When people hear the words “man cave,” they usually think of the garage or the basement being turned into something cool for the man of the house to enjoy.

However, not everyone can turn their basements and garages into their own personal space.

Whether you’re a single guy still living with his parents, a bachelor living in a small studio, or someone who’s only got so much free space at home to turn into a man cave, you can still make the most out of your space and turn that small room into something that you’ll be able to enjoy and take pride in.

Check out these great ideas on how to make an amazing man cave out of a small room.

Idea 1: Get rid of all the unnecessary stuff in the room

Starting fresh is the best way to go. If you can strip the room of everything, from the paint on the walls to anything that’s built-in to the walls then that would be awesome.

Related: Best Man Cave Paint Colors

Seeing how much space you’re working with is a great way to get a good glimpse of what and how much you can put in there.

Man Cave Ideas for A Small Man Cave - Empty Room

Idea 2: Bring in the light

A well-lit space always looks more spacious compared to one that’s dim or poorly lit. If the room has windows, you’re in luck! You won’t be needing much artificial lighting to illuminate the space, except at night when it gets naturally dark outside. Otherwise, you can invest in a few good lighting fixtures to keep your mini man cave looking bigger than it really is. Check out this post for some inspiring ideas on how to light up your man cave. Painting the walls a light but bright color like white can help, too. This flat white interior paint from Rust-Oleum has just the right amount of sheen to it to give your man cave that nice glow.
Man Cave Ideas for A Small Man Cave - bright room with light

Idea 3: Maximize vertical space by converting the room into a loft

Got a high ceiling? Don’t let all the vertical real estate go to waste and convert your man cave into a loft instead!

Converting your space into a loft is pretty much like having two separate rooms in one. You can turn the upstairs area into your sleeping quarter and the downstairs area as your workspace, gaming room, or even your home office.

This set-up is most ideal for guys living alone in a small studio or a small apartment, but it works anywhere and for anyone as long as there’s enough floor-to-ceiling space to achieve the look.

Check out this dude’s DIY tutorial for tips.

Idea 4: DIY a raised platform with storage

Short on vertical space? Instead of creating a loft-style man cave, why not just raise a part of your room to create a split-level separation between two areas (ideally the bedroom and the workspace or entertainment space)?

What’s great about doing a raised platform is that you can use the space under the area you raised as extra storage — perfect for keeping clutter at bay and for maintaining a minimal look in your man cave!

The space underneath the raised platform can be pretty big so make sure to keep everything organized and separated accordingly with storage cubes like this. Here’s a pretty straightforward DIY video tutorial on how to get it done.

Idea 5: Say yes to floor-to-ceiling storage

Shelves are one of the best and most versatile ways to free up some floor space.

By hanging or installing shelves, you get to store stuff and get them out of the way without sacrificing any floor space which can be pretty scarce in small rooms.

How do you reach the things you put on top, you ask? You could get a ladder similar to this to make the task easier.

Man Cave Ideas for A Small Room - floor to ceiling ladder

Idea 6: Make your walls functional

Guys often look for the perfect piece of art or the best sports memorabilia to hang on their walls but instead of doing that, why not make your walls functional instead of making them purely decorative?

There’s nothing wrong with decorative walls, by the way, but you have at least four walls in your room so you might as well make the most out of them by making some of them functional.

Put up a few shelves to hold your stuff. A pegboard like this one can be both decorative and functional plus you can customize your board however you want.

Man Cave Ideas for A Small Room - functional peg boards

Idea 7: Mount stuff when you can

Mounting stuff on the wall instead of propping them up on the floor can help save some space in your man cave, too.

Instead of having a console table to hold your TV, free up the floor space and get yourself a bracket to hang your screen. Mount floating shelves right under it to hold up your gaming console and other entertainment paraphernalia.

You can check out mounted desks, too, like this one that folds down when it’s not in use.

Other things you can mount instead of setting on the floor include lights, storage units, and artsy décor.

Man Cave Ideas for A Small Room - mounted table

Idea 8: Skip the TV and get a projector instead

Ever dreamed of having your own version of a cinema at home but never really had space or the budget for it?

