Any true man cave should be suitable for a king. But what are the essential elements of the most tricked-out guy space? Betsy Helmuth, a New York City-based interior designer and owner of Affordable Interior Design, shares her pro tips and finds.
1. Comfortable Seating
Hunt for a sectional that’s 38- to 42-inches deep (the average is 36 inches). A nice, deep couch will give you plenty of space to fit all your friends, with high-fiving elbow room to spare.
Axis 2-Piece Right Arm Chaise Sectional from Crate & Barrel
2. Plug-In Light Dimmers
A plug-in dimmer attaches to the base of any floor or table light fixture you have, and you can usually snag them for around $10 each. The remote lets you control exactly how much light your fixtures put off, whether you want the room extra dark for a movie or more illuminated to play darts.
Lutron TT-300H-WH Electronics Plug-In Lamp Dimmer at The Home Depot
3. Mounting-Friendly Entertainment Center
Your flat screen will look so much better mounted — but not every wall is mount-friendly. Some consoles allow you to attach your TV directly to the back panel, concealing your cords without ruining your wall. Added perk? Extra storage for your gaming consoles.
Sauder Large Entertainment Center at Amazon.com
4. Thermal Drapes
Not only do thermal drapes give a great blackout effect — upping the cozy, cave-like factor of the room — but these curtains are also sound-dampening. That means less white noise comes in and gets out, so no more loud neighbors mowing the lawn or significant others telling you to turn the TV down.
Grommet Top Thermal Insulated 84-inch Blackout Curtain Panels at Overstock.com
5. A Pop of Color
Spice up all that neutral furniture by throwing some accent pillows on your couch. Opt for picks in jewel tones such as burgundy, navy and forest green, which amp up the room without venturing into girly territory.
Studded Velvet Pillow Covers from West Elm
6. A Soft-to-the-Step Rug
Contrary to popular belief, hardwood is not the way to go in your man cave. It’s cold to the touch and can create an echo effect throughout the room. Instead, choose a soft rug, which will make your place feel more plush and comfortable. But be prepared for spills: Opt for an easy-to-clean rug or (better yet) carpet tiles that can be swapped out for new ones when stains prove too stubborn to come clean.
Made You Look Olive Flor tiles from Flor
7. Guy-Friendly Art
No matter how much of a minimalist you may be, you need something on the walls or your cave will look like a dorm room. Our top recommendations: Movie posters or paraphernalia from your favorite sports teams. Plus, infusing your own interests will help distinguish your man cave from Bob’s down the street.
Scarface poster at MoviePoster.com
8. Something Leather
Whether it’s a recliner or a cowhide rug, adding a leather element automatically ups the macho factor of any room tenfold.
Safari Cowhide Rug from Wayfair.com
We’re talking anything from billiards to darts — something that makes your abode a magnet for guy’s night. If you’re short on space, snag a fold-up poker table that you can stash in the corner, or just hook up your tried-and-true PS3. The important thing is to establish your place as the go-to for entertainment.
Poker Table with Foldable Legs at DiscountPokerShop.com
10. A Well-Stocked Mini-Fridge
Do you really want to trek all the way upstairs to grab another beer? Didn’t think so.
Compact Refrigerator from Kenmore
Kelly Thore is a freelance writer and magazine editor whose work has been featured in various publications and blogs, including Cosmopolitan. You can follow her at @thorekelly.