This scene took place at a coffee shop in Manhattan while I was talking on my cell phone to a producer I've worked with for many years about an upcoming appearance.
NBC Producer: So Courtney, you want to do June 11th? What's your topic going to be?
Me: Let's do Man Cave. Let's do The Ultimate Man Cave Gift Guide for Father's Day!
NBC Producer: Great, you're on. We'll see you in a few weeks.
Nosy, bubble tea drinking person seated next to me to her friend: What the fuck is a man cave?
I got to thinking, what (sans expletive) is a Man Cave, exactly? I mean, I know what it is. But, where did this term come from, who coined this phrase and why haven't we noticed it's just a little bit weird?
For me, a Man Cave is more like a Man Lounge. I'm a designer, I make things look good. In my mind, a Man Cave is more like a private room/space/area for a man where he can have all his gadgets and toys and things are all his. Often geared towards married Dads. When I put a query out that I was seeking products for The Ultimate Man Cave Gift Guide on NBC, the response was overwhelming. I was getting pitched all kinds of things, some really cool (video goggles) and some just garden variety cliche (jumbo flat screen TV). It's such a popular topic, there is actually a show devoted to this only on the DIY Network. Several publicists who contacted me informed me of their products being on this show, as well. Apparently, it's a really big deal. I mentioned it on Facebook and guys were emailing me all kinds of ideas they had ... garages, tricked out tool sets, ridiculous music systems, wireless everything, even cool kitchen appliances for the beer! It gives the macho set an outlet for their inner decorator to run free without feeling girly. It's very HGTV-esque, but for dudes. I find it just slightly annoying that there is no equivalent for women. Seriously. Is the kitchen the Woman Cave? Is a minivan a Mom Cave? What about kids? My kids have a playroom, isn't it really a Kid Cave? Do you see where I'm going with this?
From what I have seen, a Man Cave is more like a cool space for Dad. That is my interpretation. Yours might be different. Because Father's Day is just around the corner and my father isn't alive to enjoy the fruits of my labors, I'm going to let it slide and I'm going to give the guys their Man Cave. That said, if I'm going to do a Man Cave it's going to be fabulous, functional and a little bit luxe. If not, then it's more like hanging in the spare room or the half finished basement. Not my vision at all. There will be no NFL team posters, no leather (or any other fabric) recliners and certainly no beer-funnel-as-a-hat- college era gadgetry.
Here are some items I will be using in my Ultimate Man Cave Gift Guide:
For seating I am using my own design, Courtney Cachet Sactionals by Lovesac, available later this month. It's luxe, reconfigurable, modular furniture you assemble with no tools. Also, the covers are removable and washable in case Dad spills barbecue sauce or beer on them!
Sonos Wireless Music System. I'm a huge fan of this company. They make slick, high quality wireless music systems. For Father's Day, now available in black (very manly!). Man Cave dudes can listen to French hip hop broadcast from Marseilles or opera in China at the stroke of a touch screen. Instantly ups your cool techy cred.
Every Man Cave needs a large flat screen TV, 37-55 inches is fine. My personal favorite is Samsung, but any will do. But, we need to move beyond the TV. We need to take it up a notch with an OmniMount Power 55 remote controlled TV mount. It's designed for most 37" - 55" flat panels up to 110 lbs, the Power55 is a state-of-the-art remote controlled motorized cantilever mount that allows you to tilt, pan and swivel panels from anywhere in a room with the touch of a button. I tried this out on a makeover the other day and it is awesome.
Where are the beverages? Whether the taste is Diet Coke, Veuve or Stella Artois, you're going to need some cold drinks! The KitchenAid double drawer refrigerator, available at Lowe's. It might set you back a couple of thousand, but it's ultra cool, compact and energy star rated.
A poker table is a nice addition to any Man Cave. I found several on Amazon under $500 in all kinds of finishes. Free shipping!
I'm going to venture to say that most Man Cave fans are probably grilling fans, too. If the Man Cave has access to a deck or outside area, I recommend a nice grill from Weber. According to my steak aficionado brother in law, the meat just tastes better. Available at every price point.
Wall decor. Yes, wall decor! We cannot have bare walls in our Man Cave. I found a really cool Bridgehampton, New York based company that makes oversized prints, ready to ship at a moment's notice. Modern, abstract, graphic, they have it all. Good stuff for Man Cave walls.
In case you were wondering like the potty mouthed woman next to me at the coffee shop what a Man Cave was, now you should have a better idea. This is really my idea of what it should be. You can tailor yours to be more theme based, like sports, car enthusiast, music lover, cigar/wine aficionado, etc. Either way, make it comfortable, cool and special.
I'd love to hear how your turns out. Keep me posted!
Dedicated to Marc Cachat, who would've really loved a Man Cave to chill some nice wine and feature his petanque champion trophies.
For more information on designer and TV Personality, Courtney Cachet, you can check her out on her site www.courtneycachet.com or join her Facebook page!