3 Excitingly Different MancavesWritten by Tigre Haller
You deserve a space of your own. Somewhere you can pursue your interests, hangout with friends and just chill.
There are tons of ideas for man caves (the Swedes call them mansdagis, meaning “male kindergarten” haha). The cave, the space, the playpen - whatever you call it - can be basic or tricked-out. From small rooms to entire floors, even pimped-out tree houses! It all depends on what space you have, your budget and what world you want to create.
Are you ready to discover the theme that best suits you?
Clear the Space
Whatever tradition you follow (if you follow any at all) having an area dedicated to your daily meditation practice is essential. Entering your special space should be like entering another dimension. You should feel a shift in energy, and begin to relax as soon as you cross the threshold. Easier said than done, I know.
First, find a quiet place, either a spare room, the basement or an attic. A corner of a room or a bathroom can also work.
To create a meditation space at home only takes a few key items.
The Color Wheel
Choosing a color scheme for your meditation space should be fun and literally set the tone. Start with your favorite color and grow from there.
Or, use the 7 primary chakra colors as inspiration:
Yellow: Solar Plexus
Blue or Turquoise: Throat
Purple or Indigo: Third Eye
Violet, White or Gold: Crown
Depending on the type of paint and hue, the colors can be stimulating or soothing. Have fun and let inspiration flow.
Do you prefer meditation cushions, yoga mats, massage chairs or a sofa?
Cushions and mats are great if you like to be close to the ground. The mat is particularly helpful if you want to do any floor work or yoga.
The chair and sofa provide an elevated posture, and back support. They also help you achieve an even plane with a table or altar.
If you’re not sure what would be most comfortable, try a few of these options.
Walk the Way
A daily walk in a meditation labyrinth is a healing complement to your regular practice.
These are amazing spaces. Walk them to find inner-peace, gain insight and inspiration, and explore issues.
You don’t have to travel to find one either. You can either draw (or paint) a floor labyrinth, construct one with stones and other materials, or use a labyrinth rug.
When not on the floor, hang the rug up as a piece of inspiring art.
Guidance and Focus
Do you follow a specific tradition, or employ objects for guidance? A statue of Buddha, a Yin Yang symbol, crystals or candles, for example. If so, create an altar. Your totems, symbols and stones deserve a place of honor.
Incense helps to cleanse the space, and aids in relaxation and concentration. Incense burners and stands can fit nicely on the altar. Bring in elementals with a tabletop water fountain and spiritual plants such as lavender or rosemary.
Keep hydrated with water or a soothing herbal tea. If you don’t have room for storing supplies and heating a kettle, bring your beverage in a thermos.
Real men relax. That’s right. You will be your best when you are cool, calm and collected. And centered.
You can add some home spa elements, such as a shower stall for steam baths. An aromatherapy diffuser creates a special, relaxed mood instantly.
Following these basic tips will help set you on your path to a fulfilling meditation practice with very little effort.
Create the World
Decide what sci-fi setting you want to create. Is it the bridge of a famous ship, Centauri Prime, a planet in the Delta Quadrant, the icy terrain of Hoth, or the atmosphere of deep space?
Mashup different worlds for a truly unique environment. Why not? It’s your place - do what you want. You don’t need a lot of room to create something out of this world. Let your imagination take you on a trip like no other.
The choices are as vast as the galaxies. For example, choose minimalistic or angular lines, sleek chairs, hollowed-out gas tanks (a few thematic cushions make it cozy), sofas that change configuration like the Transformers, action figure lamps, spaceship coffee tables, a Star Wars refrigerator, or a life-size TARDIS...fun!
Cover the walls with corrugated metal for an industrial, cargo ship look. Or paint them all black, punctuated with glow in the dark stars. For something truly stellar, recreate the neon brightness of an elaborate video game.
Beam yourself to whatever world you want with just a few select elements.
Weaponry is an important part of many realms. There’s always a fight to be fought or a battle to be battled. Don’t get caught off-guard!
Create a cool weapons cabinet to house all of your gadgets. You know, sci-fi weapons like phasers and lightsabers. You can go totally old school with a couple of wicked rayguns. But, you probably won’t have enough room for a photon torpedo.
Drones, bots and droids are essential to making your spacescape real. They also double as amazing statues. Install familiar friends like Robbie the Robot, R2D2 or C3PO. Maschinenmensch (Machine-Man) from one of the first sci-fi films, Metropolis would make a unique companion. And, a life-size Bounty Hunter will keep your guests in line. If you can’t get a figurine, cutouts are great options.
What sci-fi man cave would be complete without a full-screen TV or video beam? You absolutely need to be able to project your favorite blockbuster movies and hit TV shows. Imagine hooking up your console and playing your favorite video games on this screen.
