Respecting the “Man Cave”

Sunday, February 14, 2010

How many of you have a “man cave” in your house?…you know, that one space in the house that belongs solely to “the man”. Maybe it’s a den, or a manly room to build manly stuff and do manly things (can you tell I’m not a man?).

As you know, I’m not married, but I do have a man (in training) in the house…my 15 year old son. I like to call him “Coolio”.

IMG_0242

When he was little I created the most adorable room for him. My little 19 or 20 year old self painted his room one of those new fangled beige colors (this was 1995 people… “beige” was a fairly new concept…at least to me since we were still coming out of the ‘80s), and I picked out cute blue and white striped bedding and a fun little street rug (kind of like the one below).

But just like you can only pick out your kids’ clothes for so long, you can only be in charge of how their bedroom looks for a certain amount of time…and then they takeover. I’m okay with this.

When we moved into the Cottage I let my son pick out his own bedding. It was a striped duvet set on clearance at Pottery Barn (it’s called “Jasper” if anyone wants to look for it on Ebay).

It stayed on the bed for a little while, but where is this bedding set now?

IMG_2900

Apparently “duvet covers” aren’t all that practical in the mind of a 15 year old manchild. Nor are “pillow shams”…go figure.

What is practical to a 15 year old manchild? A comfortable, soft, well used quilt. I’ve gently pointed out (about a MILLION times) that it has flowers on it, but he doesn’t care because it’s super comfy. Huh…function over form…what an interesting concept.

IMG_2895

Also practical to a 15 year old are random sports posters tacked to the wall. I was able to frame one of them…but I couldn’t sell the kid on framing and artfully displaying the others…again, go figure.

IMG_2899

And the most practical thing in the man cave? An emerald green velour recliner purchased for $10 from the neighbors across the street. Yes, nothing says man cave like a recliner.

IMG_2891

Do I secretly want to sneak into his room when he’s out of town and throw some paint on the walls, add new bedding, and artfully arrange his posters? Um yes. Will I…no. And here’s why:

I respect my son’s need to create his own space that reflects him. I respect his need to have a space in our painted, pillow filled, artfully arranged house that makes him feel like a man. As long as he keeps it clean and keeps the door unlocked I’m good.

What about you? Do you have a “man cave” in your house?

sig

32 Suburbanites Said:

Beth@The Stories of A to Z said...

You are a good mom. My men in training still allow me to pick things out and I'm sort of dreading the day when they start asserting their decor independence. I'm sure it will happen sooner than I like and I will remember that AnNicole told me to let my boys have their man cave so that they can feel like men. Oh, so hard. My poor hubby's man cave is his office at work and it is ATROCIOUS. So bad in fact that a MALE mutual friend of ours sent me an email asking if I'd ever considered offering my services (decorating that is :) to my hubby. Alas, Hubby is so run over with giving me every inch of this house I do not say a word about his crappy man cave. Okay, enough with the dissertation already. Sorry, a bit of wine :). Great post!

Low Tide High Style said...

We do have a man room, and it belongs to our 17 year old son! It's his personal hideaway, complete with a TV and a surround sound system!

When we renovated our house we gave him our old TV and the surround sound system that was fairly old for his bedroom. We recently bought him a laptop in preparation for going off to college next Fall so now we almost never see him. :(

He's always hanging out in his man cave, but like you, it's his space and so I let him be his own person in his own cave!

Kat :)

♥Amber Filkins♥ said...

What a great mama you are! I don't have boys, and even my oldest girl is 8, but I think it's so great to respect your son and allow him his creative freedoms in *his* space. So long as he follows those basic rules. Love that.

I try to give my girls some creative freedoms in their rooms too. So long as they follow those basic rules.

Well done AnNicole!

Centsational Girl said...

Yes, nothing says man cave like a recliner. A universal truth.

Bravo to you for allowing, no celebrating, his use of a comfy quilt, regardless of its floral motif, and resisting the urge to frame the sports posters. It's only a few years and then they fly from your nest *sigh* so I say, make them as comfortable as possible while they are with you.

You inspire me.

Lynette said...

No need for a man cave here, but I've let Meghan pick her bedding and wall colors (oh, that ocean blue and horrific yellow period - yuck) since the word "No" started coming out of her mouth!

