“Man caves” give guys a place to retreat from the world and surround themselves with the things they love. They’re a place to drink beer, engage in raucous armchair quarterbacking, and pursue hobbies. The term “she shed” can be used to describe similar getaways for women.
Two well-known Eugene builders share examples of man caves, as well as things to think about when creating these highly customized spaces.
Dan Cooper with DC Fine Homes built the ultimate home venue for watching Ducks games. The owner’s grandfather was a part of the 1939 University of Oregon team that won the national basketball championship. Colors and ideas for the suite of rooms came from a commemorative blanket the owner planned to display.
“We perched the man cave in the catbird seat of the home, as this space was more of a family game and movie space with a bar feel,” Cooper says. One of the focal points of the space is a custom frosted glass sign with the logo for the Webfoots, as the Ducks were formerly known. It is backlit and installed over an entrance from the kitchen. A second entrance gives the kids easy access to their upstairs homework room.
Behind a curved bar are two televisions, a small sink, a mini fridge, and numerous glass-front cabinets. A small bathroom sits behind the bar. Visitors can drag their tall chairs to the home theater space when game time arrives. If they need fresh air between plays, there are two decks off the main room. One overlooks the home’s front courtyard, the other looks toward Autzen Stadium.
“We made sure the space looked different than the rest of the house, but not so different that it didn’t make sense,” Cooper says. Dark-colored wood, contemporary lighting, and green and yellow paint complement the plethora of University of Oregon memorabilia.
“There are a few things that are essential in a man cave,” Cooper says. “You get to put the things that are most important to you on display. That can take on countless looks. Make the cave an homage to your personality, hobbies, and favorite pastimes.”
Working with a designer can ensure the space looks pulled together. But Cooper says not to be too stringent about sticking to any one theme: “Surround yourself with what you love, especially in a cave. The point is that it’s hidden, so make it you.”
Scott Felsher with Rainbow Valley Design and Construction offers another take on a man cave. He recently designed a cigar smoking room for a client in east Eugene. Because the owner didn’t want the smoke or smell in the house, he asked for a separate structure where he could enjoy his favorite indulgences.
The 267-square-foot building has a gas fireplace; cabinets for storing humidors, bourbon, and other supplies; and several bookshelves. The owner is a Civil War buff, so he’s hung photographs and other memorabilia on the walls. There are vents and an induction fan to evacuate the smoke. A porch gives the owner a nice space to smoke outside on nice days.
Felsher defines a man cave as “a place you can go and gather your thoughts away from other people.” This need is not exclusive to men, he notes.
When planning a man cave or other individualized space, the most important first step is to figure out how you’ll utilize the room. “Think about the right sizing for what the needs are,” Felsher says. “Think about resale somewhat, but mostly think about how you’ll use it.” From there, a builder can help design a space that feels less like an actual cave and more like a manly retreat.
DC Fine Homes
4325 Commerce St.
Rainbow Valley Design and Construction
785 Grant St.