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Channel your inner bloke with your very own man-cave

By  AAMI

Photography by Marian Riabic

Let’s face it, every man needs a place where he can hang with his buds, watch the game or shoot some pool. Combining a kid’s dream den with all the relaxation needs of a fully grown bloke, a man-cave can exist as some sort of Nirvana – and let’s face it – a much better option than locking yourself in the bathroom with the paper. Check out these ideas for man-caves that rock.

Photography by Marian Riabic

The gamer’s den

When you think of a gamer’s room and your mind may picture a dingy and dirty man hovel. But not this seriously sweet set-up. Whether you’re into old-school games or supercharged pro gaming, this den has got you covered.

“We included spatially divided zones so you can play pool, shuffleboard, darts, wall Scrabble, your favourite board game or hit up the PlayStation,” says Catherine Whitting of interior design experts St James Whitting. Of course, no bloke’s retreat is complete without a drink fridge and a coffee machine for your brew of choice.

Best of all, you don’t need the neighbours to worry that the zombie apocalypse is upon them – soundproofing is top notch.

Best bits: A giant TV and nearly every game under the sun.

Ideas to steal: Sound lab-quality soundproofing for sure.

Photography by Pablo Veiga Photography

The gentlemen’s retreat

A gentleman hide-away like this isn’t for blasting Gran Turismo 6 on the big screen. No, this den is for the distinguished man - think cigar lounge meets luxury apartment meets exclusive club. This man-cave sits firmly in the fancy range, but look at what’s on offer. A dark palette of colours and plenty of posh detailing means it’s made for weekend recovery. While that smooth leather couch is perfect for whiling away the hours with a good book.

That’s not to say the room doesn’t have its mod cons. “There’s the standard large screen TV (a must-have in any man space) and also a modern phonograph that looks traditional but plays music straight from an iPhone or iPod,” says designer Kate Abdou. When modern entertainment doesn’t cut it, feel free to work on your short game – that putting green can help you perfect your hole-in-one.

Best bits: The old-but-new phonograph and leather-bound books that ooze class.

Ideas to steal: Moody décor and minimalist furniture.

The shack

Forget the outhouse in the backyard, we’re talking your own private shack here. Tools are allowed in the work zone, but not on the veranda – that’s strictly for pulling up an armchair and watching the sun go down. And unlike a lot of leaky Aussie shacks, this one features quality roofing and panelling, so your relaxation time won’t be rained out.

“This man-cave is a mix of work space and entertainment hub, plus there's an underground wine cellar," says designer Jason Hawke of Smith & Sons Renovations & Extensions.

More a space for indulging your hobby than a place to battle your mates over a PS4 game, there’s nothing stopping you from kitting your shack out with a decent stereo for listening to some music while you tinker. And that, gentlemen, is bloke heaven.

Best bits: It’s a combination of workspace and relaxation zone.

Ideas to steal: Hello? The underground wine cellar!

Project by Wolf Architects of Melbourne

The rev cave

Now this is what I call a garage! Sure, it’s not the kind of space where you want to go smearing ball bearing grease on everything you touch, but it is a monument to the car that revheads can only dream of. Fancied up with shelves full of books and models of vintage cars, this garage goes way beyond the grungy lock-up to become a den where man’s finest creation can be celebrated. And it’s not just the garage itself that raises your own car to hero status. Glass doors that face the bonnet mean any visitors dropping in can ogle your machine from your dining room. Great for owners of vintage cars from Mercs to Datsuns – show that baby off.

Best bits: The centrepiece.

Ideas to steal: The polished concrete floors and the bookshelves full of workshop guides.

The new shed

Has the shed ‘shed’ its old-school vibe and found new life as the man-cave? With all due respect to rickety sheds of the past, man-caves these days need to have creature comforts front and centre! If space is at a premium and, frankly, you don’t have the time to build your own, you can always have a prefabricated cave built to your specs and delivered to your home pizza delivery style. Can your dreams of a place of your own to detach and chill out really be so close? Yes … yes, they can.

Best bits: This man-cave can be delivered to your home. Hold the olives!

Ideas to steal: Having a desk area means you can say you’re ‘doing work’ when you’re in there.

Once you’ve settled on the must-haves for your own man-cave, work out your budget to get a clearer idea of your scope. This will help you find out what’s possible and what’s verging on the ridiculous. Sorry, but that full-sized billiards table might have to wait. Set your parameters and the details will come together – you’ll be eating nachos from a recliner in no time!

Disclaimer: This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for legal, personal or accounting advice. Seek your own independent advice before engaging in a transaction.