So you’ve got in your first double bedroom apartment since graduating college and your girlfriend’s moving in. The reason for the second bedroom was based on the compromise that you wanted to build a “man cave”.
As a veteran of the need for personal space, a “man cave” or “dude den” to escape to, I wanted to extend my findings to you in the hopes of helping you work within that limited space (and budget) if you too are in the midst of building your own man cave.
Laying the Ground Work
It’s also good that you know what you want from making this area so that you can get a good grip on what’s needed before you start piling things in.
· What direction are you going to set up (to ensure you can reduce glare from the windows)?
· Where are the power outlets and cable ports (and will you need extensions)?
· Will you be able to upgrade later on or are you stuck with what you’ve got?
The biggest decision is probably your choice of entertainment. You’ll want fast broadband for online streaming (and video games) along with a good package for normal TV and sports. I just did a search for AT&T’s U-Verse promotion codes and found a good deal in my area so make sure you check before paying retail.
Once you’re set up with the provider you can pretty much just move onto furnishing and adding some really neat items and gadgetry.
Keeping It within the Confines (and Budget)
There are two directions to go from here:
· Start building up the entertainment sources
· Work with how it’ll be comfortable
If you were to set up all your entertainment (TV, sound system, gaming systems, and the like) you may have some trouble positioning the lounge items. Alternatively, getting all the furnishing and throwing in neat stuff may limit how well you can enjoy the experience if it feels too cluttered.
I’d recommend starting with at least the TV/Projector and the main furniture.
Here’s what I’d recommend in order of importance/pricing/value:
· The biggest TV you can afford (that also fits the area), or an HD projector
· Either a couch or a lounge chair you find the most comfortable
· A sound system that has a dynamic range (but won’t blow down the walls)
· A computer (with wireless keyboard/mouse) that’s hooked into the TV (for gaming, online streaming, and browsing the Web)
· A set top box for services like Netflix, Hulu+, Crunchyroll, or Amazon Instant Video
Put the TV front and center. Go with something comfortable enough that you can sit there for hours (or take a nap, if you want to). Don’t skimp too much on the sound. Hook up the gadgets so you have it set up like some kind of command center.
Besides the TV, all of your purchases should be within a reasonable budget if you shop around online, hop onto sites like Craigslist, or wait for good deals during Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
LifeHacker has a good guide on when’s the best time to buy things during the year, which is helpful, too.
Bringing it all Together
How you finish setting up your man cave is entirely up to you.
There are a lot of lists of “must have” items for a man cave, which should give you a few good ideas (or by looking through some of the inspiration on Materialicious) but try to make it unique. You don’t have to have a kegerator in yours. You don’t have to have some Star Wars themed fridge.
Once you have the basics down (source of entertainment, the devices, and comfort) let it become whatever it becomes. Add onto it over the years. Get rid of stuff when you no longer like it. It’s your man cave – your place of solitude and glory – and the best part, from what you’ve read in this post, is that it doesn’t have to take up a huge space or break the bank.
What would go into your dream man cave?