Bringing the outside in 3

A Lotawana Man Cave


Healer of spirit, inspiration for the soul and gathering place for generations. John Bunch and his family embrace all this implies throughout their living space at Lake Lotawana. They bring the outside in with amazingly creative embellishments.

“We wanted this space to be the gathering place for the entire property, pulling in elements which are unique to our individual passions and make it very livable,” he says.

An exquisite boat was custom-built as their bar, which is the centerpiece of the space and runs through the building and out to the pool. A local craftsman spent four months constructing the boat with wood harvested from across the country.

Every fish in the space is an exact replica of their catches across the world. Avid catch-and-release anglers, their desire was to mount reproductions.

“Each fish represents a family or friend’s journey over the last twenty years. This serves as a memory to what matters most to our family – live life full of adventure,” he says, adding, “We love to entertain and having professional grade ice cream, slush and margarita machines were a small investment that have paid huge dividends.”

Each material was selected through searches across the Midwest and Florida to give the room an authentic feel. An old barn roof for the interior ceiling, teak tree from Florida for the boat bar top, custom siding that was hand-weathered and painted, colored concrete floor creates a shack feeling and, of course, THE BOAT.

“Our favorite part of the space is the transitional nature of mirroring the outdoors with the indoors. You can move from the pool house bathroom that has a flowing river feel, to the stoned pool, up to the outdoor pool bar, inside to the boat bar and then through the doors for a lake view,” he says.

The family uses the space as a gathering place for friends. It is built to be “kid friendly,” and they encourage guests to bring their entire family. He notes, “The only hard part is keeping the ice cream machine full and the kids from spilling slushies throughout the house.”

“We are most proud of the craftsmen that helped us shape the entire property. This was a labor of love for not only our family but for the dozens of craftsmen that dedicated two years building our ultimate family retreat,” he says. “Without their dedication, this wouldn’t have been possible.”