/ / / Taking the Man Out of the Man Cave! REVEAL

Taking the Man Out of the Man Cave! REVEAL

The Man Cave is Now Bright and Inviting!  A 7 Week Journey.

When I look back at the start of this massive makeover, I was unemployed and mildly depressed. By the end of the makeover I now have new home improvement skills, a new job, and made a new friend. Pretty amazing for a 7 week time frame! Happiness and joy fills my heart now 🙂

Many thanks to those that supported me during the ORC: George (my new friend), Theresa who cheered me on and painted with me, and my Mom who help validate ideas and finishing touches. Without George and his physical help I couldn’t have done this!

More than just a makeover occurred during this One Room Challenge™. It was a personal journey.

Please support the fantastic sponsors who supplied products for my One Room Challenge: Warner Spray Tech, Progress Lighting, and Amerock Cabinet Hardware.

Trade Skills

Hurray! I am SO happy to be sharing with you the final results of my massive man cave makeover this week!

Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite adult beverage because we have a LOT to cover in this reveal


Let’s review the trade labor I’ve summoned for this “one” room challenge:

  1. Semi-pro Painter
  2. Faux Painter
  3. Upholsterer
  4. Electrician
  5. Wall Paper Hanger
  6. Hardware Installer
  7. Furniture Assembler
  8. Handy Man
  9. Seamstress
  10. Interior Designer

Can you believe it? I sure can’t, but now understand why I am bruised, my carpal tunnel is in full swing, and I ache all over.  This was a LOT for anyone to tackle, but darn-it when I set a goal I am determined to complete it!

The Before

To appreciate the “after”, I need to remind you of the before and why I decided to overhaul the space in the first place. It was dark, uninviting, and uninspiring. Apparently perfect for teenage boys LOL! It was time to make it my space and a grown up entertaining space for my college aged son.

The Man Cave, The Office, The Sitting Area Before the Makeover

The After

Are you ready to see it now? It’s been hard for me to fully appreciate the change because it happened in little increments every day.

Reveal-Taking the Man Out of the Man Cave-Loft Area-Navy and White-Porch Daydreamer

Shop the Man Cave and Office

The Office Space

It all started with the light fixture! I loved the lines, then found the wall paper, and hardware to reflect the shapes in the fixture. Ah then the plate! That gorgeous plate came from a trip to Italy and was in a drawer. It is so nice to be able to display it again in my home.

A Bad Can of Paint Forced a Beautiful Change

Bad paint forced white walls and I think they make the BIGGEST difference. I saw white walls in my mind, but my body was saying “no more painting”.

That bad can of paint forced my hand because I couldn’t touch up where I’d removed the drapery rods and spackled. Adding a Morroccan Star white and navy peel and stick wallpaper to the back wall now opens up the space and makes it look larger.

Final Reveal-Office Space-One Room Challenge-Porch Daydreamer-White and Navy_Logo

Relax and Unwind

Mick has a new coordinating dog bed and hops up on his hind legs in the mornings when I ask “Are you ready to go to work upstairs?” He loves to be up here now as much as I do!

Bench and Mick-Office-ORC-Navy and White copy

Plus where there used to be a noisy and ugly refrigerator there is now a bench for Mick and me to sit on and look out the window.

Sometimes you just want to get away from the monitors and office chair! Of course I spray painted the feet silver to give it an upgrade too.

Bench Space-Office-OneRoomChallenge-Thibaut-Porch Daydreamer

The Thibaut watercolor floral pillow was the PERFECT find to tie the whole room together. That scarf I took off one day and threw it on the bench and thought it looked great!

The Little Details Make the Difference

The office chair slipcover was a NO SEW project that only took 30 minutes with a little pinning and hemming tape. It’s SO CUTE and makes a basic chair look custom.

Slip Covered Chair-Amerock Hardware-Marble Counter-Navy Cabinets

The polished nickel hardware reflects the light and the shapes in the Moroccan wallpaper too! The finish complements the white and navy cabinets.

Mood Board-Office-One Room Challenge-Porch Daydreamer

Inspiration Station

The white board/inspiration board was a fun find during a trip to IKEA! It’s tempered glass like the cool artwork and great find at Home Goods.

I’ll use this board with a dry erase marker too for my many to-do lists.

Marble Contact Paper-Office-New Counter-One RoomChallenge-Porch Day Dreamer

Faux Marble is Fabulous

Marble contact paper to me was a huge upgrade to the dark brown veneered counters and was only $50 plus my free labor!

The L-Shaped desk now has 2 ergonomic work stations complete with pull out keyboard trays – yep I installed those too 🙂

Now in the evenings I can actually see the desk.  The new light fixture is so much brighter and more effective than a can light and lights up all of the counter space.

