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Posted by on Nov 22, 2011 | 6 comments

From Unfinished Basement to Music Lover’s Man Cave

From Unfinished Basement to Music Lover’s Man Cave

When I married my husband I also married his expansive music collection, including Lionel Richie and Marvin Gaye, gospel music, country, old school rap, and hair bands.  He, like his father and grandfather, has a deep appreciation of all music genres.  This, coupled with the need to collect things, has led to a LARGE collection of cds.

When we moved into our house four years ago we put the cds away in boxes and housed them in our one basement storage closet.  But, as the years passed, and we accumulated toys and new heirlooms, the need for space became a HUGE issue — I mean, when is space not at a premium in our area?!

Unfortunately, the cds were not going away and Paul wouldn’t let me get a storage unit so we needed to figure out a solution both of us could agree on.  This is where the man cave discussion came in:  We decided to do a basement renovation to turn an ordinary unfinished basement into a music lover’s, kid-friendly man cave.

Now, as easy as this may sound, it actually took all of four years to complete.  Yeah, we got a little sidetracked there for a few years.  Apparently kids and life can do that to you. I’ve posted some pretty gnarly before pictures of our basement, some sort of finished pictures and then the final product.

Initial basement renovation (4 years ago) with cinder block walls and no carpeting.





The picture below is a sad but pretty accurate picture of how the basement looked for a LONG time. The walls were finished and new carpet was added, but there was no style.


Finally, about two months ago, my husband caught my design bug and finally got around to completing his man cave. He framed all of his vintage concert posters, bought a large world map (from Ikea), got his reclining leather chair and, last but not least, found cd/dvd wall shelves from Ikea to store and showcase all of his beloved cds. With these shelves, we were able to store his cds without having them in the way and taking up much-needed space.  I also think they really frame out the whole room.


Here’s a close up of his cd collection and the shelves. Note: for all you music lovers out there, don’t judge the selection based on this close up.  Apparently I picked the worst part of his selection to photograph.  Who knew?!


Every man cave needs some Bruce and a bowling trophy.


When you need to cover up a large wall, you can never go wrong with a ginormous map.


One last shot of the wall behind the couch:


I have to say I’m definitely a fan of how it turned out. I love that the Ikea shelves were only $5.99 each and that we scored the random sized frames on Amazon for $15. Sadly we had four of them framed at $75 a pop before we realized we could buy them at a fraction of the cost online — you live and you learn.

I hope this inspires all of you men out there to follow your dreams and design the man cave you’ve always dreamt of. Best part of the hubby’s man cave? It’s also the kids play room but you’d never know it at first glance — everything is neatly tucked in this storage closet. Oh the joys of hidden storage options.


Ladies — it’s okay to give in once in a while, your husbands will be so happy to have a place to showcase their sports paraphernalia, yearbooks, trophies, t-shirts or whatever other random things they’ve collected over the years that they may give you back the large closet they are now taking up with their “stuff.”  Just goes to show, there’s always a solution. Just don’t wait four years like we did!

Posted by Sara


  1. Gosh, it looks great! Well done!

    • Because the mancave is in the basement, the cielings bulkheads that we placed them on are about 6 ft tall, 2 ft lower than the 8 foot cieling in our basement.

  2. love the cd shelving up high…good thing your hubby’s tall! :)

  3. bautiful…
    I have the same problem with my Husband CD’s but you give me an excelent idea!!!

  4. Hi Sara! LOVE the basement redo from don’t! :) Question: did you reframe all the walls to finish them? I am in first thought of a basement bathroom redo and it has cinderblock walls, so I can’t frame in for drywall ~ thinking of skimming the walls as we have in much of the rest of our home, but not sure if it’s okay to do in a basement? Hm…

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