Man land, mantuary, or man cave. Whatever you decide to call your personal space, it is important that you think carefully about how you want it to look like and what items you get to put in it.
If you are already a family man like me, your man cave may be the only space in your house that you’ll get full say on how it will turn out.
Even in your bedroom, you’d have to make certain concessions with your spouse. It is only in designing your man cave that you get to make 100% of the decisions.
I used to have my man cave situated in one of our extra rooms upstairs. With the impending arrival of our youngest child, I am forced to move my things to the basement. There is one huge problem though. The space!
While the basement is much larger than the upstairs bedroom, it is already being used as storage for some of our seasonal clothes, memorabilia, holiday decorations, and so much more.
I had to be smarter in turning the smaller space into a new man cave.
I started out by going online and doing a lot of research regarding man cave ideas for a small room.
I looked at pictures of small man caves, man caves ideas for basements, and man caves in attics.
After getting a better idea of what I need to do, I started working on my new plan for the basement space.
It turned out pretty okay and I am very happy with the results. That is why I decided to share the things that I have learned here.
Here are some man cave ideas that worked for me in turning the small space into my new sanctuary:
Determine What You Are Planning to Do in Your Space
One of the things that will help you determine the look and feel of your man cave is its function. Ask yourself what the purpose of this room is for you.
Having a clear idea of what you plan on doing in this room will help you make decisions regarding the theme, layout, design, and also the furniture to put in the room.
Is this space where you plan on bringing your buddies for drinks? If this is the case, you’d probably need a bar cart, a small fridge, a table where you can set down food and drinks, and some stools.
Is this where you plan on playing your video games? Then you’d need to have a small couch, a shelf for your games and console, and of course, a television.
If you are planning to use your man cave as a place where you can indulge in your hobbies, like making model airplanes, you’d need a worktable, a lamp, and a storage system where you can keep your tools and materials.
This is crucial especially if your space and budget are very limited.
Work with A Floor Plan to Determine the Layout of Your Space
After figuring out what you want to do with your man cave, you will now need to work on the layout of your space.
Why is this important? Imagine the time and effort you will waste in buying furniture and then ending up having to return them because they do not fit into your space.
Once you have a copy of your space’s floor plan, you can then start working on the layout. This pertains to how your space is arranged, in terms of furniture and appliance.
Start by making a list of things that you want and will need to put into your space. Will you be installing bookshelves? How many chairs will you need? Will you be putting in a bar cart?
Write all those down, preferably with the dimensions included so you can easily put these into your layout plan.
Make a simple layout plan. You can draw your space on a large piece of paper. If you want, you can also use an architectural layout or interior design layout software.
However, this is not necessary. After drawing the space to scale, start penciling in your furniture and appliance.
Look at sample designs to get a better idea of how to arrange your things in the room. Doing this will allow you to utilize the space effectively.
Remember, make sure that you put in the exact measurements on your diagram. Break out your measuring tape and measure the space correctly.
Don’t be afraid to explore different layout ideas. Once you have a working layout, you can start bringing in your furniture.
Repurpose What You Already Have
If you are working on creating a man cave on a limited budget, you will definitely need to work with things that you already have.
Perhaps you already have some chairs that are not being used elsewhere in the house. Consider if those chairs will work in your space.
What we had at home that I was able to move into my man cave was an old sofa that was stored in the garage.
All it needed was reupholstering and it was good enough to put in the basement. The great thing about reupholstering is you can choose the type and color of fabric to use.
This way, you can make sure that the things match the theme and décor of the room.
So, go around your house and look at under-used or unused items that will serve a purpose in your man cave. However, be very choosy with the things that you will bring to your space.
Just because a bookshelf isn’t getting used elsewhere doesn’t mean you need to put it in your space.
Remember, this is supposed to be your sanctuary, not another storage space for unwanted things. Choose only the things that fit your vision.
Don’t Shy Away from Thrift Stores and Yard Sales
Once you have exhausted all the furniture options inside your home, try looking for the things that you need in thrift stores or consignment stores.
Don’t shy away from visiting yard sales and clearance sales as well. You will be surprised at what you can buy with your limited funds.
You can hunt for bargain lamps and seating options there. Don’t worry about getting something that might clash with your space’s color scheme.
You can always repaint, or reupholster and the item will still end up costing less than what you can buy from the department store. Just steer away from things that smell like urine.
This is impossible to get out. In fact, stay away from items that smell weird or are already stained.
Don’t just focus on big items. Consider that, if you are going to be serving food in your man cave, you’d also need plates, glasses, and flatware. Other things to look for in thrift stores are:
Also, check the craftsmanship of the items that you are planning to buy. Some things cannot be fixed with spackle and wood glue.
Go for Things That Serve Multiple Purposes.
Because space is scarce, it is ideal to put items in your space that serves more than one purpose. For example, instead of hunting for a small table, consider using a trunk.
This way, you have a surface where you can put your things, and it can also be used as storage. Instead of a side table, consider using a low shelf.
Again, this will serve as additional storage for your knick-knacks.
If you have extra money and you plan on playing card games with your buddies in your man cave, consider getting a combination dining and poker table.
This way, you won’t need a separate space for eating and playing.
The same goes for gaming tables. There are tables that convert from a pool table to a surface for table tennis.
There is also a table that can be used for playing billiards, table-tennis, and air hockey.
These all-in-one tables will provide your buddies with more entertainment options without eating more of your limited floor space.
Save On Everything Except Electricity, Air Conditioning and Heating, And Hot Water
While you can go cheap in furnishing and decorating your man cave, do not even think of DIY-ing anything that is related to electricity, air conditioning and heating, and installing the hot water tank.
Always call a professional when dealing with electrical installations. Make sure that you hire someone that is accredited. Going cheap on this can lead to botched electrical jobs.
You do not want to burn down your house just because you want to save a few hundred dollars.
While you might consider yourself to be a competent plumber, do not attempt to install a tank for hot water on your own unless you are certified.
This too requires working with electricity so it is something that you might not want to mess with.
The same goes for heating and air conditioning. Not only is DIY-ing these dangerous, but it is also illegal!
Always rely on a licensed professional if you want anything installed. It is better to spend extra and be safe.
Turning a small space in your basement into your man cave need not be expensive or time-consuming. You might be able to fill your space with things that are already in your house.
The first things that you will need to do are to visualize how you are going to use your man cave. Then, you need to make a layout plan based on your floor space.
Make a list of things that you want to put in your space. And then, slowly fill and decorate your man cave with the things that you need and want.
Don’t be afraid to repurpose, repaint, re-upholster, and repair. Visit thrift stores, yard sales, and consignment stores to find the right items for your room without breaking the bank.
Go for items that have multiple purposes so you get to utilize your space the best way you can.