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How to Use Space Creatively in a Tiny Home

A journalist, editor and tiny house enthusiast, Stacey Foster hopes to one day make her tiny house dreams a tiny house reality.

In the average home it's pretty easy to find wasted space. Many rooms lack adequate storage, and what little space you have is loaded to the brim with items that are rarely used. Some rooms and hallways don't serve any purpose, but add to the square footage of a home.

In a tiny home, however, every inch of space should be utilized. Storage, which comes in all shapes and sizes, should be organized so that useful possessions can be easily accessed.

Whether you're looking at designing your own tiny home or hoping to make better use of a small space, these ideas will help inspire.

A compact kitchen is key in a small space.

A compact kitchen is key in a small space.

How to Make Creative Use of a Compact Kitchen

The kitchen usually ends up being the most crowded room, as so much can be crammed into drawers and cabinets. In a tiny home, there's no room for waste, so every item in the kitchen needs to be absolutely necessary. By thinking about exactly what you need in a kitchen, you can design a space that suits your needs perfectly.

  • Perhaps you don't need a full range, as you're not much of a chef, and perhaps a toaster oven will work for you.
  • If you cook with spices at every meal, think about options to keep them off the counter, which will have limited space. There's many magnetic options, or you could even consider building a shelf between studs in the wall.
  • Think about the maximum number of people you plan to entertain, and have just enough dishes and cutlery on hand. While this means you'll be doing more dishes, you'll likely want to keep such a small space free from clutter.
More and more options are available for smaller than normal tubs, which are common in parts of Europe. This one does double-duty, providing a removable sink.

More and more options are available for smaller than normal tubs, which are common in parts of Europe. This one does double-duty, providing a removable sink.

Downsize the Bathtub

Many tiny house's bathrooms barely provide enough space for one person, meaning they often come with only a toilet, small shower, and sink, something that doesn't appeal to those hoping to soak in the tub after a long day.

A little research, however, can help you find a smaller bath tub to suit your needs. While manufactures options may be financially out of reach, many tiny house enthusiasts have come up with inexpensive alternatives, including:

  • A large galvanized water trough.
  • A custom-tiled tub to fit exact dimensions.
  • A rain barrel to serve as shower and tub for children.
An inexpensive water trough can provide durability and help save space in a bathroom.

An inexpensive water trough can provide durability and help save space in a bathroom.

Create Multi-Functional Spaces

Tiny houses often have spaces that serve multiple functions.

On the simplest level, couches often open up to provide linen storage.

Kitchen tables can double for desks, and Murphy beds can turn an office into a bedroom.

But a well-designed tiny home or small space takes multi-function spaces to the next level.

With some creative design, tiny houses can serve two or more functions as is the case with this dining/bedroom option.

With some creative design, tiny houses can serve two or more functions as is the case with this dining/bedroom option.

Create Storage Space Under the Stairs

The space under a stairway is often covered, painted and forgotten, but provides a storage goldmine if put to good use.

While many tiny home owners opt for a ladder instead of stairs to reach a loft, designing custom stairs with storage can help alleviate some of the pressure of downsizing.

Some uses for space under the stairs include:

  • Closet space
  • Shelving for books, possessions or pantry items
  • Built-in desk or office
  • Washer/dryer storage
Storage under the stairs is a practical alternative for those who don't want to use a ladder to access the loft.

Storage under the stairs is a practical alternative for those who don't want to use a ladder to access the loft.

Storage ideas for each room

The key to coming up with great storage ideas is being realistic about how many possessions you have and tailoring storage for items you can't live without.

Kitchen/dining roomLoftLiving space

Bench seating with storage

Built in closets

Storage coffee table

Hanging pots and pans

Hidden storage in floorboards

Armrest pockets

Hidden toe-kick drawers

 

Wall-mounted electronics

A folding kitchen table for two can help reduce clutter and open up a space - while the shelving is hidden when not in use.

A folding kitchen table for two can help reduce clutter and open up a space - while the shelving is hidden when not in use.

Comments

Stacey Foster (author) from Nova Scotia on May 17, 2016:

Thanks very much. We're the same way with children's toys - it's a constant struggle!

Margie's Southern Kitchen from the USA on May 16, 2016:

I loved your article, very interesting! Wish I had a tiny house, we keep buying stuff but not getting rid of anything! Thanks for sharing!