Small cosy homes take careful consideration and planning. These small space living ideas will help you make the most of the square footage you have at your disposal.
Sporty and I are still in the shopping phase of our tiny house journey.
We know for sure that we want to live in a tiny home community and we’ve identified one (so far) that could work for us. But that’s about the extent of it.
Given that we’ve made a tentative deadline for the end of the year (when our farm lease comes to an end), I thought it would be prudent to at least start considering our options.
Most builders have standard plans to choose from, but we still have to think about our non-negs. Off the top of my head we’ll need a decent work area, somewhere to meditate and do yoga and a workable food prep scenario.
With this in mind, I went on the hunt for some small space living ideas that might work for us. Predictably, I ended up down a rabbit hole and didn’t resurface for hours. (Sporty nearly sent out a search party.)
While down there I did come across a number of useful books for in case you’re keen to go the DIY route. Two in particular jumped out at me.
How to Build Your Own Tiny House by Marshall Roger is a comprehensive guide to the actual construction process, building codes and regulations. It doesn’t feature a lot of floor plans but it has a host of design ideas.
If you don’t find the small house design you’re looking for there, then take a look at Design America Inc’s Big Book of Small Home Plans. With over 360 home plans under 1200 square feet to choose from, you’re sure to find the small cosy home of your dreams,
5 Small Space Living Ideas You’ll Absolutely Love
Some of these ideas are a little over the top, but hey, who says you have to live in a Walden-esque cabin just because you prefer less floor space.
If that’s your style, awesome. But what if you’d like something a little fancier? Something that’s more in keeping with a regular sized house, just on a much smaller scale.
I like to think of it as having your hippie vegan cake and eating it too.
1. A Conservatory for My Tiny Home? Don’t Mind if I Do
Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved the idea of having a cosy, reading spot. Somewhere to soak up the sun without actually sitting outside (I’m not a fan) and lose yourself in a juicy book.
Now that’s my kind of bliss.
I still have to run this by Sporty, but if we ever get that tiny house (fingers crossed) and we decide to park it in one place for longer than five minutes, I’d love to have a small conservatory added on to it.
If you think that sounds silly you’ll change your mind after seeing this tiny house on Freshouz. It’s so adorable you almost expect one of Snow White’s seven dwarves to open the door and invite you in for a cup of mushroom tea.
2. Sliding Sash Windows Offer Style and Warmth
You might be surprised to hear this, but South African winters can be chilly. The building fraternity has yet to receive the memo though, because central heating still hasn’t made an appearance here.
Instead, we spend our winters huddled around a gas heater, toasting marshmallows in an attempt to distract ourselves from our icy misery.
With that in mind, Sporty and I will most definitely be opting for double-glazed replacement sash windows. They’re practical, stylish and keep the warmth inside, where it belongs. What’s not to love?
We can figure out how to cool the place down when we get there, but I want to make sure we’ve done whatever we can to make our new digs super warm and toasty.
We’ve spent far too many winters wearing our outdoor clothing inside not to make that a priority. The thought of wearing a hat and coat inside our tiny home leaves me cold.
3. Get Your Cooking on With a Pukka Chef’s Kitchen
I’m not sure about going quite as fancy-schmancy as this Hawaiin retreat from Tiny Heirloom. Although, I will admit it does appeal to the cook in me. I can just imagine the food I’d whip up in that kitchen.
We probably won’t go quite as large, but we’ll make sure our kitchen is practical, easy to navigate and well kitted out. Food plays a big role in our lives. We love making our meals from scratch so we can pack as much healthy goodness into them as possible.
4. A Loft Bedroom You Can Actually Stand up In
Sporty is adamant that if we end up with a loft bed there needs to at least be enough room to sit up without causing yourself an injury. She’s also a little claustrophobic, so there’s that to factor in as well.
I don’t have as much of an issue with a low ceiling, but obviously you need to at least be able to hold your book comfortably when reading in bed. When I spotted this house on AL Tiny Homes I knew I’d have to include it for Sporty. You can actually stand up in the loft!
5. Yoga (and Sundowners) on Your Rooftop Deck
As small space living ideas go, this one is pretty sweet. I can just imagine us meditating on our rooftop deck in the mornings and then enjoying sundowners up there in the evenings. Of course, it would depend on the community we end up living in.
Our neighbours might not like having us up there, surveying everyone’s business. I don’t suspect it would be an issue, but you never know. Some people prefer more privacy than others.
We’d probably have to camouflage Sporty’s binoculars.
Neighbours aside, a rooftop deck is a really clever use of space. You’d definitely need to have some sort of cover for shade though; maybe something retractable so you have the option to soak up some vitamin D.
Are You Ready to Give Tiny House Living a Try?
Now that you’ve seen the amazing things you can achieve in a limited amount of space, are you ready to take the plunge and get a tiny house? It does take some getting used to. After all, we’ve been conditioned to believe that bigger is better.
The truth is, living small allows you to live large. With less space comes less responsibility. There’s less to clean and maintain for starters, which means more time for other life pursuits.
A smaller space also means you’ll spend less money on utilities. What will you do with all that extra money? You could go adventuring, buy a mountain bike, invest more so you can retire early. There are so many options.
There’s also the environmental aspect to consider. New research has found that tiny homes are very eco-friendly. According to the study, ‘on average, people who downsized into a tiny home reduced their energy consumption by 45 percent.’
And that’s without even installing a compost toilet.
Building a house is an expensive business. House plans and interior design alone can set you back a pretty penny (or three). Small homes aren’t nearly as heavy on the pocket. Small spaces allow you to let the creative genie out the bottle without fear of bankruptcy.
A quick search for tiny house designs on Google will yield a ton of interesting and inventive ways to make the most of your digs without harming your bank account. You’ll find living room dining room combo ideas that’ll blow your mind but leave your budget largely intact.
There’s inspiration for everything from a wood cottage to something thoroughly modern at a fraction of the cost of your regular 2,400 square feet abode. I could go on, but you get the point.
Tiny house living is way more cost effective, not to mention an enormous amount of creative fun. What do you think? Could you downsize to something that’s essentially the size of a garden shed?
For us it sounds like a dream come true, but it may well be your worst nightmare. Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.