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© Annie Spratt/ Unsplash
© Annie Spratt/ Unsplash

What Do American Men Actually Want in Their Man Cave?

Picture of Amber C. Snider
Home & Design Editor
Updated: 27 February 2018

From the She Shed to the Man Cave, everyone needs a room of their own.

Over the past few years, mini cottages dedicated entirely to the cultivation of the fierce, independent feminine spirit have popped up around the United States in the form of the She Shed. The beauty of these spaces lies in their potential for personal, interior customization: Will it be an art haven? A women-only champagne bar? A library? A pottery studio? Can it be all of those things at once?

The answer is: Yes, sure, why not? But what about the Man Cave?

What do American men actually want for their private space, their modern sanctuary in the home? How do they want to design it? Researchers over at Joybird pooled the responses of 500 American men to get the answer and some of their answers may surprise you.


Courtesy of Joybird

When it comes to décor for the Man Cave, 1 in 3 men would choose a sports theme over any other décor and nearly 56% would prefer to have it in the basement. The other top décor themes were either a Gamer theme, Bar theme, or Hunting Fishing Theme. But regardless of the design-specific theme, there were a few necessary, must-haves in terms of features.


Courtesy of Joybird

You may think a well-stocked bar would be the most common feature in a Man Cave, but actually multiple TVs took that top spot (followed by a sound system, and gaming system). 42% of men said they spend time every single day in their Man Cave, while 35% said they spend a few days a week there. Out of the pool of 500 American men, only 12% reported not having a Man Cave.

The idea of the Man Cave may seem a bit antiquated for some (as in, historically speaking, haven’t men had a ‘room of their own’ for centuries?), but it’s really about designing a space for specific activity in the home. Gender-specific or not, both the aesthetics and functionality of the Man Cave and She Shed differ—but they can still co-exist harmoniously together. It’s also possible for them to have an egalitarian function; almost half the men in the Joybird survey stated that they would welcome their significant others into their dedicated domain, proving that the Man Cave has the potential to be a flexible, non-gendered space.

As for drinks, the top choice was beer (41%), followed by soda (22%), and hard liquor (12%). But what was especially interesting about the survey is that the most important feature of the Man Cave varied according to generation.


Courtesy of Joybird

For Gen Z, their top choice was exercise equipment (they are the most youthful, after all). Millennials preferred gaming stations, Gen X wanted multiple TVs, and Baby Boomers wanted that fully stocked bar. But whatever the décor, furniture selection, or must-have object, the Man Cave is ultimately meant for two things: relaxation and camaraderie.


Courtesy of Joybird

For more design stories, check out this backyard trend on the rise for women…