Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A man cave for my man

Little by little, I took over every-room-in-the-house. I really did not mean to, nor is every room just mine, but each room has a purpose and that purpose is not a man-only, cigar smoking, gargantuan flat-screen TV, beer drinking sort of haven that just about every American man aspires to have. 

My husband is definitely deserving of his own space so I set out on a quest to make something work. Enter, the room that I have no interest in being in ever; the basement. That may sound bad, but the risk of me taking over the room manifest destiny style is very low. It also achieves the objective as being a man cave. 

I have to say, this design challenge is going to be downright hard. It certainly will not be your run of the mill, paint the wall a new color and buy some nice accessories sort of makeover. It is dirty, small, old...well I will let the as-is photos speak for themselves. 

I really considered tidying up the basement before I posted these because it is such an atrocious! But hey, this is the real deal and it will make the afters look all that more impressive;)

As you can see, this design challenge needed a plan. I am a big fan of planning ahead so here it goes...

Objective - design a man cave that allows for tinkering, inventing, smoking cigars, drinking beer, watching TV and possibly working out that is comfortable to be in and has an industrial feel.

Budget - $600

As for the design, I got the idea to put together an inspiration board from Young House Love (love them!). The concept of the inspiration board is that the products do not necessarily all need to be used exactly as-is, but they provide a very solid start to the design process to get things moving. And alas, my first formal design board!

The products & colors

  1. Grey grommet curtains. Target. $25/pr. I put these curtains in white in our recent guest bedroom reno and they are fabulousness.
  2. An image from my macro time warp photography project. An extreme close-up of my bike gears. Already printed at 10x15", professionally matted and industrial looking. Bonus!
  3. Wall shelves. Ikea. $14.99 for 47x11" and $9.99 for 31x7".
  4. Brackets for wall shelves. Ikea. $15/pr.
  5. White desk. West Elm. $299. We already have an old desk from the previous owner that will be painted Benjamin Moore's Mayonnaise.
  6. Kegerator! Wal-mart. $584. This will likely be phase II of the design.
  7. Storage boxes. Ikea. $3.99 for a pack of 2.
  8. Lamp shade and wood lamp base. Target. $19.99 for shade and $29.99 for base.
  9. Paint colors. Benjamin Moore's Fairmont Green, Restoration Hardware's Ash, Right White and Graphite.
  10. Ottoman. Target. $69.99. Includes storage and reversible top for setting glasses on.
  11. Picture frame for the image. Target. $29.99.
The plan (brace yourself for the amount of times you will see paint in this design. Ick!)

  1. Paint brick Benjamin Moore's mayonnaise
  2. Add moulding around the window
  3. Put up drywall on framing between front basement and back basement (i.e. where all of the make shift wood shelves are in images 2 & 3 above.
  4. Paint drywall Benjamin Moore's Fairmont green
  5. Compound floor to even it out and paint light grey
  6. Sand stairs and paint Restoration Hardware's Ash
  7. Paint a runner on the stairs with Restoration Hardware's Graphite. Maybe add stripes to the side of the runner?
  8. Paint desk Benjamin Moore's Mayonnaise
  9. Install shelves and curtain rod. Thinking of using iron pipe as the rod to keep with the industrial feel.
  10. Rearrange, finishing touches, wire management (noooo small task) etc.
  11. Clean-up field stone on the bottom half of the wall, but keep as-is
I will post more on the process as we make our way through it. So what do you think? Any other ideas that will make this the man cave of the year? 

Thanks for listening. Wish me luck and let the fun begin! 


  1. Can't wait to see progress pics of this project! Where does the drum set fit into your design?? haha!

  2. Phase 1 should be putting in the kegerator (if it were my cave, I would put in a mini-fridge to hold the vodka and lemonade). That pretty much blows your budget though, so just replace the mirror with the gear photograph, and you are done.

  3. @Mary - the drum set will be going!

    @Anon - yes, I know a mini-fridge or kegerator should be top of the list. Christmas is just around the corner, so maybe Santa will bring one;)

  4. Whoa - that's a project! It sounds like it'll be awesome once complete tho - hope Santa is nice to y'all/kevin! Gl and have fun!
    (btw, this is mary's friend Morgan :)

  5. @Mo - thanks for visiting! Will be posting after pics whenever this gets done. Santa will be nice if Kevin is not naughty!