It’s an American invention that has taken hold in Australia, this idea of a “mancave”, “mantuary”, “manland”, or the more widely used “man cave”. It’s a place exclusively dominated by the man of the house, whether he sets up in the spare room, the basement, the shed or the garage. Wherever the man cave is located, it’s a place a man can be himself, get some much-needed me-time and indulge in his favourite hobbies and activities. But there are many more reasons why men love man caves. There are some AMAZING man cave ideas out there, and here they all are in the one spot.
Part workshop, part car repair, part home brewery, a man cave is a man’s retreat or sanctuary, but at other times, it’s somewhere to spend time with mates and watch sport, play games and chew the fat.
Now, experts believe having a man cave is more important for a man than we think, and may even make them better husbands and fathers. It’s because of the art of “mancave spelunking” (meaning: hanging out in your own space by yourself) is a healthy way for men to unwind and have an outlet for all the work and life-related stress they experience. Having a place to decompress, get away from it all and get away with being anti-social is thought to help men regulate their emotions and therefore is very beneficial to their mental health.
Men also enjoy the freedom they have in decorating their man cave however they like. For many men, this means their favourite hobby becomes the theme, whether it’s Formula One racing or AFL or skating. For others, it’s music, films, or fishing.
Whether you choose an overall theme or just start compiling items ad-hoc according to what you like, there are certain elements that all good man caves seem to share. So in no particular order, here are our favourite man cave ideas to steer you in the right direction.
Man cave design ideas
1. The skateboarder
Your man cave is your space and needs to reflect your true self. It’s all about you, so feel completely free to add as many personal touches as you could possibly add. Your man cave is the place where you can unabashedly show off accomplishments. You know, your trophies, that prized photo of you with THAT barramundi, your old sports jerseys—along with all your other memorabilia and knickknacks.
2. The rev head
Is it even a man cave without something to show off? Of course, a lot will depend on your available amount of space and the dollars you have to funnel into creating your fantasy man cave. But it should impress, right? Of course, but who doesn’t want that wow factor from their mates? After all, poolrooms and man caves are repositories of treasure, not trash…
3. The sports fan
Styling your man cave to reflect your love of a sport or all sports is tried and true. You can’t go wrong with the old school look of framed sports memorabilia or jerseys and trophies on the wall.
4. The serious gamer
There’s an element of crossover between the mancave and the media room these days, with increasingly sophisticated home theatre solutions being installed as the man cave evolves. The no-brainers are the biggest TV you can afford, a wicked surround sound system, the latest consoles and streaming devices. In terms of mod-cons, many modern man caves also routinely come with dishwashers, microwaves, wine fridges and humidors.
5. The movie buff
Your man cave will be as luxe as your pockets are deep, but if you’re setting up a home theatre, you’ll likely already also be looking at luxury recliners, home theatre projectors and a rear projection screen (fairly easy DIYs, but if you need a hand, try a home theatre specialist).
6. The good times guy
Install a complete bar for when you plan to entertain in your man cave, or just because you want one. You don’t have to spend a fortune and you’ll get that instant man cave vibe.
7. The musician
If music is more your thing, you might be looking at sound mixers and DJ booths, or at least a digital jukebox. Top tip: if you’re going to want to enjoy your music at a decent sound level, think about adding soundproofing for peace of mind. Likewise, if you intend to play instruments or have the boys over on game days.
Man cave wall ideas
8. A feature wall
This can act as the focal point for the room and also provides another way to personalise the cave and give it added character. Choose a solid accent colour, textured or patterned wallpaper, or use a wall of shelving for your collectibles.
9. Gallery wall
Alternatively, create a feature gallery wall full of your favourite band or movie posters or a cool set of prints.
10. Turn musical instruments into a wall feature
A great way to make use of battered and broken instruments that you can’t bring yourself to part with.
11. Wild wild west
This is one of the very ‘different’ man cave ideas but if rustic and old skulls are your vibe then this look might be something that you want to explore.
Man cave seating
12. Decide on your perfect throne
Even if you don’t like watching TV or gaming, you still want the comfiest possible place to get away from it all and relax. The recliner is the universal man cave piece for lounging, chilling, making private calls or having a snooze.
13. The comfort zone
Having extra comfy seating for your guests and potential bromantic sleepovers go without saying. If you want to give off big man cave energy, choose leather with wood and metal accents, or go for the luxe new home theatre recliner sofa options with handy features like the cup and device holders.
14. Side tables and ottomans
A simple and inexpensive way to add colour pops and bits of your personality around your man cave.
15. Comfy bar stools
Offer your guests that authentic bar vibe with extra comfy bar stools, such as adjustable air-lift stools.
16. Quirky seating
If you don’t intend to have a bar, but still want a few casual spots for people to sit, aside from the couch, think about how you’ll seat them and whether your spare seating can become a feature in itself.
17. Tree stumps
It’s a great DIY project if you can find someone giving away some large tree stumps. They are super versatile as they can be used as a side table as well.
18. A snack stand
The essential concession stand, snack stand or candy bar. Keep your fridge stocked with choc-tops, or offer guests freshly-made popcorn, chips and a lolly bar.
