Retro man cave, photo from 'The Selvedge Yard'

There’s a longstanding tradition of puttering and Mr. Fixitism associated with backyard garages.  But let’s face it –   a lot of the work done in Dad’s garage/workshop amounted to a thinly veiled getaway from mundane chores and family obligations. Naturally with the advent of increasingly high tech digital entertainment the manly retreat migrated indoors to dryer climates often leaving the garage or workshop to moulder. It’s hard for a table saw to compete with a massive high definition screen and surround sound. The arrival of the Laneway house however signals the newly synthesized Man Cave + Workshop, re-united in the back yard where they belong.

The benefits are huge because the complete acoustic separation allows noisy groups of Hockey or World Cup fans to cheer and rant to their hearts content.  The presence of a bathroom, fridge and microwave makes for a disruption-free getaway where loud entertainment, car repairs and woodwork can happen with the Plasma screen in view and sound system blaring.  So the ‘testosterone zone’ can rise again in its’ more custom upholstered, digitally enhanced form. Surprisingly this has some inadvertent environmental benefits because, like the live work studio (we’ll talk digital cottage in further installments), there’s no need to drive the crew to pubs or sports bars.  Hidden irony: We can celebrate car culture by driving less.

Supposedly men have trouble multi-tasking.  But the gathering of all-things-male under one roof at least gives us the chance to disprove that myth because the tools are right there next to the entertainment unit.  So Men – it’s time to rise up and reclaim the multi-tasking high ground.  The Laneway house is your time to shine…and drink and channel surf etc. etc. all at once.

The Laneway pad is also a great personal design expression opportunity for both genders because, while the Man Cave gets all the Mac Daddy Macho decor, the rest of the house can free itself of Moose heads, Harley memorabelia or Tuck and Roll upholstered mini bars.  Don’t get me wrong here.  The Laneway can be a retreat for either gender and accommodate a wide range of uses, which we will get to – but the happy proximity of cars, tools, cold beer and big TV’s: well that’s just too good to pass up. Party on Garth.

The Wayne's World Man Cave