A man cave is a getaway area, usually built in a garage or basement. The room was originally designed for men who wanted a place to put their stuff and hang out with their friends away from the family.
However, when the word mancave is used, people tend to put up walls. They have strong feelings about them, one way or another. But it’s time to halt the judgment and take a look at what a garage man cave really is.
History Of Man Caves
The first known use of the phrase “man cave” was on March 21, 1992. The Toronto Star states, “With his cave of solitude secured against wife intrusion by cold floors, musty smells, and a few strategic cobwebs, he will stay down there for hours nestled in very manly magazines and open boxes of tools. Let’s call the basement, man cave.”
From there, the term was used on a regular basis, gaining more popularity when Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray was released the following year. Historically, women chose decor, while men handled finances.
A garage man cave was a man’s place to decorate and behave the way he wanted to without fear of upsetting his wife. Which seemed like a good idea at the time. Today, the use of a man cave has changed, as has its meaning.
Are Man Caves For Men Only?
The short answer is “no.” Man caves were originally for hetero males, but today, things are different. Although stereotypically, they are designed for those who identify as a man, they can be built for anyone.
The name “man cave” is a little misleading. It doesn’t mean that you have to work on your motorcycle or even be into sports. They call it a cave because it’s usually dark, and closed off from the rest of the world.
What Is A She Shed?
The term “she shed” is a relatively new term that was first used by the general population no earlier than 2015. It arrived along with the gender equality movement of the 2010s and it appears to be here to stay.
Generally, a she shed is built in a shed, but it can be built in a garage if you don’t have a shed available.
If you’re wondering whether you should use the term “man cave” or “she shed”, then don’t worry, many have the same struggle. But the bottom line is that it really doesn’t matter. Use whatever makes you feel comfortable.
If you don’t want to label it, which is most common, then don’t! However, when working with a contractor or looking for ideas online, you may need to bend your rules and use the terms. But in your own life, it’s all up to you and your creative brain.
How Do I Make My Garage A Man Cave?
Now that we’ve gone over the semantics, let’s get to the fun part. Here are plenty of ideas for you to work with for your garage man cave or she shed. Let your own creative juices flow as you put each piece together.
Pick Your Hobby
This is the most important part of the job. You probably want a personal shed or garage so that you have your own space to do your hobby. But what is that hobby? This hobby will help you decide what you need and how to decorate.
A theme is nearly a must when it comes to man caves and she sheds. You want a space that is uniquely you. A space that makes you feel good. So find a hobby that really makes you feel good.
Add New Flooring
When renovating a garage or a shed, you have to remember that they are usually initially just shells. You will have to add flooring over the concrete floors if you want to keep it cooled in the summer and warm in the winter.
The same goes for flooring in sheds. Sheds usually have wood flooring, most likely plywood. So you will want to add something over this to avoid an unfinished look and to keep the room well insulated.
Speaking of insulating, it’s important to make sure you have good insulation or you won’t be able to use your garage man cave or she shed year-round. Get good insulation and put it up before choosing what to use on your walls.
Cover The Walls
This is where creativity starts. You will want to add something over that insulation as insulation is unsafe to be around for long and really isn’t all that appealing. Choose any wall covering you want, just make sure it has personality.
Don’t Forget To Wire
Before actually covering your walls, you need to add wiring. Most garages have poor wiring and most sheds don’t have any at all. So plan your layout so you know how many outlets you need. Then add two more to be safe.
Choose Your Lighting
Lighting can make or break an aesthetic. If you want soft lighting, add fairy lights. If you want harsh lighting, add overhead lights with high wattage bulbs. There are many options, but you’d be surprised to know that the lighting is more important than the light covers.
Consider Getting A Kitchenette
If you plan on spending much time in your she shed or man cave, then maybe you should add a small kitchen. A mini-fridge should do it. You can even add a bar, a griddle, a microwave, and more. Just don’t forget a tiny sink!
What Every Man Cave Should Have
Before we begin with specific man caves to inspire you, let’s list a few things that every man cave should have. Although you don’t absolutely have to have everything on this list, you probably should.
A TV is a must. Whether you use it to watch movies, sports games, or play video games is up to you. Set it up to suit you and your friends, but have one nevertheless. A TV is necessary for your man cave.
The exact games don’t matter, what matters is that you are making an effort. Video games are important but so are things like pinball or foosball tables. Something to really engage everyone, compatible for both small or large groups.
Comfortable seating is absolutely necessary. This is usually a nice sectional so there is room for everyone, but anything works. Just beware that you will find people crashed on it taking a nap and enjoying the quiet.
This table is a game table. It should be something similar to either a billiard table or a poker table. This is where everyone sits together, facing each other, for some together time not just to eat but to play.
Display everything that makes you feel like you. This can be anything from guns to Star Wars memorabilia to unicorns! It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it brings you peace, serenity, and makes you smile.
Kitchenette Or Bar
A kitchenette and bar are very similar, so choose a bar if you and your friends are drinkers and a kitchenette if you aren’t. Make sure that there is a fridge, a bar, and somewhere to store dishes and dry food.
