Building the Ultimate Man-Cave

The Man-Cave has become more than a passing fad or a cultural touchstone for noughties sitcoms.

The design and upkeep of the homestead in a British household has traditionally been seen as the responsibility of the wife. After centuries of patriarchal rule, this responsibility has turned into an absolute power which has left men feeling like they have little means of expression within their own home.

Whilst the man of the house has headed out to win the bread, the wife has stayed at home, cared for the children, cleaned the house and pondered over what improvements the home was in need of.

Over the decades succeeding the Second World War, the role of women in society changed dramatically. Not only were there more women than ever engaged in full time employment, but now the responsibility of keeping the house had turned into a coveted privilege. As the women of the house began exercising their rights to enforce their interior design whims within shared living spaces, men were left feeling increasingly marginalised in their own homes. This led to worried husbands demanding a space of their own where they could express their own masculinity.

These masculine spaces are described informally (sometimes derogatorily) as ‘man-caves’.

Legendary YouTuber Colin Furze shows off his very own, extreme man-cave in this video:

They range greatly in size, style and function – but their purpose is universal: a place for the man of the house do as he pleases; it is, as Paula Aymer of Tufts University describes it, ‘the last bastion of masculinity‘.

Before you think about how you’d like to express yourself as a man in your own home, it’s important to think about some practical issues. There’s nothing worse than a half-completed project, so if your budget is small, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Creating a space that you have complete control over is the aim here: it could be as big as a garage space or as small as an armchair with a hi-fi next to it.

Regardless of what your plans are, there are a few must-buys that you are going to need if you want your man-cave to remain functioning and fun for the foreseeable future:

An impressive sound system

Man-caves are as much about creating an ambience of masculinity as they are about owning a space physically. Invest in a set of speakers that give you crystal clear quality as well as volume, so that you can best enjoy the music and movies that only you like.

Big screen TV or a projector

Some sports fans will swear that the only way to enjoy the game is with a cold beer, complete silence and a massive widescreen. Obviously money can be a limiting factor here. For those without the funds for the latest oversized flat screen, you can always opt for a portable projector. They can be surprisingly affordable and require very little set up.

Fully stocked bar

Although not all of us can afford an entire bar’s worth of booze, a man-cave without a small drinks collection should be considered as incomplete. Enthusiastic men around the world have invested fortunes into recreating a bar or pub in the basement of their homes; but you should just start with a mini-fridge packed with a few cold ones and go from there.

Pub games

Space is once more another issue when considering what distractions to populate your man-cave with. Although pub games such as Pool and Darts are considered traditional, a video games console is perhaps the best source of entertainment for 21st Century man-cave. You can either spend a fortune on a new console or hunt through Ebay for a bargain vintage console, for extra cool points.

Quality AC-DC Converters

All good electricians understand the importance of investing in quality electrical equipment in order to best protect the rest of the home as well, however us men often overlook such safety precautions, electing for the riskier option of cheap extension cables and power supplies found in long forgotten drawers. If you purchase all your power supplies and transformers from a well-established manufacturer, then you’ll be able to relax in peace.

Big sofas or La-z-boys

This last key component should not be neglected. Don’t settle for a battered second hand job and don’t get tricked into taking your favourite seat from upstairs, so that a new one can replace it where you won’t be relaxing. Spending good money on a decent La-Z-Boy will serve you dividends in the future, but you should invest in a big sofa if you’re planning on entertaining guests.

The last thing every man-cave needs is a man to enjoy it – make sure that you find time to enjoy your space!

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