19. A statement fridge
Whether or not you drink alcohol, you’ll want to have a cold beverage handy for yourself and your visiting mates. And a boring little white bar fridge just doesn’t cut it when compared with a Smeg or a Darth…
20. If space is tight, install a Murphy bar
Man cave light ideas
21. Reuse the empties
Yes, you can recycle the empty bottles, but you can also turn them into some really awesome DIY projects around the home such as light decorations.
22. Musical instrument lights
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” but in this case, if they are broke… turn your musical instruments into something cool but also useful such as lights.
23. Light-up bar counter
Another impressive DIY lighting idea is to create a light-up counter by installing a sheet of glass over flat neon lighting.
24. Create a light-up display
Put in special lighting for your collections if you want to show off all of your items.
Man cave games and activities
Nietzsche said, “In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play”, so go ahead, indulge that child with all the toys it could possibly want to share on playdates. Retro faves as ubiquitous as the pool table include the dartboard, board games, table tennis, football tables, air hockey tables and chess sets. Some men set up their own personal vintage arcade gaming system, others have got to have a poker table – so let’s take a look at some awesome man cave ideas for games.
25. Make it a place you can be physical
Many a man cave is part-gym and there’s nothing wrong with setting up a space for getting on your treadmill or weightlifting, being active, rocking out to music—getting physical is an easy stress-buster.
26. Bowling alley
Well if you can afford it, why wouldn’t you put your very own bowling alley in your home and up your strike rate!
27. Virtual golf
Improve your drive when you’re not on the course with your own personal virtual golf set up. At least when you’re at home you won’t have to queue up at the tee.
28. Have a pool table
If you want your man cave to be taken seriously, you must have a pool table. It’s like wearing a tie with a suit. But at least you can pick the colour and these days they come in every colour and finish you can imagine.
29. …or maybe a foosball table
If pool ain’t your thing, maybe a foosball table is a better fit for your man cave. It’s probably a more accident safe game to have as well with the maintenance costs a little lower.
It’s the most budget-friendly game to add to your man cave. Here’s a great looking installation of a dartboard.
Another easy way to showcase your interests is to put up prints from your favourite classic films or album covers.
32. Talk the torque
A motor vehicle theme never gets old for man cave décor, whether or not you include a classic car converted into a couch or bar. It may just be a recycled tire that has been repurposed for storage or as a coffee table or car-themed memorabilia.
Every mancave needs a big, bold, analogue clock on the wall. How about this Porsche wheel clock?
33. Wanderer wall
Passionate about travel, history or a particular fantasy series? You could make it the theme of your man cave with a focal point of a huge map on temporary wallpaper. A framed vintage or topographical map also always looks impressive on the wall of a man cave. Document where you’ve been on the globe, your favourite cities, or an imaginary map from your favourite fantasy novel.
34. Design it to contain the detritus of a life well-lived
Offcuts of wood, bits of fishing rods, half-full paint tins kept just in case, random fasteners and brackets. All that ‘useful hoarding’ that’s in fact a legacy from cave man days, that instinct to fix and provide that fuels the apparent chaos of tools and equipment that surrounds many males of our species. Whatever. You have to find an attractive and functional method of storing all your stockpiled odds and ends. Spruce it up with your collectibles and memorabilia, and keep your overall theme in mind.
35. Bring in the greenery
Any room looks better with a bit of greenery but make it man cave approved by being a bit creative with the choice of a planter.
36. Key steward
Don’t forget the details. Whether your man cave is car, sports or music-themed (like this key holder made from speaker parts), each little element of your man cave can still show off your personality.
37. Rod steward
If you’re a keen angler, you might like to make a feature out of your equipment, like this:
38. Vital signs
Vintage style signs add to the character of a man cave and give it a little touch of added humour.
39. Make it official
There needs to be some sort of indication or sign that this is your zone, so the rest of the tribe doesn’t mistake it for a rumpus room (understandable, given the many similarities and time-wasting temptations). They can have their playroom elsewhere; this is your man cave.
40. A smart man cave
Make sure you’re living in a smart home operated by digital personal assistants like Alexa and Siri. Install it in your home for a few hundred bucks and you can walk around your man cave nonchalantly issuing instructions to adjust your lighting, regulate the temperature, control your home theatre system and more, all with your voice. Definitely worth the investment, and smarter than a smart TV because you get a better user interface and more processing power.
41. And now one for everyone
If you want a space that’s inclusive and that won’t make an interior designer’s stomach churn, here’s a lovely alternative to all of the other man cave ideas above.
It still has all of the must-haves such as a game table (ping-pong in this example), a TV screen and a bar with seating.
42. Head outdoors
If you don’t have enough room indoors, perhaps you have some space outdoors which you use for your backyard man cave.
If you think this is the idea for you, take a look at how to get more from your backyard with these patio ideas so that you can makeover your backyard and turn it into an awesome space for all of the family.
Get a professional to help you out
Finally, if you decide you’ll need remodelling or fit-out work to achieve your dream man cave ideas, but don’t have much building and construction experience yourself, find a local handyman to help you.
Do you have any other man cave ideas? Let us know in the comments below!