Man-cave 2.0 is the perfect hang-out that keeps on giving.
A retreat from shared spaces, a dedicated, male-focused area is the stuff of dad dreams — whether it be focused on entertaining, creative pursuits or just a bit of him-time.
While the idea itself is aspirational, the masculine-kitsch of quintessential man-cave décor can leave something to be desired — think paraphernalia bearing beer-brand emblems, dated furniture, and artwork that was (for any number of reasons) relegated outside of the familial home.
Luckily, a space for dad doesn’t have to bear the conventional trappings of a man-cave. For a design-forward approach to creating an inspired male space for some R&R, we asked three local designers to share their ideas for elevating a dad-approved dwelling.
Mason is the owner and operator of Urbanhome — a destination for inspired, luxury design services and uniquely chic décor pieces within her shoppable showroom. With a focus on creating fashionable, functional designs, Mason’s leading inspiration for each space is the personalities of the people who will occupy it.
From Mason’s perspective, a great man-cave is defined by reflecting the man who will be inhabiting it.
“Make the space truly personal by incorporating his artifacts or memorabilia in a creative way, being sure to find a place for the things that have meaning to him. This begins with knowing the person — being able to get a sense of his personality well to guide the mood for the room is important.”
For a game-focused man-cave, Mason shares that some of her favourite design elements include modern-industrial bar stools, classic table-top games (like ping pong or foosball) and including framed vintage comics and board games as art pieces.
To craft a space that’s both design forward and masculine, Mason loves the idea of incorporating cowhide, and colours to complement its unique character — including richer colours like caramel, beige, charcoal and navy. She also highlights the potential of using additional textures to define the space — suggesting wood elements, vintage leather and metal meshing as great options.
David Burman is the founder, owner and operator of Mister Style — the answer to a well-furnished, creatively curated home, whether you’re staging to sell or styling to stay. For those uncertain as to how to attract a home’s best possible buyers, Mister Style offers partial or full home stages designed to highlight the true potential of a space.
If your dad is anything like David Burman’s, then his space should be a place to unwind and recharge.
“His way of relaxing often includes a nice glass of wine while listening to records. I think a great masculine space should invite the idea of relaxation—a place to listen to music, watch sports or have a drink. It’s the one room dad can have control over, a space that is comfortable but functional as well. Achieving this can include incorporating a bar cart, some bold artwork, a desk or a sofa and accent chairs.”
When it comes to designing a great dad-oriented space, Burman thinks about fashion as well as function — thinking outside of the traditional man-cave sound system for something a little more interesting.
“I find that vinyl records and record players are such a creative tool when designing a masculine- focused space. Record players can be the centrepiece of a room that offers stylish solutions to show off record collections. Some people may only use records for the purpose of listening to music but they can also be used as décor on a shelf, stacked on the floor, or even framed on a wall.”
Drawing on her graphic design background to inform her décor techniques, Tia Hughes applies colour theory and exceptional use of proportion to bring her spaces to life. Tia Hughes Design is centred on creating uniquely beautiful, highly functional interiors and inspired brand identity services for her clients.
Hughes’ approach to designing a masculine space is chicly modern, but warmly inviting in equal parts.
“One of the most important features of a dad-orientated space is choosing comfortable seating for the ultimate place to lounge and put his feet up — whether it be a sink-right-in sectional or modern recliner.”
When designing masculine oriented dwellings, Hughes admits that she tends to gravitate towards darker colours and richer textures.
“One of my favourite go-to colours lately has been “Kendall Charcoal” by Benjamin Moore. This moody grey, with a slight undertone of green, pairs perfectly with cognac coloured leather, different wood tones, and brass accents. If you’re thinking an all dark room is a little too daring, try just painting your built ins, or bringing in the darker colours and richer textures through large area rugs, pillows and bar stools.”
Hughes suggests that would-be designers try layering in personal touches to really tell the story of the man that lives there.
“Digging out old school pennants, sports ribbons or family photos can be great décor items and conversation starters.”