A tiny home is like a self-portrait. It showcases the owner’s personality, style, and lifestyle preferences. That’s what we love about our tiny house. Its design is tailored specifically for us. How do you achieve a space that reflects you and maximizes the limited space? There’s no one right way to do it. It starts with identifying your priorities and a whole lot of creativity.
Use these 3 tips to design your own just right tiny home:
1) Multi-Functional Everything
Less available space, the more creative the design. Almost everything in our tiny home has at least two functions (and as many as five!). Our staircase is also a seat, a storage chest, bookshelf, and closet. Stay away from furniture with just one function. Built-ins provide the optimal flexibility. Multi-functional features are the best way to maximize every square inch and create crucial space-saving storage. This requires creativity and thinking outside the box. For inspiration go-down the tiny house rabbit hole on Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram (search #tinyhouse). When designing your tiny house look for any possible wasted space. In our house, we discovered an opportunity to add function to a non-structural wall separating our bathroom and kitchen. We carved out an adorable alcove to create pantry space. Perhaps my favorite multi-functional item in our entire tiny house is the fold-down bathroom shelf, over the toilet facing our full-length mirror—creates an instant counter/vanity space! I use this every day.
As much as multi-functional features save space, beware of overdoing it. There’s a fine line between genius and annoying labor. Excessive required steps to access daily living functions gets old. Don’t discount the value of convenience. Creating too many transforming elements and your tiny house might start to feel like a Russian nesting doll. If that’s your thing, go for it.
Check out this transforming small apartment:
2) Keep it open
The effective of use of space is crucial to maintaining a sense of openness, which makes your tiny home feel more spacious, and cleaner. Instead of hiding or storing everything away, display it. Open shelving allows you to see what you have while maintaining openness. We built a dish rack into our open kitchen shelving. Functional and attractive. Ball jars are always a cute way to store/display food or odds and ends. A magnetic knife holder works well for open storage and saves counter space too.
Other ideas for saving scarce floor and counter space: nesting bowls, over the sink cutting board, and vertical shoe rack.
3) Do you!
Embracing your personal sense of style and tailoring your tiny space for your needs is fun and exhilarating. Living minimally doesn’t mean depriving yourself. Keep your most favorite things, and design around them. We kept the things we most love and need, which helped us craft our tiny home to reflect our personalities, style, and needs. You can find extra uses for some of your beloved belongings, especially the items you can’t bring yourself to downsize. For instance, I love my tin collection, so I found uses for all of them. One is my jewelry box, another holds our silverware, and another is our “junk drawer”.
Start soul searching. How tiny is right for you? What can’t you live without? What are your hobbies? How many people will live in your tiny house? Do you want to travel occasionally or frequently? All these questions will inform your tiny house design. Getting to know yourself and identifying your priorities are essential components for crafting your very own just-right tiny home.
Check out this tiny house designed around the owners’ adventure hobbies and personal style:
-Alexis Stephens, Tiny House Blog Contributor
My partner, Christian and I are traveling tiny house dwellers. Together we’ve been on the road two years for our documentary and community outreach project, Tiny House Expedition. We live, breathe, dream the tiny home community every day. This is our life and our true passion project. We are very grateful to be able to experience this inspiring movement in such an intimate way and to be able to share our exploration with all of you.