When it comes to living in a tiny space, it's very important to have your space completely reflecting your lifestyle. We had the pleasure of collaborating with Redfin, and some other thought leaders in the tiny home space to bring you the best tips to living in your tiny home! Check it out below:
When going tiny, you will be opting for a smaller space, but there are endless possibilities for your tiny home interior. Tiny home interiors vary depending on the dweller's lifestyle, whether you’re living in Austin, TX, Portland, OR, or anywhere in between. But three key elements - minimalism, sustainability, and multifunctionality - must be incorporated into the interior space for a better overall experience. And most importantly, your tiny home interior should be a space that suits your daily activities. To help you get started, we’ve reached out to tiny house experts across the country for their best advice. Here are ten tiny home interior ideas to help complete your space.
1. First things first, consider your daily activities
The best way to determine your tiny home interior needs is to make a list of your daily activities. Do you work out, need office space, or entertain people often? Determine what activities are essential to your routine, then brainstorm if any are adaptable to your tiny home interior and how. It’s vital to accomplish your necessary daily activities with minimal interruption.
Going tiny means you will be downsizing to a 600 square foot space or smaller if you’re sticking to the true tiny home ideals - some modern tiny home interiors will be around 1,000 square feet. Either way, you’ll need to learn to navigate your new tiny home. Mike from Container Home Hub says, “It’s important to build your tiny home to resemble your current living situation. We highly recommend understanding that your lifestyle will change in a real way. I thought I'd be able to do everything that I used to do, but I had to change many aspects of my life to fit my new living situation. Some good changes, some not as good, but it's something to be aware of.”
2. Tiny home interior means multifunctional spaces
Once you’ve identified all the spaces you will need in your tiny home, start thinking about making them work together. Creating multifunctional spaces under 1,000 square feet is challenging and takes time, but it’s critical to your tiny home interior and will make your home look and feel larger.
Multifunctional tiny home
You can work with professionals on how to create a multifunctional layout. If you consider a long-term tiny home, think about how these spaces can grow with you and your future. For example, Frank Golley owner of Golley Houses says, “Design your tiny home to be multi-functional. Consider both your immediate needs and how you may use the space in the future. What may be a homeschool room or home office now may turn into a rental property or a guest house in the future. Some basic living requirements include a bathroom, a living space, and a kitchen.”
Multifunctional on the road
If you take your tiny house experience on the road, you should still implement the multifunctional aspect of tiny house living. Luna from SUNNY + LUNA LIVING says, “When living tiny in a van, everything needs to be multifunctional and have a dedicated space. For example, swivel seats to our front two chairs that can rotate and function as an office space. We also designed our queen-sized bed to convert into a five-person dining table. Velcro is an essential item needed when living van-life - it's a must to keep everything secure before driving”.
3. Tiny home layout
Get creative with your tiny home layout. Jason with TinyHouse.com says, “Designing your perfect tiny house floor plan is a balancing act between your budget, space, and time. Think carefully about where you will spend most of your time in the tiny home and allocate square footage and budget to these areas. Don't fall into thinking about a floor plan in the traditional large home type of way. Small home floor plans should reflect your lifestyle, emphasizing function and comfort where you’ll spend most of your time”.
In addition to your thought-out layout, you’ll need ample storage space hidden in your tiny home interior. Irena from Irena Sophia Fine Art & Illustrations says, “An essential part of making a small space work is storage - that means you will need to get creative. The ceiling, the floor, under the stairs, under the bed, every nook and cranny you can think of - make it storage.” You want free uncluttered living spaces. Anything in your walkways or spaces that isn’t essential will feel like clutter and impact how you maneuver your space.
4. Tiny home interior for families
Yes, families can go tiny. Although it might seem unrealistic, there are positives to going tiny with your family. Living in a tiny home with your family can bring you closer together, giving you financial freedom and more leisure time. Keep in mind it’s essential to consider how many people will be living in your tiny home and downsize accordingly.
Expert tiny house builders are building with families in mind. For example, Victoria Svanikier, founder of Dust, says, “Tiny living with children is challenging, but it’s a great way to save money, teach your kids about budgeting and eco-friendly living. Be practical with your home interior and invest in outdoor space, which extends the interior living space. Adding ample outdoor space will allow you to invest in a storage shed helping you declutter and store.”
Families can enjoy this lifestyle with the proper downsizing and thought-out spaces. There’s a lot to learn when maneuvering this new lifestyle, but it’s not impossible. Only keep in your home what you need - you can always build or rent an additional storage space outside the home. Strictly apply the multifunctional spaces, furniture, items, and the minimalist lifestyle to increase your families' comfort in a tiny home.
5. Tiny home interior kitchen downsizing
Food is an essential part of our daily lives. Many tiny home dwellers talk about the changes you can expect when it comes to cooking, storing, and buying food. Food tends to take up a lot of space in our homes and is hard to downsize because it is a necessity. But with time, you’ll master this skill.
An exciting perspective to solve your food storage from a sustainable perspective comes from Michelle of the Global Climate Pledge, “Going vegan or vegetarian is ideal for tiny house living. Fruit and vegetables require less refrigeration than meat products. Also, it allows the homeowner to shop less often, save money, and provides a healthier lifestyle overall. In addition, planting your garden provides a bountiful "grocery store" right outside your tiny house. This also helps expand your access to more fresh food items that usually take up storage space.” This could take your tiny house living experience to the next level. Many tiny house dwellers opt to start growing their food - which is a great accomplishment.