Gotta pick your battles and to me, that one is just not worthy enough to argue over, actually, in my opinion, there are very few things for us to argue over - hum - little light bulb mommy moment there!

Anyway, I've allowed her pretty much free rein like you have with your guy and she has a very pretty room now and although our taste is not the exact same, she does have taste - which is something!

Great thought provoker there -

TheVirginiaHouse said...

Awww, that is so sweet and such good advice. My boys are still very young, but I know there will come a day... When I think back to how I chose to "decorate" my room when I lived at home, I cringe. But if that helps them get through those teenage years in any way, it's worth it. Thanks for a great post.

Laura PARING DOWN said...

I've been really lucky - I think I've rubbed off on both my boys. My 17-year-old wanted a cohesively decorated "mancave" with gray walls, dark but modern Ikea furniture (Malm black), silver accents, a Lack floating shelf (his idea - I kid you not!), and - what makes his room his own - black tab top curtains that mask the white window ledge and plantation shutters. It's as dim as a cave in there with those curtains closed - just the way he likes it!

My 11-year-old chose a modern orange, red, and white comforter from Target and deep teal paint for his bedroom. Color theory and everything.

Of course, none of this means that an inch of the floor shows through the piles of clothes, books, and the flotsam and jetsam of daily life!

Sorry for the wordiness. Loved the thought of this post!!!

sanctuaryhome said...

My house does have a man cave, filled with a projector and 7 or 8 foot movie screen, countless video game systems, plenty of comfy seating. Today I broke the man cave code. I am in the midst of a closet makeover and needed a spot to stash piles of clothes, shoes, etc. I asked tentatively if I could use the man cave since it has the most space that isn't regularly used. My husband said that as long as I left the area in front of the screen and one chair open, the rest was mine to use. The owner of our man cave is a saint!

Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick said...

You are so right on. I'm going to enjoy it while I can. :) But seriously, hope his friends don't read this so they don't see that quilt. Wait a minute...there's probably zero chance his friends read this blog -- scratch that. Ha!!!

Olivia said...

Man, what is it with the man caves?! LOL My husband insisted that I could do whatever I wanted with our house as long as he had a "man cave" that I promised not to lay a finger on. How much time does he spend in that room per day? Often not even a minute. Where does his collection of comics and records end up? Anywhere and everywhere. Sigh...

And your comment about the recliner- so, so true. Somehow one of those ended up in our living room....

AnNicole@Our Suburban Cottage said...

Ha - you guys are cracking me up!

Lisa said...

I have a big, honkin', burgandy recliner in my lovely family room. But guess what? I,m the one who bought it! yikes! My hubby is 6'9" and he needs to be comfortable. I try to make my home as pretty as I can, but never foregoing comfort.

Shannon said...

We HAD a man cave but when we had 2 daughters, the man cave transformed... http://itsnotalwaysblackandwhite.blogspot.com/2009/06/making-house-home.html

Annie Wilcox Designs said...

My boys already know the words pillow and sham, they do not however no man cave yet....let's keep it a secret until they hit the teens. Between you and me and the fly on the wall, I can't wait until they assert their design style, I only hope they won't leave food in their rooms. Wishful thinking I know.

Thanks for the post.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

I think you are an awesome mom!!! I have no problem with a man cave, so long as it can be shut away from the rest of the house so guests aren't forced to gaze upon it. If we had a basement (or, heck, even a garage!), I'd let my husband go to town and put up all the crap his little heart desires. But we don't. So I say NO to some things.

Peggy said...

Oh this is so great! Having just moved into a new house we are in the process as making new man "caves"! Yes, you read that right... We have all boys, two share a room and the eldest is solo! Our eldest knows his room could be used for guests so (in theory) that was kept in mind as we upgraded from a twin to full size bed. A week ago the new bedding was picked out... QuickSilver bedding set (seriously clearanced!)in browns, beige, and lime green, new paint lime candy green/parrot green and midnight delta(brown), multiple throw pillows. Now we just have curtains to decide upon as we wait the arrival of his new bed. And yes he does want a comfy chair in his room but we will have to compromise on that. The one he picked out is a $700 leather recliner, yeah like that is going to happen on our budget remodel! Gotta love it when everything was either bought on sale/clearance w/ additional mark downs plus a military discount given on top and rebates or gift cards! Now if only our household goods would arrive so we can have a home filled w/ our stuff again! :)

KolentynePoppy said...

