The New Man Cave: Modern Masculine Retreats

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Image: Sean Fennessy for The Design Files

I don’t know a man who doesn’t need his own space. Be it a home office, a workbench in the garage, or something a bit more social—like the kitchen. No matter the location, the point is for it to be the place where he can put his stamp and show his personality. For the past decade or more, these spaces have been known, both affectionately and exasperatingly, as “man caves.” Well, the man cave has grown up and become something just about any guy would be happy to show off.

Far from the realm of the basement rooms men have been banished to in the past, the modern study (we used to call them “dens”) shown above is a terrific example of the kind of modern, masculine retreat most men would opt for today if they were given the choice. It’s comfortable, but not dirty; well designed, but not dainty.

Bedroom as Man Cave

Man Cave Green Rug Bedroom
Image: Ben Hoffmann for The New York Times

Since interior design that both appeals to and demonstrates the aesthetics of men is no longer confined to the odd spare bedroom, male-centric design (a.k.a. the modern man cave) has come into the light. And what better example than this industrial-influenced, utilitarian bedroom?

Kitchen as Man Cave

Man Cave Wood Kitchen
Image: Albert Comper on Remodelista

Rough cinder block walls and a ceiling made of large sheets of wood… this description is the very essence of what many of us envision when we think of a man cave. This kitchen is what modern man cave design is all about.

Living Room as Man Cave

Man Cave Black Living Room
Image: Joe Pugliese for Dwell

The masculine design elements here, from the restrained palette to the choice of materials and furnishings, echo back to man caves of old: leather, wood, black, grey, and rust. But this is so much more appealing than what is typically expected; the modern man cave is redefining masculine interior design.

Do you have a modern man cave at home?

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Dave Hime, founder/curator of JapaneseTrash.com, has been an interior design addict for as long as he can remember. In 2005, he bought a house-in-progress and missed several opportunities to have an influence on his own home decor–leaving him wanting more. With design heroes such as Blake Dollahite (ruraltheory.com) and Robert & Cortney Novogratz (thenovogratz.com), Dave began seeking out online resources that would exemplify the interior design practices he's most drawn to: using color, texture and simple materials well. Bringing all of this together, along with his specific focus on providing interior design inspiration from a man's point of view, is Dave's mission: masculine design.