I know I should be posting more frequent updates on the man cave, as things are progressing.  But there are only so many hours in the day……and I can’t find the rest:)  So, a lot has been going on.  We got the floors in…yay!  We chose to do pine 1×10’s.  We went back and forth between laminate, faux wood tile, and pine, and finally decided on pine, for a number of reasons.

1.)  It was the least expensive.

2.)  It was the most rustic.

3.)  It was the most natural.

4.)  I liked it best;)  haha…although Ry did like it too!

So I went away on a little mini weekend vacation and came home to the pine floors installed.  This room is 20’x26′ and we also have a step and we spent close to $500 on the pine boards.  We could have done it quite a bit cheaper if we picked up boards at Menards, but seeing as though this is flooring, we wanted to make sure they were really straight.  You don’t tend to get a lot of those from Menards;)  So we ordered them from our local lumber yard.  Trust me, for the extra $100-$150 it was SOOOOO worth it.

Here are the boards installed pre-stain.

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So when I got home from my vacation, I was biting at the bit to stain these suckers….

We decided to do the floors darker than the ceiling to help balance out the visual weight of the ceilings.  I mixed up one gallon minus a quart of dark walnut stain, with a quart of classic gray, both by Minwax.  I tried a practice board and sent the pic to the hubby and this is what it looked like.

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He okayed the color and a staining I went.  I used a stain mop head, one that you attach to a broom stick.  I knew I had to lay the stain on think in order to get into the cracks, and I wanted it to soak in so that if we got a scratch on the floors the stain would have gone deep enough so it wouldn’t scratch light.  So I started staining away..

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Super dark right??

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You guys, the hubby nearly killed me.  He came home 4 hours after I stained and the floors were still wet and he hated them.  They were too dark.  Wait a couple more days I said.  Didn’t work.  Wait til we get furniture moved in here I said.  Nope.  Give them a month and they will lighten from walking on and the sun.  Still didn’t work.

He was sick.  He wanted to puke.  And I loved them.  I think he thought I had a conspiracy against him:)  I knew they’d lighten though, I just put the stain on super thick, it would take longer than normal to dry.  We gave the floors two days and they still had a bit of shine to them.  I know if we walked on them a bit they would have lost that, but instead we took steel wool and rubbed them.  Well I did four rows, ry did 14 :)  And it helped lighten them enough to make them bareable.  And then we moved in furniture and they started looking even better.  And before you know it, Ryan could tolerate them.  I dare say he loved them, he would never admit to it….but I think we are getting there.


I love that you can see the nail holes and it made the planks pop all the more.  And that there is variation in the coloring.  So after the stain dried, we moved in our furniture.  We had bought this furniture over a year ago now when the man cave was just coming into being.  It was Ry’s motivation to get the job done;)  He bought it from a guy at work, it was only a year old and had a sleeper sofa (that still had the plastic on) and two recliners built in.  A must for the hubby since I banned recliners in the house.  Any other women with me??


The man now has three:)  It’s so hard to get an accurate picture of this space with all of the lighting.  The gray is warmer in person and the ceiling is cooler.  It’s not nearly as orange-y.  Ironic:)


Ry did an amazing job with these built-ins on both sides of the fireplace.  They open for storage, and each of the kids has claimed one for their bed:)  I just bought the foam and cut it to size, and will make some covers for them out of drop cloth.


We are going to make a console table for behind the couch that follows the line of the couch.  It will only be about 14″ deep and I’m thinking we’ll make it out of some 2″x12″ barn wood we have still.  It’ll have legs made out of the industrial pipe and then we’ll hide little metal barstools underneath it to create stadium/bar seating.


We made the mantle out of an old 6″x6″ barn beam we bought from a guy ryan knows.  We loved the character it had.  You can even see where they marked it “W” for west so they knew where it went.


The old nails add character as well:)


and it’s officially a man cave now that there is a dead animal in here.  I tried to tell Ry that I think that one is enough.

He didn’t buy it:)

We just ordered the antler chandelier that will hang from the center beam, and still have to get a rug and big tufted ottoman for the living area.


And this wall will have a lower and upper cabinet on the right hand side which will hide the mini boilers which heats the floors, and house a pizza oven and other goodies.  We are hoping to have a beverage fridge to the left of that with floating shelves above.  And the rest of the wall will be the wall of death. :)  A gallery wall of dead animals I suppose.  I’m so excited.  wink. wink.


Ry has claimed this spot for sunday afternoon naps:)  And yes, that is yet another stump:)

And this is what you see when you are snuggling on the couch.


So we still have a list of to-dos, but are so happy that we can kick back and watch a movie as a family together in here now.  And since we’ve been paying for it as we go, we try to knock off one thing at a time:)





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  1. Your man cave is beautiful. We have a cabin up north in MN, and it looks kind of like your room. We laid pine planks too, but didn’t stain them. We sanded and put on a layer of poly. After 1 season they started to darken and look very dirty, and they won’t clean up. We have found out from flooring people that the pine needs a good sanding now that it is “dirty” and several coats of poly to keep them looking nice. You might run into a similar situation, so you might want to consider a matte poly to keep them looking great for years to come!

  2. Wow, it all looks so amazing!! Even the deer head looks great, and that is something only you could make look so good (in my personal opinion) ;) !! xo

  3. This is just an amazing space. It looks great. I love your sense of humor about the dead animals. I tend to agree. My husband is not a hunter but I have many friends whose husbands are, so I get to enjoy such things from afar. Enjoy your beautiful space.

  4. Very COOL! What type of nails did you use to install the floor? Were the pine boards tongue & groove? Just curious.

    1. The boards were not tongue and groove, just regular 1×10 straight boards:) way cheaper that way! We actually nailed them down with 2″ finish nails and the air nailer, but we didn’t have some pop up so we used finish screws as well in some spots. The heads on the finish screws are super small and look like a nail mark, they worked really good! Oh, and we put down resin paper underneath before we laid the floors:) hope that helps!

  5. Debbie Gordon

    Allie, I love the floors! May be a dumb question but is the foundation raised or slab? If it was slab how did you nail the boards down?

    1. It is a raised floor, it was concrete that we hD to bust up and then added doing a plywood floor with in floor heat in it. So we just laid down resin paper and air nailed them to the studs:)

  6. Where do you buy the foam to make your bench cushions? That looks like exactly what I need for similar benches my husband built. I love the idea of using drop cloth for the covers, too!

  7. Looks awesome!!
    I think my husband needs a man cave like that as well – one deer head in our house is more than enough for this girl :D Looks like a little slice of heaven in there – great work :D

  8. Looks wonderful!!! I will NOT be showing Brian, or he will want one too! One room with deer heads, antlers, flying ducks, and a pheasant hiding in the reeds is all I can handle! Ha! You are one talented woman, Allie!!! (And Ryan!!)

    1. We did not do a poly. We thought about it, but we are okay if it gets worn in looking…adds to the rustic. And we didn’t want any sheen, even a satin. :) I’ll let you know how it holds up:)

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