Man Cave Office Reveal: How to create a unique workspace for him.

Looking for cool man cave office ideas? Keep reading to see how I turned the spare room in our home into a sophisticated workspace for my husband.


Before & after spare room to cool man cave office Pinterest graphic

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.

*This post contains affiliate links. See disclosure page here.

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UPDATE 8/2022: This room has now been turned into a nursery. Come see the reveal here! 


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.



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.


Before shot messy spare room with neutral wall colour


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 . . .


Before shot cool man cave office with neutral wall colour


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.


After shot cool man cave office dark wall colour bespoke wooden desk and monochrome self-adhesive wallpaper



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 . . .


close up Rustoleum chalky finish wall paint


As you can see, the walls in this space were crying out for a lick of paint.


before shot cool man cave office with neutral wall colour


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.


Before shot cool man cave office with neutral wall colour and dark skirting


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


After shot cool man cave office with dark wall bespoke wooden desk and brass lighting

After shot cool man cave office with dark wall bespoke wooden desk and pin board



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.


monochrome self-adhesive wallpaper Keith haring design


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!


after cool man cave office with bespoke wooden desk monochrome self-adhesive wallpaper and pin board


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).


after cool man cave office with bespoke wooden desk monochrome self-adhesive wallpaper


Two problems we faced:

The radiator:

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.


bespoke wooden desk for cool man cave office


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.


bespoke wooden desk for cool man cave office with dark walls

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.


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.


After shot man cave office with dark wall colour brass fixtures and monochrome self-adhesive wallpaper


Next to the desk are the invisible shelves . They are made from metal and can hold a decent weight of books.


cool man cave office with dark walls pin board and book storage



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!




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. .


before shot cool man cave office with stairs bulkhead and neutral wall colour

cool man cave office seating nook rattan back rest and pattern rug with neutral cushions


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.


cool man cave office seating nook rattan back rest with neutral cushions



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!


after shot cool man cave office with dark walls and large wall art

PEG HOOKS: A place for my husband to hang his jackets in his man cave office. These are from La redoute.


after shot cool man cave office with dark walls and peg hooks


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!


bespoke wooden desk for cool man cave office with dark walls and brass fittings


I think that’s everything! Let me know what you think of this man cave office in the comments below!


after shot cool man cave office with dark walls large wall art and bespoke wooden desk


UPDATE: This room has now been turned into a nursery. Come see the reveal here! 




Before & after spare room to cool man cave office Pinterest graphic

Before & after spare room to cool man cave office Pinterest graphic




ikea skadis pegboard hack Pinterest graphic



DIY Under Stairs Homework Station Pinterest graphic


  1. 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!

  2. This is brilliant. I have been inspired to give a makeover to my room as well and considering using worktop as a desk. I will also be using Alex cabinet but I was wondering if I can use heavy duty brackets otherwise I was considering legs from ikea . Another question I had was that do we just put the worktop on top of the cabinet it should to be glues or screwed? thank you

  3. 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!

  4. This whole project is fantastic; the best part being the seating nook. So brilliant! May your husband enjoy his enviable new office space.

  5. The transformation is wonderful!! Your ideas are very functional and esthetic! Where did you find the wooden box?
    Keep up inspiring us!

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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