First coined by a Canadian reporter in the spring of 1992, the term “man cave” evokes the sounds of the big game, the savory aroma of cold beer, and the heartwarming howls of male bonding.
- What’s going to be the main theme of your new space?
- Start off on the right foot with easy-to-use storage solutions.
- Divide your garage into smaller areas
- Invest in some harmonious, high-tech gadgets.
- Treat yourself to revamped walls, floors, and ceilings.
- Add adequate illumination for all of your favorite hobbies.
Choose Your Adventure
Every journey begins with one step, and the first thing to do on your quest towards man cave gold is to pick your poison – make a plan of what activities you’d like to do, what amenities you crave, and how you’d like your dude shrine to be laid out.
Are you a gearhead, toolsets, and tires kind of guy? Then deck out your cave with a cool workbench and automotive decor fit for a mechanic king. Want to brew your own beer, watch football, and shoot darts? You’ll need a fridge, a ridiculously large TV, and plenty of seating. Thinking of a Vegas-style theme? Check out Craigslist for estate sales and score some swanky black leather couches and swivel bar chairs.
Next, it’s time to clean and de-junk your garage, and prepare it for its new life as a “he hideout.” An eminently handy resource for this topic, the bro experts at Man Cave Know-How remind you to check the weatherproofing – just because it’s called a cave doesn’t mean it should be musty, drafty, or subject to extreme temps.
Once your garage is clean, insulated, and ready to rock, you’ll need to bring in some clever storage for all of your gear. It’s crucial to get and keep your tools properly organized, no matter what kind of projects you work on.
Custom cabinetry, drawers, bookcases, and overhead racks all are excellent storage options. Here are a few additional & affordable methods for storing your stuff:
- Clear plastic bins with sturdy lids are great for holding just about anything.
- Repurposed soup cans and jars are ideal for nuts, bolts, and other small items.
- Magnetic strips do a fabulous job of holding tools and garden implements.
- Hooks for hanging bikes and other sports equipment up & safely out of the way – genius!
There are some items that should be removed from your garage entirely. If your cave is not temperature-controlled, then you’ll want to make sure paint and adult beverages are safely tucked somewhere else where they can stay cool. Gas and propane tanks can be quite hazardous – it’s best to keep those away from your house. And of course, no one wants pests and critters in their Garage Mahal.
Hopefully, your garage is relatively big but even if it isn’t, you can make it seem so with some efficient use of space by creating zones. This will help you maximize the size of your cave while still utilizing that valuable storage space.
The home & garden gurus at The Spruce suggest thinking of your garage like a “department store” – you wouldn’t find skis in the home decor section, so why should you have toys littering your beer-drinking retreat?
For example, if you need an area that is solely for bikes and outdoor gear, use hooks and overhead racks for smart vertical storage. Need a garden center? Keep your potting soil and planters on a wide bookshelf to cut down on tracking dirt. Restricting other activities to a specific zone will give you as much room as possible to spread out in your new guy grotto.
Bring It Into The 21st Century
A modern man needs a modern man cave. Your garage might be woefully out of date for today’s technology, but this is the perfect time to bring in some upgrades so you can make sure your man cave has all the creature comforts.
First, check the number of power outlets. Will you be able to plug in a fridge, that big-screen TV, AND a booming stereo system? You may need to add a few outlets. While you’re at it, go ahead and add USB ports as well, so you and your friends can charge your mobile devices.
Will you need to install cable TV to watch sports and WiFI so you don’t miss your favorite shows? Make it so!
Other high-tech doodads you may desire are remote-controlled fans and doors, heated floors, hydraulic racks, a tap system for your favorite brews – the only limit to how totally rad your new man cave can be is your imagination.
Up, Down, and All-Around
Now, consider your floors, walls, and ceilings. Surrounded by bare concrete, exposed framing, or the horror of overhead popcorn? Don’t despair – there are plenty of options available, depending on your budget and goals.
Garage flooring comes in many affordable choices, such as epoxy coatings. You might prefer mats made of rubber, bamboo, and other high-grade materials, which can come in rolls or as interlocking squares.
Bare walls can be transformed into anything you wish – go nuts with some wall-mounted storage, hang drywall and display some artistic inspiration, or create your multimedia game day display with televisions and speakers.
It’s definitely time to scrape off those unsightly popcorn ceilings. Install some overhead racks for storage or bring in an industrial ceiling fan to help you stay cool as a cucumber during those hot summer months.
Let There Be Light
While caves are typically dark 24/7, yours should be cheerful and bright when needed. The possibilities for fun and useful lighting are practically endless. Beer signs and neon are kind of de rigueur for a man cave, and these days you can find just about anything you want online.
Get creative and make your own light fixtures from bottles, cans, mason jars, or metal scraps. If you have beloved sports memorabilia, you’ll want to have proper lighting so you can display them.
Woodworking, auto repair, and other arts require excellent lighting so you don’t injure yourself. Invest in LED bulbs, as they last longer, put out little heat, and are better for the environment. Light fixtures on dimmer switches can give you the illumination you need for a big project but can be dimmed for proper sports watching appreciation.
The man cave is a necessary indulgence in today’s stressful world. And what better place to create your sacred space than the traditionally manly kingdom of your garage? No matter how much real estate you have to work with, you can carve out your rustic relaxation niche with the help of these resourceful tips. Happy spelunking!