In ancient Scandinavia, the mead hall was everything. They were political and cultural centers, because if you were a 5th century Viking, why would you ever do anything else when you could be feasting and drinking? Drinking halls remain strongly rooted in our cultural memory as rich places of royalty and celebration, popping up in literature from Beowulf to Tolkien. If you’d like your space to be a bit more legendary, why not turn your man cave into a mead hall?
That’s exactly what Jarl Tyler did in his basement. The Elder Scrolls lover plunked down $50,000 for his epic Viking-style gaming den.
Complete with weapons training area, secret passageway, and plenty of drinking horns, Tyler’s love of barbaric adventure is evident in all of his man cave’s details.
Tyler’s man cave didn’t come cheap, but don’t despair – there’s a mead hall makeover for any budget.
Even if you can’t add your own water feature, exposed brick wall or secret passageway bookshelf, it’s not hard to find a few mythic touches to add to your hangout space. Start with accents like pillows and blankets, and work in whatever unique details you can find at thrifts stores and flea markets.
For pillows and blankets, keep tones earthy, but make sure not to be overly matchy-matchy.
Add faux (or real) sheep-skin blankets to a couch you already have for an instant Norse facelift. Add cowhide or sheepskin rugs to further the masculine effect.
No mead hall would be complete without the Vikings’ favorite drinking vessel, the drinking horn. Display your AleHorn near your favorite seat so you can always reach your mead.
In addition to your mead hall’s comfy couch trappings, throwing in a few statement pieces will bring your mead hall theme home.
The mead hall of every Viking village would have certainly contained a prominently-displayed shield or two, so yours would do well to feature one.
It wouldn’t be difficult to make your own, but you can also purchase them online unfinished to decorate or ready-painted. Hang it high and reflect on your past battles.
Other accent pieces could be decorative weapons, models of viking longboats or even a decal of a Viking rune.
Your favorite basement sofa will do quite nicely, but a nice leather couch can also be good for the soul.
If you’ve got some tools lying around, you could also make a simple Viking chair out of a solid plank of wood.
To create this, a piece of lumber is cut in two and the seat section is trimmed into the shape of a “t” and slid through a letterbox cut on the other plank. Here are more instructions – let us know if you end up making one!
Are you feeling inspired to create your own mead hall? Take some pics and send them to us! Comment below if you have other things on your man cave wish list.