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A man cave does not have to be as glamorous and costly as a year-round golf course. Mr. Millholland said the ideal man cave is a little more low-key, because a space that becomes too grand, with a big-screen TV, a pool table and a bar becomes the space that everyone in the family and the neighborhood wants to enjoy rather than a personal retreat.

For many men, the garage becomes a man cave, either as a place to tinker with a car or to set up a workbench for projects.

“You can add a TV and refrigerator in the garage to make it more comfortable to hang out there longer,” Mr. Millholland said.

Other options for man caves that are more low-key include a basement room that becomes the TV-watching space, with perhaps a bar and a game system.

Mr. Millholland said man caves sometime come into being as a side note to another remodeling project.

“When we build a deck and remodel a kitchen and expand the family room, then existing spaces sometimes get repurposed,” Mr. Millholland said. “If the family room off the kitchen gets bigger, than the basement recreation room becomes more available for a man cave. Most men want the best for their family, so they are willing to take the leftover space for themselves.”

While a man cave with chintz fabric and pink walls would be unlikely, the concept of a man cave easily can be translated into a personal space for anyone in the family.

“Everybody ought to have a room in the house that is theirs alone, where their chair, their stuff will always be there and always be untouched,” Mr. Millholland said. “As life becomes busier and more complicated, it’s just nice to have a space to relax and recharge.”