Well, now you can! Skip the TV — it’s expensive and it takes up a lot of space, be it on the floor or on the wall. Instead, get a projector that you can hook up to your phone to enjoy the big screen whenever you please.

Project it on a blank wall to enjoy your favorite sports event live with your friends or watch a rom-com with your special someone while in bed and the projector pointed towards the ceiling for effortless viewing.

Not only is this a more cost-effective option but it can save you a ton of space in your small man cave as well. When buying a projector to use with your phone, make sure it’s compatible with the phone unit you’re using.

This one works well with smartphones, tablets, and even laptops and MacBooks.

Man Cave Ideas for A Small Room - projector

Idea 9: Look for flexible and compact furniture

Because your space is limited, you’ll want to avoid furnishing your man cave with oversized furniture that eats up all the space.

Instead, you’ll want to go for compact and flexible furniture that you can easily put away whenever they’re not in use and you need more space.

Some of the best and most useful types of flexible and compact furniture to have in your man cave include:

Sofa bed – having a place where your guests can take a seat and be comfortable is great but, at the end of the day, it still is your man cave and you’re still the one who’s going to be spending the most time in there so having a place to rest should be your top priority.

Luckily, you can have both by getting yourself a good quality sofa bed. Check out this comfy loveseat that turns into a twin bed.

Man Cave Ideas for A Small Room - sofa bed couch
Man Cave Ideas for A Small Room - sofa bed as bed

Nested table-and-chairs set – it’s clever how the chairs are nested into this coffee table to save on space and provide seats for your guests whenever needed.

Folding desk – you don’t always bring work home so it would be a waste to have a dedicated desk for work in your tiny man cave. Instead of this, why not just get a folding desk like this one?

It conveniently folds flat and can be stored under the bed or in the closet when not in use so it doesn’t eat up a lot of space.

Man Cave Ideas for A Small Room - folding table

Blow-up furniture – blow-up furniture get a lot of flak but it’s undeniable that they’re extremely helpful in providing extra seating and sleeping space when you have guests over.

If you’re low on space in your man cave, blow-up furniture can be quite helpful as well. Just inflate them whenever you need and deflate when you’re done to free up some floor space.

This beanless bean bag chair is awesome for playing video games on your console with some friends. It’s beanless so you can stop worrying about accidentally ripping it open and having millions of teeny-tiny plastic balls getting everywhere plus they deflate so you can put them away when you’re not using them.

Man Cave Ideas for A Small Room - beanless beanbag chair

Idea 10: Mirrors maketh man… caves look bigger

Vain or not, there will and there should always be a mirror or two in your man cave.

Mirrors can give the illusion of a bigger room so it’s going to be really helpful when you only have a small space to work with when building your man cave.

Here’s a big one that can help trick the eyes into making the room look bigger.

Idea 11: Not everything has to be mini

While there’s nothing wrong with buying the mini version or the compact version of the stuff that you’d like to put in your man cave, you shouldn’t be afraid to go full-size with one or two things.

A good, comfy recliner, for example, may be big and bulky but if you have the space for it, go ahead and treat yourself to it.

Check out our top picks for the best recliner here, or just get this wall-hugger that saves space in a tiny room but feels just as luxurious for your bum and your back.

Man Cave Ideas for A Small Room - wall hugger recliner

Idea 12: Keep an open space layout

It may sound wise to divvy up your space and create separate “areas” in your room for different purposes by putting up walls or enclosing them with room dividers but doing this can make your space look and feel even tighter.

Instead, keep an open space layout to create a good flow in the room. You can create zones by using area rugs or by arranging your furniture accordingly.

Man Cave Ideas for A Small Room - open space layout

Just because you have a small room doesn’t mean you can’t turn it into the dude den of your dreams. Working with a small space challenges your creativity and forces you to think outside of the box.

Clutter tends to make a room look smaller so keep your space clutter-free by taking every chance you get to have extra storage incorporated in your man cave’s design.

Of course, don’t forget to treat yourself to one or two luxurious things to make your man cave feel like a sanctuary rather than just another room in the house where you store stuff for personal use.