Man Caves and Other Magnets

Attractive Nuisance — or Not

Every home should have a place to relax on your own or with family or friends. For some this retreat is claimed by one gender and is often called a “man cave,” and is stocked with potables, munchables, and viewables. A current television ad for IKEA includes a minimalist modern example and the Sydney IKEA store even has one on the premises, which is cleverly described in The Week as “Manland: Day Care for Husbands.” Here’s an image of it, courtesy of Core77: amenities include magazines, free hot dogs, a pinball machine, and a Fussball table in a bright minimalist design environment. A more typical non-IKEA example might be a room where sport decor dominates, like this one.

I like the helmet wall but wonder about the barber  chair — for clipping penalties, perhaps? (image courtesy The Loss Column, Baltimore Sports). Some of the designs at Houseplans.com have rec rooms that could easily “evolve” with the addition of a wet bar,

like the sculptural modern one built into Plan 56-601 shown above.

Try googling “man cave” and you’ll find an entire industry devoted to this subject, with retreats that include everything from vintage jukeboxes and the odd firing range (“Don’t mind those muffled explosions — that’s just Borromir downstairs in the armory.”) to complete woodworking shops – as illustrated by writer Jennifer Matlack’s article on a handsome eco-savvy garage (shown below, courtesy Sunset Magazine.)


The entertainment here, aside from the vintage Mercedes roadster, is the workshop.

Designed by Harrison Architects, an imaginative Seattle firm, the garage includes a drought-tolerant sod roof planted with sedums and grasses, recycled newspaper insulation, and translucent polycarbonate wall panels — so it’s a retreat with a conscience.

Ergo, the man cave is not just about a basement, a keg of beer, and a behemoth flat screen anymore! Personally, I’d go for a more multi-purpose room – and I’d like to stay married — but I am intrigued by the range of invention displayed by these spaces.

Perhaps the ultimate man cave is on the island of Brac on the Dalmatian Coast. I visited it last week (in my constant search for bloggable items, of course). A relic from World War II, it’s a disused submarine pen or hideout.

Accessible only by boat, of course, it’s pretty basic — and only room for one sub.


But there’s space for essential supplies. According to our guide this where the local male population comes to chill out: I saw plenty of chairs and ice chests on the ledge…

No need to watch old war movies here…because you’re in one! You could say, as a brother just reminded me, that the “Hunt for Red October” is over.



2 responses to “Man Caves and Other Magnets

  1. Pingback: Man Caves and Other Magnets | Smarter Clicks | Keeping you in the know...

  2. Excellent Dalmation Coast reference! That’s no small feat working it into your blog!

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