How to create a man cave office

How to Create a Man Cave Office

A man cave office provides a dedicated space to work in but is much more than a simple home office.  A man cave office will have decor that is deigned around personal taste and in most cases it will also function as a male recreational area.

What is a man cave office and how do you create one? A man cave office is created by designing a man cave in a way where it can also double as a home office. To create a man cave office you will need all the usual items associated with a normal man cave but you will also have to incorporate office furniture and office equipment into the design.

Man cave office vs home office

A man cave is traditionally used for recreational pursuits such as hobbies or activities like watching sports or socializing with friends. It is usually decorated to exclusively suit the tastes of the man who will be using it, without input from other family members.

A home office is traditionally a place where you can work form home.

Many guys who don’t have enough space in their home for both a man cave “play area” and a home office will save on space by combining the two and creating a man cave office.

A man cave office is a man cave that doubles as a home office by having work equipment and furniture within the confines of the man cave. Rather than having a dedicated home office a guy can combine his personal recreation space with his home office to create a man cave office. If you want a better explanation of the role and function of a man cave read this article.

Steps to create a man cave office

Everyone who works from home knows the importance of keeping your working space separate from the rest of your home. But that does not mean that your home office has to be a boring carbon-copy of your corporate office.

A bachelor pad themed man cave officeCreating a man cave office allows you the opportunity to wok from home in an environment that feels separate from your home life but that still feels very unique to you.

As we can see due to the addition of working equipment a man cave office has a different purpose to the normal type of man cave, which is designed purely for recreational and relaxation purposes.

Therefore, a man cave office must differ slightly in design from the design of the usual type of man caves although it can mimic the same themes and be decorated in the same way easily.

As this will be a working room you should start by considering the most important aspect of this space, the working area.

Below are the key steps you need to take to create the perfect man cave office for your working needs.

1. Creating the ideal work space in your man cave

One of the main things that you have to keep in mind when designing your man cave office is working space.

The main item of any working office is a desk. You will therefore need proper desk space in order to work effectively and so, the overall design and set-up of the entire area will have to be based around your desk.

You can use a conventional desk but the more unique your desk looks the better it will be for creating a unique man cave feel. Although it is far from essential for you be creative in your desk choice, taking a more creative approach to the design of your working area will help you create a space that feels different and separate from both your corporate office (if you have one) and your home in general.

If you do decide to get creative with your desk design (and I highly encourage you to) just make sure the desk isn’t too far from the tried-and-tested office designs as it needs to be functional and should be ergonomic and easy to use.

Some ideas for creative desks are :

  • Chevy deskUse the back end and side of a rusted vehicle and place flat hardwood on top like the Chevy counter opposite. You can easily give yourself more or less desk top space by simply choosing a different width wood.
  • Place a 3D poster on the desk top and cover with clear glass.
  • Place neon lights or other cool items on the desk and cover with clear glass to create a futuristic look.
  • Use a computer gaming table with LED lights.
  • Blend your office furniture with your man cave’s theme. For example, you could use an oak colored table and add a jolly roger, skull and bones paper weight and other similar items to blend it with your pirate themed man cave.

The key is to use your imagination for designing your office space in a way that fits with the feel of the rest of the room and also sets it apart from the humdrum of everyday work.

2. Use flexible and creative furniture designs

Although the primary use of your man cave office will probably be for working you will most likely also want to use it for other purposes, otherwise you’d just have a home office and not one that doubles as a man cave.

One way to do this is to ensure that your office furniture can also be used for recreational activities. Sometimes this may not be possible if, for instance, your desk is supporting the use of a desktop PC with multiple monitors or other electronic equipment like a printer or if it contains drawers and storage space for vital working resources such as files.

However, you can almost always ensure that the seating you use can double-up as both an office chair and a chair used for recreational pursuits. I give some examples below under the section Space saving ideas.

Whatever type of seating you intend to use make sure it fits with the overall feel of your man cave and that it doesn’t resemble a corporate working environment, or at least ensure it compliments the decor of your man cave and doesn’t draw too much attention from the rest of the room.

Be sure to add alternative seating for those times when you are not working at your desk or when you have friends over.

A couch or a few comfortable chairs are great additional pieces of furniture to add if you have the available space and coffee table will help make the man cave look less like a home office.

The more unique the furniture arrangements, the better will be the look of your man cave office.

