My love affair with small spaces started in college - an old landlord of mine in Athens, Georgia owned many older houses near campus that he subdivided into mini-apartments that he would rent out to students. Think of an old 1930's cottage converted into five or six spaces for rent. It was so small that you'd walk in the front door and be in the middle of the living room/bedroom, walk 10 spaces and be in the kitchen/bathroom. And when I say small, I mean you had to sit sideways on the toilet! You could literally reach your leg out and touch the back of the shower.
Gosh I wish I had photos but that was pre-iPhone days when you had to send film away to be processed. #datestamp1990s I'm glad to see small spaces and tiny homes like those I'm highlighting today have come a long, long way in efficiency, quality, and layout since my college days. And when one of the gals on my team told me she was planning to build one, I started seeing more and more inspiration out there and collecting the articles to pass on to her for food for thought.
If you're thinking about downsizing your life, starting small because that's all you need, or looking for an interesting cozy vacation opportunity, there's something tiny out there for you! Have a look at a few of these projects from all over the world, and let us know if you could see yourself downsizing.
This home by Fritz Tiny Homes is oh so dreamy - from the asymmetrical window, that green velvet sofa, and beautiful built-in storage in walnut across from the kitchen. And in that first photo, you can see that the kitchen is not wanting for anything you wouldn't have in a full size home - four burner stove and oven, sink, refrigerator, and microwave to boot!
What I really love about this tiny house is the choice of materials, and not skimping on things like shower hardware and faucets. Could you imagine having a rain head shower in a tiny house?!
And did you catch the Peloton machine in that first photo above? Yup, they planned for that in the custom build, just as you might for a typical new home build. It's absolutely possible to treat a small home with the same detail oriented focus, and I encourage you to think that through if you are wanting to downsize. You don't have to give up things you love, as long as they are planned for.
If you're not as concerned with a custom build, there are builders out there like Handcrafted Movement that exclusively build certain models one at a time to maintain their own creative autonomy. I think this is a great option for someone who might want to add a tiny home to their property for rental income or for additional guest space, and appreciate the artistry involved in building a beautiful tiny space.
I really love the variety of what you can do in a defined space, and this softer sea green color scheme is really peaceful and calming!
I can tell you for sure that this vanity is at least 3x larger than the sink I had in that college rental - I mean, come on, 4 drawers AND under sink storage?? Livin' large, really.
This is a great example of the multi-functionality that must be taken into account in smaller spaces! You'd never think you can fit a large executive sized desk in a tiny house, but you absolutely can if you double it as a short headboard for the bed! Imagine being able to enjoy that view while working and also in bed in the morning! Genius.
This home by Moliving is actually a cabin that is part of a lakeside resort in upstate New York that will be opening this summer, so you can rent this out for the weekend!
The lack of storage in this plan makes it obvious to me that this is set up for temporary rental, but who wouldn't want to spend a few days by the lake and forest to decompress?
This is a great test run space to rent out to see what it takes to live with a smaller footprint.
My husband and I have joked about living tiny if we buy land in Palmetto Bluff while we build our retirement home rather than buy new, but it has definitely moved up the list of good ideas as I'm finding space like this. Once the house is built, we could keep the tiny house for extra accommodations for kids and grandkids, and other guests as well.
Who knows - if we have enough land, why not create a bunch of guest cottages with different styles to rent out and satisfy my design itch on a more manageable budget?
Gosh, this bathroom could be in any new build out there - plenty of shower space, vanity counter, and a toilet that isn't sandwiched into a corner. And I absolutely love the skylight - it takes advantage of natural light throughout the day, and gives you the privacy you don't get with wall windows.
These pre fab cabins from My Cabin in Latvia are use specific, and you can order a sauna, home office, or full home with them based on your needs. I love the coziness of the sauna option shown below!
The older I get, the more my need for stuff just lessens with each passing year. We're all taught to scale up as we age and bring in more money, and most of us do just that. I am so grateful for all that we have, but this movement to smaller and smaller spaces and belongings really speaks to me.
Can you ever see yourself being able to downsize to a space like this? I'm so curious to hear from you - let me know in the comments!