With 2.1M posts on Insta for #mancave we felt it was high time we shared our tips to help you keep yours classy and not cliché!

The term ‘man cave’ conjures up images of dark, gloomy spaces with flashing neon signs alongside deer heads above the mantel. But no more! The modern man cave is a stylish interpretation of masculinity that reflects the owner's unique style and hobbies. Who wouldn't want one of those in their home?! 

What is a 'modern man cave'?

modern man cave ideas

Image credit: Roman and Williams

Whether you call it a 'man cave', 'bonus room' or 'flex space' - the function is the same. It's a space that acts as a retreat away from the daily grind. An adult-only space for hobbies, displaying interests and relaxing. It typically serves as a room that can be used both for entertaining friends and as a private sanctuary to get some peace and quiet!

Traditionally, these rooms are considered male-only zones. The modern man cave isn't so restrictive, and it doesn't have to conform to gender stereotypes. It needs to feel sophisticated, warm and grown-up. Stay tuned for our tips on getting this look without slipping into clichés.


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Will a man cave add value to your home?

Having this extra 'bonus room' in your home is undoubtedly going to appeal to potential buyers and increase the value of your home. If you're planning on undergoing a loft conversion or garden studio to house your man cave and increase your home's square footage, make sure to keep the space adaptable so that it could be used instead as an additional bedroom or home office


What should every man cave have?

The beautiful thing about a man cave is that it can be anything you want it to be! Here are a few ideas to inspire you for yours.


A home gym

man cave ideas home gymImage credit: The Girl with the Green sofa

Each to their own of course! Many of you might not be thrilled by the idea of dusty dumbbells staring accusingly at you while you're midway through a movie marathon. But if you love the idea of being able to pump some iron from the comfort of your man cave, then make sure the equipment won't become an eyesore. Consider where it will be stored when not in use and how it could work with your design scheme.

Source gym equipment in natural materials rather than bright garish colours that many pieces of gym equipment come in nowadays. If you already have your own weights, look into a sturdy storage solution to tidy them away when not in use.

 home gym in man cave

Image credit: NW3 Interiors

You should also pick your flooring choice carefully so that it won't be damaged by a heavy falling kettlebell. If you aren't able to adapt the type of flooring, then purchase a gym mat to protect them.


Games table

gaming table modern man cave ideasImage credit:  Anson Smart & House of Jade Interiors

Now, your man cave doesn't need to resemble a frat house, but it doesn't need to be all leather-bound books either! Encourage visits from friends and family by making your man cave a super sociable space with ice-breaking game tables included. 

But remember our mantra of keeping it classy, people! Choose materials and finishes that work with your design scheme rather than against it or your game's table will just look like a bulky afterthought. 

You can also cleverly disguise some games tables by having them fold away or hidden under a false lid that can be a coffee or dining table by day, then an arcade by night.

Read our dedicated guide on how to design the ultimate entertaining space for more ideas.


Super comfy seating

modern man cave seatingImage credit: My Bespoke Room

Personally, I feel this one is a must-have! Whether you want to use your man cave for movie screenings or hosting poker nights, comfy seating is essential. 

Resist the urge to think that your seating must be leather only. Opting for plush velvet or wool instead won't mean your room loses its manly edge. If you combine it with a masculine shape and colour, it will balance out perfectly. To help you sink into the space, make your seating all low profile and close to the floor. 

If you need help choosing a sofa for your man cave, check out our dedicated guide


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Happy hour at home

modern man cave home barImage credit: Monica Beatrice

In one form or another, this seems like a prerequisite! Now we're not suggesting you need to install a wet bar (however cool this might be). After all, in order to increase the value of your home, this room should remain an adaptable and flexible space. 

Your mini-bar could simply be a selection of your favourite bottles and glasses on a bar cart that can be wheeled over to the seating area, or you could install shelves to save on floor space. We love this example above as they've done both! They've taken an awkward alcove in their home and turned it into a real feature in this room by painting it a contrasting colour to the walls, as well as adding in a bar cart on wheels which can be easily moved into easy reach.


Shelves for displaying curiosities

modern man cave design ideasImage credit: Garett and Garage

As we mentioned, the modern man cave should be a true representation of your interests and personality. Factor in plenty of open storage so that you can surround yourself with your favourite things from trophies to travel mementoes. 

You could also consider adding a display cabinet to present your precious trinkets or a coffee table with a glass top and shelf beneath to collate your favourite novels or collections. 

modern man cave decor ideasImage credit: Rocket St George


How to decorate your man cave

So you have your key elements in place, now it's time to walk that thin line between creating a stylish modern man cave and a tacky gentleman's club!


Industrial elements

modern man cave design ideasImage credit: Juliet Murphy

Take your design inspiration from industrial styles for a decidedly masculine vibe. Think polished concrete floors, brick slip feature walls and black metal hardware. To pull off this look though, it should be contrasted with softer textures like rugs, cushions and throws to make sure the room doesn't become cold and uninviting. Plants are also a great way of softening the hard lines of the industrial style and adding colour at the same time.


industrial style modern man caveImage credit: Reno Guide


Wooden materials

wooden panelling man caveImage credit: Studio McGee

Wooden elements are also a must-have in your man cave to add warmth and natural texture. They help to bring a softness to the space but in a manly lumberjack kind of way! 

Wooden panelled walls painted in a warm navy can envelop and calm, or you can simply scatter wooden accessories and furniture evenly around the room. Make sure you don't tip the balance however and go full ski lodge!


Dark, moody hues

best colours for modern man caveImage credit: Home Designing

Your colour choice should be based on how you want to use and feel in the space rather than adhering to masculine stereotypes. However, traditionally masculine, dark colours such as greens and warm chocolates work brilliantly when you want to feel more relaxed as they envelop and calm you.


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Cool yet functional lighting

man cave lightingImage credit: The Steinmore

Lighting is key and sets the mood for watching movies, relaxing, or cracking on with hobbies. Low-level lighting like floor and table lamps helps to put you at ease, especially with a warm yellow bulb.

Don’t be scared to be creative with your lighting fixtures by opting for LED colour lighting including deep orange to add a warm glow and hygge vibes to the room. Also, consider track pendant lights. Thanks to their adjustability, you can direct the light to any designated area. Plus, because they come in a wide range of different styles, sizes, and colours they’re versatile too.  


Interesting artwork

man cave wall decor ideasImage credit: Garett and Garage

Filling your walls with sports or movie posters when you aren’t into either is a no-go. Artwork however is a brilliant way to add colour and a unique flair to a scheme, so take some time to pick a statement art piece that will be a genuine conversation starter and that brings you joy every time you enter the room.


Ideas for small man caves

If your man cave is not quite so cavernous, opt for furniture that has a dual purpose - like a coffee table that could also display and store mementoes or magazines.

Fitted furniture is also a great space saver. Look for spaces like alcoves that could house your TV with shelves for display above and closed storage below for hiding clutter.


Need a professional eye to get the most out of your home? Complete your brief and start unlocking your home's potential today:



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