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.