A kick-ass sound system is a no brainer. But, if it’s a bit much, then a pair of good quality speakers will do the trick. After all, improvising solutions is a huge part of being the captain of this ship.
A replicator isn’t required for putting together some delicious interplanetary drinks and eats.
Mix-up a pitcher of Comet Tails, a stein of Romulan Ale, a glass of Mudder’s Milk, a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, or a goblet of Ambrosia.
Fill up the crew with bowls of spoo, rootleaf stew, groosling soup and a side of Popplers (better than croutons). Yum-yum!
Recipes are easy to find in cyberspace.
You don’t need the Millennium Falcon to travel to a galaxy far, far away, or one of the (how many?) Enterprises to go where no man has gone before, or the Milano to chase through space. Just let your imagination run wild - to infinity and beyond!
Set the Tone
“I couldn't live a week without a private library…” H.P. Lovecraft
Indeed, for many of us, it would be a worse terror than any master horror writer could dream up.
Whether you have a corner or an entire floor, your home library should be a reflection of you and your tastes. This bookish space can be intimate or grand, clubby or homey, a reading nook or a temple of learning.
Choose colors which will envelop you, and stimulate the joy of reading. Deep plum or burgundy, gray, dark blue and green work well for the clubby feel. Lighter hues of these colors provide freshness and help clear the mind.
If you don’t want to paint or paper your walls, leave them white and hang complementary artwork. Or, install faux stones to create a cave of knowledge.
Better yet, cover those walls up with bookshelves! This is a great idea especially if you have limited space.
Curate Your Collection
It’s never too early or too late to start a private collection. That might sound lofty, but it really isn’t.
Explore other worlds...encounter real people...engage in a courtroom drama...get swept away by historic epics...become terrified with a tale of horror...laugh-out-loud reading a comedy...enlighten yourself...walk the mean streets with a hard-boiled detective…engage in international intrigue...learn a new trade...unravel a mystery...it’s a never ending story!
Thousands of adventures waiting for you.
Whatever genre you enjoy, or if you’re like me and love different styles and topics, all of your books need a place to live.
Rare first editions, second hand paperbacks, or newly printed bestsellers all deserve the best shelves possible. You can have them custom-made, find something antique or buy a build-it-yourself unit. Built-in wood bookshelves looks traditional (especially heavier woods like oak), metal looks cool and edgy, plastic or modular shelving can also be cool.
A ladder might also be needed, depending on the height of your shelves. If it is, make sure it rolls on a rail or can securely stand against the wall above the top shelf.
First editions and antique volumes require special handling. Some may even require special housing. Be sure to ask your bookseller for their advice.
Whatever type of shelving and display areas you decide on, make sure it fits into your budget and the overall theme of your library.
Public libraries use the dewey decimal system. But, you don’t need to - unless you really want to get that organized.
Organize your volumes by last name of author, genre / topic, book title, cover color, or some other coding system only you will understand. Avoid throwing books haphazardly on to the shelves. You don’t want to find yourself asking how Freud got shelved with Stephen King, do you? Hmmmm...that might actually make some sense.
Furnished For Reading
If you are going for a traditional feel, deck your library out with heavy leather chairs and sofas, solid wood tables and Oriental patterned rugs. Tiffany lamps, small chandeliers and wall sconces add a touch of romantic old-world charm (skip the bearskin rug).
For a modern take, you can’t go wrong with all white...everything, a large reading table, sleek chrome chairs, and embedded lighting.
Ornate or minimalist, you can realize the perfect reading space with a bit of imagination.
Many men find great pleasure in enjoying a good book with a good drink. Set-up a small home bar area, or a drinks cart to display your whisky collection and other spirits. If you don’t want to drink and read, stock up on a non-alcoholic beverage. This way you can keep hydrated during your reading marathons.
There’s just something about cats and books. A history dating back to antiquity! It’s astounding how many libraries around the world actually have a feline mascot! (Library Cats even have their own Wiki page).
You might think a cat would use your first editions as a scratching pad, and your shelves as a litter box; while I can’t guarantee that won’t happen, it’s not likely. They offer comfort, amusement, joy, inspiration and all that feline energy. And, they make great lap warmers. (If you’re not a cat man, consider a small dog. Or, a rabbit.)
A home library might be one of the most personal spaces a man can create for himself. Make it special by following any - or all - of the above suggestions. Then sit back, relax and get lost in the story.
The Wrap Up
Whatever theme you choose, remember to determine your budget before building the space. You can always add to it later.
If you like all three of these suggestions, consider combining elements from each.
Let your imagination guide you and have fun! This is your space, so it should reflect the real you.