If you are a man, we’ll presume you are, then you will be familiar with the man cave. A little slice of space in your home that is strictly off limits to anything girl or anyone under the age of 21. This is a place where you can be free, if you want to spend a day in your pyjama bottoms, eating pizza and playing computer games without being nagged at, then you head to the man cave. However, not all men are equal. Some prefer a more refined life which is equally misunderstood by the rest of their pack. So what does the gentleman cave look like and how can you improve yours?
Manners and kindness are two traits of the gentleman so the first major difference is there probably aren’t going to be any strict, enforced rules on whom can enter and who must stay away. They will instead make a respectful plea or, more likely, take a quiet exit to their little area of peace.
For most gentlemen this will be a study. Somewhere they can enjoy the fineries that life can offer in their own company. Without the children screeching “Dad that is so boring!!”
Escaping to the gentleman cave will be a little like heading off to the smoking room. So it will come as no surprise that a humidor will be the order of the day. A classic walnut humidor filled with some beautiful cuban cigars makes a statement and whilst all gentlemen know that smoking is not good for your health, the odd cigar is also a statement of elegance and class. A little bit of what is bad for you, can actually be good for you. Apparently.
The centre piece of the ultimate gentleman cave will be a good, solid wood desk. This will be ordered with precision and kept extremely tidy. In the centre you won’t find the latest MacBook, instead you will find a beautiful journal. Instead of playing computer games or watching the latest football match, this man will be penning his memoirs or handwriting notes on forthcoming events. Using a Montblanc pen no doubt. Of course, don’t be fooled! Just because he enjoys the art of writing doesn’t mean there aren’t two drawers full of tech. He likes to have the latest mobile phone and will probably be a strong user of Twitter. Of course his timeline will read with a little more class than most of ours. He will use it to make beautiful moments or inspirational quotes.
It is likely you will find a good sized TV on one of the walls. However a gentleman will make sure he isn’t disturbing the house, so will have the best wireless headphones for tv money can buy. Of course the secret is that he is probably trying to avoid the rest of the house knowing he is watching a romantic comedy. He’s a bit of a softy. A Bose wireless speaker will be neatly set in the corner for listening to a little blues or perhaps Bach. Every element of this room will be understated refinement.
Of course, no gentleman’s cave would be complete without a small collection of fine whisky and some beautifully contemporary tumblers. There will be well known scottish malts and more bespoke blends. It will be the first thing he offers any guests who gains entry to this space and will probably be enjoyed whilst sitting on a large Chesterfield sofa or a Le Corbusier style chaise longue. There are few details in this space that he hasn’t thought over and planned with great precision and this can be seen in the decor too. His walls are a super flat matt, in an elegant neutral shade and on the wall are black and white images of his family. Whilst he enjoys some time off, he adores family life and is very proud of every member.
Gaming is a totally different experience in the cave of a gentleman. You won’t find a playstation tucked away in a cabinet, instead you will find a deck of cards and some dice. Poker is a regular feature and it isn’t uncommon for a gathering of dapperly dressed men to be settled late into the night. There will not be any loud shouts of joy though, they are a quiet and peaceful bunch and the only sign they are in their will be the odd deep guffaw that bellows along the hallway.
This room is part of the family home and will be open to all the members if they want to share a little piece of it’s class and tranquility, it is the perfect place for children to complete revision or for reading. There are no ‘keep out’ labels or getting cross should their partner pop in with tea for a chat. The only sign to stay away will be a closed door. That is the gentlemanly way to say “I need some space” of course if a knock appears it won’t be greeted with a disgruntled sigh, instead you will be invited in and made to feel welcome.
Regardless of the type of man you are, having your own space in a family home is really important. It doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy being round our loved ones, it just means we enjoy a little independence on occasions to indulge in our personal passions and rituals without being disturbed. However it is important to remember we aren’t the only ones in the family, so don’t spend all your spare time hidden away. Also sometimes it’s nice to enjoy your den with the kids or your partner, letting them share in those special things you love to do.
So, how would you design your perfect man cave? Would it be with the class and elegance of the traditional gentleman or would you go back to your early twenties and retro it with pinball machines and a jukebox or, stick the the millennium style of high tech computer games and well engineered simulators?