The Ultimate Man Cave

Stereotypes are funny. Two weeks ago I walked into the home of Gavin Dawson, the morning radio personality for 95.5FM the Game. My job was to create the Ultimate Man Cave for Gavin and his roommate Jesse. After 15 minutes, Jesse’s outspoken charming wit couldn’t contain itself. “We thought you would be some over-the-top gay guy, or some stuck up chick interior designer … but you are cool.”

I hear that sometimes. Well, not exactly in those words, but the same type of message. What Jesse expected was for me to start telling him and Gavin what they couldn’t keep in their room. They also expected me to tell them what color the room would be, what it was going to look like, and how bad it was the day I entered. Instead I asked these questions, followed by their responses.

Q: What pieces do you really want to keep and why?
A: Both: Crack, Heroine Poster (Picked up at random one night on the street in NW Portland.)
A: Gavin: Blazer artwork, 7up bottle signed by Trailblazers in 1977 NBA, a Trailblazer console table
A: Jesse: A glass red cock, er, Rooster… and my plants
A: Jesse: Superhero glasses

Q: What do you like about the room?
A: Both: The comfortable sofas
A: Gavin: The open concept and my LCD television
A: Jesse: My maps

Q: What don’t you like?
A: Jesse: The cheap entertainment center, most of the wood furniture
A: Jesse: The lamps
A: Jesse: The recliner. (I thought for sure they loved it.)
A: Gavin: “The floor kind of sucks.”
A: Gavin: “I don’t know, you tell us.”

Q: How many people do you entertain? What do you do in this room?
A: Gavin: As many as possible, seating for 12 would be ideal
A: Jesse: We have people over all the time. We want this to be a better looking hangout.

Q: What is missing?
A: Both: A Bar
A: Gavin: Two Televisions

Q: How do you want people to describe your man cave after visiting?
A: Jesse: “We want the room to say, ‘We are classy, sophisticated guys that happen to like sports.'”
A: Gavin: “Yes, what Jesse said.”

Q: Do you have any colors in mind?
A: Both: “You pick.”

Their answers were entertaining and I liked Gavin and Jesse almost instantly. After our Q & A I took some measurements and photos and dashed off. I would lie if I said this room wasn’t a bit overwhelming at first. The sponsors and I had less than two weeks to pull off the Ultimate Man Cave, and this room needed a lot of work. In reality, when I sat in my studio considering the guys wish list and the floor plan, the whole process became relatively simple. I realized the space needed the same things most of my client’s homes need. It lacked unity, a cohesive color strategy, ample lighting and a floor plan that addressed functionality of the room. Once I addressed these areas, the next step was making sure every request (yes, every request) of Gavin and Jesse’s was addressed in the room. Otherwise, who was the room for anyway?

Shellie Grammer, an advertising and sales professional who works for Portland, Oregon’s 95.5fm the Game and KXL radio 750am was the brainchild of the Ultimate Man Cave. She made this all possible by procuring advertisers and sponsors. Our all-star lineup was awesome with deadlines, deliveries and fixing last minute hiccups. We were a team and everyone pitched in as needed. I am proud to have put together such an exceptional room with such outstanding partners.

We incorporated sports, maps, superheros, a Rooster, a bar, two televisions, mix matched furniture, and one crack and heroine sign – and it worked. We added some special touches. Jon Smith from Artistic Innovations created an awesome world map for the bar wall, giving Jesse what he loved. Jon also created two sports figures and a tone on tone blazer logo with a contemporary feel. Believe me when I tell you Jon can paint any idea you envision. He is also a joy to work with. He is always prepared, always over delivers, always kind, and the job is on time.

Darryl from Hanson’s Handslick Painting also worked to make sure the existing oak furniture that we kept for the project was stained and painted to bring a cohesive look to the furnishings we purchased from Furniture Outlet. He also made a custom frame for the crack and heroine sign, making the guys keepsake a little more refined. (Okay, only a little.)

We transformed a room that many professionals would be afraid to tackle. I enjoyed the challenge. Any designer can clear a room and invest in all new pieces and accessories to make a space look good. I help you create an exceptional, personalized spaces showcasing what you love. Or in the case of a man cave, I can even make your stuff look good.

Enter to win your own Ultimate Man Cave here through April 13th 2009.

Angela Todd Studios For Custom Furnishings

Angela Todd

Owner & Principal Designer

Angela is the principal designer at her boutique interior design firm in Portland, Oregon. She is known for creating memorable backdrops that tell the story of fascinating and intricate lives.

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