Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Man Caves

Before I get started with today's post, I have to let you all know how sorry I am that I have taken some time off from blogging about design. This will be my only post this week, as I leave for New York City on Friday morning. See you all when I get back!

Hockey Player, Ryan Steen was lucky enough to afford Candice Olson's services when he and his wife, toddler son, and pets moved into a large house in an affluent Toronto Suburb. Together, Candice and her team, in their usual fashion, turned Ryan's basement into a relaxing oasis, hmm - I mean, "man cave" for he and his hockey buddies to rest, relax, and even work out.

The large basement was broken into 3 separate spaces, giving room for this beautiful gym, a living room with television and amazing raw end branch wall art, and my favorite - the patchwork brindle cowhide rug, and beyond a lounge space - perfect for a few drinks by the fire. This, my friends, is my idea of a man cave. However, in some interesting research, I came up with a few more, non-Candice alternatives:

Ah, yes! Bringing back those memories of Hawaii, err, South Padre Island. This tiki bar comes equipped with a Igloo ice chest to hold all of your cold drinks, and a Margarittaville Margarita Machine. Make no mistake, I would venture down into this aquatic blue beach hut to steal a sip of one of those ice cold margaritas!

Even though the ceiling in this basement has been left unfinished, I am happy with the overall turnout. This ski-lodge inspired space is cozy, warm, and feels to me as though it might have been decorated by the wife, not the husband. Still, a great place to kick back with a glass of wine, err, beer, and watch a good movie, err, the game!

What would a man cave be, without the quintessential pool table. I like that this one is covered in a beige felt, a good choice. Not at all "bar" like, and the warm gray neutral color on the wall is a nice compliment to the overall theme. Could be a non-man-cave space, but notice two very important things that pulled the trigger on this one: (1) the rack for the pool balls hanging from the fixture ... um, ok? (2) that overstuffed leather sofa facing the television that is clearly too large for the space. Yes, this is a man cave of true proportions!

And what was your clue on this one? This garage was turned into a golf lovers dream, complete with simulated golf games and a wall mural of a Malibu golf course. The modern lines of the chair and sofa were a good choice, but I'm wondering - is that turf, or carpet?

This themed room is supposed to evoke the mood of a traditional Irish pub, and I have to say, bravo to the creator of this space. Everything seems to be in good proportion, and what's more - they stayed away from the super large coffee table and went for the beautiful trunk. Not bad.

And finally, this space is actually, quite nice. Filled with very little other than the red felt pool table (another great choice) this room speaks masculine, without being cliche.
So tell me ladies, do your men have their own man caves? That hideaway where they can meet with other male friends and bond over a few beers and a good game?


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  2. Man Caves! Bleh.. I mean, RAR!
    The first one is the nicest man cave I've ever seen - I think it's because it doesn't really look like one! I love the surfboard countertop on the tiki bar man cave, too --
    As far as Poor Tired Husband and his man cave? It's at someone elses house, because it sure ain't happenin' in THIS one. so there.
    xo Isa

  3. Hi Artie
    Very nice inspiration.

    J's lodge, in our basement, is his man cave. It's not a themed room. The room is filled with his collections. It's comfortable, with a stone fireplace, beautiful hickory twig table and foot stools made by a friend. Fishing gear and yes, a Bass and Deer mount also exist in his room. There is no big screen TV, but there is surround sound. A bar sits in one corner. Another wall of the room has a builtin cabinet for J's memorabilia from nearly 40 years as an electrical lineman for the rural electric cooperative. Photos of our children and grandchildren are also in this "man cave". It's J's 750 square feet of space, carved out of a 3,000 square foot home. He's earned that space and more.
    Not every room in a home has to be show house ready. Some of the most beautiful rooms I've seen, are like J's, filled with personal memories and warmth of the homeowner.

    Will miss you! Safe travels!

  4. Aye there me friend ... I love the Irish pub ~ let's me and you raise a few ... eh?

  5. I am sure my husband would love a man cave in our basement but for now we have a kid cave complete with a ping pong table! I love the pub inspired room...if a room has to be dark that is how it should look! Have a great time in the city!

  6. great post artie! I hope you have a blast in the big apple...

  7. Thanks so much for this post! I am working on a "man cave" project myself right now. Maybe I'll show some pics when it's finished. I love the first one in your series. Not cliche' at all.

  8. As a man, I am not quite sure why I don't like the term "man cave" but "smoking room" is not socially acceptable anymore and "gentleman's quarters" seems Victorian or the name of a strip club. "Man Cave" sounds as if we are outcasts or socially unacceptable in our own homes and delegated down into a cave. I guess my main room or "man cave" is called the library or dog's room here. I have a built-in bookcase that covers an entire wall containing just books, a computer table (actually a small antique dining room table without leaves) with an antique dark oak and leather English banker's chair, a fireplace, a closet that contains only shelving for paperwork and more books (the door latch came from my great great grandmother's pantry door!), a leather couch that belongs to just the two dogs, and another small bookcase. Decorations are few but consist of a large ceremonial fraternal staff, seven dog paintings (three of my own dogs), four lamps (there is no overhead lighting), an old English yellow pottery piece with a raised coat of arms that is full of old large cast iron keys, an old clock, a couple of statues, two plants and an old leather trash basket. No television. My room is off the family room which has a television and the music, with one or the other usually on. But I believe a man cave's first requirement is a huge large flat screen TV of which my room does not contain. Regardless, the dogs and I are very happy in "our room", no matter what it's called and we do have the required leather couch ... at least the dogs do! Artie, thanks for the food for thought!
    G in CT

