Courtney Warren is a Texas-based interior designer whose work has been featured in Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Apartment Therapy, and Today.com. She is a frequent consultant on Fox 4 TV’s Good Day program in Dallas, was ranked in the top 3 percent of interior designers in the US by Houzz.com, and starred in the Dallas episode of TLC’sFour Houses. She delights in helping overwhelmed clients create beautiful spaces—and will never turn down a warm chocolate chip cookie or Diet Dr Pepper.
Today let’s look at how you can create a rock star man cave that your man will love! Women pretty much occupy the entire home, and he may not embrace the 16 throw pillows all over the living room, so it seems fair that dad deserves one room that truly is HIS. Let’s look at man cave ideas for Dad.
When you envision “man cave decor”, what images come to mind? Braveheart posters? Kegerators and vinyl furniture in team colors? Maybe foosball and neon signs? Well, if that’s what he wants, I say “Let’s NOT – let’s just not.”
We must be realistic, but we can work together for everyone to create a functional space without compromising design and style with a big screen and a recliner.
As we expand our ideas about man caves to include not just 85-inch tv’s, sports and alcohol, we can help our partners understand that tastefully decorated spaces can be fun as well as functional.
For example, Dad may be working from home now. Maybe he doesn’t know when he’ll be back in the office or on the road again. So his time spent working at home in an eye-catching space is a gift that energizes him for workday hustle.
Here’s an example. This office in the home of my design client was truly a blank slate. It needed everything, but first it needed a design vision. After visiting with the couple, I understood where they wanted to go with this dad’s office. I think the result was one that satisfied the husband’s need for masculinity and function, and the wife’s need for sophisticated decor.
We came in with moody gray paint, added the stained wood built-ins, new lighting, and tin ceiling treatment. Rathern than an empty bookshelf, we added a few bright sunflowers for a pop of color and globes of varying heights and color accents. It’s still masculine without being dull and colorless.
So there are some traditional elements, like the granite and the crown molding topping the stained cabinetry. But they play nicely with vintage feel from the ceiling, tin-look lights, wood backboard, and office chair. The rug is a touch of mod that brightens the space and ties it all together. (The beaded chandelier? Just fresh and fun!)
Now the owner says, “Finally, a room just for me.” (And it doesn’t hurt that it looks great for teleconferencing, too, right?)
I think his globe collection is a knockout! If travel isn’t in the work (or vacation) picture just now, here’s a way to inject a little globe trotting into his life. Does your guy have a collection? How could you incorporate it tastefully into his office decor?
We moved this comfy leather seating into the office from the living room, and replaced the chairs in there. When Dad gets tired of sitting at the desk, he can move over here with the laptop or paperwork. (Or maybe he’s supervising Jr’s iPad time while Mom is busy. So two chairs are handy.)
The gallery wall features family photos and vintage masculine-themed items. On the walls, we embraced the dark side with this deep shade of gun barrel blue. By keeping some elements in the room light (white trim, some of the frames and art), the deep shade is not overwhelming. It helps, too, that we had some nice large windows. Light is always a consideration when you’re trying to decide on a paint color.
Who needs a pool table? (Well, maybe he does, but just not here.)
The single guy who hired me for his loft redo knew just what he wanted: a man’s space without the cheesy bachelor vibe. When he bought it, the interior doors were–fuschsia. Not usually what guys imagine for man cave decor. But the new scheme? I think we nailed it!
Something to remember: when decorating a large open space like a loft, define your “rooms” within the space using rugs and furniture placement.
For this massive motorcycle mural, we commissioned a local artist to custom design original art to take up the entire two-story space. It was such a cool process watching Hunter create this by hand — he was on a scaffolding and had to grid-out the design by hand with a pencil. Check out Hunter’s art at @huntercreates or https://huntercreates.com/index.html.
The concrete floors, modern leather seating, textured throw blankets, raw wood pieces and gleam of stainless steel. They all work together to rev things up – and to communicate that this definitely is a guy’s space.
No florals here, folks. Because the owner likes the Swiss cross graphic, we repeated it in several places – the living room rug and here in the bedroom. The very spare neutral color palette with accents of orange gives a masculine air to the spaces. What do you think about the neutrals plus one powerful accent color? Have you used a similar scheme in your home?
You don’t have to mount beer signs and classic car posters to make it a guy’s quarters. The effect of industrial elements like the spare parts lamp, spotlights and map case are softened by the pillows, shapely cabinet, and curvy script of the wall sign.
Just so you know, I’m not ruling out sports or music or posters in a man’s space. Another client’s love of music dictated that we keep the instruments close at hand for any impromptu jam sessions that might come up! Since he owns several guitars, some became wall art. Pipe shelving can introduce a hint of utility into a room–not a fussy style, for sure! Likewise the galvanized box.
Stuck for ideas to decorate a game room? One of my favorite tricks is to use containers of old game pieces! Corral some billiard or croquet balls, dice, dominoes–whatever–into glass canisters. Set them about on shelves or tables.
Maps or map-like art, with its traveler’s appeal, is perfect for guys’ spaces. Is trekking across uncharted lands on your guy’s bucket list? He can start planning his backpacking adventure here.
Also in that rec room: bright artwork and vintage accessories that welcome all guests. Set your drinks on the cart while you watch the billiards game!
Sure, it’s family friendly, but hey, if Dad wants to take it over for pool night with his buddies, that’s ok, right?
Gotta love our guys! If you’re needing some help planning a man space in your home, let’s talk!