Perhaps one of the most important – and the most fun – parts of building your own tiny house is designing the interior. Not only is this where you get a chance to express and showcase your own personal style, but it’s also where you get to be creative in your use of storage and space.
Since tiny homes have significantly less square footage than a regular house, you will have to come up with ways to utilize every bit of space you have – every nook, every cranny and every corner suddenly becomes extremely valuable when designing a tiny house.
But there are some tricks and hints to help you create the perfect design. The following life hacks will ensure you get the most out of your space, without over-cluttering, so you can feel comfortable, relaxed and happy in your tiny home.
1. Create outdoor living space
Porches or decks are the perfect addition to any tiny house, as they increase the amount of usable living space. A simple porch with some cozy patio furniture acts as a second living room during the summer months and could be used as storage during the winter months.
Most importantly, creating a space that allows you to connect to the outside world will help you to stay happy and healthy. There’s nothing quite as relaxing as sitting in the sunshine and breathing in some fresh air.
2. Opt for fewer walls
Walls are an unnecessary use of space. If you’re working with a tiny space, consider open concept – being able to see everything at once will make you feel like the space you’re in is much bigger than it actually is. If you’re really set on having separate rooms, try using curtains or dividers. They are cheaper, easier to install and add an interesting look to your design.
As for the walls that you do have, be sure to use them wisely. For example, use your kitchen wall to hang pots and utensils, cutting down on cupboard space, eliminating counter clutter and also creating a cool look. Plus, this way, you’ll never misplace that whisk again.
3. Go with high ceilings
High ceilings are beneficial for a number of reasons. For starters they draw the eye upwards, which naturally creates the illusion of more space. But they also allow more sunlight to stream in and fill the space, and the brighter the room, the bigger it will feel. Finally, there are many ways to use high ceilings to your advantage in terms of storage. Floor to ceiling bookshelves are one example of maximizing shelf space, while also providing your home with a super cozy feel.
4. Get creative with storage
In a tiny house, where every bit of space counts, it’s important to think outside of the box when in comes to storage. The underlying theme of the tiny house movement is simplicity, so start by downsizing what you can. Closet filled with clothing you haven’t worn in the last 6 months? Give it to Goodwill. Holding on to books, accessories and old gadgets that you don’t use anymore because you might “need it one day”? – give them to someone who needs them now. Chances are by the time you realize you need your old collection of paintbrushes, you’ll forget where you put them and go out and buy a new set anyways.
Now that you’ve lightened your load a little bit, it will be that much easier to design your tiny home. Of course not everything will be out in the open – storage is necessary, but by not wasting your space storing things you never use, you can create storage for the things you do use. And this is where you get to be a little creative.
The bench in your living area could double as a storage box for your fall and winter jackets, mitts and scarfs, for example. While the area under your bed could be used for blankets, pillows and towels. Have a bathtub? Build pull out drawers around the foundation for storing your soap, shampoo and facecloths. Cupboards? Attach little shelves on the inside of cupboard doors for storing cleaning supplies and spices.
5. Use mirrors
Mirrors are another way to trick the mind into thinking a space is bigger than it actually is – typically they double the size of a room. Mirrors will also naturally brighten up a place, as they help to spread light.
6. Utilize every bit of space
This includes the space that you might not think about right from the get go. For example, if you have a second floor in your tiny house, instead of installing a solid staircase, keep the space underneath the stairs open. Throw a chair and some pillows under there to create a quaint little reading nook, or install some drawers to provide extra storage.
7. Decorate with plants and colour
Similarly, decorating with plants is another way to make you feel happier and healthier in your tiny space. Plants have healing properties, and have been proven to improve concentration and memory capacity, as well as filter out harmful pollutants from the air, making sure you can always breathe easy.
8. Let light in
Windows make a home feel bigger because they allow you to look out and extend your view. More importantly, they let natural light in, which allows you to absorb all of vitamin D-boosting benefits that the sun offers.
9. Shelves are your best friend
Instead of opting for closed cabinets or cupboards, try storing your stuff on open shelves. Not only does storing bowls, plates and mugs on open shelves add some decor to the walls of your kitchen, but it also saves space and money.
Looking to utilize unused space? Try corner shelves. Corner shelves fit snuggly into the little areas of your house that you hadn’t given much thought. They’re perfect for displaying pictures or adding in some more plants.
10. Create multi-purpose spaces
Creating spaces that have dual purposes is perhaps the best use of space when designing a tiny house. Having a couch area that folds out into a bed or a workspace that doubles as a dining room table is an effective way to minimize the need for extra furniture.
You can even take the space-saving techniques a step further by adding hinges to your table and have it fold out from the wall. When not in use, simply fold it up and your house will feel even bigger.