Hey AOM Community,
I need your help. I am in the process of updating my humble abode from broke-young-adult-where-function-supersedes-form- to less-broke-young-adult-who-wants-a-good-looking-place-to-live. As such, I am getting rid of my bare walls and old decorations from my college days (good-bye Beer poster, we're had some laughs) and trying to upgrade my living space. That means new (actually, mostly gently-used) furniture and more decorations on my walls. However, I am still a Man and rather than have potpourri and pictures of cats invading my home, I hope to add my own version of Manliness. I am acquiring a book case and stocking it with some of my favorite classics (Jack London, Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Dickens, Alexandre Dumas) as well as a liquor cabinet for the occasional snifter. I pride myself on my thriftiness and frugality so I am doing everything on the cheap - Thrift Stores, garage sales, craigslist, etc.
Anyway, one of the ways I am doing this is by framing favorite pictures of mine that I've found on-line. I've been focusing a lot on mid-twentieth century pictures, art prints, and ads. I've added a few to give you an idea.
My question/request is to ask you guys: what are your favorite pictures or decorations that are a part of your Man Cave? Any and all ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Your space should reflect who you are, not some preconceived notion of what your space should look like. Mementos from your journey through life, talismans with stories behind them, aspirationf of what you wish to become or do. If not, you're going to end up changing it as often as women change the decoration towels in bathrooms.
If you are frugal, why bother with a liquor cabinet?
I bought mine because at the time I had some money to spend on an awesome antique and I liked it as a decoration. But to be honest, using a spare cabinet in the kitchen is far more practical unless you plan to stock the same amount a real bar would.
Same with Shane, decorate as you want, not as we tell you. We can't tell you who you are and where you have been, and who we are is not you.
Ain't that the truth. It wasn't the marriage so much as the kids, though. Phase of life, I guess. Difficult to justify setting aside a whole room just for me, and leave the kids without a playroom. There will be a time.
Instead of a man cave in the basement we have a GirlCave for my girls.
I see a ManCave as a place for men who actually have other male friends to use as a hangout together, away from the wife/kids.
I don't have anyone to do that with, and the idea of sitting in a room alone, apart from the precious company I do have is not appealing.
I'm not all that big on the concept of 'man-caves' anyway. Its my house ... why am I settling for one room? Seems like an awful lot of territory to give up. I don't mind the idea of decorating a study or something entirely to my tastes ... but the rest of the house ought to look like I live there, too. I'd rather not be relegated to a ghetto in my own house.
If I want to hang around with somebody without the kids around -- I'll do it in the living room, and tell the kids to get lost. I can't think of a reason why I'd mind having my wife around, though.
I'm a big fan of those reproduction tin ammunition company signs, you can find them at most sporting goods stores.
The purpose of a 'man cave' is to personalize it. Don't go buy stuff just to 'decorate' it with meaningless crap that happens to look manly. It shouldn't be decorated with generic junk ... but with stuff that matters to you.
You're probably better starting by decorating it with stuff you already have that's important to you. Then see what you think of to fill the rest of the space.
Two of my favorites. One a photograph (I originally spotted it in a crappy little bodega in Argentina...or it might have been Ecuador... and later tracked it down) and one a painting.
It is of course the facial expressions which I enjoy.
I don't have a true man cave as I'm split between two rooms...a library, and then my living "quarters" if you will. Library: filled with books, fossils, animal bones and skins, military objects, science stuff, etc. Wall to wall in dinosaur, animal art prints, photos of Stonewall and Patton.... My living quarters is a bed, two desks, a closet, a dresser, a bulletin board, whiteboard calendar, and a few maps and posters.
Framed or not, those pictures look like something a guy has in his dorm room. Might as well just get a photo of Che or Bob Marley while your at it. I'd go with something more personal if I were you. Your degree maybe or photo you took from a camping trip or if its going to be a professional picture then get something you are passionate about. For example, if you are going to have a photo of the man in black there you better have every one of his albums playing in there too. I'm sort of in between homes at the moment so I haven't really invested much effort in personalising my space but if I did I'd get a print or photo of a scene from my home (probably of my hometown or of an ice berg; something that when I look at it I am reminded of home). I also have a photo in storage at the moment taken from a bridge of my 8-man rowing crew as we passed under the bridge in a race back in 1995. These are good personal memories and if I was to create a personal space then I'd probably decorate it with them.
Also, I think a liquor cabinet (at least something fancier than just a generic place to keep your booze in) as a showpiece cannot be done on the cheap. I think if your man cave have an expensive looking liquor cabinet then it needs 100 dollar bottles of scotch and stuff. Packing it with 10 dollar booze and such will just look stupid. Although then again, my current liquor cabinet consists of two bottles of cheap Jamaican rum (which I would argue is the best rum) in a shoebox so what do I know.
Shane is absolutely correct. It's what YOU want & feel comfortable with.
You should note the Man Cave "requirements" are radically different depending on one's personal family and housing circumstances.
One minor caution. Don't do everything "on the cheap". Excessive frugality often yields a lot of cheap looking, often broken stuff that you're ultimately unhappy with.
Since my last post, I've rearranged my way of thinking. I've been buying and acquiring different things to decorate my house, primarily things that make me feel at peace. I have two jobs that take up much of my time so the few times that I am home, I'd like to be rested and relaxed. I've ditched some of the ideas I've had because they're not as practical or I may just not like it as much in the future. I anticipate my tastes to change and will adjust my home accordingly. However, some of you have mentioned just adding pieces of my "life journey" as they come along and I aim to do just that: my memories of camping in CO, my time spent with family abroad, and hobbies that cultivated amazing friendships just to name a few. I'm in my mid-twenties so I hope to add more to my walls.
Still, I do like to hear all of your opinions and ideas for decoration your own place.