Beauty and Functionality: Ideas for Tiny House Design

by Sarah

I didn’t realize when we started planning for our tiny house that it would change the way that I look at the world.  I hadn’t paid much attention to architecture before, besides an appreciation for Victorian houses (I grew up in San Francisco) and colonial/ Spanish-style architecture (lots of years in Latin America.)

La Candelaria - Wikimedia Commons
I’ve always loved the colonial architecture in La Candelaria neighborhood, Bogota, Colombia.
San Francisco Victorian houses are so pretty, and are my earliest understanding of what a house looks like.  But all of those details are flourishes are not so applicable to tiny house design...
San Francisco Victorian houses are so pretty, and are my earliest understanding of what a house looks like. But all of those details and flourishes are not so applicable to tiny house design…

Now when I look around me I notice dormers, asymmetrical roofs, cedar shake siding, and trim.  Likewise, I’ve always had my preferences about interior decoration but now I am paying a lot more attention to functional details—does it fold away?  Is there space for storage underneath? How heavy is it?  Although we bought our plans from Tumbleweed, we also want to adjust them so that they are unique and serve our specific needs.

It’s fun to feel my eye develop.  I’ve been keeping a file of some of my favorite design solutions – the ones that are beautiful but also extremely functional (there’s not much room for beauty and non-functionality in a tiny house) and I thought I’d share a few of them here.

Here are a few inspiring exteriors:
This is definitely the dream for someday… From Molecule Tiny Homes.
Little details like this purple door give this tiny house personality and individuality. From livetiny365.
I loved the funky, recycled sensibility of this house. It’s a very different aesthetic from Tumbleweed, and good for me to remember the many style options out there! From Munro Shea Designs.

I’ve also been noticing all houses more, not just tiny ones, and paying attention to what I like. Here are some ideas from non-tiny houses that make me wonder how we can incorporate some of what they’ve done:
This is the interior of an Earthship. I love all the plants – in the Earthship they function as part of the internal ecosystem – and want to bring some (fewer perhaps!) into our tiny house. Photo from Santi and Laura’s Flickr.
First, I love a cozy window nook. Second, in tiny houses it’s good to have a variety of levels that you can be in. From Tumblr.

And here are few interior tiny space ideas that really catch my eye:
Beautiful interior wood siding from Chris and Malissa’s Tiny Tack House.
Lots of people have their dish-drying area above the sink – saves space and time! This image is from the Apartment Therapy article on Christopher and Merete’s tiny house.
I like alternative ideas for getting up to the lofts. Here it looks like they have both a ladder and steps on the wall. We’ve been talking about monkey bars or a zip-line between our lofts! Photo from Tiny House Talk: 252 sq ft.

4 thoughts on “Beauty and Functionality: Ideas for Tiny House Design

  1. That arched window nook is gorgeous. I love these ideas–especially the house with the screened porch. I’m inspired by how much progress you’ve made already. And it’s always exciting to learn to read the world in new ways. Since visiting the two of you I’ve been thinking a lot more about interiors, flow of space, and what is and isn’t necessary.

    1. Thank you, Amy! It’s nice to be reminded that we have made progress… it seems like there’s so far to go. And yes, I have also appreciated reading the world in new ways and how that just grows naturally… lots of love, Sarah

  2. Wonderful! It makes me remember the folding and hanging table that my dad made years ago for the cabin. It hung on the wall and could be folded down either at full or half length depending on how many mouths were to be feed, but didn’t fill up the work/sleeping bags on the floor/cooking space. Enjoy this creative process!

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