Im 26 and designed a tiny house — how to save space + photos – Insider

  • My partner and I built and live in a 350-square-foot tiny house with our cat and dog. 
  • We took advantage of high ceilings, windows, and loft space to make our home feel larger.
  • Our multifunctional couch both works as storage and a place for guests to sleep.

My partner, Jake, and I always knew we wanted to live in a tiny home on wheels.

We had the space to create one and access to YouTube videos detailing how, so once our Etsy shop took off, we purchased a 32-foot trailer and began building a home for us and our two pets, with no prior experience.

Here’s how we made the most of our small space:

We customized every inch of our home to fit our lifestyle

The tiny home owners sitting in the window spot of their under-construction tiny home

We mapped out the layout of our tiny home beforehand.

Erica Allen

Jake taught himself a 3D-modeling program, so we were able to fully layout how we would use and customize every inch of the trailer to fit our daily routines. 

We intentionally mapped out the location of all of our belongings, which helped keep everything organized and in a specific place.

We made our ceilings as high as possible

Our home is 8 1/2-feet wide, so we wanted to maximize our ceiling height to make it feel like there’s more space inside.

Since our home is on wheels, we have to abide by the legal road requirements, so that when we do choose to move it (which isn’t often), it can easily fit under bridges, stoplights, or other physical barriers. 

Our family and friends initially say, “It’s so big,” when they see our tiny home, which we can thank our tall ceilings for.

Adding lofts created two extra rooms

Interior of the tiny house with kitchen, gray couch, and loft up above

There are two different lofts in our tiny home.

Erica Allen

To take advantage of our vertical space, we constructed two separate lofts on either side of our tiny house.

On the front end, our office loft holds our books, computers, and business inventory, which is all accessed by a built-in ladder on the wall.

Then on the back end, built-in stairs — which also double as added storage — lead up to our bedroom area with our bed and growing plant collection.

The leveled areas make our home feel larger, and also give our animals their own space. Our cat loves using the shelves to roam around to each loft, and our puppy spends his time on the main floor.

Our multifunctional couch is my favorite piece of furniture

Interior of tiny house with wood walls and extended gray couch

This couch also serves as a bed for guests.

Erica Allen

Although we don’t have much furniture, our “L”-shaped couch — which has a portion that opens up for extra storage — is still my favorite. 

When we want to relax and enjoy our starry-light ceiling, the couch seamlessly extends into a bed, which makes it that much harder to convince ourselves to move to the bedroom loft at night.

This also makes it a great guest area when our friends and family visit.

Perfectly fitting into our living room, the couch leaves just enough space for our dog’s crate.

The more natural light, the bigger the space feels

One of my worries with tiny living was having the space feel too small, so in our design process, we included large windows on our main floor and in both lofts. 

The windows on each side of the house are 6-feet long and bring in both natural light and the outside world. Our front door also acts as a tall window, with added blinds.

These openings offer a daily flow of natural light, which all of us — including our cat and dog — love to bask in.  

The look of your walls can make a huge difference  

Interior of the tiny house, looking into the kitchen with wood walls and lots of plants

We used wood paneling on all of our walls.

Erica Allen

We originally thought of painting our walls a stark white, but once we screwed in each board of plywood, we fell in love with the warm ambiance.

We purposely positioned the wood grain to travel upward to draw eyes toward the ceiling and make the space feel larger. 

Taking advantage of these “decor” pieces, we used the same concept for our barn door. Plus the funky grain gives us something cool to look at.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *