Transitioning from a spacious home into a tiny house doesn’t come easily for everyone. The process requires you to make tough choices from finding ways to make the most of every single inch and identifying all the stuff you don’t really need.
However, once everything’s ready and you’ve settled in, you realize living in a tiny house is one of the best life choices you can ever make! It’s just a matter of setting your mind to it and figuring out what works best for you.
You may even consider doing some DIY tiny house upgrades to make the house feel more like home. Plus, this helps to minimize the cost without compromising the design quality.
It’s a win-win, but before you start working on DIY tiny house plans, you have to decide what you want to take on. Here are 15 of the top tiny house modifications you can do yourself.
- 1 1. Set up Double Closets
- 2 2. Get the Most Out of the Kitchen
- 3 3. Think Up Instead of Out
- 4 4. Prioritize Convenience
- 5 5. “Hide” Some of the Home’s Features
- 6 6. Install Corner Shelves
- 7 7. Think About Storage Differently
- 8 8. Make Room for Work and Rest
- 9 9. Create a Cozy Area
- 10 10. Leave Room for Furry Friends
- 11 11. Use ALL of Your Space
- 12 12. Don’t Minimize Everything
- 13 13. Have Fun Decorating
- 14 14. Turn Your Tiny House Idea into Two Twin Homes
- 15 15. Consider Going Mobile
- 16 To DIY Tiny House Plans, or To Get Professional Help?
1. Set up Double Closets
As if moving into a tiny house isn’t enough for one person to handle, it can get even more complicated when doing so as a couple. One of the best ways to minimize the stress and give each person a bit of autonomy is to create double closets.
Think of these as his and hers bathroom sinks. While you probably won’t have room for those in your tiny house, separating the closet allows each of you to have your own space to get ready in.
It might seem like a minor detail, but it makes a big difference. Having double closets means the two of you can keep your own areas as messy or as tidy as you’d like, not to mention simply have a place to call your own in this small shared space.
2. Get the Most Out of the Kitchen
An additional benefit of having two closets means you get to make the most space possible to fit each of your wardrobes. Bring that same mindset into the kitchen if you want to make it as functional as it can be.
This is one of the places people have the most trouble when adjusting to tiny homes. They’re used to having kitchen islands and plenty of counter space, then they have to chop and prep on only one or two counters. Not to mention, figure out where to store all the pots, pans, plates, and utensils most kitchens have.
Here’s the thing, though: you probably don’t need as much as you think! There’s no sense in having stacks of plates or many kinds of the same pot in a tiny house.
Stick to the essentials, think long and hard about where everything should go, and be creative about organizing. These tips alone are enough to give you the kitchen you need.
3. Think Up Instead of Out
This tip mainly applies to the kitchen, but it can be used throughout your tiny house. Think up instead of out when deciding how you want to organize everything.
For example, you can hang your coffee mugs on the wall or pots above the stove. These are things you use every day, so hanging them makes access simple and storage even easier. Then, use the cabinet space to store plates and cups without handles.
If you still don’t have room for your cutting boards or cooking utensils, think “up” with those, too. Install a wall cubby somewhere in the kitchen area where you can put all the other things you need. It’s a much easier storage fix than installing another cabinet!
4. Prioritize Convenience
Just as it’s nice to grab a hanging coffee mug in the morning instead of digging through a cabinet for it, you want to prioritize convenience throughout the whole house. Design your setup in a way that makes sense.
Everything should feel natural and inviting from the moment you walk in. This means making the living room open up into the adjacent area of the house and creating enough privacy for the bedroom. It also means having enough room to shower and self-care in the bathroom, without feeling cramped or otherwise uncomfortable.
More so, all your small decor items and functional features should have a purpose. A tiny house has no room for clutter, and the more you make everything in the home matter, the better the house as a whole will be.
5. “Hide” Some of the Home’s Features
Sometimes, convenience means being able to use something when you need it then put it away when you don’t. This makes perfect sense when using pans and pots or reading a book then setting it aside.
But, in a tiny home, you can hide entire tables or seating areas when you need to. Consider making a bench or daybed that’s tall enough to slide a table underneath. The table can be pulled out and connect to the bench in order to create a dining area for meals, but be used as a relaxation space whenever you’re not eating.
Or, turn folding chairs into cute decor items and hang them on the wall when you’re not using them. You can also use the hiding trick for your office space when you need to work or even invest in a foldout bed if you don’t mind putting it up and down every day.
6. Install Corner Shelves
The next interesting opportunity for design and function is in the corners of the home. Have you ever used a corner shelf in the shower? It does wonders to keep you organized and help you make the most of this small space.
Similarly, corner shelves are amazing for tiny homes. You don’t need them in every corner of the house. But, having one or two to set spices on in the kitchen or a few in the living area for small plants and special trinkets can do a lot for your space.
7. Think About Storage Differently
As great as corner shelves and hidden features are, you don’t have to stop there. Additional storage tricks are available to help you move into your tiny home and keep all the things you want to take with you. It’s all a matter of knowing what goes where.
