How to Design a Small Man Cave

How to Design a Small Man Cave

How do you design a small man cave? The most important factor when building a small man cave is to always be space conscious. Stick to one main piece of furniture, an affordable TV, and some simple wall decorations or memorabilia.

If you look up “man cave ideas” you will find some quite impressive, fully renovated luxury man caves. That does not mean you need a massive budget and over 1,000 square feet to work with. There are plenty of impressive man caves that were built in small apartments or borderline walk-in closets. This article will focus on those ideas, and how to create a space conscious man cave you will be proud of.

If you do live in an apartment, I wrote an article earlier this month on how to build an apartment man cave. This article will be similar but will have a more general approach. One key distinction is that an apartment man cave is more likely to be the only common area or living room. If you are looking for an apartment man cave, I advise checking that content out as well.

Choose a Theme

Picking a theme is a crucial process for any man cave, regardless of the size or budget. The design will be different based on those factors, but the theme should be based on your biggest passions. Personally, I could build a sports man cave in a closet or in the basement of a mansion. They would definitely look different, but both spaces would have the same clearly defined sports theme.

If you do not have a definitive choice for your man cave theme, think about your biggest passions. Just about any hobby or interest can be made into a man cave theme. If you are still unsure, check out my last article, where I went over some of the most popular and creative man cave ideas.


Furniture selection is always a massive part of building a man cave. I always stress the importance of having a comfortable seating arrangement in a man cave. I include that advice in any man cave article that involves furnishing. Small man cave designs will need to make a few key adjustments. For example, I recommend getting one couch that seats two to three comfortably, or getting a pair of recliners. Make sure to measure your space to ensure the seating arrangement fits the room.

There are thousands of lackluster, overpriced pieces of furniture being made daily. I set out to find the best man cave furniture available, to sort through the weeds for you. My priority was to find quality and durable furniture. I then looked to find the best values for these high quality options. I put all of my top choices for furniture in one extensive article, which is broken down by price range. I clearly laid out my criteria for each type of furniture, so you can see what factors I valued to finalize my list. If you would like to see my favorite types of furniture, click the link below.

That article is based on the best furniture by price range. For this article, I have pulled out my favorite seating arrangements for small spaces. The seating arrangement is by far the most important part of the furnishing. Also, with a small man cave, this will also likely be the only large item in the room. That adds to the importance of making the right decision.

Global Furniture Reclining Sofa, Grey/Black (4.1 Stars)

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As I said earlier, this is not my first time recommending this sofa. I am a huge fan of this comfortable, durable and easy to clean leather sofa. This Global Furniture Reclining Sofa is the same quality as a standard living room couch, and hundreds of dollars cheaper than the typical cost. The average price of a couch is roughly $1,000, this couch sells for $689. That price may be out of range if you are in a college housing situation or an apartment. However, if you have the money you will be getting a great value.

The term “small” is very general, so it is hard for me to determine how this will fit in your space. If you can fit this size couch in the room, I recommend this couch over the options below. This couch is just over seven feet long (87 inches) and just over three feet wide (40 inches). This will fit in most rooms, even ones considered “small.” If this couch is still too big, I have a couple more options for you.

Yaheetech Futon Sofa Bed Convertible with Armrest (3.9 Stars)

The best man cave furniture

I had this couch in my college suite and it was perfect for my direct roommate and I. Earlier I said the term “small” was general and defined differently by each individual. I could not have fit my first option on the list into this room. This couch however, is one of the most space conscious pieces of furniture out there. The couch is only 65.7 inches long and 31.7 inches wide. This is a perfectly sized couch for an apartment or college housing.

On top of that, it actually futons, which was perfect for us because we had people staying over pretty frequently. This couch is as affordable as couches get, so that should not be an issue either. However, you get what you pay for here.

While it was a quality couch for my roommate and I in college, it is not exactly a luxury item. This item got 3.5 stars (out of five) on Amazon for comfort, which I believe is fair. It is also not the most durable couch on the market. We had to re-drill on a leg that broke for seemingly no reason. Overall though, if you are looking for a super inexpensive and space conscious option, this couch is worth taking a look at. You can absolutely make a quality man cave with this couch as your main piece of furniture.

Homall Recliner Chair Padded Seat Leather Home Theater Seating (4.4 Stars)

Getting a pair of recliners is the alternative option to buying a big couch. This idea is more space conscious and just as comfortable. Personally, I like having a sofa as the centerpiece of the room, but I would be perfectly comfortable in a recliner.

The Homall Recliner is a highly rated and affordable option for your man cave. This item is perfect for this article because it is a popular choice for small spaces. Amazon does ratings for specific categories, and this recliner received a 4.7 in “for small spaces.” I could not have found a more fitting recliner for this article.

If you want more information on these products, I have a much more extensive review of these products and more here.


A massive component of the man cave experience is the game viewing experience. For that reason, you need a quality television. If you are going to invest in any areas in this room, start with the seating and the television. An autographed football is a cool item, but should be secondary to the viewing experience.

40 Inch 1080p Smart LED Roku TV (4.5 Stars)

Roku is my go-to brand for quality televisions at a fair price. Since we are dealing with a small space, the 40 inch should be a good size. Roku has plenty of other sizes, this television in particular comes in four sizes. The 4K series comes in five sizes. I recommend sticking with the 1080p Roku TV’s for anything below 50 inches. The human eye can rarely tell the difference between the two, and the smaller TV’s are even harder to detect. I would save your money and get the 1080p version.


Once the important decisions are made, it is finally time to turn your space into a themed man cave. If you are into sports, I have plenty of helpful articles on the topic.

My biggest suggestion for small sports man cave spaces is to stick to framed pictures and autographed balls. Pictures can be any size which allows you to adjust to your space. Autographed balls are also great because they can be put on a shelf or stand. They establish your theme without taking up too much room. Framed jerseys are great if you have the room, but that is for another article.

Every theme is going to have different decorations, but pictures apply to just about all of them. You can stick to the basics when adding to the walls or get creative if you think of a good idea. The important thing is to add enough items so that your friends can walk in and immediately know what your theme is.

Wrap Up

Hopefully this article can be somewhat of a guide as you navigate your way through building a small man cave. This might sounds like a complicated system, but it can be broken down into four simple steps.

  • Choose a Theme (Based on a Passion)
  • Furnish Your Room
  • Ensure Your TV Meets Your Needs
  • Add Decoration That Makes Your Theme Clear

If you liked this article, check out more articles on the man cave page!

Scott Neville

Scott covers the MLB and NFL on and is a co-founder of Improve Your Gameday.

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