While the dark, dingy man cave with the mismatched recliners has gone the way of videotapes and TV antennas, new homes come with options that the man-of-the-house will love. Here’s a look at new ways to find rooms for guys to hang out.

Recreation room
Many new homes have a bonus room that can be turned into a well-designed recreation room. Add a pool table and some arcade games and this will soon become the heart of the home, where Dad can spend time with family and friends. Before buying that long-dreamed-of pool table, be sure to measure the room. You will need at least a five-foot area around the table to be able to play because cues are four to six feet long.

Wine cellars
While not all homes have cellars, wine rooms can be created above ground. The trend for wine lovers is to not only have a place to store wine in a proper setting, but also to experience the wine in a designated space. Mediterranean-style rooms with rustic woods and stone walls are popular, but the key is comfort to encourage guests to relax and enjoy the experience.

Outdoor kitchens
Grilling can be as simple as cracking open a beer while waiting for the coals to heat. But the outdoor kitchen has been become increasingly important and more elaborate over the years, essentially bringing the entire kitchen outside. Today’s grilling areas often include a sink, a refrigerator and icemaker as well as a luxurious gas grill. An outdoor living area is becoming an important selling point for today’s homebuyers.

Media room
This will probably be just as popular with the teenagers in the house, but a media room can be masculine in decor. The term media room is now used more generically and doesn’t have to be a darkened home theater. What it does need is a screen large enough to watch a favorite sporting event with friends and, of course, comfy seating that can be used while snacking. Whether contemporary or traditional, these spaces are more social than the traditional theater room.

As the workplace has become more mobile and many people are now working from home, having a designated space to make calls and concentrate is essential to productivity. Need more quiet space away from the house? Convert a garage into a private office space or even add a modular unit to the backyard. But be sure to check with the homeowners association first. If there’s room for more than just the desk and chair, add a comfy seating area and this room can also serve as a library. And decorate the space to help get Dad inspired. If he has always wanted to work in a trendy, downtown loft, add brick wallpaper for that vibe.

By Pat Setter, The San Diego Union-Tribune (TNS)