Monday, April 2, 2012

New Space For My Man

My husband never asks for anything for himself.  He does everything for his girls, me and our two daughters.  We also have a girl dog and a girl bunny.  He is surrounded by estrogen and has no place to call his own in our home.  Day after day he diligently goes off to work to support and provide for his girls.  He never buys anything frivolous.  The only money he ever spends on himself are the times when he needs new running shoes.  He is selfless and happily does everything for his family.  He never complains.  When we do have some extra money he tells me to get something nice for the girls and me.  We have a cozy, "smallish," three bedroom home and there is no corner carved out just for him. 
Even the garage is filled with all my "crapola."

I wanted to change that, so I'm making him a
"Man Cave." 

Not this kind of cave.
Photo: Man in front of cavernous tunnel

Hopefully it will be more like this kind of Man Cave.

He really doesn't want to watch Vampire Diaries, Survivor, Switched At Birth, Nate Berkus, Selling New York, and all the other shows his girls watch.  He needs his own TV to watch sports, documentaries, and the History Channel.  He has never asked for a no girls allowed space, but he listened intently when I told him my plan.  It took him a few days, but now he is totally on board.
 It's fun seeing him get excited about having a space of his own.
The dilemma, where do you find space for a more testosterone friendly room when you only have three bedrooms and they are all occupied?
You get creative and you make due with what you have.
No time to lament about what we don't have.
Here is the room I'm converting into a place my husband can call his own.
It's a challenge because this is our living room/office and it incorporates the front door and the hall to the girl's bedrooms.  There aren't any walls to separate it from the rest of the house.  It's also an awkward shape.  It's the first room guests see when they walk in the house. I need to come up with a plan that will make my husband feel welcome, but still not look we live in a themed sports bar.

I painted this space blue/green after seeing the cover of the 2007 Jan./Feb. issue of Veranda. 
I did layers of joint compound and paint glaze to achieve the effect. 
Time for change, it's been like this since the cover came out.

It's had a few different looks in the past, but the wall color hasn't changed.

We use it for Thanksgiving dinners because we don't have a formal dining room.  
Thanksgiving 2010

I ripped out the carpet a few years back and painted the concrete floors
I've done several floors like this in my house.   
Those are staying, but I'm re-painting the border. 
The scroll detail is too feminine for a Man Cave.

I put up our Thanksgiving Tree right after Halloween in here.
Thanksgiving Tree 2011

Here's the room getting ready for a new coat of paint.

Here is the direction I'm going.
A new sleek flat screen TV and industrial furniture.

Dutch Industrial Media

I think I'll have to design some more industrial shelves for this room like I did in our great room.

Gray walls with warm wood.

Maybe a map or two of his home state New York.
new york city vintage map NYC 1842 atlas map east coast print - Free Shipping

Darker gray ceiling with beefy crown molding.

Maybe something like this?.


Cozy stremlined furniture with an industrial masculine feel.

Industrial Countryside Chic

The walls and ceiling have been painted, but I'm not going to finish this room in lightening speed. 
My oldest daughter had surgery this last week and
I was gone all weekend at a volleyball tournament.

I painted the walls Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray HC 170  and the ceiling 
Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray HC 168.
I'm adding crown molding so you won't see the unpainted seam where the walls and ceiling meet.

I'll show you the progress in the next post.

Do you have any room renovations in the works?
Does your man have his own Man Cave?
Do you have any style tips that I can use to make this masculine room blend with the rest of our home?
I would love to hear your ideas.

Thanks for checking it out.


  1. That sounds like my dad. I'm the oldest of his 4 daughters, 2 female dogs and 2 female cats. I think the concept is great! I can't wait to see the end result.


  2. h is going to love every square inch. can't wait to see what you come up with.

    keep us posted.

  3. Oh I am so not showing this to my husband. You are a far better wife than me. I love all your ideas. My husband is from New York too. He has a bookshelf where all his man and college stuff is displayed, and well, a closet door in our office where he puts all his "I wish I were still following the Grateful Dead" type bumper stickers on. The office bathroom used to be his, but our teen has taken that over. The office used to be his, but he never worked from home, and my business has taken over our home. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

  4. I can hardly wait to see it. I love your inspiration photos and think the "man cave" will be fabulous!

  5. We don't have a man cave because my husband thinks the notion of one is ridiculous, he even despises the expression itself :) Every time he hears it when I'm watching my shows he huffs in disgust. I guess he doesn't feel run over by all the decorating I'm doing :) I don't mind since that means more space for me to play with. But have fun doing this space for your man, just remember to let him have a say about what goes into it :) (I'm assuming you already did but it wasn't mentioned in your post). I like your ideas, though, and I loved that rustic shelf you designed.

  6. You are going in the right direction. The colors you picked are great. As long as you have a common element - rustic pieces, similar colors, metal, for example - with other public rooms in the house you will have a flow and then you can incorporate the more masculine pieces - TV/entertainment unit, furniture, artwork and so on. Love the NY map!


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