5 Man Cave Clichés You Should Avoid
Naturally, you want your man cave to stand out from the crowd. It needs to both look unique and represent you as a person. This guide helps you understand the five major clichés surrounding man caves that trap newbie cave designers. Learning about these 5 man cave clichés you should avoid also helps you understand the true definition of a man cave and just how important they are in every man’s life.
Many people resort to purchasing things that appear to fit in a man cave, rather than something that actually suits the room, and fall victim to a host of clichés. If not that, then they go for gaudy things that match their theme or some horrible design choices that seem good at the time. With that in mind, let’s begin your journey for a unique man cave!
1) Super Macho
A man is about spirit, not how bushy your beard is or your profession (although lumberjacking certainly doesn’t hurt with that manly image). Similarly, its association with a man makes a room a man cave, not the presence of a billion ‘manly’ things. If you think a cave requires a gun rack, sports-themed posters, or whiskey instead of your favorite spirit, then think again. Buying something for a man cave just because it looks manly turns your cave into a cliché, rather than a room that represents you. It’s the 21st century, and we men no longer need to conform to stereotypes in order to maintain our pride.
2) Stuff Unrelated to You
If you put in mounted antlers or taxidermy animals, you better be a hunter! Otherwise, it just looks tacky and launches you into awkward conversations when your guests mention them. That My Chemical Romance poster might look aesthetically pleasing and match the colors of your cave, but if you never listened to their music, resell it or toss it instead of using it. Your cave represents who you are and what you do. Everything in it should either have a use to you, go with your interests, or relate to you as a person. Buying things because they look cool or match the room works for the living room or study, but not in a man cave. Don’t fall into this cliché trap!
3) Too Much Brown (or: No Color)
For some reason, Hollywood and video game companies alike fell in love with a rusty brown color. It looked gritty, hardcore, edgy, dirty, and…well, manly. Adding in this shade of rusty brown to a room certainly adds a rustic feel, so you might feel inclined to use it everywhere in your cave. It helps you match colors, too! If you agree with those two statements, then you fell victim to one of the more dangerous man cave clichés—too much brown! Brown looks like crap, for obvious reasons. Paired with certain colors, such as blue or tan, it creates a modern look. However, if you focus on brown and rusty reds in your room, you need to tone it down and throw in some accent colors.
Similarly, a room without any accent colors at all looks bland. Everything looks like it came out of a box and comes off as impersonal. Throw in one or two small trinkets that match your favorite color, or—if your favorite color is white or black—pick a color that carries symbolism you like. Blue appears professional, emotional, and knowledgeable, while red represents strength and passion. The combination of red, black, and white looks great together. If you use more gray tones, blue fits in more.
4) Only Store-bought Decorations
Speaking of personalization, one other important aspect of creating a non-cliché mancave lies in how much effort you put in. Store-bought furniture and trinkets usually withstand the test of time, but making things yourself ensures you have something that lasts a lifetime. On top of that, it helps you build a connection with your room. Remember that a man cave is more than a study—it is a sanctuary! A mantuary, if you will. Putting in things wrought by your own hands enforces that.
It also helps a bunch when it comes to finding things that match your theme. Does Walmart sell no steampunk frames, and do the ones on Etsy suck? Time to go to Home Depot and make some improvisations!
5) No Theme, Concept, or Attention to Detail
The last cliché—and easiest trap to fall into while building your man cave—concerns your theme, or lack thereof. Without a theme, your man cave holds no identity. Everything looks like a mishmashed bunch of furniture. Call it a man cave all you like, but it’s little more than a hang out spot and a place you make the rules in. Technically, you make the rules in your own apartment, but you don’t go around calling it a man cave, do you? Pick a color palette, time period, fandom, or function that ties your cave together.
The moment you step through the threshold, you enter another dimension where you relax and do what you want for a change! Make it look different than any room you’ve ever seen, or it falls into the cliché of looking like every other room!
The How and Why: 5 Man Cave Clichés You Should Avoid
Ultimately, your man cave is only as unique as you are. When you learn about 5 man cave clichés you should avoid, you prevent a personal disaster when all is said and done. Stepping into your cave and enjoying a room that really represents you makes up for spending the extra time to find things that truly match your cave. A room that suits you on a personal level also helps accustom your guests to the area. After all, when you know the ins and outs of your cave, your friends pick up faster. Anyways, good luck building your man cave the way you want, and use this post to feel confident that no clichés will trap you in the process!