The Playbook For The Modern Man

5 Must-Haves For The Ultimate Man Cave

Whether it serves just yourself or all your mates, we can all agree your man cave is one of the most important spaces in your home – and yes you will be judged upon its performance.

An important balance to get right in your man cave is providing enough comfort and relaxation with stimuli to fire intelligent and exciting conversation.

To take your living space to the upper echelons of magnificent bastardry, we’ve compiled these five must-haves to lift your man cave from boy’s playroom to a sophisticated authority.


#1 Furnishings To Kill For


The first step is setting the tone right. Your new sophisticated man cave is not the place to have your Sports Illustrated centrefolds tacked to the walls, rather it’s the place to showcase all your favourite collectables and pastimes.

Maybe your style is traditional (royal blues and leather) or perhaps you’re a man who enjoys more of a contemporary spin on things (advanced materials and crisp decor), either way ensure everything that enters the man cave passes a series of rigorous tests, any doubts and you should swiftly deny its entry.



Use a range of materials that have masculine undertones. To decipher what these are lets take a tour back to where masculinity was in full force, the Stone Age. Men were ruthless hunters- smell the leather and burning timber, feel the cold stone and see the dark tones of caves.

Then spruce these heavier materials and colours up with metals, glass, mirror or the introduction of contrasting colour and pattern.

#2 The Cultured Gent’s Library



To keep yourself occupied, authenticate your worldliness or simply keep the chatter flowing by curating a small library of books that your guests can casually flick through. You’ll want both a mix of 4 to 5 coffee table books and up to 2 of your best read novels.

Dont know where to start? Try some slick photography by Slim Aarons and Helmut Newton. If you fancy yourself more as the reading man, check out our pick of the eight essential coffee books for the discerning gent.

#3 The Masculine Trophy Piece


This is a necessary show-stopping piece that acts as a sculptural element in your room. You will have either won this yourself, paid a good sum to get it or by some twist of fate, it has landed in your grubby hands. This can be one item or even a collection of something from your secret vices (no, not your porn collection).

We’re talking a wall-mounted Marlin or a signed 99’ World Cup Wallabies Jersey to do the trick. If you’re more of a surfer dude, find yourself a vintage single fin board and have it wall mounted like a pro.

#4 Uncompromised Functionality


A man cave that merely looks good is no use to anyone but a tarted-up magazine spread. Do we even need to say that you should never have an un-stocked bar? Your man cave will be judged by yourself and your guests on its ability to carry out sittings with style and grace.

Of course you will need all the right bar equipment to go along with it: crystal glasses, bottle opener, whiskey stones and cowhide coasters to name a few.

To go deeply into function, go through a typical experience in the man cave. Note every action and event that could occur, then determine what the best design or product will functionally benefit each occurrence.

Voila, you now have your top notch functionality.


#5 Entertain The Magnificent Bastards


We may have left the most important to last here, but that’s also because it’s heartbreakingly conflicting. On one side of the story, a Man Cave should be a slice of heaven on earth, filled with an impressive flat screen and surround sound to watch the Ashes.

On the other, the Man Cave should be about getting back to square one, about communicating on an analogue level, playing records and talking pure banter with your favourite guy friends.

After much battle deliberating which way to go, the pivotal point here is to create a space that balances both evenly.

To please the past, invest in a well made poker set or relegate yourself to the crowd favourite that is a nice deck of cards.

Last Words…

How do you know if you’ve left a lasting manly impression with your most discerning guests? By swinging by theirs in a few weeks time – if you find your mates toying with these elements and investing in their very own Man Caves, you can rest assure that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Avalon Pover-Leong
Interior Designer & Editor of Australian Living


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