  9. Hey Artie as always a great post... Loved the man caves... they were really unique... Now how about some women caves... Although I loved the Tiki bar and could use some exotic tropical drink right now as I type this.... LOL LOL


  10. The foreclosure home we were looking at had a formal living room and Jay wanted to turn it into his "man cave." At first I was against the idea, but after seeing some of your inspiration pics, I'm realzing it could actually be a beautiful space!

  11. OH MY GOD! This is such a blessing that I read your post!
    For the fouth time since moving into our home we are moving things around in the basement...err "man cave".
    Its a very narrow but long room. That maked it hard for us to figure out how to turn the space into a playroom and a "mancave all at the same time- thus the 4th makeover. I think this time we got it right. I plan to post some pictures once we ..umm I get it up to par.
    The funny thing is, I know once the kids get older the basement..err "mancave" will change its layout and style yet again. I guess the basement of any house is an ever changing room.

    Fantastic post!!!!

  12. My husband definitely has a man cave...but not this nice!! My goodness, this is rockin! We have a detached efficiency apartment and that is where he host his poker games weekly and watches all the big sporting events. I never go out there unless I'm serving food to the guys!

  13. Yup!!
    Our Man Cave used to be my office and dream work area. Then Man moved in with a small slot car set...which was fine...until it morphed into slot car metropolis!!!
    I got squeezed into a corner, got fed up and said 'have the sodding room', so now I am in a even bigger room...but with out a french door...arrrgh.
    Your Man Caves are lovely. I will show slot metropolis mayor these tonight for inspiration as he is 'town planning'
    Have fun Artie,
    Ness xx

  14. #1 have a wonderful time in NYC and do a little
    'coloring outside the lines' for me .

    basements are so funny, men tend to have ideas of turning them into these weird hide-outs.
    and the escape 'ideas' are endless, and again, weird.


  15. #1 have a wonderful time in NYC and do a little
    'coloring outside the lines' for me .

    basements are so funny, men tend to have ideas of turning them into these weird hide-outs.
    and the escape 'ideas' are endless, and again, weird.


  16. I remember that episode of Divine Design and how much I loved the finished space. I think that woman is a genius! Her spaces are always sooooooo classy.

    Nope, Jimmy doesn't have a man cave, but his pool table's new home will be in our new living room. Ugh. If only FL had basements!

    Have a great time in NYC! Business, or pleasure?

    Justine :o )

  17. I think my favourite is Candice's creation....doesn't she work magic with lighting?

    My DH once had a 'mancave' in our basement, however as his antique Billiard's Table now sports a ping-pong tabletop which in turn acts a cutting-table 'pour moi'; his cave is now located in his 30' x 40',
    two-storey Hobby Garage. (Got all that Artie?)

    It is heated, equipped with a refrigerator and a small T.V. Has a variety of seating including an old Barber's Chair (which is everyone's favourite.) He is also surrounded by things that he loves. (His tools, custom Street RodS and Nascar paraphernalia.) It's 'heaven' to HIM.


  18. Artie I hope you have a great and safe trip this weekend...will see you when you get back...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  19. Artie,

    I watch the Man Cave series on HGTV, but only because of Tony Siragusa. I also follow the Raven's because he played for them. After all, I went to school with his father, Pete, and we grew up in the same town, so I enjoy following a home town boy's, son's, success. :)
    I enjoyed your post.


  20. My brother is creating his "man cave" as we speak. My nephew is a carpenter, and as you know, the winters are a bit slow around these parts, so he's helping out dear old Dad. They made the neatest hidden doorway to the wine cellar with a bookcase. Of course, surround sound, 52" TV, snack bar with granite, etc. and motorized leather theater seating. Hmmm, I see a post in the making.....~ Robyn

  21. it is too funny that you have posted this & I caught it!
    We just readjusted our basement into a Man cave/playroom/art studio.
    Much of it is still in the works but my studio is posted on my blog.
    Its not easy to get three functions out of one room but we have managed to figure it out.
    Im predicting that the basement will change again once the kids are older. - Funny how basements grow with a family; they seem to be ever changing.
    fantastic post!!! Love all of these examples of what can be done with this type of room

  22. Artie, don't know if you're interested, but as a fellow lover of setting tables, I found a "Vintage Niagara Falls" Sterling Spoon (tsp)on E-Bay, and immediately thought of you (isn't that where you live?!). Anyhoooo, if you're interested, the Item # is 250377557415 & the "seller" is "troy eagle"... They're usually/often rather "hokey" for use on a table, but I saw a few from the states of several friends who visit us OFTEN ~~~ So, I bought them to put on their coffee saucers in the a.m~~~ think they'll like that little gesture, and if they reeeally like them, I will send them home with our friends. Best, Linda

  23. love these interiors; i could hang out in these caves for days on end