Society today is truly working to eradicate traditional gender roles. The transition can be seen through everything from the eclectic clothing choices, to the workforce, and even to home design trends. One specific house feature in particular is experiencing an extreme evolution: the man cave. While thoughts of a sports-themed basement or garage generally come to mind, the new man cave challenges those notions. The kitchen, surprisingly, is where men are now wishing to be heard.
As traditional gender roles waver, more and more men make their way to the kitchen (the amount of time men spend in the kitchen has tripled since the 70’s). And with this necessary and overdue societal shift comes a similar shift in home kitchen design. Cooking has earned a new reputation as masculine, competitive, and individualistic, and these traits have intermingled with the transitioning design elements of the “new man cave.”
Design Elements of the Masculine Kitchen
The function and aesthetic of the kitchen as the new man cave varies from traditional elements of design. Men tend to choose features that are bold, dramatic, and complex, as opposed to practical and subdued. Here are a few particular design elements that seem to dominate the new direction of kitchen trends.
- Dark and bold color. Men tend to choose kitchen colors that are inoffensive and neutral, yet bold enough to add an inspiring ambiance. Black, charcoal grey, or another potent shade offset with white are typical choices.
- Focus on gadgets, technology, and hardware. Perhaps perpetuating stereotypes, men are typically drawn to power and innovation. Rather than a subdued and practical approach, they often go bold with their choice of high-tech gadgets and equipment. Their choices in hardware and finishes tend to be metal-based, like chrome, bronze, and stainless steel. Their choices in gadgets tend to be adventurous, cutting-edge, and heavy duty.
- Obligatory second sink. By including two sinks, more than one person is able to work at a time. Two cooking zones allows couples to prepare meals side by side, which is a growing trend in today’s family dynamic.
- Tough, elevated countertops. With more men in the kitchen, counters must be more accessible, or higher up. Raised countertops (by a few inches) are a typical request, along with low-maintenance, tough surfaces. Stain and scratch resistant stone products are popular amongst men.
The classic kitchen design elements are transforming alongside the evolution of gender customs in our society. The man cave as a speciality room is simmering down, while the growth of the masculine kitchen is amplifying. Home design trends tend to parallel the structure of society, and the new man cave is evidence of that.