Natural Living · Sustainable Designs

Six Design Tricks for Tiny Living

One of my future goals is to live in a tiny house. I often get a chuckle when I think of this dream. Most people aspire to have big mansions, lots of ‘feature rooms’ like a movie theater and workout room, etc. I am going the opposite route with wanting to live in 144 square feet of space.

The Tiny House movement has been gaining popularity in recent years, with such HGTV shows like ‘Tiny House, Big Living’, showing all the amazing ways one can live this lifestyle while still maintaining the amenities of modern living. For me, living in a Tiny House is an EcoSpiritual way of living.

The most common type of Tiny House is one built on a flatbed trailer. Having a moveable home, one can bypass a lot of codes that require a home to have a certain minimum square footage. Having a Tiny House on a trailer is actually quite environmentally friendly and has a very minimum carbon footprint. For one, you are not damaging the natural formation of the land by building a foundation. Instead, having your home on wheels allows a virtually unchanged landscape. Another reason that these homes are sustainable is through the building materials. Most people who live in Tiny Homes build them theirselves. To cut on costs, a lot of reclaimed woods and repurposed materials are used. This can include innovative ways of insulation, such as wool or burlap bags. Lastly, you can have a Tiny House that is ‘off-the-grid’, meaning that you can generate your own electricity, water, and heating through sustainable energy such as solar, hydro, and wind.

The spiritual side of having a Tiny House is the freedom that it gives you. Today’s square footage of an average home is around 2,600. Many people who own these sized homes spend a lot of time and money on maintaining them. This includes the day-to-day cleaning, updates such as a new kitchen or bath, and the bills such as electric and gas. The cost and time of owning that size of home adds up. With a Tiny House, the less square footage means less maintenance, less cost and overall more time to enjoy doing the things you want to do. 90% of our lives are spent indoors. Tiny Houses allow us to get out more, opening the door to new experiences and opportunities.

A tiny house on wheels may not be everyone’s ideal home, but living small in general offers a multitude of benefits. Where it’s a tiny home, simple cottage,  or small apartment, here are six tricks to use when designing your space.

Divide your Space…but Don’t

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Okay, so this first tip sounds confusing, but let me explain. Most design tips say to divide your home into functional spaces. One area may be designated towards social gatherings, such as a living room, another for meals/eating, such as a dining room. Well, with tiny spaces, all these designated areas become merged together. Your dining room may also serve as your home office. Your workout area may also be in the same space you watch T.V. Living in a small space, you have to be smart about what area serves which functions.

Befriend your Walls

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A lot of people focus solely on filling up their space but they don’t think about filling UP their space. With small areas, vertical space becomes your best friend. Shelving, floating tables, even hanging chairs all save the usable square footage of your room.

Storage

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Your other best friend for tiny living? Storage. Since every square foot of space counts, you want to utilize the opportunities you have for storage. There are many ways to achieve a good amount of storage in tiny quarters, from built-ins to functional furniture pieces such as chests.

Sliding Doors

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Instead of having doors swing out, taking up usable square footage, use a sliding or pocket door instead. The current trend is reclaiming barn doors or old doors in general for a unique statement entrance. It’s stylish and eco-friendly!

Small Scale Furniture

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To compliment the small space, use small scaled furniture. Sectionals, large trunk coffee tables, and solid pieced furniture are all too large of a scale for a tiny space and will make your room feel smaller than it actually is. Instead, look for tables with slim legs, love seats and arm chairs for seating, and furniture with smaller dimensions.

Light Colors

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To trick your eyes into thinking your space is bigger than it actually is, apply light colors to your walls, such as white, cream, or light grey. It makes the space feel more open and airy, as opposed to dark colors with shrink the size of your space visually.

*Images via Pintrest

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