Affiliate links included, but all items were hand selected by me!

Shop the Office:

Click the names to follow the links

Marble Film for Counter Top | Westfall Progress Light Fixture | Amerock HardwareOffice Wallpaper | Gray Storage Bench | Inspiration Board | Similar Artwork for Office | Office Chair | Roman Shades | White Frames | White and Navy Ticking Striped Fabric | The Pillow SpotNavy Dog Bed | Pom Pom Throw | Aluminum Monitor Stand | White HP Printer | Similar Stand Magnifying Glass

Wall Paint: Valspar Swiss Coffee

Upper Cabinet Paint: Valspar Swiss Coffee

Lower Cabinet Paint: Valspar Indigo Streamer

The Sitting Area

Everyone needs a place to spread out their work, eat lunch, play games, or stare out into the great outdoors and daydream! This space is it.  What is really cool about it is that it opens to an upstairs porch, so we can even go out there and watch the world go by…

Color Changed Everything

This is where a LOT of labor and painting happened and I attempted a driftwood faux paint finish on the table.  Remember the chairs and table used to be black and the chair covers dark blue and red?


Faux Driftwood Finish

Is anyone interested in a tutorial on the faux finish to create a Driftwood finish? I thought it came out really well considering I made up the technique!

Driftwood Gray Faux Finished Table

Here’s a close up of the driftwood finish for you.

Re-purpose Old Accessories

Using trays is an inexpensive way to give a table or space personality. Within this space are 3! One on the office counter, the table and coffee table.  Two were in the donation pile and the other was on top the mini refrigerator.

With a little navy paint, they all got a new life!

Sitting Area-Long Table-Driftwood Gray Table-Porch Daydreamer

Personal Pictures = Personality

Do you have pictures on your iPhone and can’t enjoy them regularly? One of my favorite additions to the sitting area and room in general are framed photos.  They are an inexpensive way to add art to the walls and also a great way to enjoy trips and special events.

The three photos on the left are a triptograph of my son’s first tackle in college football! The two photos in the silver frames are from a coastal walk in Sydney, Australia with my son. Every year or so they can be easily updated with new memories!

The View from the Sitting Area

Now the table is a space that I can enjoy, spread out to work, and the family can play games here too when they are visiting.

I don’t have a kitchen table only an island, so this extra sitting area is a great addition to the home. The view from here is spectacular.

Shop the Sitting Area:

Click the names to follow the links

Navy & White Pillows | Rug Under Table | White and Navy Ticking Striped Fabric | Silver Frames | Similar Drum Shade | Decorative Glass Ball | Similar Moroccan Box

Wall Paint: Valspar Swiss Coffee and Wetland Clay

Chair Paint: Valspar Swiss Coffee

The Man Cave 

This is where my SON comes in and football was the major theme of the room. Believe it or not most of the accessories in the room were already there and I just moved things around to make it look better!

Custom Drapes on the Cheap

Adding navy trim to the plain white drapes gave them a more sophisticated and custom look for very little money. It was a very inexpensive and easy NO SEW project that creates big impact!

New-Man Cave-Sectiona sofa-Coffee table-Football Themed

Boy to a Man Chair

Don’t you think the new navy chair is a HUGE improvement over the gaming chair LOL! The price was amazing and with free shipping from Amazon I had to buy it!

The new pharmacy lamps fit the narrow space and the satin nickel finish complements other home decor in the man cave.

Football Snow Globe-Porch Daydreamer-Man cave

Fun Football Accessories

This football snow globe was the best find during my son’s and my annual pre-Christmas trip to the mountains in Blowing Rock, NC. We found this in a gift shop and had to buy it! Now it has a prominent position in the room to bring back a memory of a fun day together.

The Sports Book with a turf cover was hiding in the office bookcase and now adds a great pop of green in the middle of the room to evoke the football game day feel.

IKEA Brimnes-Media Wall-Porch Daydreamer-Man Cave-Navy and White

Entertainment is Everything!

When it comes to a man cave, the entertainment wall is the key to a great room. The original media furniture was too big for the space and needed to be replaced.

The white against the tan walls pops and the new layout provided space to hang some key footballs from our favorite teams plus display childhood trophies.

My favorite update to this space was framing a T-Shirt from his first college homecoming game, so we can remember it for years to come!

Replacing the original IKEA hardware with the same hardware as found in the office creates a much higher end look to very affordable furniture.

Personal Items in the Book Case-Man Cave-Porch Daydreamer

It’s All About MJ

That is my son’s nickname and when I found lighted letters I had to buy them! They are on a timer and turn-on at sundown, so his name is in lights 🙂

He’s always been a voracious reader and I wanted to remind him of that by displaying some of his favorite book series!

