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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10 Tips For Your Kitchen Remodel

Being able to redesign your own kitchen is a wonderful thing.

You can build it up from scratch exactly how you want it, and in such a way that it works for you and your home.

But there are a lot of pitfalls as well, and mistakes can become very costly. Here are ten tips to keep your kitchen remodel in line and on budget.

Don’t Overspend!

Work out a budget ahead of time and stick to it.  It isn’t going to be easy – you’re bound to find some tiles you absolutely love that are way too expensive, so you need to be able to say no! The amount you spend on your kitchen should be proportional to how much extra value it should add to the house.

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As a general rule, an upgrade of paints and hardware may cost around £1500, while a full upgrade with counters, flooring and luxury appliances can cost tens of thousands.

Have An Identity In Mind

You might think you know what you’re doing going into the build – until you find that you’ve bought the tiles for a cottage kitchen and the counter tops for a minimalist space.

Be aware of the architectural style of the house as it is, and work with it instead of against it.

Don’t Mess With The Plumbing

It’s a huge hassle to move the water and gas lines around, and expensive to boot. Keep anything that’s connected by a pipe where it is, unless you absolutely have to move it!

Check The Floor Plan

If you do want to change the layout of your kitchen, either with appliances or in terms of plug sockets, think it through thoroughly. Most kitchens have a general layout which makes it easier to navigate, such as having the dishwasher next to the sink.

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If you can, that is. If they’re made of wood and still in good condition you can save a lot of money by simply giving them a facelift. Repaint them, relaminate, or add new drawer handles.

DIY Your Flooring

This is a stage in the design where you can save yourself a lot of money. Good laminate flooring that looks like tiles is reasonably priced – but pay a workman to do it for you and the cost per square metre will go up a huge amount. The other bonus of laminate flooring is that it’s easy to clean; always a selling point in a kitchen.

Get Some Free Advice

There are so many resources for advice on a kitchen redesign! A lot of home improvement shops will have computer-based design services which make the measurements and layout easy.

Also make sure you use all the resources you can find on the internet as well as asking the advice of people who’ve already done it.

Match Your Appliances

This will be harder to do if you aren’t getting all new appliances, although you can build up from a base of one or two. Your kitchen will look about ten times more professional with matching appliances – and while they don’t have to be the exact same range, they should at least be the same brand and colour.

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If you already have one perfectly good appliance, buy the others to match it.

Take Sinks and Fixtures Into Account

All these little bits can end up costing you a lot if you don’t factor them into the initial design. Your kitchen will look so much better if you’re able to stick to a consistent finish – unless the patchwork kitchen is the look you’re going for, in which case also disregard the previous point.

Do you have any other ideas for how to keep your kitchen redesign in line?

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Download – The Biggest, Baddest Metal Fest in the UK

If you’re at Download Festival this weekend, I hate you.

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No not really, but I am pretty jealous.

With one of the best line-ups in the last decade, featuring legends of the industrial, rock and metal scenes, even the bad weather isn’t going to ruin the weekend – although it might ruin your tent.

The first headliner of the weekend are the German industrial band Rammstein, celebrating their 25th anniversary with a world tour. They come after such acts as Korn, Alien Ant Farm, Glassjaw and Kadavar, as well as a tribute act to Lemmy Kilmister who should have been performing with Motorhead.

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Next up is the father of modern British metal – Ozzy Osbourne with Black Sabbath, finishing off a day that features Megadeath, NOFX, Skindred and Municipal Waste.

And on Friday, ageing rock band Iron Maiden perform their newest album The Book of Souls, while Napalm Death, Disturbed, Gojira and more fill up the day.

If you’re camping at Download this year, don’t expect to get an easy barbecue in – it looks like the weather’s going to be wet all weekend so hopefully you brought some extra tent pegs to avoid washing away.

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And finally, if watching all these amazing shredders gives you the itch to learn guitar, keep your eyes peeled for our blog about it soon!

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How To Be A Gentleman At The Gym

Working out is an essential tenant of masculinity.

It might be the testosterone rush, or the feeling of being an unstoppable primal power, but it feels damn good to work out.

But while you’re being Mr Hyde, don’t cease to be Dr Jekyll, and keep in mind your etiquette when sharing a space with others.

Don’t Hog The Machines

Use the machines or weights for however long you need them – then once you don’t, relinquish control. Everyone’s trying to use the same tools as you, and if you can’t learn to share you should be working out at home. Don’t be a dick and try to claim a machine with a towel either.

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Wipe Down The Equipment

Don't forget to bring a towel!
Don’t forget to bring a towel!

Your gym ought to have this rule printed out and put all around the place.

No one likes to sit down into a puddle of someone else’s sweat (or their own, for that matter), but you’re not exercising if you don’t sweat. So how do you get around this? Bring a bloody towel! If you see someone leave a machine sweaty and they don’t have a towel, offer them yours to use.

Quit Nattering

A bit of talking is fine – give your kudos here and there, or say hi to a gym buddy. But chatting for twenty minutes really isn’t the point of the gym, and you’re probably just holding everybody up as well as you and your banter buddy.

You need to stay focused at the gym, and having lengthy conversations can really disrupt that concentration.

The Gym Is Not A Bar

Women don’t want to be hit on in a gym – would you? Your messy and sweaty, red and tired; you’ve been focused on working out hard, not on how you look.

If you end up making friends with a lady at the gym you may want to ask her out later, but not while she’s exercising. And don’t try to approach any women with cheesy pickup lines; you probably won’t get the answer you’re looking for.

If the sight of a sweaty, red-faced woman gets your motor running, go work it off somewhere else.

Call Them Back Later

5-gym-phone-callMost people use their phones in the gym nowadays, either as a device to listen to music or to text and play games.  That’s fine. Talking incessantly on your phone is not.

Quite frankly, it’s obnoxious. You might not be breaking any rules, and you probably won’t hear anything about it, but take my word for it – you will be bothering the people around you, even if they have headphones in.

And, to be perfectly honest, having a lengthy phone call during your work out is not the best way to build muscle.

Do you think these are fair points? Are you usually a gentleman at the gym? Let us know!

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