With urbanization, cities are getting more populated. The prices of real estate are skyrocketing with every passing day, and spaces that we live in are shrinking in size. Tiny homes are now becoming extremely popular, and have now turned into a lifestyle choice for many. Tiny homes can be efficient and beautiful, and here are some space saving ideas that can be used in tiny homes. 

1. Shelving | Space saving ideas

All vertical surfaces can be used for shelving in one form or another. Different types of shelves such as floating, corner, fixed, or adjustable shelves. Shelving is a versatile option for storage and can serve the dual purpose of acting as decor for the room itself. Books, for example, can easily be propped up on these shelves. However, it is important to be aware of the weight capacity of the shelf and the vertical surface in such cases. 

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The Alpha Tiny House on Wheels by New Frontier Tiny Homes. Image Credit – Garett Buell, Source-https://tinyhousetalk.com/alpha-tiny-house/

2. Work Desk

In a tiny home, having a dedicated workspace might seem like a luxury. However, there are many ways to incorporate such requirements even into tiny homes. A pull-out work desk can be designed to be a part of another piece of furniture, or a work desk could consist of a foldable table attached to a surface as pictured below. 

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Fold down Work Desk is a space-saving solution. Image Credit – Unknown, Source-https://renoguide.com.au/home-office/50-small-and-efficient-home-office-ideas-and-designs

3. Windows | Space saving ideas

Light is an extremely important part of interior space. Having well-lit interiors is known to increase human productivity, and also contribute significantly to a healthy lifestyle. Harvesting daylight for interior activities is also a sustainable alternative to electric lighting. Having large windows, i.e, having a high ratio of window to the wall is a sure shot way to create well-lit interiors. 

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This tiny home designed by Backcountry Tiny Homes has large corner windows that let in daylight, as well as create a visual connect to the exterior Image Credit – Backcountry Tiny Homes, Image Source-https://inhabitat.com/this-rustic-tiny-home-on-wheels-spans-just-90-square-feet/

4. Use of Transparent or Translucent Materials

Even with large windows on the periphery, as mentioned earlier, some spaces in the middle section of the tiny home might not have access to daylight. Translucent materials can be used to solve this problem, as well as create a feeling of lightness within the constrained space. As opposed to heavy materials such as wood for partitioning, translucent materials such as ribbed glass, fiberglass, etc, can provide adequate privacy while still letting in ample amounts of natural light. 

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This small apartment in Barcelona uses translucent partitions in the interior. Image Credit – Unknown Image Source-https://www.decoist.com/small-apartment-barcelona-sliding-doors-partitions/partitions-inside-the-renovated-home-allow-light-to-flow-through-freely/

5. Open Storage | Space saving ideas

Displaying your household essentials, such as pots and pans in the kitchen, some books, knives, etc are a good way to reduce the number of closed cabinets that are required. Open storage solutions can usually be fixed on vertical surfaces, clearing up much of the floor area required for cabinets. Keeping cabinets to a minimum is one of the most effective ways of making a house feel spacious. 

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This tiny home uses a suspended metal frame in the kitchen to store their pots and pans. Image Credit – New Frontier Tiny Homes Source-apartmenttherapy.com

6. Hidden Storage

Every residential space, no matter what it’s size, definitely requires some closed cabinets. Cabinet design is a great place to get creative while designing a tiny home. Storage drawers, pull-outs, and cabinets can be tucked away in the most unexpected places, such as treads of stairs, under fixed furniture, etc. 

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Space under the staircase can be utilized for storage Image Credit – Unknown Source-https://theultralinx.com/2015/11/30-examples-of-minimal-interior-design-13/

7. Flexible Furniture

An important tip when it comes to furniture is to avoid extremely heavy or bulky movable furniture. Opting for flexible or transformable furniture that can serve a variety of functions is ideal. Having all the furniture within the tiny home custom built is a good way to ensure that all the space requirements are met. It is also a good way to get creative and customize it specifically to include storage, workspaces, pullout desks, wardrobes, etc. 

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A foldable dining nook in Alabama Tiny Homes’ first Tiny House Build Image Credit – Alabama Tiny Homes Source-https://tinyhouseswoon.com/freedom/

8. Multi-purpose Rooms | Space saving ideas

Creating multipurpose rooms helps minimize partitioning the space. Different areas of the same spaces can be allotted for different functions, such as workspaces, living spaces, and sleeping spaces. It is also helpful to map the occupancy of space with the time of day to understand the spatial overlap that can be worked out. For example, sleeping spaces can be transformed into workspaces during the day. 

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This bed can be hoisted up when not in use, transforming the space into a living room. Image Credit – BedUp by Décadrages Source-www.dezeen.com

9. Collapsible or Movable Walls

Using collapsible partitions as spaces dividers are particularly effective in tiny homes. These temporary spatial divisions can be moved around or collapsed when not in use to create larger spaces when needed. 

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Architects at Madrid firm PKMN Architectures advocate using moveable walls to create flexible spaces. Image Credit – JAVIER DE PAZ GARCIA Source-https://www.huffpost.com/entry/movable-walls-a-solution-for-small-homes_n_562a51fde4b0443bb563ad3b?ncid=engmodushpmg00000005

10. Sliding Doors | Space saving ideas

Wherever it is necessary to have doors, sliding doors are a space-saving alternative to the regular swing doors. Using a couple of sliding doors as a partition can also help in dividing and opening up space. 

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This sliding door separates the bathroom from the living space. Image Credit – Unknown Source-https://www.dwell.com/browse/photos/6437194541193633792?filter=6268417501073629197
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Anashwara Mandalay is an Architect, currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Interior Design. She believes that the true success of design lies in creative solutions to everyday problems, which drives her interest in minimalism and sustainable design practices. While her work encompasses graphics, product, interior, and architectural design, she is drawn to academia and journalism. She finds inspiration in the most unexpected places - her inclination towards travel, film, visual art and photography play a leading role in her work as a multi-faceted designer.