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contemporary bachelor pad with leather wingback armchair black and white stripe rug and leather cushions

How to take a Man Cave from Blokey to Beautiful

The man cave has come a long way over the years. Gone are visions of this zone being a grease pit with girly calendars and beer cans lying around (ick, ick, ick!). Nowadays, the man cave has taken a sophisticated turn for the better. Taking cues from contemporary bachelor pads (minus the smell of one-night stands and Red Bull), the modern man cave is a design destination in its own right.

Better still, the idea of having a man cave outside in the shed is outdated, too. Sure, you can still set up the shed or garage as a cool and contemporary man-pad, but it can also come inside too; like turning your spare room into a dapper gent’s quarters, games room or your very own sports centre.

So throw out the Maxim magazines (is that title even around anymore?), replace it with a few copies of GQ, and let’s get your man cave updated and improved with my tips below.

How to take a Man Cave from Blokey to Beautiful

modern man cave bachelor pad with tufted brown leather sofa and metal chest coffee table

Darker Colours for the Win

A contemporary bachelor pad is dark and moody, so opt for a base colour palette of black, brown and charcoal grey (consider a black wall like these ones). On top of that, it’s important to weave in some white and creams so the look doesn’t get too gloomy. Finally, choose an accent colour. A mustard yellow is a nice, bright pop without it feeling too crazy. But you could also opt for a terracotta orange or bright red. The choice is yours, but do make sure you have a few colourful moments in the space.

industrial man cave warehouse apartment with chalk board wall and leather sofas

Materials are really Important

The thing that sets the dapper man cave apart from other zones in your home is the materials you choose. You need to bring harder, industrial, earthy materials into the space. Think leather in your sofa and armchair, steel in dining chairs, stools and side tables, and faux fur in your rugs. Rustic woods are also a good idea, as is anything with a worn, rusty finish. Exposed brick is awesome if you have it too, as are concrete ornaments. And if you really want to turn up the fun, try a small section of chalk board wall.

modern man cave industrial apartment with tufted leather sofa and cowhide rug

“The man cave can’t be 100% serious. You’re not James Bond, you’re not chasing spies, and Pussy Galore is not coming in to serve you a cocktail, shaken”.

modern man cave with industrial exposed brick wall and tufted brown leather armchair

Work in a bit of fun

The man cave can’t be 100% serious. You’re not James Bond, you’re not chasing spies, and Pussy Galore is not coming in to serve you a cocktail, shaken. With that in mind, you’re all systems go when it comes to introducing some fun moments. Think about a super hero or comic strip character you like and introduce them into the space through some art. Opt for darker colours in the art if you can. And also consider ornaments or figurines on your coffee table of shelving that gives a nod to these characters.

modern bachelor pad with tufted leather sofa and room divider with orange floor lamp

Dapper Decor all the Way

You have the playful aspect sorted, but you still want it to feel like a sophisticated escape for the rest of your home. What you need to channel the masculine vibe is a good drinks cabinet, sideboard with drinks tray on it, or an awesome vintage drinks trolley. Deck out your preferred furniture piece with scotch glasses, cocktail shakers, whiskey stones and an array of other bar essentials. A bar fridge also has to be included. I insist. Nobody wants to be walking back and forth to the kitchen to get another bevvie. Am I right?

modern man cave mood board with leather sofa and faux cowhide rug

Shop the Modern Man Cave

Eager to get your man cave up and going? I certainly am! Above I’ve put together a man cave starter kit that contains all the necessary elements to pull off this look with a cool, sophisticated edge.

Of course, if you have some existing pieces in your home already, just shop the items that you’re drawn to and create your own custom man cave this weekend.

Supplier links are all included below so you’re only a click away from creating a modern man cave you can be proud of.

Top Row:
Bone Inlaid Bar Cabinet from West Elm, $1999 – Click to Shop
Jezz Pendant Light in Grey from Mica Lighting, $90 – Click to Shop
Lampblack Wall Art from Urban Road, $135 – Click to Shop

Middle Row:
Salt and Pepper Cowhide Rug from Zanui, $399 – Click to Shop
Atlas 4-Seater Leather Sofa from Freedom, $3499 – Click to Shop
Calpulli Cushion from Sparkk, $93.50 – Click to Shop
Chamelion Plant Stand in Black from Icy Muse, $160 – Click to Shop

Bottom Row:
Gus Hallifax Chair from Globewest, $1595 – Click to Shop
Lillia Round Marble Coffee Table from Temple & Webster, $949 – Click to Shop
Brass Armadillo from West Elm, $59 – Click to Shop
Billy Textured Vase in Black from Adairs, from $39.95 – Click to Shop

Image credits: The hero image in this post was found here, while all others are via Home-Designing.com. You should check out the latter as it has more awesome man cave ideas you can steal for your own place.

Which are your fave ideas or products here for creating your dream man cave? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Outside of writing the TLC Interiors blog, Chris is an interior stylist and author. You can also catch him on your TV screens as a designer on Channel 10's Changing Rooms. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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