You are a good mom. I know it's hard not to just go in there and do your thing!!!

I have two little men and one bigger one. The bigger one is pretty laid back. But he can't let go of his recliner. Nope. Nada. Never. (well, maybe never!)

With my two little men I have asked them what they want. They are 6 and 9. So we are transitioning out of the baby look into a more "big boy room". However I still get to pick out the stuff. I do let them make decisions which they absolutely love doing. However, I already see where they can't let go of particular things. That's an interesting phenomenon!

Thanks for the post. It's so much fun!!

Anna said...

you are such a nice Mom that you let your son have his own room the way he likes it! My son is only 6 so I can still decorate the way I like. My husband does have his own room / man cave / office or whatever you like to call it and it is the only room that is just his - I can arrange / decorate the rest of the house however I like so I am fine with him having that one room.
In our last house he just had a small office space in the back of our laundry room and it had no A/C or heat and no window either, so he is super happy to have his own room now, with a window and heat and A/C (it is the 4th bedroom).

Grace said...

Yep we sure do - it's my 15 year old's bedroom. He got rid of all his "stuff" so it looks like a monk's cell now - bed, desk, pillows on the floor, bookshelf. He has soft cushions to sit on and one of those sheepskin rugs from IKEA. His bedding is all soft and worn as well. He also has a desk chair on wheels that I can hear him rolling around the room on. Oh and I can't forget the posters on the wall. It's sounding a lot like your son's man cave, isn't it?

Donna @ dh designs said...

Only one man in the house and for years he tolerated an abundance of estrogen (2 daughters). He absolutely deserved his man-cave, but was very open to my suggestions for design and decor as long as he had his bar and television.

Love you blog - please drop by mine for a surprise for "Our Suburban Cottage"!

thehammondfamily said...

I'm lovin the John Wall poster! Go Cats!! My son has posters plastered everywhere too. Too sweet!

gina said...

Aw, very cool of you.


We have a man cave- that I really WANTED to be a family/entertaining space but understood my husband's need to have a space to call his own in a home filled with five females. :) He does have guiness leather bar stool and a Patriots dart board (but it's professional grade) and I've drawn the line at sports "memorabilia. We are trying to find a balance between my need for tasteful and his for well IDK proving some testorone does exist in this household? lol.

Adelle said...

The garage. I HATE it. It's poorly organized, totally messy, dirty, dusty and it could be SO MUCH MORE USEFUL.

But it's not my domain. I would love to reorganize it and make it functional, but functional-to-me is not functional-to-him so I keep my trap shut.

Most of the time.

Laurie Jones said...

Your posting made me smile, what a great mom you are! I know how hard it is to give in and let him have the space he is comfortable in even if it may not be the prettiest room in the house! The things we do for our kids! The lazy boy totally made me smile!

Infarrantly Creative said...

I love it. No we have no man caves here at IC. I am sure Isaac will have the same one when he is older. But right now I still get to decorate it. And my hubby has absolutely no desire to have input into the decor...works for me. i love how you respect your son's space that is cool. Before you know it that space will be all your own again...sniff sniff!

Sandy said...

Yup, hubbie's office and the upstairs.

Great post. Fun post! :)

Anne said...

There are two man "caves" in our house, my husbands office and his pool room. The office is not very manly with wood paneling, one small window with pink blinds and maroon shag carpeting, but he is happy with it for now and even made his own built in desk. The pool room has blue and white wallpaper with floral border and he's ok with that too right now.

Michelle said...

Uh-oh!!! Seems I did this the wrong way, but he did ASK for it! ;-) http://www.containchaos.com/?p=192 What a lovely young man. What a lovely mom.

Melanie said...

You're a better mom than me:) I decorated my son's room but then again, he doesn't care. I did it as manly as I could for him. We have a finished basement and next football season, the men want to have a mancave. Yes, I will be decorating that too:)

Tina said...

Our remodel was something that scared me but, then I found out that kitchen design help was out there. Go where the pros go and get the job done right.

Anthony Frost said...

Every man needs his man cave. I remember my dad had his very own man cave where he used to make fish baits.

Anthony Frost said...

be sure to check JetSki accident lawyer for some interesting jet ski related facts