Test Your Testosterone: Make Your Man A Mancave

The playoffs were this weekend, and the two final champions to go to the Super Bowl will soon have their grudge match for all of us to see. It's evolved into quite an event, and even the ladies have managed to find their place in it by creating delicious dishes and parties for all to celebrate. But what if you'd rather go shoe shopping or to a pretty bridal shower conveniently set on the same date? And your guy wants to have some of his friends over to watch the game? Now would be a great time to put some creativity and organizational skills into play and make a mantuary or a mancave for your man.

This doesn't mean you need make a trip to the nearest Hobby Lobby to clear their shelves of chachkies in fishing, hunting or boating. And it also doesn't mean you need to paint out the garage or that spare bedroom you've been meaning to get to in some horrendous team colors and flood the walls and shelves with every piece of memorabilia known to man.

Think about it - men don't come home with tiny statues. If they collect something, it's usually pretty significant in size - for example cars, trucks, motorcycles, street signs, a hot tub or an appliance... which shows what they collect also usually has (or had) some type of function - Think American Pickers. Even the smallest of objects they are fascinated with have a function: an ipad, an iphone, cameras, tablets, watches, computers, and computer games.

Using the same design principles and concepts you use in your home, you can create a sophisticated space that says him, just as much as the rest of the house says you. For example, let's say he likes cars:

Utilize the inspiration of the cars he admires, and use those as your influence for the style of the space. Keep the walls dark and neutral in a rich charcoal grey or even black. Consider playing with the finishes: Matt vs. High Gloss which looks exceptional when black is used.

Floor covering made from recycled tires.

Car seats are usually leather, so some leather seating is a must in a mancave (not to mention it's easier to clean up his spills) For a sportier look, use leather with top stitch trim. For a more classic car or even a rustic old pick-up truck lovin' feel, use rich worn leathers. TIP: If you have a pair of dark leather club chairs and you want to make them a little more worn - lightly use sandpaper, in a circular motion, to refinish its surface and make the leather more worn.

For wall art: keep it simple & sophisticated by framing photographs of cars. You can get a little more artsy and just take detail shots: the grill, a hood ornament, the rims, the tires, tail lights, steering wheel or even the dashboard. If you love your family galleries you already have up in your home, for his space, why not try hanging these images in a grid format for a cleaner look...

For his decorative accents: A little chrome can go a long way. Vintage pieces like tables or chairs designed by Milo Baughman, or similar designs by Martyn Lawrence-Bullard can be a great way to mix furnishings and update the style of a room that just may be housing his old bachelor pad black leather sofa already. Pieces like this can usually be found at your local thrift store, at a vintage shop or even online. Similar pieces can also be found at Crate & Barrel.

Other vintage pieces with chrome & glass to add could be a side table or a lamp. I should have taken a picture of it, but at the car show, I did see a pub table style built from five rims stacked (both flat & upright) with a 36" round glass on top. Pull up two to four bar-counter stools you may have stashed in the garage, and you've just given him and his friends a place to eat their pizza or subs.

To help keep the space clutter free but still personal for him, use clean line storage boxes for some of his smaller memorabilia, and storage ottomans or trunks for some of the larger items. Those items still needing to be "displayed" can easily be corralled onto a tray, displayed inside a Lucite cube or framed for his friends to see.

To add a little shine to his pad, why not showcase a collection of highball, scotch or beer glasses on a stainless steel tray? To add interest to walls, have mirrors etched with items such as his favorite car logos.

To add in a layered look in textiles for the space, think manly fabrics such as wool, flannel, or tweed. Felt can even work to cover a basic white drum shade. For this space, it's more about the textures for him, vs. the prints for you.

The key to designing a sophisticated man space is to keep it functional, keep it strong, and keep it clutter free. Take a favorite item as true inspiration to reinterpret into a space not so literally, but use its finishes to style your man's space. 

As I mentioned yesterday, going to the auto auction was very inspirational. I used that inspiration to source the above photos on Pinterest for my board MR.MISTER... and later I created a male inspired room board at Olioboard...

See the details at Olioboard for my board

If you're looking to create a sophisticated space for your man, be it for the Super Bowl or for Valentines Day, but don't know where to begin - I can help. Contact me at nyclqd@yahoo.com.

Thanks for visiting!


  1. Wonderful ideas! My husband's MC needs to be brought into this century -- it looks like a British Gentleman's Club from 200 years ago, and he likes it. I try to avoid it!

  2. That's funny (how you say you try to avoid it) - I can just imagine it :) Thanks for stopping by!


  3. What a great space. So luxurious and comfortable looking. I'd hang out here...but would have to add a vase of red flowers and a candle or too!

  4. That F-16 fighter jet wall mural is AWESOME... I must have it!
    Love the post btw! My Mans home office is his cave and that fighter jet would put it over the top sophisticated.

  5. I honestly couldn't have said it better myself. Great post and fabulous advice!!

  6. Gorgeous!! Love every single inspirational image!! In fact, have the same Ralph glasses at home! And one of the most handsome olioboards I've seen!

  7. I LOVE this room. Everything in this room is just fabulous especially the rich leather, chorme and large art pieces.

  8. Classy Man Caves! If you are looking for some great products to enjoy in the Man Cave particularly great bbq products & accessories, check out www.mancaveworldwide.com - we are all about the "man-tality of Eat, Drink & Be Manly"!



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