Do This, Not That: Man Cave Edition

Dani Caruso
By Dani Caruso

Everyone needs somewhere to retreat to, and when done right, a “man cave” can be just the place. A man cave is typically a spare space at home (basement, extra bedroom, garage) that crosses relaxation with recreation for the ultimate hangout spot. Our gripe with the standard idea of this space is that it can be reminiscent of a college dorm or frat house. That’s not to say that your man cave can’t pay homage to your university days, but we’re here to show you how to decorate a man cave to suit both your personal sentiments and contemporary style. We’ve broken down these spaces into three categories: comfort, recreation, and style. 

Photo: Gentleman’s Journal; This post contains affiliate links



Ditch the futon; invest in a sectional


You (and most likely your buds) will be spending a good amount of time lounging, watching the game or binging films. Toss the backache-inducing futon and put your money into a quality seating option, such as this leather sectional shown above. This sofa features five power-reclining seats, built-in cupholders, and USB charging ports so you have access to your cell as it powers up. 

Modern Bonded Leather Power Reclining Sectional Sofa, Overstock, about $2,000

(Photos: Walmart; Overstock)

Ditch the red cups; invest in a mini fridge


Whether you prefer H2O or IPA, think about the way you consume your beverages. Keep a mini fridge stocked at all times with options for guests who do (or don’t) share your personal taste. If you have the real estate (and the demand), go big with a full size fridge and sink for accessible washing.

(Photos:;  Houzz)

Ditch themed bean bags; invest in a sleek rocker

You’re never too old for a video game sesh. You are, however, too old for cheap bean bags that lack back support. Skip the formless seat and get a sleek gaming rocker. This wired gaming chair connects with most consoles and audio systems and also has a headphone jack and two headrest speakers. Even when not playing music or a game, a modern chair like this is a great option for a more sophisticated hangout.

2.0 BT Audio Extreme Gaming Floor  X Rocker, Target, about $75

(Photos: Wayfair;  Target)


Ditch the portable speaker; invest in a sound system


A legit hangout space needs serious sound capabilities. Set up your space for surround sound with a 5.1 system, such as the one pictured on the upper right. The set includes a soundbar, subwoofer, and remote control or Bluetooth capability for the best movie nights and pre-games.

VIZIO SmartCast 5.1-Channel Soundbar System, Best Buy, about $207

(Photos: Target;  Best Buy)

Ditch the dart board; invest in a game table

Instead of furnishing your place with a dart board that’ll most likely serve as a decor piece rather than an activity, set up a versatile game table. This table plays double-duty with a removable top that transforms from a dining buffet into a game night surface.

Walnut Wood 52-inch 2-in-1 Round Game Table, Overstock, about $714

(Photos: Target; Overstock)

Ditch the loose weights; invest in a dumbbell set


Instead of dropping miscellaneous weights on the ground (a stubbed toe waiting to happen), invest in a set that will stay organized after a workout. Bonus, it looks less unsightly when not in use. 

CAP Barbell 150 lb. Eco Dumbbell Set with Rack, Hayneedle, about $270

(Photos: York Fitness; Hayneedle)



Ditch the tacked jerseys; invest in a framed display

As previously mentioned, you can still rep your favorite teams inside a man cave, just do it with design in mind. Rather than pinning garments to a wall, display jerseys in an attractive case that locks up and keeps out dust.

Display Case Shadowbox Wall Mount, Amazon, $67.95

(Photos: Youtube via Landon Yang; Amazon)

Ditch the hanging fish; invest in a hanging planter

Bring in outdoor elements such as natural wood finishes, granite table tops, stonework, and neutral color palettes. Trade corny memorabilia for something that adds just a bit of style, like a planter.

Zola Small Hanging Planter, CB2, about $18

(Photos: Amazon; CB2)

Ditch the stacked magazines; invest in a bookshelf

A little organization goes a long way, and a sleek bookcase will provide plenty of space for magazines, books, movies, a music collection, and other cool things for a man cave.

Theo Ladder Bookcase, Wayfair, about $121

(Photos:; Wayfair)

Dani Caruso
By Dani Caruso
Dani is House One’s assistant editor. As a Norwalk, CT native, Dani graduated from UConn with a BA in Digital Media and Design. This millennial longs for the days of All That, Tamagotchis, and Dunkaroos. When she’s not working, she’s hanging outdoors, playing with her dogs, or watching makeup tutorials on YouTube.

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