Are you looking for cool man cave office ideas? Keep reading to see how I turned the bleak spare room in our home into a dark and sophisticated designed workspace for my husband.
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WORKING FROM HOME IN 2020
Working from home alongside the husband has definitely been . . . interesting to say the least.
I say interesting because I cannot think of a better way to describe this new normal, that involves the two of us being around each other 24 hrs hours of the day. Our home has literally become one big office; that happens to have a place for us to eat and sleep.
Yes, I love the guy immensely,
Of course, I’m grateful that he is able to continue working from home in the current climate where job security is so uncertain.
But I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t sometimes miss those moments, when my son would be at school, my husband at work, and the house would be incredibly silent. The only thing I would be able to hear would be the sound of my own thoughts. It’s every introverts dream I suppose, no matter how fleeting that time might be.
THE SPARE ROOM
My husband and I initially started out working in the same room, but after his 50th zoom call of the day I realised it just wasn’t working for me.
I need quiet to work.
I re-located to the dining room downstairs – you can see the space here, while he remained in the spare room upstairs.
The spare room was one of those rooms we neglected to decorate when we first moved in . . . and yes, it looked pretty bleak as a result. The walls were still painted an awful magnolia, and the room felt very claustrophobic because of the sporadic furniture placement.
Sometimes I would catch my husband working in my office, and when I’d jokingly quiz him on why he was seat hopping, he’d say something along the lines of . . . ‘my office gets really depressing at times and sometimes I just need a change’
He certainly had a point. See below photo for further illustration of that point.
I mean . . .
It was time to decorate . . . I knew that.
So I moved the man cave office makeover up to the hugest priority on my to do list, cleared out all of the furniture and got to work. I told myself it was a gift to my husband. He does so much for our little family…and I wanted to see him happy.
I actually published the reveal on Instagram, but a few pictures and captions are not enough to capture the full journey of a makeover like this, hence this blog post. I know you all had a lot of questions, so this is me answering them all.
MAN CAVE OFFICE TRANSFORMATION . . . FROM START TO FINISH!
THE PAINT :
Rustoleum UK also got in touch around the time I started making plans to decorate. They had just launched a new chalky finish wall paint and wanted to know if I’d be interested in taking part in their campaign (this paint was gifted to me, but this blog post was not a part of the agreed paid collaboration) . Of course I said yes! And that I had just the room in mind . . .
As you can see, the walls in this space were crying out for a lick of paint.
Rustoleum had over 50 colours to choose from, but in the end my husband’s choice was Graphite.
Yes, it’s quite dark and probably not a colour I would have chosen if this was going to be my office (I prefer bright and airy) . However I can definitely see the pros of a dark wall.
- It makes everything in your room stand out (or pop, as I like to say)
- It makes the room feel warm and cosy.
- It hides unattractive items like plugs, wires and other unforgiving holes or blemishes on the wall.
The only cons I can think of is that a darker colour can sometimes make a room feel smaller and may need frequent dusting! Also if you changed your mind down the line, its a little harder to paint over (Remember the chalkboard wall I painted over in my dining room? It took ALOT of sanding and paint coats to get it back to a neutral color. ) We are definitely living in the moment here, because I dread to think how ‘fun’ it will be to paint this wall back to its original colour when we leave this property (as agreed with our landlord).
We painted the skirting boards and the coving too – which went on as smoothly as it did the walls.
The great thing about this paint is that even though it has a matt finish, its scrubbable, so you can wipe away any marks without removing paint! This paint as well as the samples can be bought via here
Was wallpapered . . . with removable paper. Well the kind that comes without the usual self-adhesive to the backing and works the same way as traditional paper, where you have to apply the glue and then paste it to the wall in lines. This paper is a Keith Haring design, bought from here.
I decided to go for a monochrome print because I didn’t wanted the room to feel too small and I thought a funky pattern would add just the right amount of texture and light.
Now wallpapering a ceiling is certainly much trickier than wallpapering a vertical wall. You’ll spend a lot of time in the most awkward of positions, feeling the whole weight of your arms whilst getting a crooked neck from having to look up constantly. So yes, it’s doable, but certainly not a task to be taken lightly.
My husband and I started the wallpapering process a little rocky (snapping at each other for the most silliest of things ), but once we got the hang of it, the ceiling was done in under 2 hours. And we were still friends after it all, so I’m chalking that up as a win!
The lighting was added once the paper was in place. I bought a two piece pendant and added these amber globes. I secured each light to its own cup hook so that it spanned the width of the ceiling.
You can buy two piece pendant lights from here .
This was a complete IKEA hack.
It had to be because I couldn’t find a desk that matched our custom dimensions. I wanted a desk that spanned the entire width of the window wall for better use of space. Plus, I thought it would be nice for my husband to have a window to look out of whilst working.
To bring this vision to life, we used an IKEA Alex cabinet (Yes, I am quite a fan of this range, I’ve used it here and also here too) and a KARLBY counter top. The Alex cabinet would house the husbands computer cpu (my husband actually made alterations to this unit by drilling in large holes to the back and installing a fan for more ventilation- he’s pretty clever with technical stuff like that), and the counter top would be placed on top and supported by wooden brackets on the other side of the wall (so it kind of looked like it was floating).
Two problems we faced:
to accommodate its position, I sawed into the counter top using a circular saw. Even with this custom fit, the radiator could still be seen above the desk, so I painted it black with radiator paint so it wasn’t as noticeable.
