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  • Writer's pictureMinimal Design NZ

Tiny house design tips from the experts

Updated: Mar 26, 2021

Last year, we chatted with Kim Victoria from about our top tips for maximizing space in a tiny house. Have a read of the article below, then contact our Minimal Design architects in Wanaka to bring your big tiny house dreams to life.

Small is really big right now. So, if you're spilling out of your home and yelling "we need more room", instead of going house hunting take some advice from a tiny house designer.

Lukas Bravenec of Minimal Design designs tiny homes in Wanaka and says it's often just the simple things people overlook. "Storage can be fitted into seats and sofas. It is space that is often underestimated but delivers huge value."

"How about a simple drawer or box? Use some good quality glue to attach a bit of carpet to a drawer or box and it can slide around on the floor to where it's needed," says Lukas.

Lukas has some other tiny house tips to help bring some order back into your home.

In the bathrooms of tiny homes, storage space hides behind mirrors over the vanity. Look at various options for mirror cabinets that can either be recessed into the wall or attached to the wall. Put in some overhead cabinets that can be used for towel storage.

If you have a loft space that can be opened up, stairs can be made to swing back up against the wall and out of the way – just get some good engineering advice.

Stairs provide a wealth of space underneath the treads so you can utilize the space and create a good access. The space can also be used to house a fridge or oven.

Building swing stairs up to a loft of mezzanine space involves careful engineering – go mechanical, but get some good advice.

Putting comfy squabs and lots of cushions across a storage box under the window creates a lovely window seat, with lots of storage space under it.

Opening up the space below the stair treads creates an opportunity for built in storage, including drawers and cupboards.

Ever thought about the space under your floorboards? If you are planning construction or have a handy builder, look at putting in a space with a trapdoor for easy access. Just don't forget that you've put things in there. And while you have the carpenter handy, create some spaces in between the studs for storage. A tall narrow cupboard is ideal for a broom or mop and other cleaning products.

In the kitchen, add some open shelves to the end of a counter and make them a dedicated area for electronics, chargers, speakers and cables.

Open overhead shelves also create a statement. Don't put doors on them though, you just want cubes you can see right through. You'll be able to grab what you need at a glance. And while you're at it, use both sides of the shelf at the same time. Screw the lids of mason or other glass jars to the underneath of a shelf. Use them to keep your tea, coffee, spices, or sugar handy.

If you have some wall space in the kitchen, install a bar, or two that you can hang things from. A couple of s-hooks from a hardware store and you can have cookware and utensils under control and easy to get to. Remember that old-fashioned hanging baskets also work well.

Wall space also works well for large items like surfboards or bicycles. They take clutter up the floor as they battle for space, but on the wall they stay out of the way and can also look quite artistic. Make sure you have good hooks and cables to secure items on the wall in place.

Modular furniture is handy to have. Cushioned cubes can be pushed around to make a bed, individual seats, or a couch. They are hollow as well so perform double duty as extra storage.

Raise your bed and add some storage, either with made to measure cupboards or off the shelf storage cubes from local hardware stores.

The easiest storage solution however, is to have very little to store. Keep your home clutter free. Adopt a one-in-one-out philosophy. For every cool lamp you buy, when you come home with it, pick something on a shelf or table that heads out to a charity shop.

Remember that adopting a tiny house mentality isn't just about living in a small house, it's reevaluating all the "stuff" you have and living with what you need.

It might be time to challenge your inner shopaholic to stop spending on things you don't really need. Not only will you save money, but your home will be clutter free, and you won't need to buy a bigger one.

Check out the article below and contact the Minimal Design team to chat about your tiny project.

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