"Man caves" have evolved quite a bit in recent years. What started as a set of tools and a folding table in the garage has quickly become a room full of chic furniture and the latest gadgets and tech toys. Your dude's den is the perfect place to make some bold, fun decor choices — after all, a man cave should be more than just a ratty old sofa and some concert posters hung on the wall.
The first step to creating the perfect man cave is deciding where you're going to build it. Basements are always popular, but if you don't have one available, or your kids have already sunk their claws into it, other rooms will also do.
If you already have a den or home office, use that space and incorporate your workspace into your man room. Empty nesters have the option of taking over what used to be one of their children's bedrooms and turning it into a grown-up retreat. If you're short on space inside, consider taking over part of the garage — I've even heard that some guys build a shed out back for the sole purpose of creating their own retreat.
Once you've decided on the locale and space, figure out the focal point for the room. For most men, it will be one or multiple TVs. Choose which wall you'll use to hang your flat-screen (of course) TV, then decide how the furniture should be laid out around it. Take stock of what furniture you already have and can use in the room — armchairs, couches and end tables — and what you might need to purchase. Before heading to the store, scour online resources like Craigslist and eBay. You'll be surprised how much gently used furniture is available on the cheap.
The man cave is also a great place to take on some fun, simple DIY projects that will add a layer of cool personality to the room. Try some of these design ideas for oversized impact:
Creative end tables. Add a talking piece to your man cave by making your own end table that looks like a die. Using MDF particle board cut into squares, create a six-sided box by screwing and gluing the pieces together. Once the glue is dry, paint the entire square one color — black, dark red or blue are good options. After the main color is dry, paint white or black circles from one to six on each side, replicating a die. Finish off with a clear glaze to make your table shine like the real thing and protect it from spills.
Lighting. DIY lighting is a surprisingly easy way to add your personal touch to a room. Nearly anything can be turned into a lamp with a lamp kit, which you can purchase at your local home improvement store. Pipes, old clocks, wine and beer bottles, logs, old toys — you name it, you can make a lamp out of it.
Feature wall. Class up your man cave with a gorgeous DIY feature wall like the one featured on DIY blog Tackling Home:
Step 1: Purchase supplies.
The exact number of boards you will need depends on the size of your wall, so take your measurements with you when you go shopping. Pick up two-by-fours (this example used 12), wood shims, wood flooring, screws and glue. You have the option of staining the wood floorboards yourself or buying them prefinished.
Start by framing out a structure to support the wood paneling. Run the two-by-fours up the wall, screwing them into the studs. Remember, they need to be strong enough to support a TV and the wall. Make sure the wall is level by using shims and running a piece of wood along the bottom of the wall as your base (shown here).
Once you've framed out the structure, decide where you'll hang the TV. The TV should be mounted directly into the two by fours to ensure it doesn't fall, so put the mount in before you hang the boards.
Once you've mounted the TV and made sure it's secure, start hanging your boards. Take the TV down so you don't ruin it, and begin laying the floorboards just as you would on the floor, starting at the ceiling and working towards the floor. As you go, screw the boards down into the two by fours to make sure they're secure.
Step 4: Hang the TV.
Once the wall is complete, hang the TV on the mount. Add other artwork, then relax and enjoy!