The counter top was HEAVY:
Much heavier than I had expected it to be. We installed quite a few wooden brackets with washers against the wall, to spread the weight of the counter top. You could also add another cabinet or a table leg if you wanted.
I also convinced the husband to get rid of the previous gaming chair (well I say get rid, but he actually gave it to my younger brother), and invest in a new chair. After weeks of scrolling and reading reviews, we finally settled on this one. Its a great chair, that looks stylish and is really comfortable (even after a long day of sitting at it). The arms can also be removed if needed.
Because the room was already quite small, I had to make the most of the vertical wall space. I utilised 3 types of shelving in this room to ensure good storage solutions.
1 . UPRIGHTS :
The ones you see above the desk are the slot bracket system. The brackets were white and I spray painted them with brass paint.
The wooden floating shelves were custom made from a seller on eBay… I had planned to use them without the brackets but realised that the window wall wasn’t strong enough to hold them in that fashion, hence the need for the upright brackets.
2 . INVISIBLE BOOKSHELVES
Next to the desk are the invisible shelves . They are made from metal and can hold a decent weight of books.
3 . BESTA WALL CABINETS
These cabinets were installed just above the seating nook for additional storage. Its hard to get a decent shot of them as the room is so small!
THE SEATING NOOK
I don’t feel like this could have been anything else but a seating area; just because of its size and position. For those that don’t know, a stairs bulkhead is the part of the stairs that protrudes into the room above. Whether a small slope or large box they take up valuable space and are often hard to customise into a rooms design. .
I installed a rattan back rest using the tutorial here, and attached it to the wall with picture hooks. I threw a rug on top . . . temporarily whilst I wait for a custom cushion to arrive from Etsy.
OTHER FINISHING DETAILS :
ARTWORK: This was from Juniqe. It’s very difficult to find large pieces of art without spending a fortune. I thought this frame was a good deal.
The yellow Shell sign underneath is actually a vintage sign that I found on eBay. If you type in ‘vintage signs’ in the search bar and add ‘used’ as your filter, you can find some pretty amazing antique gems on there!
PEG HOOKS: A place for my husband to hang his jackets in his man cave office. These are from La redoute.
GAME CONTROLLER HANGERS: These are sooo clever. They are self-adhesive hooks that stick to the wall, and you can place game controllers on them. It’s the kind of thing I never even knew was out there until I started researching man cave office storage ideas!
I think that’s everything! Let me know what you think of this man cave office in the comments below!
UPDATE: This room has now been turned into a nursery. Come see the reveal here!
My office is slightly bigger but the same layout as yours, except the seating nook is a cupboard above where the stairs are (which I’m guessing was probably what yours was originally too). Due to working from home A LOT! on my PC, I did some research and it’s apparently bad for your eyes to have a window behind your screen long-term, so my desk will be going between where your seating nook is and the window wall, so the window is on my left.
Per your suggestion, I’ve painted the walls around the cupboard and behind where the desk will be with the Rust-Oleum Graphite paint, leaving the rest of the walls pure brilliant white. It certainly does make the room pop! Will also be using vinyl flooring planks and going for an oak effect, to go with the KARLBY worktop you suggested (except I’ll be going for the oak veneer one). Only annoying thing is, IKEA appears not to stock the cupboard version of the ALEX cabinet anymore, so not sure how I will house my PC tower…
Was searching on the internet for ages for office design ideas and this is what I finally went with!
Thank you VERY MUCH!
WOW!! What a fantastic transformation! Your husband must feel like the luckiest man!
Very nice setting! Soothing colors, great organization of space. This an awesome compromise between a work space and a home space. One lucky man 😉
This is gorgeous! I’m new to your blog and can’t wait to read more. I love the details like the shell sign and ceiling treatment and all of it!
Where did the printer go?
Its now under the desk on a stool
This whole project is fantastic; the best part being the seating nook. So brilliant! May your husband enjoy his enviable new office space.
Thank you so much 🙂
The transformation is wonderful!! Your ideas are very functional and esthetic! Where did you find the wooden box?
Keep up inspiring us!
Thank you! The wooden box is from ebay 🙂
Stunning transformation, Medina – you are so talented! The ceiling wallpaper nails it for me – and the rest of the slightly quirky, comfy and modern styling you achieved yet again, is so pulled together. Thanks for sharing! Your fan from central Washington state, USA, Stephanie
Ahh thank you so much Stephanie!
Just so stinkin good! Really. Well done! I would love to know how you convinced the hub to get a new chair. I hate the one mine has 🙂
haha its called NAGGING . . 2HRS A DAY!
Looks amazing and completely transforms the room from bog standard spare room territory to stylish office space. I would think the landlord should be very grateful for the upgrade! I hope they let you skip the repaint if/when you leave!
The ceiling paper, floating shelves with painted brackets and other bits of styling – are a real credit to you. I’m sure most of us just wouldn’t bother.
Thank you so much for the kind compliments!
Huge improvement! Love the paint colour, wallpaper and desktop, Great job.
Thanks so much!
Ignore that comment! I’ve just seen the bit about the chair! Sorry for being annoying!
Haha no worries! Hope you like the chair!
Hi Medina, I’ve been waiting for the blog with anticipation.. the room is fab! So many great ideas.
Is the chair Argos? Is it comfy/supportive. I’ve been thinking about purchasing it since I saw it on your Instagram.
Thanks in advance