I personally really like the old English pub look for man caves. If you’re the same keep reading to find out how to pull off the look perfectly. Even if you’re not completely sold on the idea, keep reading and see if there are some parts you like. You can just pick certain parts and mix and match with other looks to get something you like.
Still confused about what a man cave is? Read this first.
Get the English pub look for your man cave.
A quick Google image search for “English pub” reveals there are quite a few things that are similar across many of them. So if we can replicate those things, there is a good chance you get the décor and atmosphere you like. So what are the common factors that make an English pub look like an English pub?
There are two parts of a typical English pub. The inside and the outside. If you’re building a man cave, you’re likely only worried about the interior but looking at both parts can give you a feel for what it’s all about.
What can we see in these pictures? There are some commonalities we can see in these pictures. The biggest differences are these;
- Wood. Wood and more wood.
- Pictures of historical or athletic people
- Beer signs
- Pub games
- A wall of liquor behind the barman
- Old stuff on shelves
Let’s get a little deeper into these characteristics of the English pub.
Parts of an English Pub
Wood is by far the most common thing in an English pub. Usually the wood is stained in a dark color. And when I say wood is everywhere, I’m not kidding, take a look above or here; Google
One of the most transformative changes you can make to your man cave is to change the ceiling. A wooden ceiling gives a really intimate and cozy feel to a room as well as something very different from most other rooms since most people don’t have wooden ceilings in their house.
There are some options to convert your boring concrete ceiling into a wooden looking one. If you want to DIY your wooden ceiling check out this post.
Another major part of the English pub is the floor. You’re more likely to already have wooden floors than wooden ceilings but they’re still pretty rare. Maybe the combination is a bit too much for you but it sure looks awesome. You can play around with the colors a little to make it suit your tastes more. That said, a “traditional” English pub would have everything stained dark.
Real wooden floors are expensive and require some maintenance. They look great and if maintained last a very long time. It will be an awesome investment in you man cave if you’ve got the budget. And you’ll have to be less careful since some wear and tear only gives it more character.
If you like the look of wooden floors but not the price and hassle, there are some options for you. Here is a top 5
Of course the bar in an English pub is made of wood. If you want a bar with stools and everything in your man cave, is up to you. It certainly helps if you want to have friends over. If you’re going to spend a lot of time alone in your man cave, having a whole bar might be overkill.
There are a lot of things that go into creating a home bar. Check out this post to find out more: How to create your own man cave bar.
And of course most of the other furniture is largely made out of wood as well. The tables, chairs shelves etc. are usually made of wood. Often the wood is combined with metal or leather. Depending on the exact look you’re going for, you can go for more processed or less processed wood with a more “natural” look.
Buying all wooden furniture can be quite expensive. DIYing your own furniture can be a great way to save some money, acquire some new skills and create something unique. If you’re creating an English pub, that’s a great home for your DIY furniture. The furniture you create might not be welcome in the rest of the house. Let’s be honest, your first creations might not be your best work ever anyways.
If you’re new to woodworking and DIY furniture, here is a good place to start: Ted’s woodworking (CLICK). It features thousands of woodworking plans for everything you can imagine. Big and small projects. Indoor and outdoor projects, etc. They come with easy to follow instructions, list of necessities and some plans even have videos. The only thing is that the database is so big, it can be a bit difficult to find the plan you want. This program can help you create good DIY furniture from the start.
It’s paid so if you’re not sure if this program is something for you, try it out first. Sign up here to get 50 DIY plans for free.
Pictures are the most common way to decorate a place. There are some categories that are commonly seen in English pubs.
English pubs often have a quite traditional and historical feel to them. Part of that feeling comes from the pictures on the wall. Historical people, locations and events make for great pictures and paintings. You could go for English history but your local history could be a great alternative.
Sports pictures are another popular way to decorate. Many men are huge sports fans of some sort or another. There are plenty of famous pictures of sporting events. Since this is an English pub, the sports should be soccer and cricket, maybe tennis.
In the end you shouldn’t put up pictures because it “fits”. What are your interests? Do you have anything you really like and want to put it in your man cave? Go for it. It’s likely you’ll enjoy them more than pictures that “should” be there.
Make sure to read more about decorations for specific interests here.
3. Alcohol signs
English pubs are usually local spots to hang out. Often people like to drink the local brands of whatever they drink. Online (Amazon) you can get pretty much any brand sign of any brand you can imagine.
A great alternative to a normal sign is a neon sign. Read more about neon signs here.
