Every man needs his own space for a little rest and relaxation. Whether that place is a garage, spare room or a basement; you can use technology to build a sanctuary away from the daily pressures of work and family. In this first column for ManSpace, I thought we could start with some simple ideas and strategies to get you thinking and help transform any room in your home into the ultimate retreat.
Starting with the basics
Before any technology is installed, you must lay down the groundwork. Correctly wiring the room or garage is the first step to converting your space into a men’s oasis. An internal cable structure, such as additional Category 6 and Ethernet cabling, will allow for future upgrades and modifications whilst also increasing the functionality of existing devices.
Wireless internet is a finite resource and is currently shared across all the devices in the property. With home technologies advancing daily, wireless internet will soon be unable to maintain the speed and bandwidth required to keep up. The National Broadband Network promises to deliver internet speeds of up to one gigabit per second – 40 times faster than current broadband – so hard-wiring the internet in your home will provide a functional environment for the future.
Sound and vision
Any manly retreat requires a great AV set up. Depending on your budget, you can customise a system to suit your interests – and your imagination is truly the limit.
Movie buffs can install a high-definition digital projector or a 70-inch HDTV to create an indoor theatre. Sports lovers can watch several different sports feeds on the one screen at the same time so they never miss a game. Golfing enthusiasts can install a virtual driving range with a gaming console and wide screen TV. Avid motorists can experience the true excitement of racing games with a home racing simulator complete with joysticks, driving wheels and pedals.
The core component of every home theatre system is a high definition TV; these commonly range from $150 to well into the thousands. While it’s easy to concentrate on the size of the televisions, it is also important to consider the additional capabilities of the television set. When looking at TVs, you should consider the following functionalities: digital video recording (DVR), video-on-demand (VOD) and HDTV programming to keep up with future innovations.
For perfect sound, our clients choose the crystal-clear Sonos PLAY:5 system. Unlike other SONOS speakers which are installed throughout the home, PLAY:5 is a compact music system that will wirelessly stream your music library, online music services and radio stations in any room. Even if you are converting a shed or basement, the digital sound structure provides precise sound reproduction in any space with no loss of audio quality.
Keeping it safe and sound
Once you have installed the technology and equipment in your oasis it is important to ensure it is kept safe and secure, particularly if you are converting a garage or shed that is detached from the home. You can introduce security technology such as alarm systems with digital camera and security lighting to protect your space, which requires minimal interaction from the user.
Monitored alarms can be effective, but it’s worth remembering that alarms are often ignored by neighbours; particularly if they are falsely triggered by pets or weather. Security cameras let you see what is happening in and around your property, which can alert you to an intruder before they enter your home. Digital security cameras can be programmed to start recording when the system senses motion. This footage can then be viewed by a monitoring service or a 10 second grab of the vision is sent to your smart phone for you to assess the threat. The new generation of Internet Protocol (IP) cameras are high-resolution, allowing for premium image capture.
Smart security lighting is another way to protect your domain. A motorised motion-sensor tracking light follows movement, allowing it to track an intruder on your property and increase visibility for the occupant. When installing security lights, you can a use LED lighting which is energy efficient and lasts much longer than traditional globes.
We have seen some amazing man caves, which have included a 30 seat, wide screen movie theatre and a 3D virtual driving range. With smart technology you can design a man cave to suit your budget or passion and create the ideal oasis for years to come.
If you have any questions, you can contact me via Twitter: @lior_rauchy