SO YOU’VE SET OUT to create your own Man Cave. This seven-item checklist will make sure you get everything in the room that you’ll need. We’ll be focusing on a typical spare-bedroom Man Cave – the kind most of us get. If you’re lucky enough to have an entire finished attic or basement or above-the-garage bonus room, then you can go even further.
Screen: It all starts with the TV … the focal point. It’s what you’ll watch sports on, as well as re-runs of M.A.S.H and Cheers. Pick a spot where the TV won’t be obstructed by someone opening the door or where you won’t have to have your head turned all the way to the side to watch it. You’ve gotta go with a flat-screen if you can afford one. It takes up so much less room, and all the new ones offer ample inputs for cable, DVD players and game systems.
Sound: If sound is important to you (music fan?), you’ve got to go beyond your TV speakers. You can take it one step further by hooking up your two-speaker stereo system to the audio output of your TV. Take it to the ultimate level by getting an actual stereo receiver and slapping up the surround sound. Speakers today pack too much punch per inch; you can get small wall-mounted ones that’ll blow your hat off.
Seating: There are two directions you can go here if you’re limited on space: One couch or two recliners. Go for the sofa if you’re a lay-down TV watcher (or if you plan on doing a lot of napping in your Man Cave). The two recliners might be the way to go if you have a buddy who comes over often who might not want to sit next to you on the couch. But, ultimately, it’s your Man Cave, you get to make the call. A sofa sleeper can convert the Man Cave into a man-friendly guest room for when you old college roommate is in town for the weekend.
Storage: This is your first item from which you can get dual use. Sure, throw in a few shelves for your favorite DVDs and books (yes, you can use the Man Cave to read too), but also pull out the old foot locker from college or your time in the Army. Use it to store a few tools, the random remotes you only need to use every seven months and anything else you want close by but don’t need immediate access to. Your footlocker then becomes one part storage unit and one part coffee table. It’ll hold your hammer and nails and your icy-cold beer.
Mini-fridge: Speaking of that beer, you should also invest in one of those knee high mini-fridges. It’ll keep the beers nice and cold and if you put in either beside your couch or between your two chairs … boom … end table. Toss a football-helmet lamp on that sucker and call it a day.
Other plug-ins: These are your other tech toys, be it an Xbox, a personal computer, your amp and guitar or your neon St. Pauli Girl light. You’ve just got to make sure you have enough plugs to power everything. Power strips/surge protectors will come in handy here, but just make sure you don’t blow a fuse.
Your stuff: Finally, make the Man Cave yours. Got an old jersey from your football days? Hang it up. The retired kayak paddles? Wall. Maybe you’re even the proud owner of a piece of a giant redwood tree that was struck by lightning … it goes on the wall. Whatever makes you, well, you … that’s what makes the Man Cave yours. Without these things, it’s just a room with a couch and a TV.
For your over-sized Man Cave: As before mentioned, if your the proud owner of a massive Man Cave, this is where you have room for your own bar, a pool table or ping-pong table, even a dart board. Don’t be afraid to go big with it. Just save those receipts … in case you have second thoughts, or realize you hate pool.