65 Elevated Man Cave Designs That Won't Look Prehistoric

Although "man cave" has been part of the American lexicon for more than a generation, its first recognized use seems to have sprung up in the early '90s. First Man Cave points to John Gray's 1992 book, "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex," in which the author describes the need men have to "withdraw into the cave." Another theory suggests it was Canadian Star columnist Joanne Lovering's joking reference to the basement as a "man cave" and also suggested that the garage "is a cave of solitude ..."

Even as boys, men kept their "stuff" in their bedrooms and invited friends over to check out their treasured collections of sports memorabilia, model cars, and movies as a way of establishing common bonds. But once they moved from home to the dorm and then in with their partners, many of those keepsakes were put either in storage or in the trash.

While no one knows precisely where the man cave concept was born, comic book heroes have had such sanctuaries for decades. Superman had a Fortress of Solitude, Batman had his Batcave, and many boomers grew up longing for some similar adult treehouse where a fella could get away to relax. But no good idea goes unexplored for long, and we now have more man cave ideas to share than gadgets in the Batcave.

1. Cozy sanctuary

Here's a getaway that seems to lean into comfort and reflection. There's a small library of books and video, an Old World globe bar setup, classic wallpaper, and dominating the room is a comfy upholstered leather chair fit for some serious Michael Corleone contemplations.

2. Suds 'n' buds getaway

What guy doesn't like cool neon? Here beer brand names share the room with a small pool table with a bar in the back. It's perfect for a night of suds 'n' buds.

3. Rustic retreat

Like it rustic? There's a fireplace warming the room and setting the atmosphere. It's modest, manly, and exactly the right place to work on a hobby or craft. Most of the elements here are repurposed, too.

4. Industrial style space

One of the giveaways that you're looking at a man cave and not just a den is personality. Here, the VW mural that dominates the room creates curiosity — Who's the man behind a design like this?

5. Memorabilia collectors paradise

Here's a fellow who likes his music, as both albums and guitars are emphasized under accent lights, and the facing couches are perfectly situated for an impromptu jam session.

6. Sports bar haven

Outside the man cave, you might have to fight to watch what you want. Here, you won't even be able to fight with yourself, as you can watch two flatscreens at once. 

7. Place your bets

Does the house always win? If you've got a poker table in your man cave, your odds increase exponentially. Although the table is the main attraction here, you'll see there's also a bar and the obligatory flatscreen, too.

8. Office or man cave?

Sometimes less is more, as this spartan arrangement illustrates. LED backlights cast a high-tech glow, and the comfortable but minimalist decor says either "don't bother me, I'm working," or "don't bother me, I'm playing."

9. Secret swimming place

Here's where the man cave meets the life aquatic. There's a circular couch in the foreground, but a decent-sized pool and a hot tub dominate here. 

10. Swanky private barroom

Here's a bar that never closes because it's yours. Wooden pillars, bronze foil ceiling accents, and a tiffany lamp barely visible make this spot cozy and as relaxing at happy hour as it would be for a nightcap.

11. Victorian-style sanctuary

There's something vaguely Victorian about this man cave, with its tiger print upholstered matching chairs, wood paneling, low-backed bar stools, and stately wallpaper. You can almost smell cigars and brandy here.

12. James Bond-worthy room

Here's a man cave suited for the New Frontier. Its stylized '60s James Bond pop art mural is perfectly complemented by a jet-age lounge look, including what looks like a mylar inflatable chair.

13. Crisp and clean relaxation

Who says a man cave ought to be dark and gloomy? Here's one that looks like someone's concept of Heaven as a man cave, decked out in shades of white and bone.

14. Budget man cave

This has the look of a starter man cave, with director's chairs and a mismatched couch, and a blender instead of a bar. All the expense seems to have been spent on accumulating high-end electronics.

15. Basement abode

Is this a man cave or just a classy suburban den? There are masculine touches in the bar (with its soda bottle accent), poster art, and red vinyl chairs. Otherwise, it just oozes low-key relaxation.

16. Luxe fun and relaxation

This design puts simple sophistication on display. There's a fireplace, a gaming table, cocktail seating, and one tier up, a complete bar. The black, white, and brown color scheme keeps it simple but classy.

17. Arcade fever

Sometimes more is just ... more. The man behind this man cave clearly loves his arcade games — so much so that the entire room is built around the same concept of sensory overload.

18. Reclusive hideaway

No telling what mischief goes on in this reclusive-looking getaway. There's a gaming table that could double as a conference table, a full bar set up in the distance, and the lighting says "by invitation only." It could be a man cave or the set from some Martin Scorcese film in the making.

19. Natural wood and earthy vibes

So nicely appointed, you'd think it was a bar at a hotel resort; this retreat was planned and executed with the eye of a professional. Natural wood dominates and provides an aura of refined ease. There's nothing cave-like about it.

20. Chicago sports fan

Is there any question about this guy's love for America's favorite pastime or his beloved Chicago ball teams? From the lights that recall every baseball diamond ever to the custom-outfitted pool table and mural, this is one serious man cave love affair.

