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Mancaves are one of those oddities of living together with a partner: on one hand, you can’t get enough of your significant other and want to spend a majority of your time hanging out with them and stuff. But on the other hand, you need your own space from time to time, somewhere you can escape to when work gets rough and you don’t want to bring that kind of energy to the relationship, or, y’know, when you just want to play videogames in peace without your partner nagging you about the chores (although, you really should look into washing the dishes from time to time).
Over the years, mancaves have gotten a bit of a negative rep, with plenty of people seeing it as an excuse for guys to eschew responsibilities and live in their own world. Now, I’m not saying that’s right, but I’m not saying it’s wrong either. Yes, it is a place to escape, but it’s a temporary thing. Hey, we need to unwind too! Some people decompress by shopping, or going to a spa, or hunting, fishing, what-have-you.
Some guys, on the other hand, just need a quiet couple of hours to step back and regroup in a space that has all the finer things in life: videogames, sports memorabilia, artery-clogging food, and a few beers. Besides, where else are we going to host the obnoxious friends our partners hate?!
But because it’s a temporary haven, mancaves should have all the essentials you need to put yourself into neutral and just recharge your batteries. There are plenty of accoutrements from which to choose from, but the following items are must-haves if you want to turn a boring, old room into your personal kingdom.
The centerpiece of most mancaves, the high-def TV is an essential mancave appliance. This is where your main visual stimuli happens, so why would you get anything under 4K definition and under 50”? Without looking like you’re, um, overcompensating for something (I’m sure you’re not, bruh), when it comes to TV’s, you go big. Whether it’s for watching the big game or slaying noobs in your game of choice, your TV has to match the epicness of whatever is on screen.
Is it expensive to get a nice >60” 4K high-def TV? You bet. Is your partner going to get mad that you’re spending that much money on something only you will enjoy? Oh definitely. But just remind them: without it, you’ll forever be wound up and stressed, not knowing the joys of watching The Expendables on so high a definition you can actually see Jason Statham acting. Let me know if that excuse works.
With that in mind, however, you still need to be practical: don’t go springing for a 90” screen if your mancave doesn’t have enough space. We said go big, not stupid.
Now that you have your TV sorted out, it’s time to think about seating. Depending on what you want your mancave to be, whether you want it to become a Fortress of Solitude for you to contemplate world affairs (via Call of duty) and analyzing philosophical questions about existence (via vintage Mad comics), or if you want it to be a Hall of Justice for you and your friends to have riveting discussions about politics, history, and art (i.e. getting hammered on PBR while watching the Thursday night game).
Space permitting, your best bet will always be theater-style seating. You’ve already splurged on the TV, might as well go for something plush and leather to sit on. How else are you going to enjoy watching home videos of people getting hit in the balls with random objects if you’re not sitting on some premium-grade leather?
But the most important seat of all: your throne. Whether it’s a luxurious recliner or a bold and commanding club chair, make sure that it’s something you won’t mind sitting on for hours at a time. It should also goes without saying, but no one is allowed on that chair but you (and, maybe, Ron Swanson).
Completely Immersive Sound System
A surround sound system is what turns your mancave from personal den to entertainment capital of the neighborhood. You’re going to need a stereo that’s going to rattle you in your seat every time a pin drops on screen because, really, how else are you supposed to enjoy a widescreen TV?
Another great perk of setting up a surround sound system is the actual setting up of it because it involves power tools and elbow grease. First off, you’re going to need some kind of sound insulation if you don’t want police showing up at your house every time you watch/play something with gunshots in it (plus it’s also considerate of your neighbors and your partner, but whatever). This means buying rolls of insulation and attaching them to your walls and floors.
Next, you’re going to have to mount the satellite speakers in the corners of your room. You can get creative by crafting some kind of special wooden mount, or keep it basic by just slapping on some adhesive and just sticking it there. Either way, it’s going to involve a fair bit of handyman-ing that’ll keep you busy for a couple of hours. All this just so you can enjoy every decibel of Batman’s growl whenever he speaks.
A Game Console of Your Choice
In the digital world, gaming consoles aren’t just for video games; they’re complete entertainment modules. The PS4 and the Xbox One work as video game systems, internet browser, DVD player, video streamer, and a whole lot more. There’s literally very little these machines can do, other than make you a mean cappuccino (although, knowing technology, this is probably not that far behind).
A gaming console is the perfect community activity for when you have the boys over. Get yourself a copy of the latest sports game or multiplayer shooter and spend hours trash talking each other over who’s better at shooting aliens.
Display Your School/Team/Fandom Pride
Whether you love movies, sports, videogames, music or any other fandom out there, let everyone know by decorating your mancave walls with all the appropriate posters and memorabilia. It gives your mancave character, not to mention showing your pride and support.
There are plenty of other things you can add to your mancave. Comment your favorite item in the comments below!