From the image of a pre-historic man wrapped in furs painting the inside of his cave right through to the picture of Batman in his underground cavern filled with hi-tech gadgets and gizmos, the idea of an oasis of solitude for a man to escape to is something that every bloke secretly desires.
So although the lavishly kitted out man den is something of a recent phenomenon, the idea of somewhere to retreat to for some peace and quiet after a long days work is long established.
“An Englishman’s home is his castle” according to the old saying, although for many it could have been adjusted to ‘an Englishman’s castle is his shed’.
The tradition of a rackety small building at the end of the garden where an assortment of half used pots of paint left just enough room for a seat a now occupies a sitcom legend status, with the modern ‘outside room’ more likely to be a stylised construction, housing a fully functional office space or recreation playroom.
The modern man den
So what is the modern man’s den actually for? Well, first and foremost it has to fulfil the function of a private space, which can be as messy (or as tidy) as you want it to be. Whether that means a place for everything and everything in its place or a floor strewn with empty beer cans is entirely up to you.
Man den requirements
Whilst the overall style of your man den should be determined by your own preferences, there are some inclusions which you cannot afford to miss – and here are some of them:
Mini fridge: a fridge small enough to hold a few cans or bottles is essential and will allow you to avoid making frequent trips to the kitchen when trying to relax.
Entertainment system: a good entertainment centre is also a must, which a large flat screen TV big enough to bring sports events to life is a vital inclusion. Of course, your sound system needs to match the high definition picture quality you have become accustomed too and this means surround sound with sub woofers and speakers galore should be on the shopping list. If space allows, more traditional games such as a pool or snooker table should also be added to the room and of course your man den would be nothing without a modern games console or two.
Hi-Fi: TV and games can make some noise but another major attraction of some personal space is to be able to play your favourite music as it was intended to be heard – loud and through proper speakers, not tinny ear headphones. Whether it is vintage jazz, classic rock or ultra contemporary electronica that is your particular sonic vice, the ability to be able to enjoy it on your own terms is, to some, the ideal way to chill out and wind down.
Peaceful environment: of course all this noise means that, to preserve that all important privacy and allow nearby family and neighbours to keep their sanity, sound proofing a den is extremely important. If it is an outside building, whether a bespoke construction or an upgraded shed, well fitted double glazing can make all the difference. If your den is indoors, then good carpeting, a well hung door and other simple noise-reducing tricks can make all the difference.