Having a getaway room in the home works for me. I now have three of them including my garage, the basement and my upstairs office. None would be considered a “Man Cave” according to what seems to be the new definition of what was once known as the recreation room.
An email landed in my inbox this morning from a DYI television show, which I have never seen since my cable does not carry the DIY Network, called Man Caves. The program is co-hosted by a licensed contractor named Jason Cameron (a very manly name) and retired football player Tony Siragusa (for added testosterone I guess). The network is offering a $50,000 Man Cave build out. Yes, I entered the sweepstakes.
A link provided in the email led me to watch various episodes where a homeowner wants his basement turned into his own personalized living space. This program wasn't much different from those HGTV home makeover shows that women (and…well…some guys) like to watch. Watching people renovate structures bores me to death. Watching “how-to” programs are fine if they actually can teach something but most are for entertainment purposes generally attractive to women looking for decorating ideas.
In my first home I hired a retired carpenter to help me turn totally unfinished empty attic space into a bed, bath and office adding a lot of sweat equity to the home. Going from a two bed one bath into a three bed two bath for less than having a contractor do it was a smart move financially but it removed one year from my personal life.
Television editing cuts out all of the time consuming labor to make renovation projects appear as if anyone can do it in a snap. Without the part time help from the old carpenter I could not have done it myself. It needed plumbing, electrical and heat. That’s where old Frank came in and made me pleased I hired him and he came cheap.
But Man Cave? Is this manly or some new suburban metrosexual trend?
On the television show the hosts take the owners hobbies and interests then use that as a cute, coordinated visual theme for the lucky fella’s new Man Cave. Here’s one they did for a ski enthusiast.
Each of the four episodes I watched had the obligatory 52' big screen flat panel television, surround sound home theatre and of course a bar.
I watched a few other examples where they constructed and decorated Man Caves using outdoor, motorcycle, pub, rock star and other themes. It was too cute for me and a bit chick-like even though there was not one person on the crew who I would call a gay decorator. That doesn't mean there's at lest one in the background off camera judging by some of the Man Cave makeover looks they did. While I am somewhat artistic there's something creepy about interior decorating to me. Picking out stone, flooring, colors, wall treatments, nick-naks and coordinating the whole schmear. Some of the stuff I saw looked like it may have been heading too far into a Disneyworld theme bar territory for my taste.
We turned our basement into a finished room years ago but never decorating it in any theme. There was space built for a bar but I never got around to completing it. There’s a pool table, television, refrigerator. hide-a-bed for overnight guests and a toilet room. It's a nice space to have when hosting Thanksgiving for thirty.
The Man Cave program has inspired me to consider finishing the bar area. Maybe I will get into some wall treatments such as beaded wood planks and cabinets or something. Old weathered barn siding may be nice. If I went with a theme it would be the outdoors and it would be rustic. Any photos or taxidermy would be my own, not some replica crap. I also have my old, and I do mean old American Flyer electric train set. It will be included in my own "Man Cave" makeover if I go that far.
What I may attempt is completely within my skill range since the plumbing and electrical is already in place. It would give me something to do when business slows down, which it has. One thing I will not do is to start collecting mAntiques.
Maybe I’ll get started on it. Tomorrow.