For example, what if you made one of the walls into an open shelf? Have you considered using deep drawers in your cabinets? Or maybe using wider wall shelves in certain places?
If you find the need for storage all over the house, you may, in fact, have more things than you need. But, if you’re just wondering where you can put all your books or store your big, cozy blanket, these storage ideas may do just the trick.
Play with different colored cubbies and hidden storage spaces if you want to have even more fun with this design step. One unique way to do this is to create wide steps on the stairs and turn each step into a shelf for the bottom level!
8. Make Room for Work and Rest
Of course, your tiny house is going to come with a nice bedroom area, but this doesn’t have to be the only area for rest in the house. More importantly, don’t forget to balance it out with a work area, especially if you plan to do a lot of emails and other professional tasks at home.
This may sound like you need to expand the plans for your tiny house. In reality, all you need to do is find ways to fit a seating area for work and a lounging area for relaxing. Oh, and these can be combined into one!
Remember the daybed/storage example mentioned above? If you’re already set with storage, you can use the area underneath the daybed to store a fold-out desk.
If you need the storage and the workspace, connect your desk to the wall – kind of like a fold-out bed would go. Then, all you have to do is unlatch it and set up to work and the put-away process is a breeze. This tip is particularly handy if you’re trying to create an open space for two people sharing a tiny house, but you still want to be practical.
9. Create a Cozy Area
Are daybeds the only option you have for getting cozy? Not at all! That’s just one of the options available to you.
Other cozy seating areas include a reading nook, a small couch, or even hanging a hammock on the porch of your tiny house. The possibilities are endless; it really just depends on your most immediate needs and how to make space for them, and your lifestyle preferences.
Some people, for instance, love the thought of having their morning coffee outside or watching the sun go down from the porch. Others would rather expand the interior a little more and leave out the porch from construction. The latter would in turn have room for a living room/dining area as well as a reading nook, or a large upstairs bedroom above a hang out space.
10. Leave Room for Furry Friends
Here’s something you might have to think about: having pets in your tiny house. Whether you have pets already or you’re interested in getting one when you move, you have to keep them in mind as you set everything up.
It might not be the best idea to have a big dog in a tiny house, or one who will shed everywhere. But, you can keep your beloved big dog if you have a sizeable yard where you plan to build the house.
If you’re a cat person, you can actually have some fun including your pet in the design process. The corner opportunities mentioned above are great for storage and design purposes, but you can also use one corner of the house to create a cat play area. Think of all the cat towers you see at pet stores – how cool would it be to have one in your tiny home, specifically made for your cat?
11. Use ALL of Your Space
Between storing all your favorite items and making room for your four-legged family member, the best way to design a tiny house is to make use of every inch. It’s easier said than done, but definitely not impossible.
Don’t be afraid to build up and create a second floor. Get creative about all the things that fold up and out, and how you can make such pieces diverse.
Some tiny homes have bedrooms that turn into office spaces when the bed folds up and unveils a desk. Others can transform the kitchen into a dining area with a few simple tricks.
There are no limits to what you can do – and everything you can fit – if you have a little imagination and the patience to make your tiny house dreams happen.
12. Don’t Minimize Everything
Remember, even though you’re moving into a tiny house doesn’t mean that everything has to be tiny. Don’t compromise your queen-sized mattress for a twin bed for two – that’s just not practical!
Similarly, don’t convince yourself to have a small kitchen or a nearly non-existent living room if these are the most important parts of the home to you. Some tiny houses even have bathtubs. While you may not have a tub, a big kitchen, and a full dining space, you are able to pick and choose the things that matter most to you.
13. Have Fun Decorating
At the end of the day, try to have as much fun with your DIY tiny house process as possible. This is really what it all comes down to.
The more fun you have designing each room and challenging your creativity to make everything come together, the better the house will be. Little by little, you start seeing your tiny house as less of a hurdle to overcome and more of the perfect home for you and yours.
14. Turn Your Tiny House Idea into Two Twin Homes
What if “you and yours” is too many people? Maybe you and your partner already have two kids or you truly want to create the best space for your pet without anyone feeling cramped.
Here’s a thought: build two tiny houses instead of one and connect them! It might sound a little silly, but such a setup can turn out to be ideal. It gives every person in the family the room they need to relax and be themselves, while still accomplishing the dream of living in a tiny house.
15. Consider Going Mobile
The final thing to consider is whether or not you want your tiny house to be mobile. To some, that’s the main appeal – they love the thought of taking their home with them wherever they go and moving around as they please.
Others simply want to downsize without having to be anywhere than where they already are. It’s a personal choice, but still, you don’t want to make the wrong one!
To DIY Tiny House Plans, or To Get Professional Help?
As fun as it is to DIY tiny house plans in certain aspects – like the kitchen organization or the bedroom setup – don’t be afraid to get the professionals involved. Consult people who have built tiny houses before and who know how they work.
Suexperiencence is invaluable to your planning and design process. If you’re not even sure where to begin when it comes to building a tiny house, click here to contact us for help.