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Category: Excellence

Man Caves

Posted on October 23rd, by Michael Menn in Excellence, Home Office. Comments Off on Man Caves

Man Cave (How far we have come or haven’t)!

Check out our man cave ideabook on Houzz!

For the American renovation television series.

A man cave or manspace is a male retreat or sanctuary in the confines of one’s living environment, such as a specially equipped garage, spare bedroom, media room, den, or basement. The term “man cave” is a metaphor describing a room inside the house where “guys can do as they please” like a caveman, without fear of upsetting any female sensibility about house decor or design. Paula Aymer of Tufts University calls it the “last bastion of masculinity” (yeah!)



While a wife may have substantial authority over a whole house in terms of design and decoration, she generally has no say about what gets “mounted on the walls” of a man’s personal space. Since it may be accepted that a woman has input on the decoration of the rest of the house, a man cave or man space is in some sense a reaction to feminine domestic power.


Man caves have multiple purposes: they are a place to be alone, to be away from women and from female sensibilities, to indulge in hobbies, and to hang out with male friends. It is, loosely, … Read More »

Trading Possessions For Passion

Posted on July 17th, by Michael Menn in Business, Excellence. Comments Off on Trading Possessions For Passion

Every time I blog about living with passion and purpose, some readers tell me “that sounds great, Michael, but I don’t have enough time to do what I need to do, let alone pursue my dreams.”


My response? Do you have one hour a week? That’s the small amount of time I commit to defining my priorities and setting time boundaries — and the benefits are remarkable.

Even if your hectic schedule seems beyond your control, devote just one hour to slowing down and ordering your life around what matters most. When you do this, you’ll become more aware of the opportunities awaiting you and how to seize them.


How should you spend this hour? There are two key tasks:


1. Define Your Core Values


Your core values are the fundamental life principles that are most meaningful to who you are and what is most important. For example, my main core value is family. If you’re not clear about what yours are, your life can move in directions that are a waste of your time.


When you use your core values as the benchmark for all your decisions, you can quickly and easily simplify your life. So start off your hour by putting these values in … Read More »

Embracing Excellence

Posted on January 4th, by Michael Menn in Architecture, Change, Excellence. Comments Off on Embracing Excellence

Over the last several years, I have seen – and I’m sure you have to – a growing trend by consumers to seek design solutions that are not traditional.

Instead, clients are demanding designs that are customized to create environments that meet their unique and what some might even call atypical lifestyles.

As a design professional, I crave these opportunities, because they let me flex my creative muscles and provide the personalized design that is the essence of what I do.  These opportunities also allow me to solve challenges I would not encounter in a more “traditional” project.

Recently I had such an opportunity to flex my creative muscles and create a unique living environment.  Before I tell you what I did, let’s review what I mean by a more “traditional project.

Spaces in the 80’s and 90’s were designed around the themes of “bigger is better” and “formal is better.”  It was not uncommon to see massive kitchens that would not have been out of place in an upscale restaurant, and bathrooms that featured swimming pool sized tubs and showers that resembled car washes.  Formal areas such as the living room and dining room were designed with the apparent goal of replicating palaces … Read More »