7 Tips for Building a Small Man Cave

A man cave is often at the top of every man’s want list, but what if space is limited? You can still have that special place to call your own but you need to be smart about designing your space. After all, there are plenty of mistakes that you want to avoid.

We’ve come up with 7 top tips to consider when building a small man cave.

When it comes to designing your very own space, a surprisingly overlooked step is to plan out the space that you will “actually” be using. You may have the best ideas, but they are pointless if you simply don’t have the space! Enter… the small man cave.

Another possibility is that you may have a larger space elsewhere in your home that is occupied, or you have the space but just have been stuck on the idea of a small man cave. That’s totally OK. Regardless of your reasoning it’s very common for a man cave to be on the cozy side, it just means that you will need to approach it in a slightly different manner. For example, if you were to search for man cave furniture you would get the typical sized couch or desk the majority of people would be using. However since you are utilizing a small bedroom or shed, the process of searching for items would have to be slightly more creative.

Luckily, I have done a lot of the leg work for you and come up with some important tips and tricks for building your small man cave.

1. Location

Right, so you’ve decided on making your small man cave. For whatever reason that may be doesn’t matter, what matters now is getting started. First things first, where is this masterpiece going to be? The garage is a popular spot many think of off the bat, but considering you’re wanting a smaller man cave it’s safe to assume that perhaps the garage isn’t available. On the other hand if you can find a small corner by moving around some boxes of christmas supplies then that’s all the better.

But what are some other options? Well there’s always a bedroom which is also a well liked location and for good reason. It’s easily accessible, there’s less chance you’ll have to worry about heating and cooling, and best of all you can even make it in your own room. Below I’ve listed the different routes to take when it comes to choosing your man cave location.

Backyard Man Cave

An important part for all man caves is the hands on aspect, the personal making and design of it is really what gives the place meaning. Looking back on all the blood, sweat, and tears really helps a lot of people find a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Because of this there are certain individuals who are driven to starting from the ground up, meaning completely from ground zero all the way up to the super bowl parties with friends. This isn’t the easiest road to take but it can be the most fulfilling, and in order to do so it all begins with building your shed.

The Spare Room Cave

Whether it’s a spare room or your own room, any room can become a man cave room. Firstly it must be stated that if you are making a man cave in your existing bedroom you may be limited to certain add-ons or future projects, versus a less used space. But ultimately this just comes down to personal preference, but I recommend always going with the space with the most room available even if it is a small bedroom.

The Garage Cave

The garage is pretty much the OG of all man caves. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and it’s always gonna be there. And really there’s nothing better than coming home after a hard day’s work, stretching out in front of the TV, and enjoying the peace and quiet the garage has to offer.

Now although it may not have the airflow, heating, or air conditioning like an already built room would (though some might). These are all non-issues, things that can be easily fixed for relatively cheap. I will be explaining some great starter essentials for all three locations in the next section.

2. Create a Floor Plan

There’s nothing more irritating than receiving your furniture piece in the mail only to discover that it doesn’t even fit the spot that you wanted. It’s important to make sure the groundwork is laid out before you decide on making any purchases especially for your larger furniture pieces. Other items such as a mini bar, mini fridge, or perhaps a TV are among the purchases you need to be extra cautious about. It won’t be hard, simply measuring and remeasuring the spots where you will have each item does just fine.

The Floor Plan

Because it’s a small man cave space efficiency is of the essence. The goal is making it exactly how you want while keeping it realistic and functional. I myself find that actually creating a floor plan does wonders for deciding which type of decor you will be installing. I know what you might be thinking but trust me when I say it isn’t hard, even if you have never done it before it’s something that can be done either by yourself or with the help of an online tool. One piece of software I recommend is a site called floorplanner. They have a demo version or a pro version if you so choose. It will help in the of process of making your layout by having a clear, easy to use blueprint at your disposal.

