The tiny home trend is beyond a hashtag or social media like, it’s a full-blown social and architectural movement that advocates simplified living in smaller homes. It’s truly a lifestyle. The tiny-house movement promotes financial prudence, intelligent investing, community engagement and an overall shift in materialistic-driven mindsets.
You may have lived in a tiny home environment before (studio apartments, anyone?) which are typically under 400 sqft. In 2018, the average house sold in the United States was 2100 sqft. The average tiny home was 186 sqft.
And that, my friends, is why they’re called tiny homes.
After getting lost in a rabbit hole of #tinyhome hashtags and blog posts, there’s a consensus that building or moving into a small home is essentially “Marie Kondo-ing” your lifestyle. It is decluttering not only your home and living space but also decluttering obligations, home maintenance and finance. It’s creating a life free from rent, mortgage and utility bills. (Well, besides $15 monthly utilities bill as quoted by one tiny home resident.) It’s a form of freedom by learning to live with less.
a little about tiny homes
So why tiny homes? There are significant reasons for the dramatic shift: lifestyle liberty, financial freedom + sustainability.
lifestyle liberty / financial freedom
- Thanks to more manageable living costs there are more opportunities to pursue adventures
- Market trends show that tiny homes cost between 10k-40k
- Because of low cost, 68% of tiny home dwellers have no mortgages compared to 29.3% of all U.S. Homeowners.
- The average cost to build a tiny home is 23k if built by the owner
- Tiny homes are easier to maintain, improve and repair compared to a traditional house
- Many tiny homes are quickly built with sustainable materials
- They can be fitted for life “off the grid” living
- They consume and waste less energy since there’s a smaller area to heat and cool
- Tiny homes reduce the need to fill your space with waste
big on style
About that last bullet point—tiny homes reduce the need to fill your space with waste. Less clutter means more design-forward decorating. Just because tiny houses are, well, tiny, the interior design can still be big on style.
Here are some tips to follow for fashioning your tiny home—whether it’s the space you currently call home, or you’re passionate about joining the micro-movement.
When you’re living in under 400 sqft of space, smart organization is key. Protip: look up to find extra room. In most cases, the only way to go is up. When going vertical to decorate and organize, use corners, wall space and the top of appliances (like that unused space above the fridge).
underneath it all
Another overlooked space for organizing and discreetly hiding objects of your obsession are in the nooks and crannies. Look to use the space under the bed and couch for storage.
Another way to hide things away discreetly with design? Multifunctional furniture (think tufted storage ottoman, decorative baskets, stylish futons). This is a true marriage of form + function and forces creativity. For example, a beautiful woven basket is not just aesthetically pleasing; it can double as a laundry hamper.
Purge, baby purge. If you haven’t watched the now-viral Marie Kondo Netflix series, you should. Marie Kondo-ing has essentially become a verb. The point is—less is more. Get rid of what you don’t need. Sleep on your wants, so you know it’s something you need. Small spaces can easily get overwhelmed with clutter. By proactively reducing visual clutter, it keeps the space bright, airy and open.
Use white or light colors when selecting your tiny home’s paint palette. Lighter hues visually expand the space and perspective. The walls recede with monochromatic, bright shades. Contrasting, dark colors absorb and soak up coveted natural light.
don’t just think small
Even though it’s a small-scale space, at least one large item per room—a full rug, large accent chair—actually accentuates the space. A larger rug will expand the footprint of a room and one large lamp, instead of two small lamps, will anchor any corner.
the final word
Tiny homes can be many things, a reimagined school bus, a cabin, shipping container, mobile home, or abode built with a new design in mind. Whatever architectural style you choose for a tiny home, streamline your décor selections for well-edited style.
to stay in the know
Your monthly dose of significant properties, seductive architecture, influential design, art that matters and community happenings.