10 Crazy Man-Caves.

Coming back to the bay I appreciate having my own space, and having my a place where I can do what I want and enjoy what I want.  But its crazy how far some people will go to enjoy their space.  Call it what you will—man cave, mavern (man + cavern), mantuary (man + sanctuary)—but creating a room just for the guys has become a popular trend. Now-a-days, some of them can be tastefully imaginative—a far cry from the beer can–littered basements of my home town. Oddly enough though most of these pictures instantly reminded me of someone in my life, and the way they would decorate a space if they had all the money in the world.  Whether it’s to watch sports, play pool or just have a place where boys can be boys, as long as the room makes them happy (and keeps their mess and raucousness out of the way) I fully support the trend.

The Poker Palace

Computer programmer Rod McKenzie loves poker and frequently hosts tournaments that consist of 20 people, but games can often exceed 35 sets of hands. To help build Rod the ultimate poker man cave, Siragusa and Cameron set their sights on a Vegas-style casino theme, in which they included slot machines, backlighting, mod red felt poker tables, a four-person bar and a Vegas-style security system (with hidden cameras!)  With the amount of iPhone poker my kid-cousin Thabo plays, I could see him owning this spot.

The Harley Garage

Tony Munshi loves his motorcycle-themed garage in his Santa Clarita, California, home. Two years in the making, the “cave” comes complete with indoor/outdoor carpeting, an oak-laminate bar top stained in ebony and covered with a glass slab, exhaust flame–themed stool covers, a glass-door refrigerator, 46″ TV and, of course, the three Harley-Davidsons he shares with his wife, Kathy.  I know my assistant is wondering why I didn’t say this one reminds me of her, but this one’s got Tasha T. written all over it.

The Wine Makers Basement

Wall Street hedge fund manager by day and amateur wine maker by night, Joe Valente had a unique vision in mind for a tasting room, which became another project on the DIY Network’s show Man Caves. Finished with distressed-looking plaster and totally temperature controlled, the basement fortress features authentic wine barrels, a gorgeous Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellar and a Tuscan-style wood table, which the show’s design team built from scratch. Reminds me of a space either my sister or Meredith Hickey would live in.

The Rockstar Hangout

Dan Leap is a regionally loved guitarist in Midwest rock band Pompous Jack and founder of GuitarLamp.com. The perfect showcase for his two passions (music and DIY design) is his cool ’80s-inspired loft, located in his Merriam, Kansas, home. Inside, lamps, tables and headboards are all made of custom guitars, while pinball machines, retro couches and framed records decorate the space.  This is one spot however that doesn’t bring anyone directly to mind.

The Dale Ernhardt Den

It was photographer Robert Butterfield’s wife, Maria, who first suggested he use a spare storage space to showcase his array of Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., collectables, which were beginning to take over their home. The room, which loosely resembles a Hard Rock Cafe, features wall-to-wall diamond plate flooring, mirrored gel showcases to house his model cars, a racetrack bookshelf, kegerator, flat-screen TV with surround sound, a Dale Earnhardt couch, an open bar and more.  I know their baseball and football fans as well, but I see the Erhardt Brothers occupying this lair.

The Coca Cola Cave

Freelance artist Ray Kilinski and his wife Dianne have been collecting vintage (pre-1960) Coke memorabilia since the early ’70s, and is an active member of the Coca-Cola Collectors Club. In his malt shop–style room is a black-and-white checkered floor with a large Coca-Cola logo rug, a green glass wall partition and shelving reminiscent of old bottles, a vintage soda fountain, a functioning Coca-Cola Vendo 44—a vending machine made in the 1950s that holds 44 bottles—and much (much) more.  I do however draw a blank when it comes to my friends that would love his place.

Star Wars Theater

Vic Wertz and Lisa Stevens once ran The Official Star Wars Fan Club. Later, the two decided to bring the epic film series into their home. Designed by Doug Chiang (design director for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Episode II: Attack of the Clones), the room, which measures 22 feet from the back wall to the screen, took three years to complete. It features three rows of seating, automated sliding doors, a secret media room guarded by a life-size Han Solo and a fiber-optic star field.  Some people would think I’d  claim this spot for my own, due to the intense nerd factor, but its not –

Club Sub Level

This one is the mancave I see as my own.  After seven months of framing and painting, Michigan-based water utility control systems developer Glenn Maggard completed his fantasy basement. Looking for a space to both entertain friends and dance, he and his wife, a scientist, wanted a modern look and feel, which they achieved with a flat black–painted ceiling, ebony laminate flooring, a glass block bar with granite tile, a graphic wall mural, Momeni rug, mod white leather couches, neon lighting and dance poles, which are conveniently part of the basement’s infrastructure.


The Hockey Haven

Diehard New York Rangers fan Joe Bellestri was a lucky contestant featured on the DIY Network’sMan Caves, where hosts Tony “Goose” Siragusa and Jason Cameron transformed his unfinished basement into a New York Rangers bastion. Adding to Bellestri’s big-screen TV, the two designers installed a wall-size mural, $999 Dream Seats, royal blue lockers behind a frosted Plexiglas bar with backlighting, custom-built hockey-stick stools and ice rink–style flooring made of epoxy.  This is the one that has my assistant written all over it.  Ash is the biggest (and smallest) San Jose Sharks fan I’ve ever seen.

The Greatest Show On Earth

The most traditional of the “Epic Mancaves” this is something I can’t put to a specific person because I feel like anyone would love this.  Jeremy Kipnis was an audiophile from a young age—after all, Henry Kloss, inventor of one of the first projectors, was his childhood neighbor. So it’s no surprise that he is the founder of home theater design company Kipnis Studios and owner of one of the most sophisticated home theater setups out there. Located in his Redding, Connecticut, home, the room features an 18-foot screen, a Sony ultra-high-resolution digital cinema projector, 37 speakers, 35 amplifiers and more.

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