21. Show off those rides

This gent's motto seems to be that if you've got it, you should definitely flaunt it. Snooker table overlooking your high-end toys? Sure, why not?

22. Biker's paradise

Here's a chopper's paradise, the kind of guy who wears his passions on his sleeve and apparently runs as hot as his engines. Black leather, flame-decal replica vinyl barstools — he's clearly in hog heaven here.

23. Blue and cream party space

Somebody has a serious thing for blue and cream. Maybe these were team colors, maybe they're just colors that bring a cheery bonhomie to the room, but this man cave is pleasant without looking fussy or forced.

24. Old West saloon in-house

Nothing quite says "Howdy" like a man cave that seems ready for a Saturday night shootout in an Old Western. Here wood accents and swinging saloon doors offset the unseen pool table in the foreground to lend a Gold Rush feel to the room.

25. Sports fan hideaway

Another of the seemingly infinite variations on the sports fan theme, this room has an actual cave-like ambiance courtesy of the wall stonework. Wood on the ceiling and a substantial overhead light cast the room in a warm glow.

26. Luxe home bar

This home bar man cave looks so much like a resort; you'll wonder if you're going to run a tab if you drink here. Accent lights on the massive wooden bar area and red vinyl chairs add to the understated drama.

27. Gamer's paradise

What's your pleasure? A wide array of pastimes, from pool and foosball to arcade games, are all within easy reach. There's something of an old-school vibe as well since the distractions seem to lean on vintage fun rather than the latest high-tech computer games.

28. Chop shop or hangout?

If tinkering with machines is what provides your moment of zen, then this should have tremendous appeal. It's a combination chop shop and bar setup, a place where guys can hang out and work on their bikes or just relax and talk about working on bikes.

29. Man cave museum

If you've ever aspired to create a man cave that resembles your own personal museum, here's an idea that should prove inspirational. The color palette is especially pleasing since it combines red in the pool table and wall art with tobacco-tinged upholstery, wood floors, and, lest we forget, a prized sports car in butterscotch.

30. Fenway Park fan

A Boston fan's fever dream, this man cave is decked out in Fenway Park memorabilia, and the look extends to the Tiffany lamp and a flatscreen large enough to keep your eye on the ball at all times.

31. DIY retro room

This has all the earmarks of a DIY project. The ambition seems modest — with an expense to match. However, there's still something intrinsically charming about the scale here and the small but noticeable retro touches.

32. Attic man cave

Just because the typical man cave is underground doesn't mean you can't install one overhead. Here an attic has been transformed with some comfy-looking seating, what looks like a killer sound system, and a beautiful pool table in the foreground.

33. Brit rock explosion

Anglophiles and fans of '60s rock music will see a lot to love in this scheme, which prominently displays the British Union Jack on its couch pillows as well as nods to The Who and a comic rendering of Abbey Road with "The Simpsons" standing in for John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

34. Surfer's up

The artfully displayed miniature surfboard and the auto racing sponsor barstools make this little setup a charming hodgepodge of influences, but there's no mistaking the unpretentious cool of the bar, which may not be much more than a repurposed food prep island.

35. The lodge

This man cave is all man, not much cave, as it has an open and breezy lodge feel that integrates perfectly into the surrounding countryside. Even the pool table looks as though it was hewn from the tall timbers growing outside.

36. Home theater

No question that this home theater owner is a fan of the big screen. Plush oversized leather chairs with visible cupholders make this a film fan's fever dream. You make the rules here, and if anyone's talking or texting ... you get to decide whether they get kicked out.

37. Modest man cave

You don't have to be made of money to create a man cave; you just have to be creative about your choices. Here, there's a miniature pool table, a simple bar setup, and a flatscreen occupying a recessed wall space. This space is a cave in name only, as the sunny patio looks as inviting as the distractions inside.

38. Sports heroes galore

Accent lighting is the key to highlighting this man cave owner's personal Hall of Fame. The seating, along with the expansive use of wood, conveys the same casual air of refinement you'll find in sports arena boxes. Just beyond view is a flatscreen to show all the action.

39. All sports all the time

A custom-made rug (or is that astroturf?) and an Edwardian-appearing pool table at the far end of the room let you know that this man cave owner takes his pastimes very seriously. Despite the fuss, you have to admit that you'd be very happy watching the playoffs here.

40. Trophy room

There are as many different ways to concoct a sports-related man cave as there are teams to cheer. Here the emphasis is on trophies — balls, cards, shirts, and even boxing gloves. With the addition of a poker table and bar, what more does a guy need?

41. Cigar room

Looking to feel like a tycoon? Got a hostile takeover to discuss? Whether it's either or neither of those, you can kick back in Old World grandeur here. This cigar room man cave looks as posh as they come.

42. Car memorabilia

You can just about hear The Beach Boys in the background of this over-the-top tribute to early 1960s car culture. Assorted gleaming restored autos of the era are strewn about, and in the background, there's a mall replica that is certain to evoke memories of milkshakes, JFK, and a simpler time.