There are several considerations that you must take into account before you buy furniture for your man cave though. For a better understanding of how to furnish your man cave and for some great furniture ideas read the article What Furniture Should You Put in Your Man Cave.

3. Making sure it isn’t just a home office

Make sure you also place items in the man office that are purely for recreational use or that at least give the impression that the room is a recreational space.

Items that can help you create a more relaxed setting include things like:

  • A couch.
  • A TV.
  • A music system.
  • A gaming console (if you use one).
  • Reading material.

Anything that is connected with your hobbies or that you would use in an exclusive recreational man cave are ideal items to add to your man cave office.

The key to getting this right is to keep in mind that your man cave office should also be a space that you can enter to forget about work or at the very least it should look like it is such a place!

So fill the area with stuff that helps you relax and with things that you would normally put in a recreational room rather than an office.

When it comes to decorating and populating the room with items if you view this area as your man cave first and your home office second you won’t go wrong. But always start the design by ensuring you have enough space for your working equipment first!

4. Adding a bit of flair to your man cave office

Now is the time to create the distinction between your normal office and your man cave office.

Setting up a home office has many similarities to setting up a man cave office but the key distinction between the two is that your man cave office must be a relaxing environment that feels totally your own and that reflects you as a person.

A man cave office should be your personal space and the decor should reflect that.

Even if you never intend to use your man cave office for recreational pursuits it should still have the feel of a place were you could kick-back and relax if you wanted to.

You should decorate your man cave office with items that are meaningful to you. You are only limited by your imagination and your budget.

If you want to know the costs associated with building a man cave you can see a breakdown of them in this article.

motorbike racing themed man cave officeAccessorizing your man cave space is the most important part of the decor. It is the items that you add which will turn this space into your own special sanctum; a space that is reserved only for you and your interests.

A few ideas for making your man cave office into your own special place, rather than just a boring home office, might include adding things like:

  • An art collection.
  • Personal memorabilia.
  • Items connected to you favorite sports theme.
  • Items connected to your hobbies.
  • Anything based around your interests.

You can pick up many appropriate items and accessories on the Internet or at local malls but be sure to check your own junk and yard sales; you’d be surprised at how many useful and cool items you can find for your man cave that others consider junk.

For some really cool man cave items that you could include in your man cave office check out my 100 man cave gift ideas post.

5. Will your man cave office be located outside your home’s main building?

If you plan to convert an outbuilding into a man cave office then you will need to take certain precautions before you get started on the actual conversion. I have covered How to Turn Your Shed into a Man Cave in 10 Easy Steps already and this information applies to a man cave office just as well.

There are specific things you absolutely must do before you embark on this type of conversion.

These are:

  1. Ensure the building is protected from ground water.
  2. Weather-proof the building inside and outside.
  3. Be sure you have adequate connections to the utilities you will need.

Although you can usually perform the first two steps yourself (see article mentioned above) the third step must be done by a trained, accredited professional. Seriously guys don’t go messing with electricity unless you are a trained electrician.

In a man cave office you will not only need electricity connection but you will also most certainly need an Internet connection.

If your outbuilding is located close to your home then a simple repeater or signal booster, that expands Wi-Fi coverage, will probably be all that you need in order to get a good strong wireless internet signal.

However, if you outbuilding is some distance away then you may need to get your Internet provider to install a connection. This is usually pretty cheap unless you ant a dedicated line.

6. Make plans for appropriate lighting

Although this may seem like a strange point to make you would be surprised how often it is overlooked. I know of 2 man cave offices that had to be relocated simply because the poor lighting made working conditions difficult.

The strain on your eyes due to poor light, and the added glare from a computer screen, can quickly lead to a sore head and a depressed attitude.

Proper lighting is crucial for any man cave officeBy far the best way to ensure the lighting is sufficient is to locate your man cave office in a space that has plenty of natural light. However, I understand that sometimes this is neither practical nor even possible.

If you’re creating a man cave office in your shed that has no windows or limited access to natural light then you may want to install additional lighting and use bulbs that mimic natural light. Many modern home office’s will use SAD lamps that are designed to mimic natural outdoor light in order to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder.

But, even if you do not suffer from this condition using SAD lighting will greatly help create the optimum working environment especially in a dark place.

Of course if your man cave office is going to be located in a room in your home it is unlikely you will need to take these steps, unless you are converting a dim-lit utility closet or similar room type.

Why create a man cave office?

