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Simply Perfect Man Cave

The term “man cave” conjures up ideas of…well, cavemen. 

It also suggests the stereotypical man cave, with features like sports pennants hung on faux wood paneling, beer-stained carpets, empty pizza boxes and fossilized Cheetos between sofa cushions.

These days, men have progressed beyond the primitive and given the choice, many prefer a more refined and contemporary environment.

Raising the bar

In this lower level remodel, we turned the bar area into a focal point, mixing style and function. The light, reclaimed wood bar is set off by black cabinets and reflective tile on  the wall. 

Comfortable bar-height seating includes grey fabric-backed chairs with durable leather seats—on both sides of the bar—and at the ends of the bar, wood stools with adjustable metal bases.

The fabulous light above the bar is a favorite of ours. This wooden beam is suspended from the ceiling and wrapped in a string of Edison bulbs. The bulbs can be adjusted and they’re controlled by a single dimmer switch, creating an elegant, festive feeling.

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Please remain seated

Another standout piece in this room is the sectional. Upholstered in a neutral tweed with a distressed brown leather back and exposed nailhead trim, it’s thoroughly masculine in appearance yet soft and comfortable. Throw pillows in grey, black-and-white strips and a deep, luscious orange spark interest. 

The coffee table is also a unique, statement-making piece. Created from small pieces of textured, recycled wood, it brings to mind driftwood and establishes a raw craftsman-like feeling. 

On the coffee table we’ve put our favorite candle-holders (we use flameless candles for consistency and safety). The perforated metal allows candlelight to shine through the tiny holes, creating a beautiful pattern cast in light. The light grey shag rug brings warmth to the space—and looks magnificent through the spaces in the table.

Another seating area, outside the door to the in-home theater, includes a recycled wood and metal bench with elegant, contemporary lines, appointed with a oblong linen pillow and cable-knit throw. Above the bench hang two prints featuring historic newspapers.

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Man up

The sectional faces a built-in entertainment center for the requisite TV and other electronics. We’ve added moss balls, greenery, logs, wood spheres and other natural elements on various shelves to warm up the area. 

These items from nature, along with the oversized lanterns, help the area seem welcoming and not too detailed or fussy, which heightens the masculine feeling. 

On a round accent table, a simple arrangement of a distinctive, jute-handled magnifying glass and a book recalls a man’s study—a traditional masculine space from another era.

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