Recently, a series of photographs of the inside of a really awesome man cave went viral on Reddit, and for good reason. After tweeting about the awesome room, I thought “that’s not enough.” I wanted to get to know the man behind the room, and find out what his story is and how he made such a seriously awesome room. I talked with him a little bit, and you can read more about him and his room below.
Electrogent: Please introduce yourself for those who don’t know who you are.
Rune: My name is Rune Jensen, and I live in the city Esbjerg in Denmark. I’m 33 years old and work as a key account manager for a company that deals with renewable energy such as solar power, etc. I live with my girlfriend in a 3 story, newly-renovated house from 1936 we bought a couple of years ago.
The man cave or gentleman cave/cigar lounge is located in the cellar and when we first moved in it was a storage room with heating pipes running through and big-ass spiders. We put up a fake wall to concealed the pipes and made it into a guestroom. However a guestroom is a silly room and never gets used–because, to be honest, who really wants their guest to sleep over?
Next to this room there is another man cave with poker table and foosball table (and other stuff) that I made this when we first moved in. But I would like something more cozy, with a relaxed atmosphere. Both my girlfriend and I are pretty nostalgic and love shows like Mad Men and Boardwalk empire, along with old gangster movies. We also love old classic jazz, so we thought it would be more fun to have a room where the atmosphere would compliment those interest. We always say that we should have lived in the 50′s or 60′s instead. So to be honest, this was my actually girlfriends idea…
E: What do your family or guests think of the room? Is it more of a solitary room, or do you entertain in there as well?
R: Everybody pretty much loves this room. I can’t tell you how many facebook profile pictures that has this room in the background. When you close the door, it’s like you’re somewhere else completely, because it is so far from the design/interior of the rest of our house. We use it for when we have friends over for dinner. After dinner we move downstairs to have a drink and talk. I also use it for when I have male friends over, we just sit and talk, listening to jazz, smoke cigars and drink whisky and rum, until the early morning hours. Therefore, this room is designed with engaging in mind. Lastly I use it for reading, and generally relaxing, listening to music.
E: Where did you find all the great furniture in the room?
R: Well a lot of the furniture is used, and found through something similar to Craigslist, like the couch and chair, the small tables along with the cupboard (just installed some light in it), and the old lamps. The bookshelves, frames and the lighting above the frames is from IKEA. The globe-bar bar is new and bought on Amazon. All the small things were collected through flea markets, Ebay and the like. Those are the most fun to find. Like the cigarette duck, which I found on a vacation in London, in Camden market.
E: What is your favorite part of the room?
R: It’s hard to pick a favorite, but the B&O record player makes the room. It just wouldn’t be the same with a CD player or a streaming device. Those old records with that special kinda scratchy sound that only records make, really helps set the whole atmosphere of the room. For the same reason we only have old jazz records–so if you don’t like jazz, you can go wait in the car.
E: Are you still renovating the space, or are you going to keep it like it is?
R: It’s pretty much done. It has now reached a point where if I add new stuff I’m gonna have take something out, and there’s nothing I would remove. That being said, you never know. After reading literally thousands of comments on Reddit and Imgur I found two things that is missing: skirting boards and a vintage rifle.
E: If a guy asked you for advice about how to turn a boring room into an awesome man cave like yours, what three pieces of advice would you give them?
R: Theme: You need an overall idea for the room. What is the theme? Poker, music, sports, cigars etc.? Then start to collect inspiration online.
Colors: Pick 3 or maximum 4 basic colors you’re gonna work with, in my case it’s dark red, gold and dark brown. Use the colors to set the room, like wallpaper, furniture, frames and carpet/floor. Make sure they contrast and compliment each other.
Details: Attention to the small things is what pulls the whole thing together. It is also what takes the longest, even years, but it’s what makes the difference between something good and something great. When people enter the room they say “wow!”, then they walk around to look at all the small things and say something like “look at this!” or “I remember this!” When they finally sit down and then see the duck on the table…and I then show them how it picks up a cigarette, they just start to laugh out loud – this is what details do. Theme, colors and details also applies when putting on clothes by the way.
E: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
R: People seem to think we’re super rich because of this room, at least those who see it online. However, this is not the case, as the room hasn’t been that expensive to make. As long you are willing to put some time and effort into it, you can find many good deals on the Internet. I have put together the approximate cost of the major items below.
Couch and chair $250
Small table $25
Lamps and lamp table $100
Frames and light $150
Bar globe $150
B&O Stereo $200
Fake fireplace $100
This however does not include whisky, rum, cigars, books, records, and all the small things, and depending on taste and rarity this can of course cost more than the whole room together.
Thanks to Rune for sharing his awesome cigar room/man cave on the internet for the world to see, as well as for answering my questions and letting us get to know him better. I love seeing rooms like this in houses, as it proves that interior design (traditionally a “girly” skill) can be manly if you do it right, further illustrating the changes to manliness in modern times. You can see all the photos of his awesome room here.