The Man Cave Evolves

On a recent trip to a local design center, we met with an audio visual pro in a room that in the 1990s would have been called a “man cave.” My, how times have changed. This AV pro said that fully 50% of his buyers are women now, and the man cave has evolved accordingly.

This shift in buying population came with the economic downturn over the past three years, when family budgets for non-essentials were steadily shrinking. Now, discretionary spending decisions are made by both people in a couple, and the women want a say in what this traditional “man space” looks like.

Here are some of the features of these kinder, gentler, family spaces:

No more macho black leather recliners with mega screens and surround-sound giant speakers on view. Now, these rooms are multi-functioning family rooms with discrete and hide-away sound and visual systems. Screens roll up and out of site when not being used; speakers and TV screens can be hidden behind artwork.
Tasteful wet bars that look like smaller versions of the main kitchen.
Instead of stadium-type seating, multiple seating areas are employed that work for screen viewing, music enjoyment or conversation sharing.
Window treatments are motorized and triggered wirelessly, so you can click a remote control and darken the room for screen viewing.
Whole-house A/V equipment, lighting and window treatment controls that are wirelessly commanded and triggered from a smartphone or iPhone anywhere in the world.
Attractive soft furnishings like drapery, fine art, and other decorative features

Guys, Gadgetry, Home Efficiency and the Bottom Line

A landscaper friend recently told me that, “When it comes to landscaping, the husband ALWAYS controls decisions about the lawn.” In remodeling, we have a parallel example. From our experience, gadgets are usually the domain of the man of the house.

TVs = man domain. I have a male friend who has a 6′ plasma TV in the living room, a huge speedboat, and a black Hummer that usually has a beer in the cupholder. His idea of “decorating,” God love him, is a TV in every room.

Audio-visual gadgets = man stuff. The guys love these electrical, blinking gizmos.

“Strap on green gadgets” like solar cells and geothermal heating systems = “green” man goodies.

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