Man sheds are great, especially if you’re into DIY or are a home hobbyist of some kind, but they can be a bit Spartan, particularly in the winter months, when your emergency booze stash will be frosted by nature, without the need for a mini-fridge, and to enjoy a bit of me-time you’ll be sitting there muffled up in your football scarf!
No, by far the best man cave is a loft conversion, where you and your mates can slob about on battered old leather armchairs and watch the footie or Formula 1 on a wide screen TV (and no worries about spilling beer on the carpet!)
So, how to realise this desirable state of affairs without demur from your better half? The answer is part politics and part practicalities. On the first count, some negotiation may be involved. She can have a sauna/spa or sewing room if you can have a man cave. Or if you don’t have the room or budget for both, you might sign up for a bit of domestic duty and devote a number of hours a week to household repairs and odd jobs – if you’re not already fully committed in that department!
Then come the practicalities, which as specialists in loft conversions and home extensions we’re well qualified to help you with. Whatever diversions you have in mind, we recommend that, first and foremost, you have the space well insulated for sound. If you planning on an all-night poker game or watching an overseas sporting event in the early hours, your family and neighbours won’t take kindly to your uninhibited whoops and cheers!
How you furnish the space will depend on your personal preferences in armchair sport and entertainment, but the following should be on every caveman’s list:
Club Leather Armchairs and Sofas
If you’re looking for furniture that’s lager, pizza and burger proof, dark, button back leather furniture is hard to beat when it comes to taking punishment, as well as being comfortable and manly. For the lived in look your best bet is the Wood Street Antique & Collectors Market (2 minutes from Wood Street station), which also specialises in cheap secondhand furniture. If you want to buy new at bargain prices you could also try Leatherland at Staples Corner.
Home Bars & Mini-Fridges
When it comes to chilling out, chilled beer is the number one requirement, for which you’ll need – at the very least – a mini fridge, or ideally a home bar. Drinkstuff stock and deliver a fantastic range of home bars, ice tables, fridges, bar stools and accessories – and they can even supply the booze to stock them with! You might also consider building in a kitchenette with a microwave (for half time snacks) and a dishwasher (given that an au pair will probably not be negotiable!)
TV, Hi-Fi, Home Cinema & Games Consoles
For the big game or action movie you’ll want a 50” flat screen TV or better still a home cinema system. Drinkstuff, mentioned above, can help you with that (and even home cinema seating – they come close to being the complete caveman outfitters!).
Or if you want to go for an integrated home audio, cinema and surround sound system you can control from your tablet, get in touch with Advanced Media Installations, who can supply and fit the whole kit and caboodle, including automated light dimming, blind control, and secure entry systems (this is, after all, a men only zone!)
Games Tables, Juke Boxes and Arcade Machines
Fancy yourself as a pool shark, pinball wizard or latter day Teddy Boy? You’ll find everything you want to live out the fantasy at Liberty Games, which stocks a comprehensive selection of pool, football and air-hockey tables, pinball and arcade machines. The Jukebox Showroom also sells restored vintage jukeboxes by such fabled names as Wurlitzer, Rock Ola, Seeburg & AMI.