“Space is very important for regulating emotions,” says Sam Gosling, a University of Texas at Austin psychology professor and author of Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You. Gosling studies how space is a powerful mechanism for evoking our emotions, and he’s seen firsthand how having your own space, decorated by you alone, can positively affect emotional well-being. “It’s incredibly important to be in one’s own space and resonate with who one is,” he says.
“It’s a way of saying, ‘I love my family and flowers, but that’s not what I need to regulate my emotions,’” Gosling says. “Man caves are the architectural equivalent to hanging out with your mates.”
So you see? We are fragile emotional beings. We just need a kegerator (a refrigerator for a keg of beer) and power tools to cope.
When it comes to designing and outfitting a man cave, Gosling says it’s extremely important that there is no compromise. (Shall I repeat that, ladies? No compromise!)
That’s because a space that properly satisfies and regulates emotional and psychological needs is much less likely to evolve if someone else influences the outcome.
“Many people are not sensitive to that,” Gosling says. “I don’t think people are thinking, ‘I need to regulate my emotions.’ They’re thinking, ‘I need somewhere to build my boat. While I’m there, I’m going to read the magazines I like. Listen to the music I like.’ So it organically evolves.”
The owner even installed a one-way screen that comes down when the garage door is open so he can smoke cigars and people watch, but they can’t see him.
The space is also heated and air conditioned for cold Minnesota winters and humid summers. The project cost between $15,000 and $17,000.
Scott has seen the man space evolve and gain popularity over nearly three decades. She’s seen a trend toward having kegerators, wine fridges and many other gizmos, gadgets and tools right at guys’ fingertips.
“Men are looking for amenities that give them a special sense of reward,” Scott says. “They work hard; they want to play hard.”
Naturally, there’s also a kegerator and a full bathroom.
Typical in most man cave situations, he told his wife she could have anything she wanted in the house (French country) and garden (English style), but “the garage and workshop are all me,” he says.
So, come on. Give us just this one room. We might even invite you down for a beer every now and then.