The rise of television stations such as HGTV and DIY Network has shown Americans one thing: we can do whatever we put our minds too. Although most people don’t enjoy gutting a room in their house and completely transforming it, many men do enjoy creating a unique space in the home that screams masculinity. The mancave is quickly becoming a fixture in the American home. However, most men go for the standard wet bar and/or billiards room.
What has happened to our collective creativity? Surely it is possible to create the ultimate man cave without resorting to the standard approach. One way to add a classic touch of masculinity to that man cave is by assembling a collection of battlefield maps as a decorative theme. This concept offers a great theme for veterans, scholars, and historians alike. So, where do you start?
What’s Your Focus?
A wall map collection always begins with a focus, and so too should your battlefield man cave. Who you are as an individual will determine the direction of your battlefield motif. For example, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps may choose to adorn the walls of his man cave with battlefield maps from some of the Corps’ greatest battles in history. From its first action aboard the ships of the Continental Navy to the islands of Iwo Jima, Guam, and Saipan, the Marines have charged ashore in defense of America for 231 years.
On the other hand, a scholar with a background in the Revolutionary War may choose to stick to that specific conflict and collect maps from the Battle of Bunker Hill, Washington’s victory in Trenton, and campaign of Saratoga, and the siege of Yorktown. Who you are and what you’re interested in should guide your focus.
Develop a Focus, but be Creative
The trick to creating the perfect battlefield motif in your man cave is to develop consistency in the battlefield wall maps you collect, but also add variety. As alluded to above, you want to have a consistent theme in the maps you display in your man cave. A veteran of the Navy might collect numerous navigational charts used by naval forces from the Revolutionary War through the Union blockade of the Confederacy to the island-hopping campaign during World War II in the Pacific.
However, a bunch of navigational wall maps may get boring, and too some people they could all look the same. Add unique pieces to your collection that stand out in the room while still honoring the motif. Sticking with our US Navy veteran, consider these two options for unique battlefield maps:
- Conflicts that never occurred: In the course of war, plans are made and maps drawn up for campaigns that never take place. A Navy veteran could seek out copies of maps drawn up for the invasion of Japan that never took place.
- Ship blueprints: OK, blueprints of a ship aren’t technically battlefield maps, but the leap isn’t a big one to take. Blueprints are maps guiding the construction of a ship, and aircraft carriers are the ultimate weapon of war in the 21st century. Consider hanging a blueprint of one of America’s massive, modern carriers as a unique piece.
Prepare to Settle
Battlefield maps from many of the world’s conflicts are hard to come by, so you may need to settle for reproductions. Don’t be discouraged by this fact though. Reproductions are cheaper to purchase and easier to care for over time. At the end of the day, those reproductions add the quality and character you are looking for in the ultimate mancave.