43. Easy does it

There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all man cave, but here's something that would appeal to a lot of fellas. A ping pong table, a foosball table, a comfy couch, and an enormous flatscreen. For many, the only question that remains is, "Can I have a slice of that pizza?"

44. Victorian era motif

Didn't know they had foosball around in the Victorian Age? While the table runs against the theme, with its exposed brick and all-gears-visible clock, it does make the main man cave point well — a personal retreat should incorporate whatever elements the owner wants.

45. No frills man cave

Here's an attic man cave that makes the most of the room available. A clawfoot pool table dominates, but other tasteful accents abound as well, including the antique model plane and giant mounted gear on the exposed brick wall, painted but perfectly shedding its white coat.

46. Sports paradise

What serious sports fan wouldn't love to be here, where the action never stops, and you're surrounded by like-minded guys who think every down, pitch, and jump ball is something to be debated or celebrated?

47. Take a rest

Why does this man cave look like the kind of place you'd have the cast of "City Slickers" sleeping over? There's a definite dude ranch vibe here, with bunk beds for four, movie posters above the couch, and what looks like a recessed space with a flatscreen nestled inside. Pass the Irish Coffee, please.

48. This and that

If there's a theme here, it seems to be "mind your own business." There's a cool carpet and swanky pool table, but everything else, from the bargain-basement curtains to the Yuletide-looking lights strung above, have no point but to please the owner. And that's the point.

49. In-house bowling

Is there anything that doesn't belong in a man cave? Not if you can afford it. It's easy to look right past the pool table and arcade games to the real showstopper here — a private bowling alley, complete with an automatic ball return.

50. Resort vacation daily

Why spend money on a resort when you can bring one home? Sumptuous leather chairs, a slick bar setup, an elongated sofa with multiple flat screens, and a pool table decked out in purple felt. That's living large.

51. Creature comforts

Is this a more mature man's sanctuary? There's a sled up in the corner and references to skiing in the wall art, but this man cave is clearly built around the idea of comfortable relaxation in the warm glow of the fireplace. 

52. Creative car collection

Leaning into your passions is one of the core reasons to have a man cave in the first place. This auto enthusiast has a showcase for his treasured rides, and you could almost recreate drive-in here with the screen at the far end of the room.

53. Vintage tavern

Is it the '70s yet? This attic man cave has the look of a lunchroom from yesteryear, with its retro arcade games, jukebox, and retro-cheap table and chair set, as well as the white couch, which could be leather — or vinyl.

54. Room with romance

Red and gold make this man cave look more like a love nest than a retreat. The curtains and carpet, as well as the throw and pool table, are all various shades of scarlet. And that gold couch says, "let's snuggle."

55. Starter man cave

Here's a man cave that's just beginning to make its owner happy. In fact, it looks like a starter kit, with its futon couch and flatscreen with a steamer trunk for a coffee table and plenty of room for foosball and a dart board at the far end.

56. Sport love in a small space

Consider the use of space here, where it seems the objects have more room than the owner or any visitors will — but there is still room for some ping pong or beer pong.

57. Mobile man cave

Free your impulses from the constraints of brick and mortar. In other words, you can take your man cave on the road, as this RV owner has done. And if you don't like your surroundings, simply get behind the wheel and drive until you do.

58. Cluttered garage or safe-space?

Sure, it's a garage, but it's a man cave, too. The keepsakes — everything from a mounted deer head to a Texas roadway sign and a "Godfather" poster has found a home here, alongside a college dorm-sized fridge, bar, and ping-pong table. Otherwise, there's still room for garage storage.

59. Pretend your outside

Someone's gone to time, trouble, and expense to create this Western-themed cinema under the stars. The faux outdoors runs from the woodwork to the mural and night sky lighting — which almost makes you forget about the overstuffed leather couches facing the movie screen just out of sight.

60. The executive suite

From here, it looks like someone just made partner. Here's the classiest of man caves, with a convertible behind glass, a spacious living room, and a staircase to the world waiting above — if and when you're ready to return.

61. The study

Whether you're mulling over a legal brief, writing a book, or composing a song, here's a place constructed to put you in the most serene environment imaginable. It exudes a kind of "Mad Men" elegance with its deep wood, framed photos, and plush seats.

62. Basement tavern

If you're looking for a place "where everybody knows your name," as the "Cheers" theme suggests, you can't go wrong setting up your own little bar. People are more likely to know your name if it's the same one as on the mailbox outside.

63. Pop art galore

Primary colors of red, yellow, and blue are mixed here with softer hues of green walls and brown leather furniture for a playhouse look that says, "I may not be rich, but I know how to create a party atmosphere."

64. The locker room

If you're looking for a spot comfortable for jocks to hang out, you can't do better than a locker room man cave with exposed brick, leather chairs, and genuine lockers.

65. Dream of a Batcave

Of course, you'd have to be rich as Bruce Wayne to get yourself a Batcave like the one depicted here. But imagination is free, and as soon as you can imagine what your own sanctuary might look like, you've already begun to make it more real.