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23 Small Man Cave Ideas [+ Decor Designs & Tips]

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Men from all over the world will love these DIY small man cave ideas. They feature everything a modern man needs. Luxury leather, traces of cigar smoke, amber downlights, and a snifter of whiskey on weathered wood! Yes – you’ve walked into our man cave! It may be small, but it’s full of creative ideas that exemplify the essence of the big kahuna, the caveman!

A man cave must stop at nothing to attain its goals. And man caves should be uncompromisingly masculine in furnishings, gadgetry, and decor.

What’s more, a small man cave will need ingenious space-saving ideas for both the private and social activities of the man in question.

Right then! Hop onboard our man cave tour bus for a feast of ideas that will transform a small space into a custom-made man cave! 

Small Man Cave Ideas

Powerful small man cave ideas use classic masculine design themes to create moods that mirror the personality and passions of the owner. Modular, plush furniture, accent lighting, wall-mounted memorabilia, and sleek gadgets optimize limited space for relaxing, solitary and social activities.

Straight out of the gate, let’s address the “a man cave represents a family man’s desire to escape his socio-economic responsibilities” argument. 

The verdict is in! 

Is It Healthy to Have a Man Cave?

Yes. Absolutely. 100%! Extensive academic research has sufficient data to conclude that man caves promote harmonious family relations. And also adult male mental health and physical well-being!

  • “Male spaces represent therapeutic venues that help men in alleviating identity pressures created by work as well as domestic life and aid revitalization of men’s identities as fathers and husbands.” – Profs Risto Moisio & Mariam Beruchashvili.
  • “By spending time in solitude, we reconnect with our thoughts, desires, and emotions. In turn, the strength of our relationship with ourselves determines, in large part, our ability to connect with others in healthy ways.” – Published by Michigan State University.

And history’s brightest minds agree!

“Great men are like eagles and build their nest on some lofty solitude.” – Arthur Schopenhauer.

And we are just getting started.

Keep reading for more man-cave wisdom!

sign explaining that what happens in the man cave stays in the man cave
There’s nothing wrong with man caves and solitude! One of our favorite seclusion studies indicates that purposeful alone time can help you relax and reduce stress. We also find that being alone can often help creativity. We’re not saying to live like hermits. But a little alone time in a man cave now and then doesn’t hurt! (Most of our friends agree it’s a great way to unwind, meditate, clear your thoughts, and de-stress.)

What Is a Good Size for a Small Man Cave?

Small man caves range from 288 cubic feet (8’L x 6’W x 6’H) to around 4,320 cubic feet (20’L x 18’W x 12’H). Small rooms, basements, attics, sheds, cabins, campers, and boats with ergonomic ceiling heights and open floor space make ideal spaces for a small man cave for up to four people.

pool table racked up with billiard balls ready for a game
There is no one-size-fits-all man cave! We feature many man cave sizes and styles in our list. Some of the best and most popular mancaves are tiny! Use whatever you have at your disposal. And make the most of it! And always keep your eyes out for unique decor items, statues, or fancy artwork that would complete the man cave look. (We scour our local antique shops for steals and deals. You never know what unusual treasures you’ll find.)

What Every Small Man Cave Should Have

An ideal small man cave should have furnishings, fittings, and finishes that create distinct themes and functional, comfortable spaces for various leisure activities like eating and drinking, watching movies, gaming, hobbies, studying, and napping. 

Bespoke man cave requirements include:

