11 Fun Design Ideas That Break Man Cave Traditions

Decoration and Design
Additions and Remodels
Small Projects and Repairs
By Contractors.com Team May 21, 2021

Have man caves gone out of fashion? Perhaps just the name. Living in the current climate of lockdowns and working from home, everyone needs a little corner for themselves to unwind in. The demand for a little privacy in one’s own home, be it cave, den, or oasis, isn’t going to change any time soon.

What has changed quite a bit, however, is the outdated idea of what a man cave can and should be. Putting aside the gender ostracization, man caves nowadays are less about somewhere for the men to go to and more about creating a space everyone will enjoy escaping to. This makes the modern easier to achieve and fun to design with many ideas you can potentially realize. Your modern man cave also doesn’t have to be below ground or in a den. Instead, you can create a space for you and your partner, for your friends, or even the kids to socialize, play, and relax in just about anywhere and in any style.

1. Since When Are Man Caves Only Caves?

Bring Your Man Cave Upstairs to the Light

Bring Your Man Cave Upstairs to the Light

Oftentimes people associate man caves with being nothing more than a recreation room in the basement. While this is very common, it doesn’t mean that all man caves should be relegated to the basement like some kind of underground tomb. 

All the man cave essentials, like an inviting couch, a small desk, a multi-purpose countertop, some music equipment, and all kinds of entertainment devices and gadgets of your choosing can be set up just as nicely in a loft-like space as well. The one major difference is how it’s bathed in plenty of natural light, while still relatively isolated from the rest of the house. 

2. The Penthouse Cave

Build Your Own Penthouse In Your Attic

Build Your Own Penthouse In Your Attic

Another great recreation room idea for your home is using the attic. An important quality of man caves is that they afford some amount of solitude; so, it doesn’t matter where in the house it’s located, as long as you can have a bit of privacy. Setting up your winding-off space in the attic also allows for some natural light to make the room glow. 

The attic man cave or the “penthouse cave” offers the same seclusion a basement would, without locking you in the dark, dingy underground. Just make sure you or your contractor accounts for adequate ventilation and remodel permits if you’re going to be newly converting the space to be hospitable.

3. The Underground Skybox

Picking a Theme for Your Rec Room

Picking a Theme for Your Rec Room

Traditional man caves gravitate towards monotone colors, basic textures, and flat, simple, practical lighting. Yours doesn’t have to be a colorless, drab dungeon. Even if it’s in the basement with limited natural light sources, you can bring in some much-needed color and life to your escape room. Choose a theme or color scheme to give the space some inviting charm that “man caves” sometimes lack. 

Blue can be a great backdrop for relaxation and creativity. As long as you pick a color that you don’t find too much of in the rest of your house, the contrasting environment will help you detach and relax even after the longest, hardest day at work. 

4. The Power of Green

Modern Man Cave Design Ideas

Modern Man Cave Design Ideas

Color does more than just add flair to the interior. It has a direct impact on our mood, our ability to relax or focus, and even on our physical wellness, like blood pressure levels and metabolism. Down in the basement, where the brightest color is most likely red popcorn maker off in the corner, you’re often stuck looking at dismal and muted colors. 

Green is a great color to incorporate into your modern recreation room, especially if you’re situated in the basement. Even a single green wall will create the illusion of being closer to nature and add a soothing touch to a space that’s normally dark and gloomy. Try creating an accent wall in your man cave and see just how much your experience in that room changes. Get some tips from an interior designer on which wall could make the biggest difference in transforming your personal clubhouse.

5. Mini Ping-Pong Stadium

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

If a little competitive spirit is what helps you unwind then consider turning your man cave into a little rink. By pairing a rich accent wall with some specialized lighting, a standard ping-pong room can turn into an energetic little stadium for your mini-tournaments. Small man cave ideas like the combination of accent lighting and brightly colored walls will make the room significantly more inviting, and if chosen well, perhaps even a little spacious, too. 

6. A Special Room for Jamming 

Fun Ideas for a Stylish Rec Room

Fun Ideas for a Stylish Rec Room

Those who are musically inclined will inevitably consider a jam room as their personal cave. Go the extra mile by adding a small stage, sound equipment, or even a mini recording studio to turn your man cave basement into a proper music room. Accommodating a space to practice your talent or even just dabble in a hobby is a worthy investment to make. Who knows, your specialized space may even be the start of a prosperous music career.

