By: Alyssa C.
At their core, our homes are a place for self-expression—they’re safe spaces to relax, unwind, and be yourself. There’s certainly more than one way to do this, and to foster much-needed me-time, however in 2021 it’s time for ‘She Sheds’ and ‘Man Caves’ to shine! I’ll be talking about man caves today but rest assured, much of the following will help in your she shed decisions as well.
Regardless of your man cave setup, there are some fundamentals to keep in mind to optimize your space. These leisure spaces often occupy the leftover areas in our home (like our basement or garage) since the rooms we absolutely need (like the bedroom or kitchen) take priority. Because of this, our beloved man caves may lack some basics like good lighting—resulting in dull and dark spaces. But there are some simple solutions for these shortcomings, so without further ado, here are 5 ways to make the most out of your man cave.
1) Functional And Ambient Lighting
Lighting goes a long way; you’ll likely want to be able to customize it to match the atmosphere. It’s much less enjoyable to play cards or foosball in a space that feels dark and dingy. On the flip side, you don’t want to watch your favorite tv show in a space that’s obnoxiously bright.
Look for lighting solutions that make the space feel more homey and intentional! Start by exploring a range of lighting options to see what best works for you. Maybe you want to illuminate your space in a more creative way, in which case I’d recommend creating a design for your wall with modular light panels (try Nanoleaf Shapes, Canvas, and Elements). Or perhaps you prefer a more traditional look but still want the benefit of customization. If so, I’d recommend some smart Bulbs and Lightstrips (check out Nanoleaf Essentials). Enjoy total personalization with Nanoleaf as a smart lighting option. Choose from preset lighting Scenes like the “Lover Boy” Playlist inspired by Drake or create your own with the 16M+ color options in the Nanoleaf App. Plus, the simple adhesive installation makes it incredibly easy to set up so you can get back to watching the game in no time.
2) Sports And Hobby Memorabilia
Being a safe space to be yourself, man caves are extremely personal and they reflect some of your favorite things. So why not just go for it and create a space that’s completely you!
Add decor and memorabilia that truly represent your hobbies. Are you a plane, train, or automobiles person? Then go for signs you may see on the railway, set out some hats you’d find in the cockpit, maybe even entertain yourself with a slot car race track. If you’re the sporty type, create a space that’s jam-packed with your favorite sports and team gear—filled with framed signed cards, posters, basketball shoes, and jerseys. You could be into instruments, books, gaming, and more but whatever your go-to is there’s certainly a way to infuse your man cave with the things you look forward to most.
3) Entertainment Pieces
Often when we think of man caves we think of the entertainment side of things—gaming stations, big flat-screen TVs, high-end sound systems, fancy pool tables, and maybe some workout equipment. In saying that, no matter what you choose to put in this space, the entertainment pieces should complement each other.
If you’re focusing on tech, then make sure the TV is compatible with the sound system, the lights, and the smart home hub. In fact, if you do decide to go with Nanoleaf for your smart lighting then there’s an added entertainment bonus. Use the Screen Mirror feature with your Nanoleaf Shapes, Canvas, and Essentials to reflect the colors from your screen onto your Light Panels, Bulbs, and Lightstrips for a more immersive gaming or streaming experience. Also, try the Rhythm feature and watch your panels react to your favorite songs as they come out of your new sound system. If you choose to go more old school, that’s great too! You can’t go wrong with classics like arcade cabinets, ping pong tables, and/or a dartboard.
Just because your man cave might be in the basement, doesn’t mean it needs to feel like it is. This is your time to kick back, relax and do so with comfort and style.
I instantly think of comfortable furniture—a nice reclining armchair, a large sectional, and possibly a fancy deluxe gaming chair. However, make sure you’re making functional furniture decisions. If your man cave is serving as a gaming space, then yes, it makes sense to splurge on that gaming chair. If you plan to frequently have all of the buddies over to watch the big games, then that sectional may be for you! But don’t go too crazy; an area full of clutter isn’t exactly comfortable. Other comfort items to keep in mind are space heaters and dehumidifiers, especially for those basement man caves.
5) A Spot For Your Snacks And Drinks
With all the time you’ll spend in your man cave, you’re sure to need a snack or a drink at some point (or all the time)!
Find a spot for those drinks and snacks and make way for a minibar, minifridge, or even full-service bar if there’s enough room. Either way, plan ahead, keep it organized, and always well-stocked. If you like energy drinks while you game or beers while you watch sporting events, you won’t need to miss a second running to another room to grab one if the fridge is well stocked and nearby. And don’t forget about snacks! Leave a basket of your go-to chips and candies out, or maybe even take it one step further with cigars; clear a small space for your humidor. Your man cave is all about you, so it should cater to your needs.
Our personal entertainment spaces may end up in ‘leftover’ rooms but they are more important than we may think! They’re spaces to escape, relax and be ourselves—and that includes the classic man cave. Make your man cave however you want; there’s no rule book, but as you may have now learned there are some important considerations that will help you make the most of this special space.