Just a little while ago (like 25,000-30,000 years or so) on the northern slopes of the Pyrenees Mountains in France prehistoric man ventured into a hole in the ground and unknowingly started a trend that would evolve into an important part of the modern home in America: cave decorating. Why did early man decorate the caves?
Well, according to an article I read, early man didn't really live in the caves. There is no evidence of ongoing inhabitation and early man was always on the move looking for food. But in these caves many colorful drawings have been found depicting all kinds of symbols, animals, and birds. The theory is that the drawings were either a way of communicating or that they had some religious significance. Some believe that the Cro-Magnon shaman would enter a cave, go into a meditative trance of sorts, and paint magic animal pictures on the wall perhaps to ensure a successful upcoming hunt. It was likely a place of ritual ceremonies. The cave was, and is, a very special place.
Today's cave, or man cave to use the correct term, is a very desirable feature in today's home---at least to the Cro-Magnon man member of the family. The man cave can be anywhere in a house but it feels more natural when it is below ground in the basement. I think that is an instinctive type of thing. Having the man cave in the basement also has a lot of advantages. It was mostly likely full of stuff you didn't use anyway, it's also cooler in the summer, and you may find it easier to get plumbing to your new wet bar. Besides that, if you put that pool table in the second bay of your garage you, not your wife, will be parking outside in the snow.
Every home needs a space for the hunter of the family to relax and enjoy his passions whatever they may be. Seriously, the man cave is a huge craze now and is an important space to have in any home. It is so big that The DIY Channel has a weekly television show where they custom design and construct the ultimate man cave for some lucky cave dweller. The program is co-hosted by NFL great Tony "The Goose" Siragusa which is kind of fitting considering the importance of football to the modern cave man. You can also visit http://www.diynetwork.com/ to see what they have been up to.
Today's man cave most likely still has paintings on the walls and its inhabitants also go into self induced trances from time to time. However, the paintings are usually of football, baseball, NASCAR, or golfing heroes. The modern cave dweller probably didn't paint them but still worships them like the shamans did thousands of years ago. Beyond the paintings the similarities usually, but not always, end. The modern man cave can be very simple, but more often than not it will have high end finishes, custom woodwork, comfortable furniture, lots of lighting, the obligatory pool table, wide screen TV with surround sound, stereo systems, and a wet bar.
The man cave is, after all, a sanctuary to find solace in and a place to worship the sports gods so it might as well be really cool too. My point is (I think) that if you have a knock-your-socks-off kitchen for the Mrs. and a man cave that meets all of the spiritual and aesthetic requirements of the modern shaman, you probably can sell your house a whole lot easier! It is, after all, still a jungle out there.