For Jason Cameron, host of DIY Network’s Man Caves, the bare-bones man space just won’t do. Testosterone must seep out of every corner.

“It’s got to speak to you that this is a man cave when you walk in,” said Cameron.

Cameron, and co-host Tony (The Goose) Siragusa, a former NFL defensive lineman, have created two dozen man caves in the nearly two seasons they’ve been on the air. Most are sports-related, with memorabilia, but they’ve built at least one cigar lounge and a wine-tasting room.

The man caves they like have two things in common: There’s a bar, often with a Kegerator, and a flat-screen TV, the bigger, the better.

Some things that cannot go into the man cave: Scented candles, potpourri, tchotchkes, doilies, baby toys, neon paint colours and plants (“guys usually kill them anyway,” Cameron said). The list grows longer with every new episode of Man Caves.

Cameron recommends earth-tone paint colours, or as he puts it, “earthy man colours,” and hard surfaces, such as rock, brick and steel.

“It’s back to the cave thing,” he said.

Comfortable seating is a must, and the lights can’t glare on that giant TV.

Monica Pedersen, a designer on HGTV’s Designed to Sell, is creating her husband’s cave in their suburban Chicago home and also has design tips for this masculine-charged space.

She recommends wall units that fit all of a man’s stereo, TV and gaming components, with room to spare for future purchases. IKEA and JCPenney, for example, sell good media walls that start in the $300 range, she said.

“If your man falls more and more in love with his space, he’ll need more storage,” Pedersen said.

If the cave has windows or doors to outside, Pedersen suggests protecting electronics in cabinets behind glass doors.

For seating, she recommends something sectional that can be added to later, preferably in leather because it holds up well and cleans up easily. When it comes to furniture, “look for options,” said Pedersen. “Your guy might want this right now, but you might want to add to it or change it” later.

Caves don’t have to have that dark, 1970s feel, she said. “We have this idea in our head of the man cave and how it’s going to look, but it can be clean and sleek looking,” she said.

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