Alternatively (what I actually recommend doing) is making the blueprint yourself using your own two hands. I’m talking about drawing the lines, making the angles, and putting the furniture on paper yourself to create your own virtual man cave. To do this you will need a few supplies such as: a measuring tape, ruler, pencil, paper, and lastly a protractor. The protractor will help in making any odd angles translate to your paper with little guesswork. The rest just consists on measuring wall lengths, conjoining angles, and including sizes of already present furniture if any. Don’t forgot that when drawing this on paper you will need to scale the measurements the same throughout, an example would be one foot=one inch.

After completing your blueprint the process of ordering the right items will be exponentially easier. I have written an extensive article about Man Cave Decor Items, this will help you in deciding which types of products to have and which suit your style.

3. Start with the Essentials

I know how tempting it is to see pictures online of professional man caves with decor up the wazoo and a totally personalized theme, and think “that’s what I want”. By the way that is totally fine, as long as you understand which step that will be when starting this journey. As I’ve explained a man cave is process, on that starts with picking a location, creating a plan for that location, and then acting upon it. But when you do get this far, where do you start?

The answer is quite simple, start with the basics. Depending on where you’re doing this the essentials could be slightly different… let me explain. Because the goal is to create a small man cave you must think of what problems might arise, and what rules or guidelines must be followed in order to make it successful. Here are some helpful things to remember when designing your space.

  1. Mirrors I can’t stress how useful they are when trying to be comfortable in a small space. Obviously it won’t make the space any bigger but it can definitely make it feel like it is.
  2. Glass can a great material for tables or other small man cave additions. Because of its see through quality the space it takes can seem less, noticeable. Or perhaps less invasive.
  3. Staying Organized is a must for the owner of any man cave especially a small one, since a smaller space is much more prone to a mess building up. By having a place for everything and maintaining its cleanliness your man cave can be kept as roomy as possible.
  4. Multi-purpose items can sometimes be the key in creating a functional small man cave. Items that can double as a place to sit as well as a storage container really help keep your space open and tidy.
  5. Work vertically. If there’s one thing that kills space it’s the notion that everything must be moved outward instead of upward. For example by always trying to have storage going up towards the ceiling, you can get in the good habit and in return conserve floor space.
  6. Air quality and temperature are an often overlooked aspect of the man cave process. With a small man cave that step is all the more crucial. The truth is we stink, and if you have multiple people or even just yourself in a room for too long the air can become less than enjoyable. If the space already has cooling, heating, and/or some type of air circulation (ie. fan) then this is not so much something worry about. However if you don’t already have these things in the form of small space heaters, portable ac units or perhaps just a fan, this can really make a world of difference

4. Personalize the Space

Once you have worked out what you want to put in your small man cave it’s time to think about what will complete the room. This is where your personality comes in, try adding things like memorabilia to the walls and shelves. What sports do you like? In no time, you’ll have filled your space.

Sure, you may not have room for a tournament size pool table, but smaller tables like foosball or poker may just fit.

If you are really tight on space then a game like darts will surely fit into any size man cave.

5. Comfort is Key

Whether it’s full on gaming chairs, or a bunch of bean bags, you need to make sure your buddies will be comfortable, and that they’ll have somewhere to sit other than the floor. As some days it’ll be just you in the games room, and other times it’ll be all your friends all at once — we recommend choosing furniture that doubles up as seating. Stools are perfect as they don’t take up much space and they can be tucked away easily.

6. Keep It Clean

The last thing you need is one of your friends injuring themselves when they go to change the music or grab a drink. There are going to be a lot of cables knocking about, make sure that they are kept in order, and that they aren’t a tripping hazard.

7. Have Fun

What I see happen to a lot of people is the fear of failure or the feeling of being overwhelmed, stopping them in moving forward. I’m here to tell you that is should not be the case. Small man cave or not I can guarantee that if you give a little time here and there you will have a functional hangout spot in no time.

Final Thoughts

You don’t need a lot of space to create a man cave, but what you do need is some thought that goes into planning.

Think before you buy!