Man cave ideas – to create the ideal den for working, entertaining and relaxing

Enjoy the freedom to create a look and feel that is totally different from the rest of your home

Man cave ideas can turn under-used spaces into dedicated hideaways that you don't have to go to the man-cave shed at the bottom of the garden to access. The room you choose for your man cave depends on how you - or your man - want to use the space. Do you fancy creating a home office for working from home, library, dining room, TV or games room? Do you want to convert a conservatory or make use of a cellar or basement?

First things first, decide if your man cave will be for work, rest or play - or a bit of each. Perhaps you'd like to be able to use the space to work from home, but would also like it to be useable when you fancy a break from work too. May be you want a relaxing bolt-hole away from the hubbub of the rest of the house, or like the idea of a broader man cave entertaining space that you can use with friends. The beauty is, with a bit of imagination there's a man cave idea to suit all rooms.

Man cave ideas

Create a man-cave entertainment hub with wall-mounted TV or home cinema and seating designed for relaxed easy viewing. And what about including a man-cave bar and - of course - man-cave signs? How you use your man cave will suggest colour schemes and textures while personal preference will determine the feel and ambience.

Let these fabulous man cave ideas be the starting point for your dream den...

1. Set up a slick home office

home office

(Image credit: Future Publishing PLC/ Douglas Gibb)

Make your home office feel like the chicest spot in town. Paint the room white to provide the perfect blank canvas, then look for pieces that will invigorate and inspire you: modern streamlined desks and seating, clean-lined organised storage and decorative artwork. Even a small home office like this one can be a high functional room with the right design process. These fabulous swivel chairs add a classic office design, but thanks to the chic wood veneer that say 'style' more than purely function. Handsome and practical, win win.

2. Set the tone with darker shades

dark painted small home office

(Image credit: Future Publishing PLC/ Polly Eltes)

Create a cocooning effect with dark toning shades and rich natural materials. Make a small room feel all-encompassing by painting all walls, including the ceiling, with rich dark colours. This approach to colour will create an ambience that's ideal for total escapism – step inside the room, shut the door and feel like the rest of the house is totally detached. Escape here to do work, watch movies or to simply enjoy some timeout.

3. Create a comfy entertainment hub

television room with corner sofa

(Image credit: Future Publishing PLC/ Richard Powers)

Give the room one main purpose and anchor the interior around it. If the room is all about watching movies in supreme comfort ensure the screen takes pride of place. Make the TV the star in an entertainment-hub man cave.

In this space, bespoke wooden cabinetry has been used to create a feature wall that functions to frame the set and centre the furnishings – while also providing ample storage. A smart corner sofa in mid blue creates a comfy sitting area, while a large pouffe doubles up as a footrest-cum- coffee table. The combination of muted shades creates a relaxed feel.

4. Adopt a theme

cinema room in turquoise

(Image credit: Future Publishing PLC/ Paul Raeside)

Use a touch of colour throughout your man cave and bring a sophisticated edge to a room scheme. In this compact space the colour scheme runs throughout, from the built-in desk and tv wall cabinets to the choice of sofa fabric and wall colour. This design aspect helps to tie the many different functions of the room together, to prevent it feeling dedicated to only one purpose.  The colour you choose may be one that features in other rooms throughout the house, to make it feel more unified.

In this small living room an oversized rug adds pattern and colour to the smart parquet flooring. While the wood and metal furnishings, pared-back lighting and movie related artwork bring a masculine edge to the space.

5. Choose laidback furniture

cosy cottage living room

(Image credit: Future Publishing PLC/ Adam Carter)

Consider low-slung, laid-back modern seating or library-style leather Chesterfields for complete comfort. Create a man-cave space by mixing metal, wood and leather. It's a combination of materials that creates an industrial-style den with all the benefits of well used, time-worn leather, practical pared-back storage and scrubbed wood. This is a space for lounging and entertaining at ease.