If you’re starting to give a small recording booth some serious thought, you’ll be happy to know that if you choose the basement, then you won’t even need to do much soundproofing. The solid cement walls and lack of reverberation will allow you to record crisp, clear audio without any specialized equipment. 

7. Chalkboard Wall: Decor and Workspace in One

Fun For All With a Chalkboard Accent Wall

Fun For All With a Chalkboard Accent Wall

If you want to create a kid’s cave or at least a corner for them in the family activity room, consider a chalkboard wall. Chalkboard walls are a great way to change up typical man cave decor and the atmosphere of a given space without having to repaint any walls. Whenever you get tired of staring at one design, just replace it with another. Even when clean, the black can serve as a great accent wall. Finally, it doesn’t only have to serve your kids; it’s a great place to play Pictionary or brainstorm ideas or blueprints when working on a grown-up project as well.

8. Topple High Scores in Your Own Home Arcade

Fun Themes for An All-Inclusive Man Cave

Fun Themes for An All-Inclusive Man Cave

If you’re looking to make a themed man cave and already have at least one video game console in your life, then a vintage arcade room is the way to go. You don’t have to settle with just a standard modern console and TV for your gaming experience. If you miss the days of upright video game consoles, pinball, even those little basketball hoops, a retro basement arcade will scratch that nostalgic itch for you. Just make sure you install enough power outlets.

However, video game cabinets are going to be far more expensive than your standard consoles. This is not only because they’re limited in stock, but also because they’re pieces of furniture, decor, and electronics all wrapped into one. But if you find a local closed-down arcade, you can buy a few of them for a cheaper price than with most retailers. You could also build an arcade cabinet yourself. It can be pretty time-consuming and will put your inner electrician to the test, but definitely a memorable DIY project you can show off to your friends.

9. Escape to the Virtual World

On the topic of video games, virtual reality has really taken off in recent years. It’s become a lot more accessible, both in terms of pricing and how easy it is to learn and use. But the technology is still relatively new, so it’s not as ergonomic and convenient as it might be in the near future. 

Epic Ideas for a Rec Room

Epic Ideas for a Rec Room

Current VR sets require you to free up entire portions of a room to play. Moving furniture around and creating big open spaces may not be an option in other rooms, but the man cave is at a major advantage here. You can dedicate an entire area to VR, without having to worry about moving furniture around to make room every time you want to play. For the perfect virtual reality setup, go minimal in the design of your man cave, limiting the number of functionless items you have lying around. Also, avoid any hard and pointy furniture that will be quick magnets for bruises on your legs.

VR offers plenty of fun for you and your friends, but there is an abundance of family-friendly games you can play with the kids as well. So you can not only compete with your friends but also spend the evening mopping the floor with your kids (unless they’re better gamers than you). 

10. A Little Fire in Your Cave

Romantic Escapes In Your Own Home

Romantic Escapes In Your Own Home

Why shouldn’t man caves be a little more cozy or even romantic? There are plenty of ways to transform a rugged, shoddy man cave into a room for the adults to unwind in. Installing a fireplace, even an electric one, is a really good place to start. They create a very relaxing atmosphere, especially in the winter. This modern, minimal fireplace is the ultimate couple’s cave hearth, as it's functional but also subtle enough not to make the space look like a living room.

You can also opt for a classical look for the fireplace for a more homey aesthetic. Installing a fireplace is a rather big project, so you’ll need to get a professional fireplace installer or contractor to lend a hand. They’ll also help organize all the permits to build on in the first place.

11. Free Movie Screenings Year-Round

In light of lockdowns and quarantines, the home movie theater setup speaks for itself. What’s not to love about being able to watch movies in the comfort of your own home, at your own pace, without strangers distracting you from the experience?

Transform Your Rec Room Into a Home Movie Theatre

Transform Your Rec Room Into a Home Movie Theatre

TVs are a must in man cave entertainment, whether it’s for watching the big game or your favorite movies and shows. However, you can take it a step further. High-quality projectors are very accessible and perfect for the big-screen feel, as are high-definition audio systems. Add to that a few recliner armchairs (preferably with cup holders for the more authentic cinema experience) or bean bags, and you have yourself a fully-functioning basement entertainment center and a personal movie theater.

Written by
Contractors.com Team

Written by Contractors.com Team