Let’s face it, if you’re downsizing your house, it can be a daunting prospect. This is the time when you take stock of what you have, and reduce it down to the bare essentials first, then negotiate on the other stuff later. It’s called downsizing, and it’s a liberating experience once you’ve done it.
However, if it’s your first home, you get to choose everything size-specific to fit your new surroundings.
This is where you need to set out the dimensions on your tiny home. You can use a variety of materials such as cardboard strips, chalk, or sand to mark out the perimeter of your tiny home, then start dividing it up into designated zones such as bathroom, kitchen, bedroom etc. Think about the height of your spaces, especially the loft if you’re going to have one as being able to get around the bed or stand up may be something of careful consideration. You don’t want to bump your head every time you sit up or try to stand up, and you should consider your back if getting around upstairs means crouching or hunching over. You need to consider whether you have a bed that doubles up as storage underneath or just a mattress on the floor – but think hard about not only comfort, but your back! You only have one of them, so make sure getting around and sleeping are at the forefront of your essential consideration list.
If you are going for a loft or second level, how would you want your stairs and what purpose would they utilize? Is it a pull-down ladder or is it a more substantial set of stairs that houses storage units or shelves that display artifacts, records and books? If you like to have a wine cellar, perhaps you want glass-fronted storage racks under the stairs that display the bottles so they optimize temperature conditions.
There are tons of creative ways to accommodate storage solutions, let your imagination go wild.
An idea that just came to me is converting a classic retro fridge in a shelving unit. No-one would know it wasn’t a fridge until it’s opened up. You can find them online by visiting Pinterest, doing an image or key phrase search. Keep a notepad handy or use a mobile app to keep your ideas as you think of them. Then list them by order of importance, and see how to include them into your tiny home.
What can you live with, and what can you live without? How many pots and pans do you currently have? Do you wear every item of clothing on a regular basis? (…and by regular, I mean weekly or fortnightly)
Think about the way you live. Do you need to stockpile grocery items for the next year or two? Or can you live only buying fresh food and necessities for the next week. Do you want to display an abundance of artwork or collectables? Would you make a feature of the storage doors to hang paintings or macramé?
Do you have a pet or are you considering getting one? Allow for them as well – where will they sleep, how easy is it for them to get around, is there a place they can relax?
Remember, downsizing doesn’t mean downgrading. Even having bespoke pieces of furniture made for a tiny home will cost you a lot less than for a full sized house or penthouse apartment and will support local business.
There is an abundance of resources and websites that have floor plans and designs to get you started, there are even workshops to learn all you need.