Tiny homes have become popular for people who want to minimize, save money, live off the grid, or just try something different. If you listen to real stories and anecdotes from folks who have gone this route, however, you’ll know it’s not always as glamorous as the trendy TV shows make it out to be. That said, tiny living doesn’t have to mean tiny pleasure—you just have to know what’s important to you. Here are ten cool and interesting features that make tiny home living a lot of fun.
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1. Cool Decks
Tiny houses often have a lot of land to utilize, so get creative with outdoor living. A wraparound or large deck area can be a great place to host guests, especially if the indoors get a little cramped. Platform decks can turn into stages to hold plays or musical events. Combine indoor and outdoor together with a pass-through window or doors that can be propped up or opened wide for an open-air feel to your home. Sliders, French doors, and moveable decks that you can extend and latch back up are perfect if you need to move around a lot. Get even fancier with a rooftop deck and a view.
2. Staircase Alternatives
If you have a loft or second level in your tiny home, have some fun with different ways to get up there! Sure, a standard staircase will be the easiest way to travel to and fro, but what about a ladder for quick up and down access, as either the main mode or an alternative? You can make the wall into a fun rock-climbing spot, or if there are kids in the house, why not add a slide? (Consider a slide even if there aren’t kids in the house…)
3, Secret Storage & Hide-Out Spots!
Make the space under the stairs or between each step into a bookcase. Or a spot for shoes. Or whatever you have a lot of! If you have kids or pets, turn it into a little nook for them to nap in or play with their toys. While this is a commonly used storage area, there are other unique ways to hide your stuff. Find sofas and ottomans that integrate underneath stowage or secret modular sections that you can stack inside each other. Under-the-bed compartments, shelving, and cabinetry can be custom-built for quick and fun ways to hide your belongings… or yourselves.
4. Design Splurges
One of the pluses of living tiny is that you don’t have a lot of square footage, so you can splurge on a few high-end finishes. Choose interesting grains for your hardwood flooring - even laminate can come in cheaper, interesting styles. Expensive backsplash tiles won’t break the bank, either, when you’re only doing a small area. (Tip: use the same tile for the bathroom.) Good, quality faucets, cabinetry, and countertops will turn small kitchen or bathroom spaces into tiny places of luxury.
5. Specialized Appliances and Cookware
Sure, Bodums are a smart choice for tiny living since they are simple, compact coffee makers (check them out on Amazon), but maybe getting that espresso machine you’ve always wanted is a fun incentive to make your tiny living dream come true! Tiny home appliances have come a long way, too, and you can find things like counter-top dishwashers, “smart” ovens, or “vintage” -looking 22-inch refrigerators that will add a little pizzazz to your kitchen. Investing in quality pots and pans, utensils, and dishes will also make a huge difference, especially if these items are on display due to lack of cupboard space.
6. Unique Wall or Landscape Art
There are so many different types of tiny homes, from log cabins to modern minimalist styles—why not find some artwork that reflects your style? Homes that use a lot of rustic, reclaimed wood can include it on their walls with painted pallet art or round tree cuts geometrically placed together or turned into things like clocks or picture frames. A self-made or commissioned mural can make a grand statement in a small space. Interesting “found art” can be sourced from things others might not consider, giving your tiny home a funky vibe. Or, find local artists who create sculptures and connect your outside space with the community.
7. Tiny Bay Windows
Even a small bay window will allow extra light into the room and doesn’t need to jut out so much that it becomes a liability when moving the house. They can act as extra space, too, especially for plants that are often left out of tiny home design. Integrate one in the kitchen and create a perfect place for a herb garden or spice racks. A bay window in the bedroom can open up for much-needed air circulation and as a spot to put a clock radio or phones at night.
A tiny home garden can be as big as your outdoor space! It’s a great way to get some fresh air, soak up the sun, and get your hands dirty. Even if you are only living somewhere for the growing season, having an outdoor garden will benefit your tiny life in many ways: you can grow your own food and always have fresh, cut flowers! This will save trips to the grocery store and brighten up your décor. Plus, if you are composting your food scraps, being able to use them in your soil is a win-win, especially if garbage pick-up is scarce.
9. Hot Tubs and Baths
The idea is to spend more time outdoors, right?!? Why not indulge and give your tiny home a little open-air luxury? This may not be the thing to do if you are constantly on the go or dwelling on temporary land, but if you are setting up shop somewhere for a while or will return to a main spot, a hot tub is a very fun feature to make tiny living more enjoyable. Add some twinkly solar lights, and enjoy the night sky while you relax.
Don’t let a builder talk you out of a tub if that’s something you really enjoy having. You might not be able to justify a full-size soaker, but you can source smaller tubs designed specifically for tiny living that will do the trick. Your legs may not be able to fully extend, but bath time can still be fun with bubbles and a bath caddy. Plus, if you have little ones, it’ll be the perfect size for them. Look for three-quarter tubs, or think outside the box and use something like a wine barrel for a completely different way to soak.
Tiny home living doesn’t have to be about sacrifice. In fact, it’s a good idea to add a few things into your design that will really get you excited about the lifestyle change. Even minimalists can add some spark to their surroundings with creative ideas and use of space. Try out some of these features, and start making tiny living more fun.
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