Man Cave Design and Themes

Design, Home Theater, Man Cave -

Man Cave Design and Themes

Not everyone who sets out to build a man cave is an architect or interior designer. Man Cave ideas come and go, with some being more realistic than others. 

Budgetary concerns can get in the way as well. Sometimes your initial plans are realistic. “Hey, let’s rip out this load bearing wall”. Short of hiring an architect and/or designer, where does one start in the process? 


We’re talking square footage here. Whether you’re looking to convert a spare room, finished basement, or Garage into “your” space, limitations come into play in these forms.

Budget - Got enough money to pay for the man cave project?

Square Footage - Not having enough space to accommodate your plans presents it’s own issues. Will the large big screen 4k Television hang neatly on the wall? Is there a place to construct the bar area? Is there enough counter space to slide a mini fridge under it?

Flooring - the amount of floor space will affect the flooring type you’re after. Dark hardwood flooring can make your room look smaller. Tile floors using small tiles can make a small room seem larger. 


Everyone has their “thing”. Sports, Auto Racing, Gaming, Movies, Music, Hunting, Fishing…..the list goes on. 

Shouldn’t the theme of the man cave reflect the passion of the owner? Of course it should!  The more popular themes are discussed here.

Man caves with modern style that are generally filled with modern tech and accessories. Apple, Amazon, and Google are the heavy lifters in this arena. “Hey Siri, who won Super Bowl XLIII?”
The crisp, clear, and wireless sound for your music and TV to the instant information we’ve grown to love from Siri, Alexa, and Google, it’s now a part of our lives. LED Lighting kits, although not super high tech, certainly has a place in modern design and helps with theming. 

That throw-back look and feel with vintage signs. Common items include jukeboxes, pinball machines, barber shop chairs, turntables playing Vinyl, and 80-year-old Pennzoil signs. If you’re a fan of American Pickers, this may be the theme for you.

Texaco Motor Oil Sign

Game Room
This theme brings out the adult in you with Ping Pong tables, Poker, Pool Tables/Billiards, and Blackjack. Why stop there? Hire a dealer for a real night of fun. And Uber or Lyft can take care of the driving when the night ends.

Home game rooms with video game consoles, pinballs machines (Which are making a comeback), a dart board, old-school arcade games, or a mini bowling lane can bring out the kid in you . Throw in the proper lighting and the gaming takes on a whole new dimension. Pinball LEDs (and pinball lighting in general) have come a long way in the past decade or so.

Don’t forget the neon sign announcing to everyone what activities should be taking place in the man cave.  Beer, Pinball, Football, you get the picture.

Jersey Jack Pirates of the Caribbean Pinball Machine

Fill the room with memorabilia and colors of your favorite sports team. College, NFL, NBA, NHL, and more. 

Hold your Fantasy Football draft in your Man Cave.  Have the Fantasy Owners come over to watch the NFL games during the season.  Then after a few months have your Fantasy League’s playoffs and Championship in the man cave.

Home Theater
Popcorn-machine, projection screen, start of the art Audio, and comfy stadium seating make up this theme. Watching a movie becomes really enjoyable when you’re surroundings are perfect. 

Ambient lighting for a home theater is crucial to properly set the mood for your night binge-watching Netflix. Your room shouldn’t be overly bright, unless you’re performing surgery. That’s where dimmers and soft lighting come into the picture.  

Oh, don’t forget to turn off your cell phone when the movie starts. Don’t be “That Guy”.

Ford, Chevy, GMC. Let the debate start, and end, in the Man Cave. Are we really arguing about Automobile makes? 

Whether you’re into the muscle cars of yesteryear or the Electric vehicles of today, let your passion for your ride shine through in your room.
NASCAR races make for the perfect reason to get together with your gearhead friends. 

Hunting & Fishing
If you’d rather be in the great outdoors, let your visitors know by theming your room with hunting, fishing, or guns. 

Display that huge salmon you caught on the trip to Alaska or the bear you bagged in Montana a few years ago.

Just don’t spend 13 consecutive summers in Alaska with Grizzly Bears. Which reminds me……..Watch Grizzly Man if you haven’t already. Trust me, it’s worth the watch. Or wait to watch it in your new man cave when your project wraps up.

Display your classic guitar collection with a studio-themed cave. Framed Concert posters also make a great way to remember that awesome show you went to 10 years ago.

A pub theme could include a bar with bar stools, kegerator, wine cooler, and fully stocked with beer, wine, and spirits. Neon signs can adorn the wall. A sink and proper plumbing can turn your room into a real-deal bar. If you’re lucky, the plumbing is already in place prior to your project starting.

Wood and logs dominate this theme with a country decor look and feel. Rust and aged objects help complete this theme. Plenty of decor can be obtained at local garage sales and flea markets. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

BTW, “She Sheds” have a place in this discussion as well. For this article though, we’re calling them Man Caves as the term has more seniority.
DIY Considerations

DIY Options

DIY Design - Perhaps you have some design experience as an architect, engineer, or estimator. Then you may already be familiar with design tools like AutoCAD, Revit, Bluebeam Revu, and Sketchup. If not, there are plenty or training resourced to get you up to speed.

Don't discount the power of Fiverr for quick design help for Gaming, Graphic & Design, even Architecture & Interior Design. The work is typically inexpensive and delivered quickly.

DIY Tools - Admit it, any reason to buy new tools is OK with most of us, right? This kit by DeWALT can handle most of the heavy lifting of small construction projects.

DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill Combo Kit

OK, what are you waiting for? The super isn't going to wait until you finish your man cave project, get going!

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