Saturday, January 10, 2015

Why I love the Man Cave

The space for all things Man
So I will admit it was a big decision to build our shop, both for financial and sanity considerations.  To go through our County's extensive permit process, the concrete pouring, building, wiring, etc. in order for Big Ag to have his Man Space was a huge commitment, and represented a significant change to our property. 

There were times, such as when the county told him he'd have to set back the building another 8 feet  --right into the middle of my vegetable garden -- when I thought I'd come unglued from it all. Thankfully that particular kerfuffle turned out to be an error, and so the building was constructed as originally planned.

And this fall, Big Ag finally removed about 90 percent of his tools from the main garage and into the man cave, freeing up some garage space for me.  This, in turn, freed up almost all of what we'd come to call our "homestead room," which is actually a glass-walled conservatory on the northwest side of the house. 

Empty now, but good things are coming.
It's always been a mystery as to its original purpose.  When we toured the home before buying it, it was a home for several of the many cats the owner had.  It's the size of a small bedroom, so not huge but still a useful space. And so we, in turn, used it for what we needed -- keeping All Things Homestead there -- and stuff like Mason jars and lids, beer and wine-making supplies, animal feed, and assorted empty feeders and waterers got to live in a glass-walled space with spectacular views.

But now that all the tools are in the Man Space, my homesteading supplies have been able to come home to the garage, which frankly is a much better place in terms of convenience.  The conservatory is not accessible from inside the main house and it is therefore required that one walk around the outside of the house (through whatever the temperature extreme or weather) to get to what you need. It was not so bad most of the time, but on extremely dark nights or in the pouring rain, it was less than fun. Now I just open the door to our attached garage and walk in when I need a Mason jar or empty wine bottle.

And so, finally, the conservatory can be what I'd always hoped it could be - a place to grow things out of season and not suitable for our outdoor climate, and maybe a place to relax among the tropical and tender plants.  Right now I have lettuce seeds starting there, and in March two five-gallon containers with a Meyer Lemon dwarf tree and a Bears Lime dwarf tree will arrive from the nursery to live in the climate-controlled conditions it provides. I'd like a dwarf orange tree, too. We get far too cold in this section of California to be able to grow citrus outside, and I truly miss having it available, whether it's for ceviche, key lime pie, or just an orange fresh off the tree.

I'm also thinking I may install a comfy chair and rug and make it the place I go to read in the afternoons.  If the chair pulled out into a single bed it could also be used as a way to sleep outside without actually being outside, although with just a single bed it would have to be a solo experience I guess. It gets wonderful sun in winter and has lots of screened windows to let in the breeze in summer, which is great. Who knows, maybe I'll even take up painting and use it as my studio.  

Any way you look at it, repurposed spaces are exciting and it's always nice to be able to put  part of your home to a new use and see where it takes you.   


  1. Love the man cave! My husband sure needs one. I am now inspired.

    1. It's SO nice for him to have all his things in his own space...with no wife wandering in and complaining it's a mess. If it's a mess it's his own business lol, doesn't impact me one bit!

  2. Ahhh how nice to have a new designated space for all that! Congratulations on the completed construction. The conservatory/reading lounge sounds so nice. I love that room!

    1. PS-is that a massive Rosemary shrub in bloom right outside the window?! If so, I am crazy jealous!

    2. Yes, it is, I have three massive rosemary shrubs right outside. Right now they are in full bloom and the bees are very happy. And of course it smells just wonderful!

    3. I do love that room as well, and can't help thinking it should be something special, you know? I can see turning it into a hippie-type retreat, full of plants, Persian rugs, pillows, futon and hookah pipe, haha.