A journalist, editor and tiny house enthusiast, Stacey Foster hopes to one day make her tiny house dreams a tiny house reality.
How to Design Spaces to Be Multifunctional to Use Space Efficiently
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.
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 are 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.
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 bathtub 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 a shower and tub for children.
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.
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 Ideas for Each Room
|Kitchen/Dining room||Loft||Living Space|
Bench seating with storage
Storage coffee table
Hanging pots and pans
Hidden storage in floorboards
Hidden toe-kick drawers
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!