When it comes to man caves, the latest thinking is that bigger isn’t necessarily better. Case in point: Men are now carving out “mini man caves” in, um, closets.It’s sort of sad, yes. But this is a real trend.Even celebs are doing it! Just ask Matt Rutler, the soon-to-be husband of pop star Christina Aguilera. Even though one would imagine that they have money and space to spare in their 11,000-square-foot home in Los Angeles, Rutler revealed on CBS that he’d turned his walk-in closet into a pint-size retreat, saying, “Even if I’m coming in here for five minutes, I want to feel like I’m home.”
We have to wonder, though: Couldn’t the future Mr. X-Tina get more than just a walk-in closet as his manly hangout? We don’t have an immediate answer, but it turns out he’s hardly alone.
Regardless of the allocated space, “it’s important—for a man’s sanity—for him to have his own space in which to relax,” says Jason Cameron, a contractor and former host of “Man Caves,” a TV show that creates these customized refuges in homes.As for why the testosterone taverns have shrunk from full basements to closets, professional organizer Monica Friel believes this trend has much to do with men feeling more comfortable declaring their unabashed fondness for … walk-in closets! She’s worked with a number of male clients who’ve asked her to help them turn their clothes room into (tiny) male hangout palaces.“Men really love their closets and love the feeling of knowing exactly where everything is,” she says.
Of course, the main driver for the trend is all about the overwhelming desire for many men to take control of some kind of personal space in the home they share with their wife and children—even if there may not be much extra room to take control of.“From a psychological perspective, even a smaller space for his masculine self-expression is better than nothing,” explains Jonathan Bennett, a certified counselor and life coach. “Simply having somewhere to fully be himself is ultimately what matters, whether it’s a large man cave with a fridge and a flat-screen TV or a closet-size space with his high school medals and trophies.”