Just because you have a small place, doesn’t mean you can’t live it big. A few design principles and tricks can help you make the most of whatever space you have, without compromising on comfort and style. Whether you live in a megacity or out in the sticks, many people see the benefits of living in smaller dwellings. Tiny homes can let you live where you want to, making your money go further in a big city or allow you to live efficiently off the grid. Streamlining your design philosophy to match the space available, ensures you don’t end up with a cramped living space but rather thrive in a compact and cosy home.
Tiny homes require compact layouts to make sure space utilisation is maximised. The shape and total area available, will largely dictate the layout which makes the most of the space. Starting with the floorplan, you should first consider how you, anyone living with you or coming to visit, will be moving through the space. Open plan living is the way to go in tiny homes. Doors take up a large footprint in any house, due to the need for a clear area for them to be opened, so getting rid of doors where they aren’t really needed is a great idea. Unnecessary walls can also be removed allowing you to gain more floor area, where structural considerations allow it. Spiral staircases are also a great way to make the most out of your floorplan, in a multi-level property.
Furniture placement is also something to consider carefully; placing a table, sofa or chairs in a particular area of a room will have a footprint penalty and so foldable or stackable furniture should be used wherever possible to give you the flexibility to open up a space if desired. Judicious placement of the static furniture items you can’t do without, ensures tiny homes do not become impassable by their occupants. Remember, every item of furniture comes with a space penalty, so spend your space wisely on the furniture you really care about.
By maximising the use of your verticle space in clever storage solutions, tiny homes can still feel clean, spacious and easy to move through despite their size, by keeping clutter items safely stowed out of the way. This can be achieved by stacking appliances and cupboards in the kitchen and providing abundant shelving in the main living area, bathroom and bedroom. Cupboards with doors are less appealing in a smaller space, so go with stylish shelving instead wherever you can.
Keeping it simple is the aim of the game with the design of tiny homes. There may be some compromises required but consider these questions. Do you really need a bath or will a shower do? Do you mind if your dining table folds up when you aren’t using it? Do you care more about where you are in the world rather than how many square meters you live in? Tiny homes may not be for everyone but if they fit your personality and lifestyle they can offer a very liberating way to live.