by Jane Roarski
There are plenty of advantages to living in small spaces: fewer possessions, reduced impact on the earth, and lower living expenses are just a few of them. More people are choosing to live more simply, and for some that means using the bare minimum of living space.
While living in limited square footage poses many challenges, a growing number of people are proving that minimizing essentials, combined with some innovative custom remodeling, is enough to meet the task of tiny house living.
Whether your small living space is 1000 square feet or 100 square feet, these ideas can help cushion the transition from a bigger home.
Less is more. If you’re making the effort to live in a smaller space, you’ve probably realized that tiny house living leads to liberation from unnecessary stuff. Moving to a tiny space means letting go of non-essentials. In return, you’ll be rewarded with more time and money, as a smaller home takes a lot less of both to maintain.
Storage closets and a kitchen find room under a sleeping loft. Photo credit: Koch Architects.
Love the loft life. Bedrooms can take up a lot of space, but sleeping doesn’t have to. The sleeping quarters in a smaller home are often the same size as the bed itself. With a loft design, the bedroom can be located directly above another room, even though most tiny houses are single level. And when placed on a custom platform, a loft bed can rest on top of essential storage.
Two bedrooms can take less space than one. Photo credit: Sullivan Building and Design Group.
Build up instead of out. In a tiny home you’ll need to utilize every inch of wall space, and that means stacking items to the ceiling and integrating plenty of shelving. Recessed shelving offers a way to store items on shelves that take up exterior wall space rather than open space from the limited room inside.
Storage space fits above the front entry in a 117 square-foot home. Photo credit: Evan and Gabby Coulsen.
Think smaller. You may want many of the same amenities you enjoyed in a larger home, so the trick to fitting them in a tiny one is to make each item smaller. Your new space may require a two-burner stove, a combination washer-dryer, and a half-sized fridge. And every item added to the home should include some kind of built-in storage.
This 90 square-foot kitchen found room for a full-sized fridge and a half-sized dishwasher. Photo credit: Justrich Design.
Create outdoor living spaces. While tiny houses have limited space within, many of them have some exterior living space options. Whether it’s an apartment balcony or a deck that’s twice the size of the home itself, the outdoors can provide the openness, solitude, and even privacy that sometimes the inside of a tiny home can’t afford.
An outdoor room can double the living space in a tiny house. Photo credit: Lezlee Cheek.