hard and always puts family first. What better way to show your appreciation than to start thinking about creating a space that he can call his own: a man cave? This may entail transforming your basement, renovating your garage or even creating usable space in your attic.
Andy Williams of HGTV’s Flip or Flop Fort Worth gave Freshome several great tips to help us all design the perfect man cave.
Creating a sports-themed man cave
When Williams conceptualizes and creates a man cave, he takes the same approach as purchasing a custom suit or a set of golf clubs. “There are so many great options and so many things that you can do, but the first thing you have to do is understand the ‘man’ in the cave,” Williams says.
For a sports-themed design, you should start with the history of the cave owner. “If he has trophies or personal memorabilia, it is nice to have a corner or shadow box that pays tribute to his glory days.”
The next part of the theme is generally affiliations: what college did he attend or what are his favorite local teams?
“I often advise not to go overboard in this area because we still want it to be classy and more about the cave owner rather than being a shrine,” Williams says. And that’s why he likes universal sports ideas. “Whether you opt for some of the cool trends in pool tables, a dartboard setup, a poker table or chess boards, this aspect of the cave shows versatility and more of the renaissance man approach, if that is what you like.”
Man caves for men who aren’t sports fans
Of course, the man cave doesn’t have to incorporate a sports theme. “For some, this area may serve as part home office and part hobby area. It can also be part workshop and part lounge.” Williams says there is no better place for him to keep his collection of music or his home library than in the place where he takes his respite and can be focused on the things he enjoys. “More and more, we see man caves that reflect the intellect and style of the individual, rather than their allegiance to a sports team.”
A man cave that simply revolves around entertainment is another good choice, “especially for those spaces that are external to the home,” Williams explains. “There can be a lot of versatility built in so that the former external garage has movie projection capabilities both inside the structure and externally for an outdoor movie night.”
Making sure the man cave doesn’t look like a frat house
A man cave is not a dormitory or a fraternity house. To avoid this feel, Williams says the space should define who the cave owner is today and who that person is becoming – not who he used to be. “For me, that goes all the way down to the beverages and snacks that I keep on hand. For example, instead of a bowl of candy and soda, I always have an abundant supply of healthy choices, like nuts and bottles of sparkling water.” Williams says he doesn’t plan on crashing or passing out in his cave. Instead, he goes there to be his best, be alert, share ideas and invite deep conversation.
Materials to use in a man cave
“Again, this is a very personal choice. But, usually, we start with what exists and merge — if possible — with the vision.” Williams says it’s almost always a good idea to use wood. Your colors choices are important since they can affect your emotions. “I prefer lighter colors to brighten the room and allow for smoother lighting.” He also recommends stone and split-face rock for accents, especially when there is a fireplace. “Flooring is also important based on what will be going on in the room. Instead of carpet, I prefer to use area rugs and provide different textures and looks.”
Furnishings to use in a man cave
To truly relax in the man cave and avoid having to go back and forth, Williams recommends furnishing the space as though the cave owner would spend a couple of uninterrupted days in there. “Having a refrigerator is a key element. Also, provided the space is large enough, it’s good to have at least a few ‘refuel’ stations with snacks and beverages.” And from a signature design perspective, Williams says there should be at least one furnishing that is a conversation piece.
A man cave is the perfect place to use one of those cool roll-up garage doors or maybe a sliding, stackable glass door. However, the most important element is the cave owner’s personality. “Designing a personal space is, in many ways, creating a portrait of the cave owner,” Williams says. “It allows you to create something that is in all ways a representation of him and what matters the most to him.”