  • Natural light, if possible. 
  • A power supply (AC or DC)
  • Water on tap (via mains supply or in a tank).
  • refrigerator.
  • Accent lighting in strategic areas.
  • A Raspberry Pi gaming cabinet.
  • galley kitchen or bar counter.
  • Food and beverage serving table or bar counter.
  • Bar equipment for serving alcohol, soft drinks, coffee, and hot snacks.
  • Stackable bar stools.
  • A rug.
  • A comfortable sofa and armchairs.
  • A coffee table.
  • End tables.
  • An audio-visual equipment cabinet.
  • A tall shelving unit.
  • Storage boxes or cabinets (tote boxes with cushions also make great ottomans).
  • A bed of some sort (a sleeper couch, Murphy bed, or loft).
  • An accent wall for heirlooms and memorabilia.
  • Wall art.
  • Games.
  • Heating and cooling appliances.
  • An extractor fan.
  • Wall and ceiling insulation.
  • A convenient toilet.
man cave sign and electric drill on wooden table
The best man cave is unique to the man. (Or anyone. We don’t judge!) The point is that some homesteaders love tools, saws, hammers, engines, and oil. Other homesteaders would much rather have a modernized getaway – fit with a wide-screen TV, ample storage space for the best vintage liquor, a pool table, and a space for their comic book collection. (That said, all man caves should have comfy seats. And extra snacks! Those are the only two rock-solid requirements.)

How to Design a Small Man Cave

The best way to design a small man cave is to draw a space plan. Measure the dimensions of the floor, walls, door, and windows. Designate respective man cave walls for particular functions and themes. (Like TV, games, lounge, bar, bookcase, desk, etc.) Use furniture that fits optimally in the designated spaces.

  1. Get inspiration from this sketch plan of a small room/man cave idea.
  2. Watch this video to see how you can design a 12’ x 10’ shed man cave.

“The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.” – Voltaire. 

Ideal Outdoor Small Man Cave Structures

Small man caves in outdoor settings offer more scope for individual expression and solitude than indoor/in-house man caves. Nearly all outdoor structures can get used when making a man cave, from sheds and huts to campers, grain silos, and boats

  • Situated away from the family dwelling, an outdoor man cave has the necessary isolation to raise the recreational bar.

23 Best Small Man Cave Ideas – Our Official List

We searched high and low to find the best man cave ideas. We even scoured the high seas – and other continents!

Here are the best man cave inspirations we unearthed during our journey.

1. Convert a Garden Shed Into a Small Man Cave

Pub shed of the year. A veteran’s prize-winning mancave.
We’re starting our list of man cave ideas with a hidden gem and one of our favorite garden pubs in the UK. Weety’s Bar! It’s the perfect example of a modern man cave. And the bar owner, Ian, built the popular hangout from scratch. Notice the chic interior cave decor. We love the clever use of recycled material – including wooden pallets and beer pumps from a Royal Navy ship. (Sailors and maritime techies may also notice the Royal Navy Monkey Fist knot!)

Here’s a DIY shed that can’t be more than 144 square feet of floor space, transformed into a prize-winning English pub man cave

Built by a retired Royal Navy sailor, the man cave pub got adorned with nautical memorabilia, salvaged pub hardware, upcycled timber, and finished with witty signs and lots of rope and brass! 

There’s room for a couple of armchairs too!

2. Erect a Kit-Form Mod Log Cabin Man Cave

modulog man cave in the backyard
Maybe you want a small man cave idea – but you’re not the best carpenter. Then here’s one of the easiest ways to build a small man cave from scratch. Use a modoLog garden office! modoLog garden rooms are the perfect pre-built outdoor buildings. They make excellent outdoor offices, gyms, garden studios, and summer houses. They also work as an easy makeshift garage man cave idea. We love them!

Are you too busy to handcraft a small man cave shed? You can buy a stunning prefab wooden log cabin from Modulog.co.uk and furnish it to suit your small man cave vision.

The design uses log rounds to stunning effect on timber walls set on concrete footers. 

  • curved roof adds unique appeal.
  • A skilled carpenter/builder could DIY a similar design easily.  

The simplicity of this design is its strength! 

3. DIY a Small Man Cave Shed with Step-By-Step Guide

modern shed garage or man cave design
This small man cave idea we found on the Plasticine House website was most impressive. And while the building was supposed to serve as a shed with a slanted roof – it could also be the perfect space for unwinding and chillaxing. Or maybe even a gaming man cave. You could add pool tables, video games, flat screens, and leather chairs rather than outdoor garden equipment. It could work! The instructions on their website were also perfect – and we tip our hats to the building’s solid foundation. 

