Thoughts on Geek Caves

Whenever I hear the term Man Cave I usually picture in my mind a garage or basement filled with stereotypical “Man Stuff”.  To me this includes sports memorabilia, a bar, a big screen TV, hot-rods,  hunting trophy’s, and other stereotypical manly stuff.   While I love having a  retreat, the normal man cave just doesn’t fit into my lifestyle.  I am not interested in sports, hot-rods, hunting, or bars.  I looked up Man Cave to see if my mental picture matches the general perception of what a man cave is, here is what I found…

From Wikipedia, I found this description:

Man caves have multiple purposes: they are a place to be alone, to be away from women and from female sensibilities, to indulge in hobbies, and to hang out with male friends. It is, loosely, a male-only space to retreat to watch sports matches, or play video games. According to psychiatrist and author Scott Haltzman, it is important for a man to have a place to call his own, referring to a male area to which to retreat. Some psychologists claim that a man cave can provide refuge from stressful surroundings and be beneficial to marriage. Rules are relaxed; it is a place where other people’s sensibilities about standards of cleanliness are not necessarily observed; as one man said, “You spill a beer there or leave a hamburger overnight, who cares?”

Just as I thought.  Not my cup-o-tea.

I agree with the first part of the above description, and  strongly agree with the psychological assessment of the need for men to have a place to retreat to.  I plan to use this article as a selling point on the benefits of having a man cave when we move into our, as yet to be constructed, home.  However I have a problem with the suggested themes.  If you look at the selection of man cave decorations available at most websites, you can see that none of it fits what I desire in a man cave.  Click here for an example.  Here is a list of their “themes” for decorating:

1950s Retro Décor, Bar Tavern Décor, Beer Décor, Billiards Décor, Boxing Décor, Car Décor, Casino Décor, Firefighter Décor, Fishing Décor, Guns & Firearms Décor, Hunting Décor, Irish Décor, Las Vegas Décor, Military & Public Service Décor, Motorcycle Décor, Official Man Cave Décor, Pinup Girls Retro Décor, Rec Game Room Décor, Sports Décor, and finally USA Patriotic Décor.

This was confirmed last weekend when my wife and I went to Hobby Lobby.  The store had an entire section dedicated to decorating man caves.  It sported the same decor mentioned above, along with a lot of kitschy signs that are intended to proudly state that this room is indeed a man cave.  Nothing in their decoration selection was appealing to me.  I am looking for something else…

I am looking for a more geeky form of man cave.   Maybe a cross between Captain Nemo’s office, and the room in the Nebuchadnezzar where Neo and friends jacked into the matrix.  Imagine a space decorated with Industrial/brass/oak/high-tech and a pinch of old school science fiction.

I am currently reviewing this because I am in the process of dismantling my current Geek Cave.  It never quite captured my ideal space, and has always begged for more room/attention.  Since we will be moving this summer we need to get our current home in shape to sell.  I do not think a good selling point is to have a odd little room with lots of conduit, automatic lighting controls, peg boards, and outlet strips everywhere.  So I have to move out, then move, then start over.  But this time I have an opportunity to do it right.  I can start from scratch in our new home and make this the lab of my dreams.

captainnemosoffice9 Matrix

Here are a few essential items for my Geek Cave that I do not Here are some things I want in my geek cave:

  • A cork board for pinning up plans and diagrams for current projects.  And a magnetic white board for jotting down ideas.  I would also consider edge lit glass or something a little fancier.
  • A true stereo amplifier with speakers connected to my iPad / iPod for music.  (I have a serious stereo amp and Bose 501 speakers in a box, waiting for the new place to be finished.)
  • Small refrigerator.  I have one that I originally bought for my son’s dorm room.
  • Coffee maker.
  • Fake wood floor made of vinyl for ease of cleaning.  Rubber mats in standing areas for comfort.
  • I want to make a rack to store round bottom boiling flasks (500ml) full of different brands of whiskey.  I figure that five different types of Whiskey would be good, suggestions are welcome, budget <$50.00 a bottle. And A rack of beakers (50ml) to make the set complete.


  • Nice shelves to hold parts boxes.  Currently these are just screwed to the wall.  I also want all the parts boxes to be backlit.
  • Small television so I can play old science fiction movies in the background.  Also a small switch so I can switch the input to a camera showing the front door.   Then I can decide to answer or continue working.
  • A lighted do not disturb sign over the lab door.
  • A bristle dart board with light and dart storage.  (Yes it is a bar/sport game, don’t be shocked)
  • A shelving unit to display completed inventions and knickknacks.

Did I miss anything?

What is your man cave like?


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3 thoughts on “Thoughts on Geek Caves

  1. LazyBoy chair on casters.

  2. Mike Dwyer says:

    I once went to a show house where they had a round room with a ceiling that was about 15 feet high. The walls were lined with bookcases and one of those ladders on wheels to roll around. The opposite side from the door had a wide window and in the middle of the room was a comfy leather couch. Nothing else. That is pretty darn close to what I would live to have.

    • That has also been a dream of my wife’s. She would love a round or Hexagonal room with book shelves to the ceiling. My dream library is a similar room with a spiral staircase going up to a flat roof. On the roof would be two deck chairs, a bucket of cold beer, and a telescope.

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