The Man Cave vs The Lady’s Lair

Robert Henry, http://www.RDHArchitects.com, discusses the interior staples needed to make a Man Cave room. There’s been some research done on means of escape for men and women.  Men, when they get overwhelmed, anxious, or stressed out, have a tendency to retreat into a convenient and comfortable space. In that space, they can surround themselves with things they know and that reinforce them. Think “Man Cave.

 

The man’s reaction is pure escapism, but on the woman’s side, it is more social. Women will seek out others in order to talk things out.  The “Ladies Lair” will be larger to accommodate the socializing.  It will be a more soothing place like a home spa or a spa sanctuary.

 

When you think of the location of these two personal places, the metaphorical man cave is usually located in a basement, often subterranean or below the earth. Like a grumpy old bear, men relax in their cave after an intense day and change gears from the working world into a more sensible home life.

 

A woman’s retreat, is more like an aviary; a high space that is bright, sunlit, not reclusive and retracting. Men are rooted to the ground versus women who are more like birds, ethereal, in the trees, soaring to the sky, nature and light.

 

The design of the Man Cave will contain straight lines, square corners and be sturdy with strong furnishings. In contrast to a woman’s space which is often curvy, soft and organic.

 

So what goes into the man cave?  Number one, the recliner, and why is that? Because a man needs to be able to rest his tired feet and relax in his own individual seat that can be adjusted to accommodate his specific individual comfort zone. It’s not a sofa, it’s not a couch, but it’s tailored for the individual and highly interactive, it can be adjusted specifically to work with that particular man’s preferences.

 

Next would be the television as that’s what we turn on to tune out. It’s a total distraction and allows us to turn our brains off.  It doesn’t have to be anything too important or topical, preferably sports. Third would be a bar and/or a small refrigerator with his favorite beverages, preferably alcoholic, and a few snacks to further provide that sense of comfort.

 

Another important aspect would be a gaming table or console, video games and/or table games like pool or air hockey. Physical activity helps us unwind, a way of getting out the tension through play.

 

For the man we reference, a darker palette, gray, metallic, chrome, glass, think strong in personality;  the ladies lair is “outfitted”  in more natural tones that one finds in nature. Fall colors or pastels like your tans and moss green.

 

Texture is also important in the lady’s lair, so highly textured, soft, drapery, silks, fabrics that are soft to the touch, versus a rough tweed or wool which is more aggressive to the touch. Man cave think – leather, metal especially like blackened steel or stainless steel, complimenting dark woods.

 

Robert Henry
roberthenry@rdh-architects.com
www.rdh-architects.com
212.533.4145