A traditional home office is more often than not associated solely with work. It is an extension of, or replacement to, a corporate office. Normally, a home office is pretty boring as it follows the same type of design and layout that you would find in a typical corporate office in a typical corporate building.

Unlike your office at work, or a traditional home office, your man cave office need not be boring nor traditional. You can easily inject some style into your home office by making it a man cave office.

A man cave office is often designed in such a way that it combines the recreational interests of its owner with a proper fully-functional working space. Most man cave offices will have furniture and items connected to non-working activities and will be used as places to relax or engage in other activities as well as being used as a working environment.

Having said that, some man cave offices are used exclusively for work purposes but they are still not traditional home offices because they will be fun and engaging spaces that reflect their owners. They will be filled with items that are completely associated with work.

Such a working environment can really help you relax while you work and make working feel less like a chore.

Using a man cave office can feel less like work

Many men find it difficult to work for hours in their home office especially if they have already been working at their corporate building. This problem can be tackled with the aid of man cave office.

Although it is not the solution to all your work problems, a man cave office can help to greatly reduce the stress associated with long working hours.

As a man cave office is usually modeled after your interests, and can be designed as a reflection of your key passions, it tends to have a different feel to it than a traditional home office. It is much easier to work in an environment that feels individual to, not only your working needs but also your likes and interests.

Working in your man cave office can also make it easier to take short breaks and just enjoy the space. It has been shown that taking short frequent breaks actually increases your productivity and this will be even more pronounced if you are in a space that is conducive to relaxation for you.

Benefits of using a man cave office

The direct benefits of creating a man cave office are plentiful.

These benefits include but are not limited to:

  • Having a dual space for work and play/rest activities.
  • Having your own space designed around your interests.
  • Full privacy.
  • Having a fully functional fun working environment.
  • A place to kick-back and relax as well as work.
  • Somewhere to enjoy your interests when you aren’t using it for work.
  • Somewhere to invite friends that is more than just a home office.

Drawbacks of having a man cave office

Up until now, we have only discussed the advantages of having a man cave office. But, like everything in life, their are both pros and cons to having a man cave.

I will now share with you some of the drawbacks of designing your home office after the man cave concept.

These drawbacks include:

  • If you work exclusively from home then a man cave office can be too casual for meeting with new clients.
  • A man cave office usually requires a bigger space to accommodate its dual nature.
  • It is more expensive to create a man cave office than a traditional office because you have all the same expenses of a traditional home office with the added expensive of “man caving it up”.
  • If you work very long hours it can be difficult to disassociate work from play so your man cave office can become more of an office and less of a man cave.
  • If you plan to invite buddies over to watch the game and have a few drinks you run the risk of damaging your office equipment or important office resources such as files.

These are a few drawbacks connected to creating a man cave office and are things you should consider before you start on a conversion.

Cost of building a man cave office

So how much will it cost to create a man cave office?

Well the answer to that questions depends on a few different variables and requires you answer a few questions.

Namely:

  1. Where will the man cave office be located?
  2. If the man cave office will be in an outbuilding how extensive of a conversion is needed to make it into a livable space?
  3. What type of items do you plan to include in your man cave office?

Where will the man cave office be located?

Obviously converting an existing room in your home into a man cave office will be much cheaper than building a new outbuilding or converting an existing one.

Small outbuilding man cave officeIf you plan to alter an existing room in your home then it will likely already have access to utilities such as electricity and will most likely be mold and damp proofed already. The only costs involved therefore will be furnishings, decor and office equipment.

However, if you are converting an existing outbuilding or shed that has no real weather protection and has no utility connections then you have the above costs to consider plus the additional costs of making the outbuilding into a livable space.

This cost is further increased if you have to first purchase the outbuilding.

Let’s breakdown these costs a little further to have a better idea of what type of investment is required. I’ll start with assumption that you are buying a new shed and work my way up from there.

Cost of a new shed or outbuilding

If you’re creating a man cave office in a free space outside your home and need to buy a shed then you can expect to spend anywhere from $250 to $10,000 or even more.

Ready-made sheds are available at Home Depot as well as Lowes and also online (where they can be substantially cheaper) and vary in price usually based on size and design. If you are buying a new shed I recommend you go for one that has windows.

In the article How to Build a Man Cave in the Backyard I outline the steps to build your own shed.

You can of course get excellent shed kits like these that take a lot of hard work out of the process.

Cost of preparing an existing shed or outbuilding

If you have an existing shed or even if you are buying a new one you will have to ensure there is adequate protection provided against ground water. This means the shed will have to be placed on some type of structure that keeps it from directly touching the ground.

