man cave, bachelor pad

Despite the stereotype fed to us by the pop world, man caves come in many shapes, sizes, and styles. That’s because there are no two men alike. Sam Martin, author of Manspace: A Primal Guide to Marking Your Territory, documents in his TED Talk a wide variety of man caves — from suped-up garages, to backyard offices, to converted tugboats, and outdoor bowling alleys. He argues that each man cave is a reflection of personal interest, passion, and accomplishment.

While acknowledging this variety Martin lists three commonalities each man cave shares: distinctive boundaries, unquestioned control, and room for friends to hang out. To enhance these commonalities and empower personalization a growing trend is for man caves to feature automation.

Home Smart Home magazine, in their Fall 2015 issue, describes how automation not only modernizes the man cave, but enhances boundaries, increases control, and impresses friends. Their first example is the top floor of a home near Boston that includes a “theater room, billiards room, a wet bar, and fully integrated lighting, audio, video, intercom, and cameras.” Perhaps most impressive is its security system:

If someone rings the front bell, the doorbell will interrupt whatever movie or music is playing upstairs. The owner can see and talk with visitors, and decide to let them in or not. If the visitors pass the test, the owner grants them access by unlocking the door from a touch screen or mobile device–all without leaving the top level.

Their second example is a basement library in Toronto that features “a leather couch, vintage (working!) telephones and typewriters, and a distinctively Canadian scotch bar.” The top priority of the owners when installing automation was to preserve “the clean and elegant look of the room” by keeping AV equipment as invisible as possible when not in use. As a result their library features a host of hidden features that impress guests:

If the room is off, the moment the door opens, lights come up to greet the guest. When someone’s ready to watch TV, the system reveals its hiding place. The painting of Pebble Beach golf course disappears into a slot as the lights dim for proper screen viewing. Another elegant touch is the absence of wall switches; smooth and stately woodwork remains unblemished while the owners turn lights on and off via … remote, smartphone, or iPad…. “Everyone loves the room,” Jason says with a smile. “We’re so proud of it.”

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