Want your man cave to be incognito? Build a double-door shed, 14’ x 10’! This design from Plastencinehouse.com has a slanted roof and lots of natural interior light from high windows.

The builder uses standard timber boards to fabricate a traditional timber frame and cladding shed with insulation and shingle rapper roofing.

  • Detailed tips for a neat and stealthy small man cave DIY project!

4. DIY a Mobile Micro Man Cave Trailer

IMAGO-iter 走行ムービー
Don’t like your current location? No problem. Pack up this small man cave idea and hit the road! This mobile man cave idea, the IMAGO iter from Japanese company BESS, makes the process straightforward. It also looks sleek. We love the cedar wood design. And, all sides have windows – so there’s plenty of interior light. (Maybe a small indoor herb garden could work.)

When your male buddies come around for a party, get them far away from the house in a micro-man cave on wheels

Ok – this build from a Japanese design company, BESS, uses cedar for the cabin mounted on a dual-axel trailer chassis (total cost around $35K!). But you can achieve a similar outcome with an old camper and cheaper materials. Yes. You can!

  • The BESS cabin/cave has a domed plastic membrane roof.

Get your mobile man cave licensed. And you can take it to the beach!

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5. Turn a Steel Grail Silo into a Small Outdoor Man Cave

Unique Tiny House Grain Silo Conversion Full Tour!
We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw this magnificent transformation. Watch how Levi Kelly turns an old grain silo into the perfect small man cave idea. In fact – it’s bigger than small. It’s surprisingly spacious! (Unused grain silos are worth more than collecting dust and old storage space!)

You can buy used steel grain silos cheaply (under $3K) on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. Convert the silo into a small man cave easily in two simple ways:

Perfect for the homestead dad!

6. DIY a Rustic Small Man Cave with Pallets

Build a BIG SHED from pallets for £87 (gym, office, man cave, summer house, games room, bar)
Don’t let those leftover pallets sit around and collect dust. Watch how Field to Farm turns a massive stack of pallets into an even bigger shed. The shed would work perfectly for a rugged small man cave idea. You could design the interior however you like – or leave the pallets as is for a rustic color scheme.

Yes – those ubiquitous pallets are here again, just waiting for muscle, imagination, and a man cave obsession!

Check this video for a simple DIY man cave project using free pallets and standard timber boards. They build a rough and ready man cave that’s good for all seasons!

  • Use rosin paper for insulation and corrugated roofing for a dry interior!

Our verdict? Super funky with beer on tap!

7. A DIY Small Gypsy Wagon Man Cave Idea

green gypsy wagon ready for adventure
Here’s another perfect small man cave idea we found while browsing Instructables.com – one of our favorite sources for homesteading and DIY guides. The author, from PaleoTool, was enchanted by old-school horse-drawn trailers and wagons. Here’s their modern variation of a classic retro style. Check out their tutorial for detailed tips for building a Gypsy wagon, including step-by-step instructions, insights, and a blueprint sketch.

A mobile escape for the wandering soul brother – a small man cave on wheels, gypsy style! If our Japanese micro-man cave idea excites you, here’s a how-to guide for a DIY gypsy wagon. Or, if you prefer, a shepherd’s hut.

Who wouldn’t want to take a man cave fishing?

Read More!

8. Build a Small Floating Man Cave

Hillbilly Houseboat - Country Boy Palace
We’ve never seen so much masculine energy on the water. It’s a hillbilly houseboat from moronbrothersKY! Who says small man cave ideas can only exist on solid land? Not these fellas. So they’re showcasing a small water-bound man cave idea with boatloads of laughter and good times.

Does your land have a lake or a dam on it? Or, a lazy river running through it? If the answer is yes, you could launch a small floating man cave, like this one – a hillbilly shanty boat – owned by the infamous Moron Brothers

Clever Small Indoor Man Caves

With your creative juices cranked to ‘eleven’ and your DIY chops well-buffed, you can transform a small indoor space into a bona fide man cave. Whether it’s a small room, a basement, an attic, or a garage, your man cave dream can actualize under the family roof!