You will also have to weather-proof the outside of the building if it doesn’t already have that and will have to mold-proof the inside as well as add some form of insulation.

After this you will need utility connections, which means electricity at the very least though you may want access to water and toilet facilities if the space is big enough and will be used for very long periods of time.

This type of conversion can run into thousands of dollars and will vary depending on what part of the country you live in. You may also need a permit to build such a structure and should therefore check with your local authorities.

  • Ground-proofing – $75 for materials (DIY) – $100 per hour for professionals.
  • Electricity connection –  $500 – $700.
  • Plumbing – $1,000 – $1,500 (if needed).
  • Weather proofing – $30 per gallon of waterproof paint. I have covered the importance of waterproofing in detail here and shown which paint is best to use inside and outside.
  • Drywall and insulation you can do yourself for the cost of materials and a few hundred bucks should cover those. I have included a video about doing that here.

Cost of office equipment

Obviously you will need to factor into your budget the cost of office equipment.

These costs will vary greatly with each individual depending on whether they use a laptop computer or a desktop machine.

A telephone connection as well as other market-specific items will also vary depending on what field of work in.

Unless you really need a desktop machine a laptop is a better option if you intend to have guests in your man cave as it can be stored away safely much easier than a larger machine.

I personally find it difficult to work for long periods on a laptop purely due to the small screen size and small keyboard and so prefer a desktop machine but many people work just fine on a laptop.

Breakdown of common office equipment costs:

  • Laptop – $250 – $8,050.
  • Office chair – $20 – $2,000.
  • Desk – $50 – $4,000.
  • Internet Connection – use your home’s existing Internet connection or get a dedicated line installed for as low as $20 per month.
  • Wi-Fi repeater/extender/booster – if your man cave office is in an outbuilding you might get by with a wi-fi repeater to boost the house signal for about $40.

Of course you can save money on a lot of these items by buying them used or, in the case of certain furniture pieces, by making them yourself as I outlined here.

When it comes to office furniture you don;t have to be stifled by tradition. Go for fun items like this cool man cave designed office chair and a desk that looks more like furniture than a work table.

Keep in mind that the more creative your furniture and and surrounding items the more your man cave office will be set apart from your home and normal working environment.

Optional office items to consider

Each home office is different and requires different types of equipment.

Here are a few other items that you may want to consider.

  • A dedicated phone line.
  • A whiteboard.
  • A large projector which can act as both a working tool and a TV or movie screen.
  • Extra monitor screens.
  • Air conditioning.
  • Man cave office decor.

The above items are not essential but can help you create a comfortable and totally dedicated office space set apart from the rest of your home.

As well as the standard items you will need to create a functional office you will also need to make your office a comfortable and enjoyable place to spend your time. This starts by including some man cave items.

There are tons of items that you can use in a man cave office that are both practical and fun. Have a browse through these these cool office decor and accessories for some inspiration.

Cost of man cave items

Apart from your office equipment, including your desk, you will need some additional items to make the space more like a man cave and less like an office. The costs will vary depending on the design and theme you choose.

Of course as the office is designed in man cave style it can still include the usual man cave items and if you need some ideas be sure to check the article on man cave gifts.

Here are some basic costs for essential items that an average man cave office will have.

Unique Man Cave Furniture

As well as your office chair you will want to include more conformable relaxing seating if you have the room.

If you are a gamer and intend to also use your man cave office to play console games, such as the PlayStation or Xbox you can reduce costs by buying a gaming chair for both your office work and your gaming.

You can pick up a computer chair for anywhere from $100 to over $1000. However, you will probably need additional seating for guests, to watch a game or just to kick back and relax.

Here are some options:

  • Bean bags: $40 – $500
  • Hammock: $15 – $500
  • Beanock (cross between a hammock and a bean bag): $200 – $500
  • Small sofa: $50 – $500
Specialized items

The thing that really sets a man cave office apart from the rest of your home and your normal corporate working environment is its uniqueness. Your man cave office should therefore be a place filled with items connected to your interests and it should simultaneously reflect your personality.

Personalized items are one way to stamp your personality on the room. Simple things like a personalized man cave sign is a good start.

If you are stuck for ideas check out the post 100 Unique Man Cave Gift Ideas but really you will know what type of decor and items that are of interest to you and will know better than anyone else the cost of those items.

