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Taking the Cave out of the 'Man Cave'

A ‘Man Cave’ should certainly speak to the man that occupies and enjoys the space, but it doesn’t have to be a true cave. When creating a ‘Man Cave’, it is important to consider the following planning tips:

  • Lighting is always important. ‘Man Caves’ are no longer dark and dingy. Task, display, and ambiance lighting needs to be well thought out. Consider what you will be doing in the space. Placement of recessed lighting, dimmers and up lighting is a vital part of the plan. Natural lighting is also key. Whenever possible incorporate natural light into a space that you will be spending a great deal of time in. If possible incorporate larger windows or glass doors to lighten a basement area and provide proper egress.
  • Careful planning of size and access as well as establishing zones so that activities do not interfere with others is a vital part of the success of a ‘Man Cave’. Ceiling heights, distances around activities, and location all matter to a success design. Being able to furnish a ‘Man Cave’ in a particular way depends on access to, as well as, the size of the room. Size really does matter. If a pool table or oversized couch is desired in this room, ensuring that it can be brought into the area needs to be a forethought. Room measurements may accommodate the piece, but consider how it will get from the delivery truck to its resting place. Imagine a games room without the games. Not the ideal ‘Man Cave’! Each desired element needs to be considered in advance of starting a project.
  • In today’s society planning for technology/electronics is always at the forefront of any design. Big screen televisions, music systems, and computers are often a part of this type of space. Automation for window coverings, fireplaces, or even vehicle maintenance may also be something that needs to be planned for, depending on the purpose of your ‘Man Cave’.
  • Design and decor depends entirely on an individual’s unique desired effect. ‘Man Caves’ often incorporate stone, leather, wood, and/or stainless facades. Making a room work requires balance in design. There can be too much of a good thing. Care in selections of surfaces, colours, and decorative design elements will help to create the ultimate space.
  • Bar, beverage centres, cigar rooms, and wine rooms are very popular in ‘Man Caves’. Plumbing, venting, heating/cooling, electrical and appliance planning along with careful consideration of surface choices (floors, countertops, etc.) is vital to these areas.  For some, a ‘Man Cave’ means not needing to leave the area for essentials, so consideration of storage, washrooms and appliances (dishwashers, fridges, coffee maker, microwave, etc.) is part of the planning.
  • Location for a ‘Man Cave’ may be on the main floor, in a basement, garage, outbuilding or loft. Much like in real estate location is everything.  Access and noise can greatly affect the intended use of your space. Sound is often a part of a recreation space so it is important to consider how that sound will affect the activities in the rest of the home (i.e. sleeping children, home offices, etc.). If your ‘Man Cave’ incorporates a home theater or a music room it may need acoustic planning and soundproofing. Guest entry or exit from a loft space at late hours can disrupt other family members’ sleep. Consider how you will use your space before establishing its location.

Whether it is a ‘Man Cave’, a theatre, recreation room, workshop or display area, a hobby or music room, a wine cellar, lounge area, or a combination of many, it will likely be a place for guests and fun and that means special planning is necessary.

If you are interested in a ‘Man Cave’ renovation and live in the Niagara Region, call the experts at Vanderzalm Construction Inc. (905)562-4463 or (905)684-5823.

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