Fortunate is the man with a space to call his own. Whether you’re single or married, having a room or the entire garage to retreat to is a welcome respite whatever the time of day.
For some guys, it doesn’t even have to be a room. It could be an underused space like the old living room in Gilbert Natividad’s house.
The fortysomething dad of one turned it into a mini gym with free weights and a couple of basketballs. It’s also where he keeps the family’s bikes that he and his wife ride on weekends. Arranged against the walls are several aquariums that house his growing collection of Flowerhorn fish.
“I also put in a basic sound system. It’s not much but at least I have a place of peacefulness inside the house,” Natividad said.
Chef and vlogger Luigi Muhlach has also put together a man cave that will do double duty in the house he shares with his wife and kids.
“It’s going to be a postproduction studio for editing videos and photos. We’ll be concentrating on our social media content,” he told Lifestyle. “In fact, our production staff lives here with us already.”
Inspired by dad
Network executive Ronald de Dios (not his real name) is already picturing how his space would look once he and his family move into their new house next year.
“I’m planning to convert the attic into my man cave. It will be designed theater-style with a 75-inch TV or projector, a PlayStation 5 for my sons and a below-zero freezer,” De Dios said.
He recalled that what really caught his attention when they were looking at houses was the attic. Unlike other attics that are cramped and narrow, this one was wide with a high ceiling.
“My dad has a small bar at home so I think that’s what influenced me to consider having a beer freezer and mini bar incorporated into the design,” he said.
It reminded this writer of that scene in the HBO limited series “Mildred Pierce” starring Kate Winslet where she gets an impromptu lesson on interior decorating from one of the characters. “A home isn’t meant to be a museum filled with Picasso paintings and oriental rugs. It’s meant to be furnished with things that actually matter.”
The space won’t be De Dios’ alone, though. “I love inviting friends over for drinks at home. Problem is my wife wants the attic to be her design and work area,” he joked.
Garage as den
Dennis Claro (not his real name) is one of the luckier ones. His interior designer wife allowed him to take over the entire garage and even designed it herself.
It’s filled with the things he holds dear, like his four motorbikes, a collection of historical books from the 19th century including a second edition of Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere” and a topnotch sound system. On weekends Claro can spend two to three hours just listening to his music and destressing.
At the height of the strict lockdowns, he would drive one of his motorcycles to work in the hospital where he works as a surgeon. “There were hardly any people on the street then so I could get to the hospital in minutes. Now, however, it’s just too hot. By the time you get to the hospital, you’re drenched in sweat.”
Although patients or the hospital can contact him at all hours, he makes it a point to keep his phone on silent so he can enjoy his morning coffee in relative peace.
Since the pandemic and with the start of online learning, Claro has had to share the den with his children who attend their classes there. This hasn’t stopped him from indulging in his hobbies like collecting vintage magazines especially those published during martial law. His son has shown an interest in the magazines his father collects.
“This is history that has already been written. These don’t change unlike the ‘toys’ I used to collect and that I’ve lost interest in,” Claro said. INQ