Guest Post: Suzanne Manlove

I do a regular feature for Arlington Magazine called Great Spaces — it’s a one-page mini profile on a single space, which generally includes a single image of that space. Often, there are many other angles to of the room that we can’t show on one page.

The current issue features an amazing man-cave that Arlington designer Suzanne Manlove created in their home for her husband, who has a large collection of vinyl records and hosts regular listening parties with friends.

Photographer Stacy Zarin Goldberg took gorgeous photos of the entire basement area, which includes a wall for the couple’s bikes, a desk and storage cabinets for Suzanne’s design business, and a new bathroom.

I’ll let Suzanne tell the rest.

Suzanne Manlove | Photo by Michael Ventura

The ‘client’ for this project was pretty particular – it was my husband, Mark. The challenge was to update the space but maintain its quirky charm.

For this project, we used a ‘modern vintage’ mix of materials like reclaimed barn wood, zinc metal and retro-inspired furniture.

Easy access to Mark’s bike for daily commuting was essential. Rather than deal with scratched up paint, we opted for a zinc bike wall, which ages gracefully.

We also made sure Mark’s hobby – collecting records – was central to the theme.

A wall of custom built-ins stores all of the business files and samples for our interior design projects, and provides a space for working.

The new bathroom fits the vibe, and since the sofa converts to a sleeper, we have all we need for our overnight guests.

The result: a funky, stylish hangout space everyone enjoys – from the neighborhood dads to the teenage gamers. I really believe that each and every space has the potential to reflect you or your family’s personality. You just need to plan it together, have a clear vision for what you want, and have FUN!


  1. Love it, Jen! Really welcoming, functional and with a lot of personality.

  2. Nice to see that the man-cave is also a cat-cave!