She Shed And Man Cave Ideas
These ideas will inspire you and help you create that perfect sanctuary made just for you. These are especially useful when you don’t know what type of getaway you want. From a game room to a spa, here are some awesome ideas.
The Literal Cave
Not many people can afford or have the opportunity to build this man cave, but it’s one of the most amazing ways to do it. You just need to hire a stone cutter if you have a cave. Or, get someone to make your walls look like real cave walls.
The Nap House
Do most of us really want anything more than a safe and quiet place to nap? Nap pods are a thing and they are becoming something that’s added to your yards. All you need is a shed or greenhouse with a bed in it.
The more natural the better as you’ll soon find out that nature does more good in helping you sleep than most things. So plenty of windows and green plants can really help you rest well.
Saunas are great for your health and offer wonderful relief from stress. It’s not difficult nor expensive to build one and it’s the next best thing to going to a spa. This particular sauna is stunning with a backwoods feel.
Who doesn’t want a diner at home? There’s something about a diner that makes one feel at home. Just make sure if you get one that milkshakes and burgers are always available because you will be craving them.
The Craft Shack
A craft shack is similar to a workshop only it is designed for crafts. It will usually need even better insulation and to be dust-free. Make sure there are plenty of shelves and boxes for all of your supplies.
The Poker Table
People who play poker like to do so at least once a week. So having a space specifically for that is never a bad idea. You can even set up slot machines and computers for online poker gaming. It’s all coming together now!
The Sports Bar
If you like going to the sports bar, you need a sports bar at home. In the end, you will be saving a ton of money. You can invite friends over and perhaps they’ll pitch in when it comes to costs as they will be saving money too.
The Tea Parlor
A tea parlor is a wonderful place to get away somewhere quiet and peaceful. You can choose the most exquisite decor or keep it simple. You can even choose to go for more earthy tones and create a mini coffee shop.
This is one of the oldest and most common ways to use a garage man cave. A workshop can be the perfect way to utilize your space because no one wants any crafting and carving done inside the house.
The Moroccan Getaway
There isn’t a better place to relax than an actual sanctuary. Add a little spirit to your space with spiritual decor. Crystals, soft lighting, and salt lamps can all help you achieve that dream and relax at the end of the day.
The Billiards Room
A game room can be any room that you play games in. This room can have gaming consoles, computers, or billiards. This type of room is perfect for any she shed, man cave, or family room. Everyone loves to play pool!
Although a wine cellar isn’t usually a place to hang out, if you make your own wine, it can be your favorite place in the house. That’s the point of a garage man cave in the first place. Your favorite place to be!
Simple Garage Man Cave Decor Ideas
If the above ideas are too complicated or expensive for you, then you are in luck because we have decided to add some simple garage man cave ideas. These video tutorials and tours will take you on interesting journeys.
The Ultimate Dream Garage
This simple garage makeover will take care of everything you can think of for a simple garage makeover. If you want something practical that will still allow a safe place to get away and work on some projects, this is your man cave.
Terry Crews’ Man Cave
Yes, that Terry Crews. His man cave is unlike any other. He thinks of everything. From a library to art to a place for friends to crash. Yes, he puts a new spin on the dark man cave of the 1970s and beyond.
Garage Cigar Bar
This garage cigar bar is absolutely stunning. It is simple and can be customized any way you like. The video features a more advanced version but the instructions are clear, concise, and easy to follow.
The Garage Game Room
If you want to invite friends over for a night of games and fun, then this garage man cave is for you. It is a little more expensive than the others but it is highly-customizable because you can add any games you like.
Cozy Garage To Relax
Can you say vibing? Because this garage is definitely vibing. If you want somewhere to relax any time of the year and chill with friends or family members, then this garage cave makeover is the one you need to watch.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
How Do I Turn My Garage Into A Bar?
A bar is one of the most common garage transformations. You want space away from the kids and those who don’t want to drink. But you also want to create a great atmosphere at home where you can enjoy yourself.
Rachel Ray does an amazing job with her garage bar so take a look at it. You can put your own spin on the garage bar if you like as well. All you need is the actual bar, a fridge, and a few drinks and you have it made.
Are Man Caves A Good Idea?
In general, yes they are, but this is completely up to you. If you are deciding between a garage man cave and a family room and your family wants a family room, then go for a family room and make it fun for everyone.
But if your garage is sitting there all empty and unused and you want a man cave, then go for it. Even if you don’t have the money for it now, you can slowly build your dream man cave. There’s nothing wrong with taking it slow.
How Much Does It Cost To Build A Man's Garage Cave?
The cost of a man cave varies so much that it is impossible to find out how much yours will cost at first. You need to decide what you need to do. The simple necessities like floors, insulation, and walls will be your initial cost.
Most people end up paying around $7500 for their garage man cave, but this isn’t including any high-end additions such as pool tables and entertainment systems. So these are additional costs you need to add in yourself.
Do Man Caves Add Value?
Yes, they do. They add monetary value as well as physical value not to mention value to your mental and emotional health. This is because having a space to get away, even if it is with other people, is beneficial.
Adding that she shed, man cave or even family room can be just what you need. As for the monetary value, yes, people love finding houses that have man caves or similar spaces that they can look forward to.