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How to Create the Ultimate Outdoor Man Cave

Goehring & MorganApril 14, 2015

What comes to mind when you hear the term "man cave"?

When you think of the traditional man cave, a sectional couch and plasma TV in the basement come to mind.

But today, more men are trading the basement for a man cave that traditionally has been the centerpiece of the home — the kitchen.

According to a 2012 University of Michigan study, men in their 30s to 50s cook more today than the generation before them did, preparing eight meals a week. They also watch food shows on television about four times a month, the same amount as women.

Basically, this shift means that cooking now is about as manly as any rugged sport. Many men now need spaces where they can explore their culinary skills, and that means more home builders are designing kitchens — both indoor and outdoor — with men in mind.

But if you already have a dream indoor kitchen, consider an outdoor man cave with all the top-of-the-line cooking equipment you’ll need. Here are a few tips.

Don’t Skimp on the Appliances

A good grill is the heart of any outdoor area, but when you’re creating the ultimate outdoor man cave you need multiple grills—ideally both gas and charcoal so you can switch between equipment depending on the meal you’re making. Make sure your grills come with side burners, which are great for controlling heat when preparing appetizers, sauces and smaller dishes. You’ll also need a large work space where you can prep and store any cooking tools. Wood pizza ovens and beverage bars and setters also create the ultimate all-in-one showpiece.

Focus on Functionality

When it comes to kitchen design, men tend to focus on “work flow or machinelike efficiency,” architect James Ramsey of New York’s RAAD Studio told the Wall Street Journal in a recent article, “Are Kitchens the New Man Cave?”

Functionality is critical when designing outdoor space. As far as layout for your outdoor kitchen, keep the grills at the perimeter of the space, which will keep smoke in an isolated area and outside of your main entertaining space. An island with a sink is essential for an outdoor kitchen, too, and some clients also install large refrigerators or a custom rack for dishes and utensils so that everything they need is within arm’s reach.

Don’t Forget about Entertainment

The ultimate outdoor man cave wouldn’t be complete without the right entertainment setup. To do this, you need an AV setup with top-quality music and speakers. Outdoor TVs with an anti-glare screen that can withstand wind, rain, humidity and nature’s elements also are a must for a great entertaining space.

And don’t forget about seating. Sectionals with foot rests designed in all-weather fabric will make your space more comfortable. Some clients also opt for sunken living rooms with fire pits for a more defined area.

If you’re moving your man cave outdoors, following these tips will help you create the ultimate kitchen and entertaining area. From big screen outdoor TVs to outdoor kitchens that rival traditional ones, your man cave may never move indoors again.