The Ultimate Man Den – A Fortress of Solitude for the Average Man
I have been thinking about how I no longer have any privacy at home. If you are a parent, you know what I mean. The simple pleasures of time in the bathroom and reading the paper on the sofa are gone. Brett over at The Art of Manliness wrote a great article about the Decline of Male Space. How true is that. I remember the days when I lived on my own and the freedom I had. Like Superman at his Fortress of Solitude, I had a place to rejuvenate, relax, think and decompress. I could run around naked (if I wanted to), leave my uncensored items out in the open and watch sports to my heart desire. My own physical space helped me with my mental space, which in turn helped me manage all aspects of my life better.
Now that I am married with a child, I feel it is even more important that I have a place to do this. I am fortunate I have a detached (1000 sf) garage at my home and my goal is to put a second level on it and create the ultimate Man Space. With the Winter Olympics over and I am inspired to dream the impossible; I want to invite you on this journey as I create a space, not just for me, but for all the men who long for their own space. This blog starts off with the dream; my wish list for what I want in the ultimate man den. I welcome your thoughts and hope you’ll be inspired to create your own space.
I see my Man Den as having a series of ‘zones’ that fit my lifestyle. It will be open concept wrapped with as much window as it is structurally possible. Natural light is energizing and there is nothing better than being inside with the feeling that you are outdoors.
1) The Chill Zone – Every man needs a comfy chair, like that of Archie Bunker, to sit on. Mine will be the Eames Lounger and Ottoman or the Le Corbusier Chaise Lounger. This zone is all about relaxation – listening to music, snoozing, daydreaming or reading.
2) The Media Zone – I like my technology and embrace the largest of big screen TV’s. Surround sound? You bet. In fact, it will be so surrounded that you will become the action.
3) The Play Zone – When the boys come over, there has to be room for games. The X-Box will accompany the big TV but a pool table and poker area will fit in just as well. I don’t play the guitar but if I did, this would be the place to jam.
4) The Lounge Area – After all, this is a man cave for the Man Evolved, so a lounge area is essential for male bonding. A place to smoke a cigar, enjoy a glass of Cognac and engage in good conversation.
5) The Workout Area – Although I rather workout outdoors, there are times where you just have to do it indoors. A place for housing the bike trainer, weights and punching bag is necessary. Of course this area has to have ample mirrors for flexing the ‘guns’ after the workout.
6) The Work Area – I like a clear and uncluttered workspace. A place for my iMac and nothing else. There are some cool workstations posted on Lifehacker I have been checking out. For me, with technology, there is no reason for having a lot of paper around. I rather operate a computer with a couple of screens, one for information and another for work – simple and clean.
7) Food and Beverage Station – I thought about a full fledge kitchen but that would seem too much like an apartment. I am not moving in after all. A fridge, some shelves and a drinks cart will do just fine.
Of course the den will have to have a washroom, it is a place for the civilized man. Besides, it’s probably too much effort to walk twenty feet to the main house. And there won’t be any ‘pinup’ posters or neon beer signs either; just simple, tasteful and inspirational photographs or art pieces.
Lounge jackets and ascots are optional.