6. Illuminate with a neon sign

blue living room with neon sign

(Image credit: Future Publishing PLC/ Alun Callender)

Add a flash of neon to make it feel more luxe. Neon signs are the ultimate in making a style statement in home interiors right now. A neon sign adds a much-needed element of personality to a room, be it your favourite quote or a sentiment that you stand by – say it in neon. In this dark sophisticated room the neon sign is given pride of place above a luxurious velvet Chesterfield sofa. The chess set is an inspired addition to this entertaining space.

7. Create a dedicated workout space

garden gym room

(Image credit: Green Retreats)

Turn a garden room into a fully equip home gym. A garden building is the perfect spot for a getting-away-from-it-all den that provides an uplifting working out space surrounding by nature, with the added bonus of being away from the busier parts of the house. We can suggest a wealth of simple Simple shed gym ideas – to help create a space to keep up your fitness regime at home.

8. Put a spin on a display wall

bookshelves with books

(Image credit: Future Publishing PLC/ Simon Brown)

If vinyl is your thing, what could be better than a wall dedicated to storage for your prized record collection and decks. The same applies for any treasure collection, from comic books to first edition books – create a display wall within your man cave to proudly show them off and give teh space a personal touch.

This fantastic room features a bespoke wall of book shelves which are painted black to add an element of drama to the setting.

9. Add a splash of invigorating colour

green home office

(Image credit: Future Publishing PLC/ Paul Raeside)

The colour green can have a powerful effect on our mood, and is therefore an important colour when it comes to decorating. The soothing shade is even thought to lower blood pressure, making it an ideal choice in particular to set the scene for a calming home office.

Painting the walls in a deep olive green will help to awaken positivity by introducing the soothing ethos of being immersed in nature.  Add potted houseplants to the room to enhance the look. When choosing a statement wall colour it is best to keep furniture choices in brilliant white for a striking contrast.

10. Make a games table the hero

snooker room

(Image credit: Future Publishing PLC/ Matthew Williams)

For the ultimate den for entertaining create a space that accommodates a snooker table, for hosting games night. This elegant space is zoned in the corner of a main living room, to allow the games aspect to feel like part of the wider social space.

11. Escape to a chic shed

garden shed with cushion and table lamp

(Image credit: Cuprinol)

For a more authentic den feel turn your shed into a dedicated man cave. paint the exterior a statement black to identify that it's not just your average shed for pottery and gardening tasks. Make it feel more like an indoor space by jazzing up the interior with colour too. This example uses a punchy shade of orange to give the space personality. Use the space as a quite escape from the house to get work down or catch up on reading or studies.

Related: Shed paint ideas – including how to pick and apply the right weatherproof paint for the job

12. Choose traditional decoration

man cave home office with globe

(Image credit: Future Publishing PLC/ Tim Young)

Let the function of the space direct your choice of man cave furniture. Seek out a traditional gentleman's desk and chair, bookcase storage and lighting to create a classic study.  and standard floor lamp, or go for modern designer seating with low-hanging pendants for glorious task lighting.

13. Create a calming point of focus

masculine home office

(Image credit: Future Publishing Plc)

This home studio is chic, smart and inspiring. It is also practical and a pleasure to use. Neutral grey walls keep the compact space bright and cheerful, with the desk positioned inwards to make the space feel more professional. A statement overhead lamp is easily adjustable for any task, whether working at the desk or browsing the bookshelves. A simple and stylish cabinet behind the desk provides ample storage that is easily accessible while not taking up any further  floor space beyond the desk.

Holly Walsh
Content Editor

Holly Walsh has been Content Editor at Ideal Home since 2021, but joined the brand back in 2015. With a background of studies in Interior Design, her career in interior journalism was a no-brainer and her passion for decorating homes is still as strong as it ever was. While Holly has written for most of the home titles at Future, including Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors, Homes and Gardens and Style at Home, Ideal Home has always been her ideal home, and she can be found sharing her expertise and advice across both the printed magazine and the website too.