Healthy, Green Design: The Man Cave

| 2/15/2011 4:52:10 PM

Tags: healthy green design, stephanie nickolson, man cave, design, decor,

Stephanie Nickolson headshotStephanie Nickolson has designed residential, commercial and eco-conscious environments for more than 24 years. Her firm, Stephanie Nickolson Design, promotes the use of sustainable, non-toxic, recyclable and environmentally-friendly products and services. The firm works largely with clients who have allergies, chemical sensitivies or who have children with special needs.    

This blog post is dedicated to my friend Michael. He recently proposed the suggestion to his wife that they should purchase a “couch,” new and fully equipped with cup holders. He became frustrated when she wasn’t as excited about the idea as he was. I told him that his first mistake was referring to this concept as a “couch” and that he should have suggested to her the idea of investing in a new “home theater” instead. So, thus begins my man cave blog.

cave man 
I must be on a Flintstones roll here, but when I think of a "man cave," this is the man I envision. Photo By Abraham Lincoln's Photography/Courtesy Flickr. 

To define: The coined term “man cave” refers to a man’s space dedicated to some room in the house, garage, attic, addition or basement. Generally, he equips the space with the most advanced technology that he can possibly afford. It may be as simple as having one chair and a television to watch. A bar, game table, home theater, stereo system or other electronics can be enjoyed here. It’s a gathering place for men or “buddies” to recline or convene at. The room shown below represents a very “minimalist” type of space; the basic “necessities” for a man cave. Next, a space embellished with a bit more, and lastly, the fully-loaded, all-the-bells-and-whistles man cave. Some furnishings in the room may include a refrigerator, bar, game tables such as foosball, billiards or poker.

minimalist man cave 
For the minimalist man, here is a very simplistic room set up for a no-frills kind of a man. Photo By pghmtb/Courtesy Flickr. 

Since “goth” is somewhat “in” in some circles, I’ll suggest it in this application. Black can be manly and dramatic, but not to be overdone as it may close the space in and appear too cave-like. This room should be a comfortable sanctuary in which to dwell. Black lighting fixtures can be incorporated as light sconces for the wall or as a hanging fixture. Ebony-stained wood floors are a great look with an area rug thrown over it to absorb some of the sound. Black leather, when used as upholstery, is practical, cleanable and durable for pieces such as reclining theater seats (adorned with cup holders), sofas and ottomans. (A tufted black leather ottoman is a fantastic look.)

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