The concept of tiny homes has become popular nowadays. More and more people are doing away with what Baby Boomers consider the American Dream — owning a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence — and are looking at compact spaces to live in instead.

The growing interest in tiny homes is not without reason. Buying a home in general is a lot more costly than purchasing a cute throw pillow. With a smaller home size, the price is driven down considerably; mortgage loans don’t become as intimidating to take on. Homeowners feel even more free to choose between fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage loans due to the lower price of the home.

What this tiny home revolution has done is it has rendered a lot of well-established interior design techniques and tricks inapplicable for tiny home dwellers. A different approach is often needed to make small homes not only livable, but also enjoyable to live in.

Open Concept

The thing about having a tiny home is that every single inch of space is valuable. Tiny home designers do what they can to fully maximize every inch available in a tiny home. Of course this can mean approaching the design process a little differently.

What may seem vital to a standard-size home may not work for a tiny home. Doors for example, especially hinged ones, can take up valuable space and may not be the best option for a 100 square foot home. Having a door to separate the bathroom from the rest of the living area does seem reasonable, but not for other spaces. Closets without doors are often a common fixture in tiny homes, with most owners resorting to using alternatives like curtains or dividers instead.

Dual Purpose

Because of how small the space is, designing a tiny home often requires a different approach. Instead of furnishing it with furniture that serves only one purpose, every single piece of furniture in a tiny home has to fulfill more than one function.

Modular furniture is a common sight in most tiny homes, with couches that can transform into beds, or coffee tables that can be unfolded and dismantled to provide more seating options. Space saving furniture allows for a tiny home to have multifunctionality in such a small space.

Function Over Form

The most important thing to consider when designing and furnishing a tiny home is how much value an item or design choice will add to the space. Having aesthetics as its only purpose will not fly in a tiny home; it has to actually be of use to the homeowner. Oftentimes, tiny home owners will choose furniture that can double as decor, or will limit decor to just a few key pieces to prevent the space from feeling too cluttered.

Thinking Vertical

Tiny homes don’t really offer much real estate in terms of square footage, but what they often lack in horizontal space they make up for in vertical space. Walls can be used to not only hold decorative items, but shelves can be installed to provide more storage space for tiny home dwellers.

It doesn’t have to be purely storage space either. Tiny homes often have a reputation of having beds built right on top of other spaces like the bathroom or the living area. This allows the vertical space to be fully maximized. When creating one space on top of another, tiny home designers often pare down elements to their simplest forms to prevent the space from looking cramped.

Tiny homes can be a challenge to design for, but keeping the above tips in mind can help any small space feel big.