(BPT) – Whether in a workshop, garden or garage, American men have always enjoyed their personal spaces. With the rise of flat-screen technology, having a “man cave” became an official home improvement trend. In fact, a 2013 survey by online retailer Newegg found that more than half of American homes now have a man cave. Now, after more than a decade of partying, man caves have matured.
Modern man caves go far beyond pricey audio-visual components, a refrigerator and a couple of worn-out recliners. Today, luxury and entertainment features share space with practical ones, and when perfectly balanced, create a room to meet a variety of needs – relaxation, fun, family time and even work.
If you’re ready to create a man cave in your home, or take your existing guy-centric space to the next level, here are a handful of upgrades sure to make your cave feel like a castle:
A TV is a must for any man cave, but it’s no longer enough to simply have a huge flat screen and a remote control. To really be worthy of your man cave, whether plasma, LED or LCD, a flat screen should have all the latest bells and whistles, including Internet access, 3-D, high definition and a full-motion wall mount. Surround sound and satellite signal (for visual and audio content) are also musts.
Tech needs don’t stop with A/V requirements, however.
Creating a computer center, complete with Wi-Fi, laptop and multiple screens, not only enhances gaming opportunities, it can allow your man cave to double as an office. A refrigerator is a man cave staple, and plenty of high-tech versions are available for smaller spaces like a converted basement or garage. Add a wine or beer cooler, or even a humidor to round out your tech needs.
Man caves often wind up in a converted garage, finished basement or bonus room over the garage – scenarios that can make it difficult to incorporate running water into your plan. Cutting through the concrete floor of a garage or basement to install drainage can make adding a bathroom or wet bar cost-prohibitive, and it may be inconvenient to open drywall to add traditional plumbing to a bonus room.
Above-floor plumbing can make it easy and cost-effective to add water-dependent features that are both practical and luxurious. “If you want to add a bathroom or wet bar to a smaller space, or one with a concrete floor, above-floor plumbing overcomes many of the challenges created by traditional plumbing,” says Regis Saragosti, CEO of SFA Saniflo Inc., a manufacturer of above-floor plumbing products.
Macerating systems for toilets (also known as up-flush plumbing) make it easy, cost-effective and quick to add a bathroom to a man cave. Drain pumps, often used for kitchens and sinks, are useful in creating a fully functional wet bar. To learn more about above-floor plumbing and its applications, visit www.saniflo.com.
Thinking outside the cave walls
The very concept of a man cave is about going your own way, but early iterations seemed to follow the same basic, frat-style formula of sports-themed decor, cheap seating and high-priced tech toys. Today, man caves are as individual as the men inhabiting them. Look for ways to personalize the space for your interests and needs.
Have a passion for working out but don’t always feel like having an audience or trekking to the gym? Include some fitness equipment in your man cave. Prefer to get some work done late at night and don’t want to keep the family up? Park a desk and PC in a convenient corner. Love golf but can’t stand pool? Ditch that man-cave staple – a billiard table – and put in a mini putting green.
Finally, don’t overlook the fact that the king of the castle (or man cave) might want to invite his queen into the space. In fact, 89 percent of the men surveyed by Newegg said they would welcome a member of the opposite sex into their man cave. So be sure your man cave includes comfortable seating, dimmable lighting and a film collection that goes beyond sports and action flicks.