‘Mantastically’ modern

Impressive aesthetics, not to mention dedicated spaces with unique personalities, are downright expected in hospitality. Those involved in creating memorable impressions are always on the hunt for something new. Although this hasn’t entered hospitality — at least not at the pace of retail — I felt inclined to share (with careful thought and execution) a space idea that could actually be adopted in the right property.

“Man caves” represent an extremely profitable line of business for residential builders and remodelers today, as they are popping up in conversation and on many space-planning radars. Home Depot recently found the trend becoming so popular it ran a special renovation issue on how to construct your very own room geared with the man in mind. 

Even the popular home design stores are switching from the long-running trend of bright and bold colors to more dark, earth-toned, male-dominated products meant for a man’s “dedicated” space.

Once reserved for the basement or garage, these man cave retreats are actually equipped with a few elements that could work cleverly into a guestroom theme. In fact, a one-off quirky advertising campaign geared towards “cave-themed” rooms might not be too far off! Although a few man cave staples such as flat screens, refrigerators and stocked bars are already standards in many hotels, keep in mind the electronics agenda for these retreats is more about an 80-in (203-cm) TV screen, dual computer monitors and fully stocked, full-sized refrigerators. It’s not a space designed to attract bachelor parties or to listen to your latest tunes amplified from Spotify at full volume! In fact, it’s a great idea for a bar or seating area outside a restaurant.

Let’s take a look at the stats. A survey conducted by Imre Communications reveals 59% of men find it important to have a man cave in their home. And one-half of those surveyed stated the reason was to have one’s own personal space, which allows for “relaxation” — another justification as to why this type of room option could very well work in the right property.

Retailers such as Restoration Hardware and Z Gallery say this trend is actually bringing back requests for nostalgic items. Distressed leather, overstuffed recliners, globes, sophisticated dartboards and pool table sales are all seeing a spike at retail. In the beginning of the trend, Restoration Hardware did phenomenally with furniture designed from airplane panels, while Z Gallery is currently transitioning from the bright, modern accessories we’ve seen over the past few years to items that would work well in these masculine spaces. And for the younger generation, mixing nostalgia with modern is another slant being taken in the new cave-like spaces.

I recently spoke to a corporate chain executive who shared a few elements he personally used in his private new cave space: a chessboard that’s always set-up, cigars (although rarely ever lit), a fully stocked bar (although it’s the bottled water he is constantly replacing), Contemporary yet distressed furniture (because it feels futuristic and it’s okay if he naps with his shoes on) and books — yes, hard, fabric-covered books. Why? He likes their smell. But his favorite and most important element or gadget in his newly designed space? The sound of no sound, which left me feeling as though maybe I should start planning a woman’s cave with a few of the same elements. My first personalized element? A fully stocked manicurist station. Why? For the added benefit of admiring a beautiful range of colors!

Anyone care to lend a few ideas for your own grown-up cave?