Let’s face it: The idea of a “man cave” is more than a little retrograde. (Reverse the words, and what do you get? That’s right: “cave man.”) But all discourse over outmoded gender roles aside, a simple fact remains: a dude’s got to have his space. To help you carve out your own happy place without coming across like one of those hairy guys in a Geico ad, we asked the in-house gurus at Gilt Home, creative director Tom Delavan and editor Stephen Milioti, for some expert advice.
Skip the themes.
“Football, golf, Megan Fox… a themed room is almost always a cheesy room. Besides, your interests may change, and then your room will feel not like you, but like a previous version of you.”—Stephen Milioti
Keep your tech under control.
“Get the largest, thinnest flat-screen you can afford, and get a good, sleek, low media cabinet to hide all the other stuff (like the DVD player and wiring).”—Tom Delevan
Light it right.
“Lighting should be subdued, but you need three points of light: overhead, task, and ambient. You want more sources of less light as opposed to one big, glaring fluorescent bulb.”—TD
Embrace your softer side.
“Real men have throw pillows. And cashmere blankets. They’ll make your sofa a lot more inviting … especially when special company’s over.”—SM
At least make them think you’re well-read.
“Books are key — coffee-table books and a shelf of books. Put the paperbacks in storage.”—TD
You’re the king, so get a throne.
“Your kick-back-and-relax chair shouldn’t look dowdy. Skip an overstuffed, dated club chair in favor of something slimmer, sleeker, and tailored. It’ll make you feel as good as you did when you started switching out those boxier suits for something with slimmer lines.”—SM
Cover the floors with the skins of beasts.
“Vintage rugs are a great way to add texture — go for Moroccan, shag, or lambskin.”—TD
Keep your enthusiasms in check.
“Less is more. If you have a vintage Mustang figurine, display it… but don’t display 20, or even 4. Show your personality, but keep your accents as tightly edited and well-vetted as your boardroom wardrobe.”—SM
Embrace the golden age.
“Brass is the new chrome — don’t be afraid of a little gold.”—TD