Adam Piggott

Gentleman adventurer

The rebirth of the study.

A piece over at Men of the West on the return of the traditional study.

The Man Cave needs to die. What is it besides a place for never-has-beens to hide from adulthood and to relive and revel in the achievements of their betters?

The man-cave was a banishment, a place for men to escape their wives but only if they had first been given permission to do so by her. Typically, the man-cave would be grudgingly relegated to the lowliest part of the house. She would only give you that bit because even she couldn’t envisage wanting to spend time down in the basement or out the back in the rickety shed.

In contrast, the study is often to be found in the best room in the house. A grand room with depth and good light, and most importantly a large fireplace. A man does not and cannot ask permission to take such a room – he simply takes it. It is his by design. He needs such a space and his wife understands and supports this. She supports it because she married him because he stands up to the world, and such resolve requires regeneration. A study is red-pill made manifest.

The study is for contemplation, relaxation, and enjoyment. While a man-cave is hung with paraphernalia that celebrates some sports team or beer conglomerate, the study is entirely about you.

Second, it is your place. Everything in it should be YOURS. Not your favorite sportsball team’s, not your alma mater’s (unless earned by you), not your kid’s or your spouse’s, YOURS. Sound narcissistic? It’s not. It’s a stark reminder of what you have done and what you should be proud of. Pride is much like water; too little will kill you just as too much, and far too many men have been told to not take pride in what they have accomplished.

You should try to make your study as free from distracting electronics as possible. Perhaps a good quality turntable for inspiring music. My study, however, has always had my computer, as a study is also a place for work and for the nurturing of ideas. Due to the fact that I have always rented I have been hamstrung in regards to my ability to personalise and design my study. But with our first house purchase looming on the horizon I am very much looking forward to creating my new space so as to properly ferment my ideas and plans.

Here is what my study has to have:

A fireplace with a real wood fire.

Leather armchairs and perhaps a Chesterfield sofa.

Quality bookshelves lined with my books.

Table and floor lamps – not a down-light to be seen.

My cigar humidor and lighting tools.

A well stocked drinks cabinet.

Framed photos of my rafting days, as well as various pieces of art that I have collected over the years.

My vintage Bang & Olufsen turntable.

My antique desk.

During this time of holiday and religious celebration, what better way to contemplate the new year than with the planning out of your future study.


Merry Christmas.


Podcast #69 – The connection episode.


  1. TechieDude

    I have one of these. It’s called my office. It houses my guitars, amps, computers, books.

    No fireplace, but access to the patio.

  2. David Moore

    Adam, your finest article yet! A real man is the king of his domain and should always have a throne room.

  3. David Moore

    The more I think about this one, the more I think it’s at the absolute truth of everything that is wrong with modern western culture. I have to head out now and pick up my new motorbike while designing my new study…..

  4. The first time I heard this expression and saw an example I thought, what did your wife increase your allowance? I opted for a Franklin Stove, a wonderful piece of early Americana, instead of a fireplace. In the space for the fireplace I put a double set of French doors for light and access to the dry style garden.

    The study should be a place for serious minded business as well. All of our important discussions occur there, and all our important records are kept there in fireproof safes. The boys also learned that entering should include a certain sense of trepidation or awe as the occasion permitted. The only comment my wife has ever made is “this place needs to be aired out, it smells like wet dog and horses.” I hadn’t noticed…

  5. Dave

    That’s a great list Adam. Stirs the soul just thinking about it

  6. Neville

    All my life I wanted a Study as you describe, Adam. For various reasons (such as wrongly-sized and -shaped house, oh yes, and a divorce and financial shellacking), it’s never happened. Got it all designed out though, and as they say, the plan is father to the realisation …

  7. Andy in FL

    If I’m not in my study, you can find me at the Carlton.

  8. One other important point: the study must be 100% child free. All children in the house must be absolutely terrified of going in, too scared to even peek in at the door, and talk in whispers when outside the door.

    • Adam

      Yes, as Allen said in an earlier comment, if they must enter then it is with a sense of trepidation and awe. I would also add foreboding.

  9. My dad’s idea of a vacation was two weeks alone in his study.

    Off-topic but your readers may enjoy my latest blog post and free book link, for I have found gainful employment and will turn off my blog light for the next few months :

    The Employment Kampf Trilogy and Free Book Link :

    • When my wife and I relocated we gave most of our furniture to my son as well as getting rid of a lot of belongings. But in our new locale found that we needed more than just a mattress and couch. I was using cardboard shipping boxes for nightstands. So started going to estate sales where I furnished my apartment for pennies on the dollar. If you go on the last day of the sale they usually mark everything half price. Anyway have noticed interesting sociological patterns : the women have masses of ceramic and glass souveniers and the men all have some kind of workshop with their prized possessions – blocks of fine hardwood and tools. Also have been in a few wealthy older homes designed before television and notice there will be a large den and a side room intended for music or study.

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