Gadgets

Gadgets are a big part of many man caves so it is no surprise that they also fill-up the spaces in man cave offices.

The gadgets you will want to include in your man cave office will depend on the theme you choose and, of course, your personal interests.

Here are a few examples of great man cave office gadgets you could include:

  • PlayStation Console – $300
  • Xbox console – $300
  • Wide Screen Smart TV – $800+
  • Music System $1000+
  • Mini-fridge – $100+
  • An arcade machine (old school style or modern 2 player) – $800+
A man cave office Pac-Man arcade machine
A modern 2 player PAC-MAN machine

There are some super fun gadgets you can get for a man cave office as I outlined here.

Memorabilia

If you are a big sports fan, music fan or movie buff then memorabilia can be a great way to populate your man cave office. Just be aware that it can be addictive hunting down items and it can be expensive.

Sports memorabilia and music memorabilia, for example, are not cheap. Neither are collectibles associated with specific celebrities. For instance you won’t get an NFL signed jersey or football for less than a thousand bucks. I have shown ways to get around these costs in the article about building a sports man cave.

If you want a more detailed breakdown of potential costs of man cave items I again recommend you read my article How Much Does a Man Cave Cost?

Man cave office ideas

You can easily design a man cave office interior with just about any theme you can think of.

Try to design your man cave office in a way that reflects you as a person by including in it those things that interest you most.

Some of the most unique man cave office ideas which I have seen include:

  • A motorbike racing theme.
  • A Formula One racing theme.
  • A nature trail (clever use of indoor plants and 3D flooring was incorporated into the design).
  • A star wars bar lounge theme.
  • A 50’s automobile theme.
  • An Ancient Geek theme.
  • An ancient Rome theme with heavy influence from the SPQR Roman legions.
  • A “300” Sparta theme.
  • A retro theme.
  • A rustic theme.
  • A hunter’s cabin.
  • An 80’s theme with ideas taken from the movie Ready Player One.
  • A blockbuster movie theme.

These are just a few of the many man cave office themes I have come across.

You will have your own special interests and creating your theme is as simple as making the place reflect the things that you like the most.

Office Ideas for a small man cave

If you only have a small space then I advise you to follow the advice in the article How to Make a Man Cave in a Small Room as the information applies equally well to a small man cave office.

There are additional steps you can take though to further optimize your space for an office environment.

Space saving Tips

Some of the steps which you can take in order to free-up space in your man cave office include:

  • Opting for a small foldable desk like those that use this type of design. These are only really practical if you use a laptop and not a desktop computer – though you can make it work with a desktop if you don’t mind rearranging your equipment every time you take it down or put it up..
  • Using a legless desk that folds away. Attach the desk top support onto a wall via hinges or foldable brackets (see image below).
  • Considering a standing desk option. For example this innovative folding standing desk that may be more suitable to some of my readers.
  • Using laptops rather than bulky desktops.
  • Going for vertical storage units.
  • Using ceiling mounted hanging storage units for seldom used but important office items like files.
  • Minimizing the sitting space by using folding seating.
  • Mounting your computer monitor to the wall and using a desktop PC with wireless mouse and keyboard. Storing the PC out of the way and keeping only the wireless keyboard and mouse on your desk can free-up a ton of space.
  • Using a large wall mounted computer screen and doubling it up as a TV instead of having a separate one.
  • Go wireless as much as possible (wires take up space especially when you need to hide them from view).
wall mounted desk top
Wall mounted foldable desk top

These are a few ideas that will hopefully get your creative space-saving juices flowing. Don’t be afraid to get creative.

You can also save space by ensuring that your desk seating can double-up as recreational seating as well.

You can do this by using:

  • Racing car style gaming chairs like these ones.
  • Padded swivel chairs.
  • Bar stools with wheels.
  • Padded stool with wheels.
  • Vanity chairs.

Building a man cave office on a budget

In the article The Ultimate Guide to Building a Man Cave on a Budget I show how easy it is to source man cave materials cheaply. If you have a strict budget for your man cave office then I strongly suggest you read that article and apply the tips it contains in conjunction with the following information.

If you build your man cave using the strategies I outlined in the article mentioned above and then simply build your own office desk you can greatly reduce the costs of creating your own man cave office.

Below is a video showing you how you can easily build a stable, reliable and ergonomically designed man cave office desk for about $30.

You can also buy ceiling or wall mounted storage units very cheaply from Walmart or similar stores if you require extra office storage units.