Funny signs and posters that have phrases that are usually inspired by the consumption or effects of alcohol consumption. They can be a bit tacky but some are pretty funny.
To keep these signs English, go for one with a “Stay calm and keep XXXXXX” phrase.
4. Pub games
Not all pubs have these but a large percentage of them do. They’re called pub games for a reason. The most popular ones are pool, billiards and darts. A dart board might not be the most beautiful thing in your man cave. But if it’s being used, the atmosphere and enjoyment you and your friends get out of it are definitely worth it.
Having a pool table takes up quite a lot of space, especially if you take the space the players need into account. A pool table obviously provides a lot of entertainment for the people that play the game but the price and space it takes up might not be worth it to you.
Also read this article to find out more about the space requirements of a pool table.
A dart board is much easier to place. You only need a bit of empty wall and probably something on the floor to prevent many holes in your nice wooden floor. It still needs some space but much less than a dartboard. Of course you can have more than one pub game in your version of an English pub.
5. A wall of liquor behind the barman
What’s a pub without alcohol? In any English pub, or any bar around the world for that matter, contains its fair share of alcohol in many shapes and forms. Many men don’t refrain from enjoying a drink in their man cave themselves. If that’s you, you might want to start on a nice collection of your favorite beers and spirits.
Alternatively you don’t drink but want to be able to offer people that come over something. In that case you can also get a couple of things to drink.
But if alcohol is not your thing at all, it’s not mandatory of course.
To start, you need some bottles. Which bottles to get?
If you like to drink what’s in the bottles, get the ones that contain what you like.
If you’re just getting them for decoration or offering to friends, you have some other options. The first one is to get some bottles of popular drinks that are safe to offer to anyone. The second option is, is to get the bottles you like the look of. With this option they don’t even have to be full!! Just get empty bottles for decoration.
Now you’ve got your bottles, you need to put them somewhere. Here’s where you can make or break your décor in my opinion. You want your collection to be seen and not just throw it in a corner.
The easiest way to get storage is to install some shelves. Shelves can actually look really cool depending on the materials used and the way you install them.
If you really need a lot of space, you can get a shallow bookshelf. This may not look as nice but it sure provides plenty of space for all your drinks.
Another cool idea is to use wooden crates. Flip them on their side so the opening faces sideways. Mount them on a wall to get them at the right height. This solution is great if you’ve only got a couple of bottles but want to show them off in a cool way. If you don’t have crates, you can get them here on Amazon.
My personal favorite is the whiskey rack. Like a spice rack but, you guessed it, with whiskey or other drinks. This would also be a great first DIY project. If you don’t know how to start woodworking, try these 50 free DIY plans. It’s a great way to get into making your own furniture.
6. Old stuff on shelves
Another common thing in English pubs seems to be old stuff. If you’ve got anything lying around and you like the look of it, go for it. Put it on shelves and on other surfaces. Things like coffee grinders, kettles, tools, etc. Basically everything you could find in your grandparents house.
If you need appropriate shelves for your pub decor, check out these shelves on Amazon.
A pub needs a menu. Many pubs advertise their available drinks and foods on a blackboard. While you probably won’t charge people for their consumptions in your man cave, a blackboard is still a nice way to decorate your bar. You can list drinks you have, your rules or just another fun message.
There are three options to put up a blackboard.
- A Traditional blackboard. Look for one with a wooden frame.
- Blackboard wallpaper
- Blackboard paint
Blackboard wallpaper and paint are great to cover a whole wall with. Behind the bar for example.
Step by step plan
Above are some suggestions you can implement to get that British pub decor. For people that want to go all out, here is a step by step plan to go from “normal” to “English pub”. We’re only looking at the interior since that’s what most man cave creators will have to focus on.
- Clean out your space so you know what you have to work with.
- Give your space a fresh coat of paint. Choose a dark color for surfaces that won’t be covered in wood.
- Add wood anywhere you can. Floor, ceiling, walls.
- Build the bar. A real custom wooden bar can be quite expensive. If you’re building a bar with “kitchen parts”, try to add a wooden counter top and wooden panels to the sides.
- Create storage space/shelves behind the bar and fill them with bottles and old decorations.
- Decorate. Hang pictures, old signs, a blackboard, dartboard, etc.
- Add furniture that fits the decor. Made of wood and metal. Dark colors.
Above you can find several ideas that can help you get the English pub décor you’re looking for. Some have more of an impact than others. In my opinion getting a lot of wood in your man cave is the biggest piece of the puzzle. But please pick and choose what you like, to create the man cave you want for yourself.
If you liked this article, check out the rest of the site.