There’s no question; tiny homes are pretty dang cute. But there are many other reasons people have for deciding to make one their home. They don’t want to be tethered to the upkeep and financial responsibilities associated with larger homes. A tiny home may even be portable and open its owner up to many more opportunities when it comes to where and how they want to live.
It’s not a way of life suitable for everyone, of course (how can a family of four live in 200 square feet, really?), but there are plenty of design tips courtesy of the tiny home trend that can actually prove useful in full-size homes.
1. Get Creative with Storage Solutions
Normally, the three most important things with real estate is location, location, location. For a tiny home they would have to be storage, storage, storage. In order to have a livable space–but still hold on to some of your stuff–you need to make the most of your storage options. If there’s one thing that we’ve learned from tiny homes, storage solutions can be created virtually anywhere.
Convert normally unused spaces, such as:
Under the stairs…
Or under the floor…
Use furnishings with extra storage already built-in:
2. Create Multi-tasking Living Spaces
In many cases, a tiny home is basically a great room, a single space where people cook, eat, lounge, work and sleep. It is not always plausible to have separate spaces for each of these functions. Convertible furniture like sleeper sofas and dining tables/workspaces offer functional flexibility. Furniture that extends, folds or slides away also lets you complete a task in a shared space, then can be easily put away when the space needs to be used for something else.
3. Minimize Clutter
Given the space restrictions, an overabundance of accessories can only create a chaotic, cramped feel in a tiny home—or any space, really. (Besides, many people choose tiny homes for the very purpose of downsizing and getting rid of unnecessary stuff.) What décor you do have should be deliberately chosen and well-organized.
4. Be Smart with Surfaces
You can keep things uncluttered, but still add plenty of interest to a space with the color, pattern and/or texture of your surfaces. In fact, they can also help you control what you want people to look at and how you’d like them to feel. Whites and other brighter colors tend to make a smaller space feel larger and more cheerful, while darker accents add drama. Reclaimed wood accent walls offer a rustic focal point. And so on.
5. Have Fun
Tiny homes have shown that it’s okay to show off a little quirkiness with your home’s design. While you may not want to go so far as to make your home entirely out of reclaimed windows, don’t fail to add some of your unique personality into the design choices you do make. Doing so will only help you to enjoy the space more and make it a more fun place to be.
6. Focus More on Outdoor Living
Next to downsizing, the most common reason given for going tiny is getting back in touch with nature. This can perpetuate itself with a literal focus on outdoor living spaces—landscaping, comfortable outdoor furniture, etc. And you can still enjoy the outdoors when you’re inside, with enormous windows and/or garage door-style doors that allow an expansive view of and entrance to the world outside.