The Tiny house Blog

How to Design a Tiny House Floor Plan

Updated on:
June 9, 2023
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Ah, the fun part! When it comes to Tiny Home design, you should have fun and be very strategic. Fitting everything you need in 250 square feet is a challenge but with some proper foresight and strategic planning for your tiny home layout, it should be a blast!

Before drawing out your design it’s helpful to go through the following exercises to ensure you are getting the most out of every square foot for your specific lifestyle.

  • Where will you spend most of your time?
  • What areas or functions are essential to your unique lifestyle?
  • Space, Time and Money.
  • There is no Absolute Right design, but there is definitely a wrong design!

Below I’ll outline each of these in greater detail and give you guiding practices to ensure your tiny house design fits your needs, along with some of our favorite items we’d suggest go well in any time home!

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” - Benjamin Franklin

Where will you spend most of your time?

We always encourage our clients to be realistic when it’s time to design their very own tiny home. It’s easy to have visions of grandeur and pour a bunch of money into areas of your tiny home that in reality, you won’t spend much time in.

It’s helpful to take an audit of your current life. Below are two examples of how two different lifestyles should have a dramatically different floor plan.

Lifestyle 1:

On an average weekday, you wake up early for a quick breakfast before heading out to work. When you come home to your tiny home you cook a nice homemade meal on your multipurpose wok, sit down at the table and enjoy a relaxing dinner before retreating to your loft to fall asleep under the stars shining through your skylight.

On weekends you love to have friends visit and go on adventures with them. Your tiny home is your home base and comfort place. So it needs to be homey and comfortable.

Lifestyle 2:

On an average weekday, you wake up early for a quick run before jumping on your laptop in your tiny home office. After a solid 8 hours of work, you head out to a restaurant to have dinner with a friend and retreat to the tiny home, head up to your loft to watch some Tiny Luxury before falling asleep.

On weekends, you enjoy going out with friends and coming home just in time to cuddle up to a movie in your loft.


Lifestyle 1’s floor plan layout needs to have a priority in the kitchen and dining space.

Lifestyle 2’s floor plan layout needs to have a priority on a home office and a cozy loft.

Even given the quick examples above you’ll see that the two different lifestyles will determine a vastly different layout for their tiny home.

Pro Tip:

Try breaking down your typical 24 hour day into the average hours you spend doing specific things. This will help you see where your priorities should lie for designing your tiny house to optimize each square footage to your unique lifestyle.

What areas or functions are essential to your unique lifestyle?

It’s very important to think clearly about how your lifestyle differs from all the other tiny home influencers you’ve followed for years. Even if your life is very similar, are there any big essentials that would make it necessary for you to modify your design?

Do you have special storage needs? Does your work require you to have anything specifically designed in like a home office space, music room, art space, or apothecary station? Do you love reading in front of your fireplace? Is an outdoor deck a Must-Have?

Thinking through your Must-Haves will help you make sure you don’t leave out any essentials when designing your layout.

Space, Time and Money

Many people ask this question: “How should I design my tiny home?”

Here is another way we like to ask this same question: “Where is the best use of your money in your tiny home design?”

The reason we like asking this question is it helps you define and fine-tune how your tiny home should be designed and built. Because money is typically a limited resource while building your home (if it’s not, please reach out to us, we have some incredible ideas for your tiny home!) you’ll need to focus your resources in the areas that are most important to you.

When designing a tiny home, everyone always thinks of the obvious. There is limited space, so you have to allocate every square inch of your home appropriately.

While this is true, we like to take it one step further. We believe three crucial components are just as limited when creating your home. Space, Time and Money.

Say you want a bigger kitchen, so you increase it by an extra 3 feet. It now feels even more spacious but now you are taking space from somewhere else in the home. An alternative option would be to allocate more money to your kitchen instead of more space. By expanding your kitchen budget you will likely be able to find nicer cabinets with extra space(i.e. custom toe kick drawers or better shelving) that will create some extra storage in your kitchen and allow you to allocate more space to the rest of the tiny home. However, of course, this will decrease your budget on the rest of your tiny home. Another alternative option is to build custom cabinets yourself to get you that extra space and save on your budget. But of course, that takes more time and depending on your situation, time may cost money.  

This client prioritized a home office desk with a nice view.

It’s a classic give and take. So when you are designing your own tiny house, we’d suggest keeping these three factors in mind: Space, Time and Money. How much time will it take you to build those custom toe kick cabinets yourself? Do you need a great washer/dryer combo, or just a smaller mobile washer? How about that custom spice rack? Fold-down desk with storage? Extra cubbies in the stairs?

Breaking down your lifestyle essentials like we mentioned above, paired with the idea that space, time and money need to be thoroughly thought through on your design, we believe you can creatively and efficiently create an amazing tiny home floor plan that suits your exact needs. Just choose wisely padawan!

There is no absolute right design, but there is a wrong design!

As we all know, each person or family will use their tiny home differently. This means there is no RIGHT way to design your home. From the countless tiny home shows we’ve been to, we know every person on this planet will have something to say about how you designed it… We’ve all got our own opinions! Our best advice to that is OWN YOURS! You designed it this way for a reason. Maybe you love spending time in your loft, maybe you need a big bathroom, whatever it is, it doesn’t matter what they think, it only matters what you think and how it fits your needs.

With that said, you definitely can go wrong with your design. Make sure you think far enough ahead to not make costly mistakes and/or an uncomfortable floor plan. Look at what other people have done in their designs. Take what you like and leave out what you don’t. You don’t want to have to remodel your tiny home right after you move in.

At the end of the day, this is your tiny home. Make sure it’s the way you want it. By utilizing some of these practices, we know you can design a tiny house that is just right for you.

Thoughts? Questions? Shoot us a quick email and we will see how we can help! Or schedule a consultation session so we can review your tiny home plans and give our feedback.

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