While organizing, I found all of these little pins he used to have on his back pack in elementary school.  They are so cute and many came from jobs that I had or from business trips.  He loved having them to look at, when we weren’t together.

Then of course is the mini-football helmet from his first pee wee tackle football team – awwww 🙂

Man Cave Looking into Office-Porch Daydreamer

Shop the Man Cave:

Click the names to follow the links

Similar Football Mural | Floating Shelves |Ikea FurnitureWhite Drapes | Pharmacy Lamps | Similar Galvanized Letters | White Pillow for Couch | Navy Chair | White and Navy Ticking Striped Fabric | Navy & White ThrowSimilar Rope Décor

Wall Paint: Valspar Woodland Clay

Coffee Table Paint: Valspar Swiss Coffee and antiqued

Taking the Man Out of the Man Cave

Now you see that it’s possible to have a man cave in light and bright colors versus the dark rich tones typically used. It’s now a family space that is multi-use and one I LOVE to be in everyday.

I didn’t completely take the man out, but instead put the woman into the man cave!

This went from his space to our space and I can’t wait to debut it to my family next week during the Thanksgiving holiday.  I see a fun game night bubbling up at that newly painted game table.

Sit on the sofa with me and look back at the office where www.porchdaydreamer.com was turned into a reality…

Office-Man Cave-Navy and White-Porch Daydreamer

One Room Challenge Logo

That’s all she wrote, folks! Have fun enjoying the other reveals from the guest participants at The One Room Challenge Reveal Week and see final projects of the 20 Featured Designers. 

Thanks to the sponsor Calling It Home and media sponsor House Beautiful for hosting this fun event.

I am looking forward to seeing my fellow design blogger friend’s reveals: Kelley Nan and Driven by Decor!

To follow along from the beginning, I’ll link the previous weeks here:


Now on to holiday decorating 🙂

Porch Daydreamer


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  1. Wow! Just so very proud of you -seeing the before and during in person makes me so happy to see this BIG reveal – I know all the tremendous thought, labor, sweat, re-do’s, learnings……you did it all with a smile and never let anything detour you- just like you do in life – love you!!!

  2. Tracey what an amazing transformation- I love that you brought a lady into that man cave! I am so inspired by all your handiwork. And I am so thrilled to hear it has been such a positive journey on all fronts! I can’t pick a favorite part but I’m borderline obsessed with your office nook. Just incredible- now enjoy that beautiful space you poured your soul and sweat into!! xo

    1. Kelley,

      It means so much that you stopped by my reveal and took the time to comment! Your words mean so much. You have been a great inspiration to me (plus super helpful) and I am one of your biggest fans!

      Your office makeover inspired mine. Now we both have pretty places to work ?

      Love your bedroom reveal and glad that chandelier got straightened out. It is gorgeous!

  3. What an amazing transformation! I love how creative you are and the love and work you poured into this makeover was all worth it because the result is amazing. Congratulations!

    1. Hi, Linda! So nice you stopped by to see the reveal. Thanks so much for your kind words and it’s nice you see how creative I had to be on a budget 🙂 Hope you are well and we bump into each other soon!

  4. OMG, can’t believe it’s the same space?! Fantastic room! Everything is beautiful but I love the desk area the most! Cheers to us for another room done!

  5. Tracey, I love what you did with the man cave. So creative in the style choices and your own two hands. I know it was hard work but it all paid off. I’m sure your family will love spending Thanksgiving enjoying the new bright space.

  6. Tracey,

    Your space turned out beautifully! Love the classic blue and white and how it is no longer a man cave but still comfortable enough for you and your son to hang out in. Well done my friend!

  7. I love the lighter, brighter color scheme and how you were able to re-use and transform many of your original pieces. Many readers like me aren’t bloggers or professional decorators and don’t have sponsors or other “ins” to receive discounts or free product, so re-using and transforming is necessity for most of us. You did an awesome job. I look forward to more of your posts.

    1. Linda, thanks for saying that and I’m glad you appreciate my efforts to keep the budget as low as possible but create a huge impact. Re-using and re-purposing really is a great approach to re-decorating!

  8. Wowza! Great job! Love seeing all that you’ve done. So glad you’re feeling happier. Love the design touches!!

  9. Such an amazing transformation! The space is now so light and bright! This has been such an inspiring round of the ORC. I really appreciated the extra week.

    May you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    1. Kris, thank you! I definitely put my heart, BODY, and soul into this makeover 🙂 Your navy and white room is beautiful too! We could swap wallpapers and roman shades in our rooms. Great minds think alike!

  10. You created a beautiful space! Congratulations, and on the new job too! The faux marble is genius when you want to avoid a budget-buster. I hope your family enjoys this space!

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