Soft, Supple Leather – An Update on the Man Cave

Posted by Alan Zunec on Friday, November 15th, 2013 at 12:17pm.

Decorating a home is all about form, style and function. Mostly. There is that personal taste component to factor into the equation. But what exactly is personal taste? Is it what we really do like, or a perception of what we should like?

For purposes of this argument we’ll look at the man cave. Those two words alone conjure up visions of darkened rooms filled with oversized TVs, video games, pool tables and wet bars. Perhaps football or hockey jerseys line the walls. Certainly there’s a long, low, dark sofa, leather of course, and an easy chair or two with cup holders in the armrest. Let’s not forget about a copy of the poker playing dog picture on the walls. Yep, this is a room that women will tolerate if need be, but would not voluntarily spend time in. But then, that’s the point.

The modern day professional man may still have hockey and football genetically programmed in his DNA, but more and more they find that single guys of this description want to dispel that jock image. Yes, he still wants that personal space, but it must be more sophisticated. Less anti-female if you will, which if you’re a single guy and don’t want to remain that way is a good thing.

Texture and Contrast

So how do you create a living space that is decidedly male but caters to a luxurious lifestyle?  First, learn the benefits of mixing textures. A Berber carpet beneath your feet is tactilely scrumptious. A solid mahogany table sitting on top of it makes the expanse of carpet seem even plusher. Add window treatments of washed silks, not too gaudy mind you, a sink-to your knees leather sofa and you have a riot of textures pleasing not only the touch, but the mind.

We see texture, as well as feel it. Think about it. Look at that mahogany table, polished to a satin finish. We see smooth, we think smooth, we anticipate a smooth but unyielding touch. The leather sofa looks soft and comfortable. Your brain agrees, anticipating the luxurious experience of sinking into the cushions. Ok guys, you may not think of yourselves as sensual beings but that’s not the case. The trick is to appeal to that sensuality in a way that is totally male. Leather is an obvious choice. Think saddles, reins, chaps, all symbols of the old West and cowboys with chiseled jaws half-hidden beneath ten-gallon hats.


Your taste and wallet may accommodate some of the finer things in life. Perhaps an antique rosewood desk and an Oriental rug with a muted design would suit your study. Or you could grace your bathroom with a marble shower stall with multiple jets or a deep jetted tub for two. Head for the kitchen and install recessed lighting with a dimmer switch or maybe even a wine fridge, both great for entertaining. It’s your space. Man cave it up as much, or as little as you want.

Color also creates mood and provides contrast. The sophisticated gentleman may prefer light hardwoods or carpeting for flooring to contrast with that leather sofa. Traditional brown leather works with a light contrast, but there is no law that says that sofa has to be brown. What about off-white or a darker gray? Both go great with a black and white tile floor and blood-red pillow accents. Masculinity, with class.

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