“One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude.” – Carl Sandburg

9. Convert Your Basement Into a Hunter’s Man Cave

custom hunting lounge man cave
We scoured every corner of the internet for the best small man cave ideas. Even Imgur! And we stumbled upon this hidden gem by username old blue. Watch how they transformed an abandoned, underutilized room into the perfect hunting cabin retreat. Before, the entire wall was empty. But now, it’s richly adorned with hunting and outdoor gear, with natural light colors. It looks neat!

That dank, dark basement can become a small man cave with all the patina and fur of a backwoods hunting cabin

Reclaimed wood and innovative faux finishes will have you oiling your rifles up in the hills. And it’s just a staircase away from your marital bed!

10. DIY Soundproofing for Your Indoor Man Cave

Making my office LOOK and SOUND good!
Here’s a lovely-looking small man cave idea for work-at-home enthusiasts from Michael Alm. It gets fashioned with dark colors, acoustic foam, and a sleek modern design. We could also see adding comfy couches and a few gaming tables into something similar. (This is also a good theme for anyone seeking to upgrade a finished basement.) Nice touch!

A small man cave in the house should, by all rights, be soundproof. What gets said inside a man cave stays in the man cave! And, when he’s catching an afternoon power nap on the old leather sofa, no exterior noises should break the silence inside the cave. 

Solution? Soundproof the space a la a home recording studio.

Essential Items for a Small Man Cave

We’ve curated several gritty and evocative small man cave ideas to DIY or buy. From classic furniture and lighting to rugs and games to high-tech communications tools. Plough in!

11. Make a Steampunk Bar Counter

Steampunk industrial boiler door table 3037
We got this idea for a steampunk-styled bar countertop or tabletop from Machine Age Lamps. Notice the nifty flickering LED lightbulbs – it looks like the table is aflame. (Very cool.)

Fuse Victorian adventurism with vintage industrial hardware. And you get steampunk, a brassy and masculine design trend with a distinct DIY ethos.

  • Make an illuminated steampunk man cave bar with wood, an old furnace front panel, steel pipes, a pressure gauge, and lights.

12. DIY Steampunk Shelves for a Small Man Cave

entertainment unit / steampunk /How to build a industrial rustic black pipe book shelf /
These steampunk shelves from Cesare’s Project would work splendidly with the countertops above. We can’t think of a better way to showcase your vintage whiskey bottles or antique bourbon.

Galvanized plumbing pipes and elbows combine with wood boards to create a sinewy steampunk shelving unit

  • You can customize the shelving units – make them as long, deep, or high as your wall space allows.

13. Homemade Steampunk Man Cave Storage Crates 

Making a Wooden Steampunk Vinyl Storage Crate - Ear Candy!
We’re not the only ones who think vinyl is coming back in style. Take this vintage wooden steampunk vinyl container from Gosforth Handyman as evidence! It’s the best way to store your old albums. And showcase them in a way that everyone can’t help but notice.

A few decorative storage crates are sensible additions to a small man cave – to protect sensitive items like vinyl records, rare books and comics, and sundry memorabilia.

14. Make a Small Man Cave Murphy Bar

How to build a Murphy bar
It feels good to serve buddies their favorite snacks, goodies, and drinks when they visit your small man cave. But what if you don’t have guests often – and what if your small man cave is too tiny? The answer is a Murphy bar. They rock for small spaces. Watch as B&Q teaches how to build one.

A Murphy bar is a great way to maximize man cave floor space! Here’s a small Murphy bar made from a single pallet – rustic and practical! Easy to DIY!

15. DIY Plans for a Swing-Out Bar Counter

elite swinging countertop for man cave
Family Handyman is another of our favorite resources for fun and easy DIY homesteading guides. And their swing-out countertop tutorial is no exception. It features a detailed tutorial on building this space-saving cabinet that quickly vanishes when you no longer need it. We love the design!

