A “man cave”, for those of you who’ve been living under a rock, is defined as “a dedicated area of a house, such as a basement, workshop or garage, where a man can be alone or socialize with his friends”. It’s certainly nothing new — men have been seeking respite from work, wife and worry in their basements for as long as we can remember. But recently the man cave has become something of a full-blown cultural phenomenon as the next generation of homeowners make building one a top priority.
For the cigar smoker, having a well-ventilated man cave is tantamount to heaven on Earth. Neither rain nor sleet nor snow will keep you from puffing as you descend to your own private cigar club. In fact, many people have started to refer to B&M cigar shops as “man caves”, a sort of fraternal order of people who like to relax. That’s nice and all, but you can’t walk down to the store at two in the morning to smoke a cigar and shoot pool by yourself. The home-headquartered Man Cave is where it’s at.
The Official Man Cave Site is a fantastic resource for the aspiring or active man-caver. They have a fantastic “cave gallery” with photos of finished and semi-finished basement setups from around the world. It will inspire you with ideas for your own man cave. Though there are some pretty imaginative setups, most man caves share a few traits in common.
• Television – This is a no-brainer. Though a big fat flatscreen is preferable, the man cave is also the best place to repurpose and old TV that’s been made obsolete by your new living room model. A nice DVD collection or internet-based video streaming system is a huge plus.
• Stereo – Another obvious choice. Tunes are a must in the man cave.
• Comfy Couch / Chairs – Especially when basement ceilings are low, comfy couches are a must. The further you sink into them the better. It’s all about taking it easy, and there’s nothing easier than an easy chair.
• Mini-Fridge – Keeping things cool never looked as cool as the mini-fridge. Just make sure your basement’s electrical issues are worked out. I’ve blown a few fuses with my ancient wood-paneled mini.
• Ventilation System – This is an advanced man cave item but one that’s essential for many cigar-smoking cave dwellers. A word of advice: you’ll need more ventilation power than you expect. One guy I talked to had to install fans in his ceiling and floor before the smoke stopped clogging the basement and creeping up the stairs.
• Humidor – The basement is the perfect place for your humidor as its environment can sometimes resemble the interior of a humidor. You also want to have your cigar collection close by to show off to your visiting cigar buddies.
• Game Equipment – My own man cave is equipped with a poker table and astro-turf putting green. If you can fit it, a billiards table is perhaps the ultimate cave accessory. Other popular additions include video games, foosball tables, dartboards, board games and the like.
• Music Equipment – If you play any sort of instrument, this is where the jam begins. Hopefully you’ve also got some amplification that goes to 11.
• Kegerator / Bar – A well-stocked bar is a must for any man cave alcohol aficionado, but get a kegerator to take your cave to the next level. Your only problem will be getting people to leave your house.
• Framed Memorabilia / Posters / Neon Beer Signs / Road Signs – You don’t want your man cave looking like Applebee’s, but a tasteful amount of wall-hanging paraphernalia that reflects your cultural tastes will give the space personality. This absolutely includes as much of your favorite sports team’s merchandise as possible.
We hope these tips get you excited to start putting together your own man cave. Or if you already have one, we hope we just reminded you how cool they are.