Tiny homes are cute for sure but let’s face it, two mature, large-boned adults might find it hard to cohabitate in something smaller than a bread box. For those who have doubts about living in small quarters why not try a more practical size?
It just so happens that my husband and I own a home that is 528 feet square large. When we bought the drab 1960’s paneled cottage 4 years ago many asked if we were planning to “add on” but we quickly put such rumors to rest. We were going to make it work.
To anyone who has considered downsizing here are a few things we learned in the rehab process.
- Chose an open design. The front half of the house is one big room that serves as the living, dining, kitchen. The importance of this layout cannot be understated. We could easily host a party of ten. Tiny often means that parties are outside, but with our small, open concept we can throw quite a bash!
- Consider wardrobes vs. closets for less obtrusive storage. The cottage came with one floor to ceiling closet measuring 6 X 2.5. We tore it out and in its place built his and her wardrobes with spaces for baskets on top. There is something about having open space near the ceiling that makes the rooms feel bigger.
- Vary your materials. We used cedar on the bedroom walls to cover up the cheesy paneling. On the ceilings we used corrugated metal. In the living room tongue and groove pine boards stained in the lightest shade worked with the original drywall ceilings. We retained the fake beams that came with the house as everyone seemed to think they were the real deal!
- Designate “bare walls” and think “multi-purpose.” If every wall is filled with knickknacks the space will feel physically smaller. We also strive to keep cabinets and closets less than full. Organization in a smaller home is important to maintain sanity. We have one room that has three lives in that it serves as a laundry, a space to hang wet winter clothes, and an after bath changing area.
- Don’t look desperate for space. Use nooks that are not in your “line of sight.” If you look like storage space is lacking your home will naturally look smaller. Play it cool!
- Spare no space for things that matter to you. We use a large area for our vinyl LP collection and turntable (flying in the face of modern technology) and have included many personal effects in the guest room so that our adult children feel at home. Don’t minimize to the point of misery.
Before we bought this small place we looked at a home that was nearly double in size. I venture to say that it isn’t nearly as big as our Small Fly (groovy) Cottage.