Your man cave will have a galley kitchen counter where you prep the drinks and snacks. A swing-out bar counter will reside beneath the galley counter and pivot into use whenever you wish! For work or fun

16. DIY a Transforming Man Cave Workbench on Wheels

Building my $150 foldable wall mounted workbench table on wheels + Downloadable DIY plans
Here’s a handy-dandy upgrade for your man cave. It’s a portable – and rollable workbench on wheels. It got built for only $150 of materials by the innovative VisualSpicer. Nice work!

workbench on wheels that can hang on the wall when not in use will boost the versatility of your small man cave! Use it as a bar top, a dining table, a gaming surface, or a hobby workbench. Ingenious!

17. DIY a Man Cave Bass Drum Coffee Table

How to Make a BASS DRUM COFFEE TABLE - Part 1 of 2
Check out this bass drum table from MrDIYDork. We’ve found a few tutorials showing how to turn an old bass drum into a serviceable small man cave table – but we like this one the most. It’s perfect for serving drinks, holding laptops, video game remotes, or a plate stuffed with homemade pizza.

Nothing cracks a vibe in the furniture department like a repurposed musical instrument! Check out this coffee table made from an old bass drum. We also love the casters and wood. 

In the pocket, man!

18. DIY a Man Cave Tom Drum Stand Light

Drum stick Drum Lamp / Upcycling
Man caves with unique lamps, desks, tables, bars, benches, chairs, stools, and wall decor are the best. So when we saw this one-of-a-kind drumstick lamp from Tim Sway, we knew we had to share it with you. Upcycle everything. Musical instruments included!

Grab a tom drum and cymbal stand and make a chic ‘n funky stand light for the lounge area of your small man cave!

19. Make a Booze Bottle Pendant Light (or Six)

DIY Hanging Wine Bottle Pendants
These DIY hanging wine bottle pendants from DIY Projects add a romantic touch to your man cave. They’re also perfect if you want nighttime lighting before bedtime or for relaxing and watching the game on TV.

Warm the ambiance in your small man cave with strategically dangled pendant lights made from repurposed wine bottles. (Or whiskey, vodka, and brandy bottles – empty!). Learn how to get it done in this bottle-cutting video!

20. DIY Recycled Tire Coffee Table – Man Cave Edition

custom tire coffee table with dog approval
Instructables published another borderline-genius man cave upgrade that all homesteaders (and gearheads) should see. It’s an upcycled tire coffee table! The table is as rugged as it gets. And it’s perfect for man cave garages.

Upcycle a truck tire with wood and stain to create an easy-to-move Autohaus coffee table

21. Customize Small Man Cave Lounge Chairs

How to make an outdoor chair
DIY Creators made our favorite man cave chair. The original goal was a durable and comfy outdoor seat. But this similar design would also well well for a small man cave idea. Add a few cushions, and you’re ready to rock.

Make a steampunk auto armchair, an oil barrel armchair, a wheelbarrow recliner, and a lean-to-deck chair!

22. Buy an Earthy Small Man Cave Rug

A rough, cracked, or sandy floor in your man cave can be a deal breaker. This seven-by-seven natural jute rug is the perfect size for your gaming circle. It also makes a comfy workstation padding. Either way – it will help your man cave feel more luxurious. And comfy!

Give your man cave floor a plush feel with a jute rug or a cowhide rug. If you have a bearskin handy, rug it!

23. Chat Online with a Bluetooth Hands-Free Headset

If your buddies can’t sit with you in your cave, chat with them on Zoom with a hands-free mic and headphone set. Because sometimes, even the most well-stocked man cave can feel lonely! These Bluetooth headsets can make communication much more straightforward. The batteries charge in 1.5 hours and offer 30 hours of talking time. And they’re also comfy to wear.

Final Words of Man Cave Wisdom

A man cave is a sanctuary for body, mind, and spirit. We hope these small man cave ideas inspire an inward journey to the source of your light, followed by an explosion of creative expression!

“Solitude is the soil in which genius gets planted, creativity grows, and legends bloom; faith in oneself is the rain that cultivates a hero to endure the storm and bare the genesis of a new world, a new forest.” – Mike Norton.

Small Man Cave Ideas, References, and Works Cited:

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