Multipurpose kitchen items
Not everyone is excited to change their eating habits, but one thing you can still do is buy multipurpose kitchen items. Zeenat Siman from Firefly Bridge Organize says, “Become an essentialist in your tiny home’s kitchen - you’ll need to learn to keep what is essential to prep your meals. For example, three high-quality prep knives - a small paring knife, a larger multi-use chef’s knife, and if you’re a bread-lover (like me), a serrated knife. Store them on the wall using a magnetic knife holder - this simplifies meal prep and clean-up.” Additionally, Uli Phillips from Neat4ever agrees with multipurpose kitchen utensils saying, "Invest in double-duty kitchen utensils that fold so that they can be stored in tiny places. Nowadays, there is quite a bit to choose from – there are foldable dish racks, salad spinners, tea kettles, even LED lamps. Look for double-duty items like a colander and steamer in one."
6. Tiny home interior ideas for pet owners
Of course, if you move into a tiny house, pets come along for the journey. If you are moving into a tiny home with big or small pets, it’s not impossible. Here are a few tips to help you and your pets feel more at home.
Designated nooks for sleeping, eating, and storing
Creating a designated area for your animal will keep things tidier. Consider what your pet needs and establish a space for it. Some basics would include a play area, sleep space, food, water space, or a cleanup space. You can get very creative with your pet's areas.
Flooring suited for animals
As you know, animals can be messy. Think about the type of floor in your tiny home. Opt for something easy to clean. Animals will be additional foot traffic - you want to be able to quickly clean up after messes made or dragged in from outside.
7. Tiny home interior for nature lovers
Nature will become a part of your everyday life when living in a tiny home. There are many creative ways to mesh your outside and inside activities- especially if you are interested in an off-grid or rural tiny house location.
Interior that includes nature
Some additions to your interior space to embrace nature are skylights, garage doors, large windows, and decorating with plants. Steve from Big Calm says, “One of the most important aspects of your tiny house to consider isn't the house itself - it's its location and the space around it. Having great, natural, enjoyable surroundings and amenities makes tiny living truly different and special. Pro-builders will find clever ways to use space - add eco elements to an already low-footprint dwelling.” Tiny homes are all about nature - reducing your ecological footprint, living sustainably, and spending more time outdoors. Additionally, an outdoor space will increase your square footage and is ideal for people who still want to entertain.
David from Ecoamet Solutions says, “Be mindful of materials you use in finishing, and interior design, as some products turn to emit harmful chemicals which might be prominent in tiny spaces. Go for sustainable and nature-based options such as waste segregation and composting -; consider gardening, biogas, etc. Depending on your location, consider harvesting rainwater for utility and a simple vertical system with aggregates of sand and gravel (mini constructed wetland) to filter wastewater before discharging.”
8. The importance of interior light
Pay attention to your home's lighting. Ample natural light during the day is ideal to use less energy and create a cozy vibe. Consider what direction your home will be facing and what direction the sun will hit. Interior light matters - using natural light efficiently and smart bulbs properly placed will make all the difference. Marjolein from Tiny Findy says, “Pay a lot of attention to the light. Incorporate light from above, from skylights, and a high ceiling. Also, use electric lighting to light up the corners of your tiny house at night - this will make it look bigger. Ask an expert and create a lighting plan for your house. You won’t regret making the expenses. It is an art.”
9. Minimalist tiny home interior
If you want to fully appreciate the tiny home interior, you’ll incorporate the minimalist values into your home. Implementing this lifestyle into your routine will ensure you have the best tiny home interior. Harry from Tiny House Ideas says, "When living tiny, you need to balance your wants and needs by examining what is necessary. Embracing the lifestyle is so important as it will allow you to free up time, space, and energy to focus on things more important to you.”
You don’t want to clutter rooms and pathways when every inch of space counts - learning this skill will ensure feng shui in your tiny home. Here is a helpful tip for decluttering your space. Meg, a digital creator & lifestyle blogger, says, “For every object that comes into your home, take one thing out! It helps clutter from building up.”
The initial downsizing may be challenging, and it’s not a one-time thing. Decluttering is a skill you’ll continue to use while living in a tiny home. Sarah Bartol, owner Simplify Curate says, “Simplify your possessions regularly to help keep your tiny home stress free, uncluttered, and organized. Establish an area in a closet with a designated container to house the items you no longer wish to keep. Then donate, gift, or sell those items when your container is full.” You should always look for ways to live more minimally to free up space in your home.
10. Go custom, where you can
Working with expert builders can help to elevate your space and help create a safe, reliable, and aesthetic vision. Do some shopping around to find a builder that’s in your budget and can bring your tiny house interior to life. Malia Schultheis owner of Tru Form Tiny talks about why going custom can pay off, saying, “Go custom where you can. Custom touches inside a tiny home create an heirloom product that will last and is unique to your vision. Tiny homes allow you to add finer finishes you'd otherwise have to cut out to save money in a traditional residence. Going custom also allows you to add storage, such as storage seating built-in nooks, storage dining seating, and built-in shelving to make the most out of every inch when going minimal.”
Keep these final things in mind for your tiny home interior
Remember your tiny home can be just as functional as a regular home. It’s not how big your home is, it’s how you use your space. Karlee Patton from Stack Homes says, “If you choose to live in a tiny house, chances are you’re comfortable thinking outside the box, so bring that same creative thinking to your relationship with your stuff. Can you do away with clutter that tends to weigh you down? How might you free up space to focus on objects that have meaningful stories and functional purposes in your life?”
In a tiny home, you use your space wisely, which will aid you in your journey of minimalist living. A minimalist layout will be multifunctional and only have needed spaces. Your tiny home interior must reflect the needs of your everyday life for minimal interruptions. The most crucial aspect of your tiny home is that it’s your new home. Alex from Aussie Tiny House says, “When designing a tiny house, the most important word to keep in mind is ‘home.’ Most people think about downsizing, but they often forget that in the end, it has to be a house that feels like home, not only a practical or minimal space.”
Originally published by Redfin