Against Trend Tiny 

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.

  1. 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!

    Key features that work for the small space: light cabinets, a 20inch stove, a utility pot rack, ample light and above cabinet baskets.

    Key features that make this space work:  Light cabinets (originally dark walnut), a 20-inch stove (I cook a big ass turkey but wants to anyway?), a utility pot rack (open, airy storage), ample light (we splurged on recessed) and above cabinet baskets.

  2. 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.


    One of corner wardrobes in the 9X11 cedar master

  3. 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!

    Pine and fake beams go together remarkably well!

    Pine and fake beam go together remarkably well!

  4. 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.


    This is one of three designated bare walls. The doorway leads to the multipurpose room.

  5. 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!

    This bifold closet hides household trash and the vacuum. The space above is for off season items.

    This bi-fold closet hides household trash and the vacuum. The space above is for off-season items. This was just “dead space” before we added these out-of-the-way built-ins.

  6. 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.

    Black and white photos of the family enjoying good times up north grace the guest room wall.

    Black and white photos of the family enjoying good times up north grace the guest room wall.

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.

And the view . . .priceless!

And the view . . .priceless!




5 thoughts on “Against Trend Tiny 

  1. I love it, thank you so much for sharing! You’ve created an absolutely beautiful home, and I fully agree that the open layout not only works aesthetically, but would be perfect for entertaining guests. What I can’t get over though, is the lovely view!

    Liked by 1 person

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