Stacking major appliances, building shelves and pull-out drawers under the stairs, and designing a living room seating plan that does triple time as a couch, bed, and storage unit – tiny homes are charming and economical. And when you have the right floor plan, they will help you maximize your space.
The small living movement is gaining momentum as more households are downsizing and, in turn, lowering their monthly bills to keep the home running while reducing their carbon footprint.
A “tiny” home is a dwelling that’s roughly 400 square feet or less in floor area, excluding loft space, according to the International Residential Code, which is used in 49 states. That’s a stark difference from the 2,301 square feet that covers the median size of a single-family home in the U.S.!
But with thoughtful planning, you and your builder can design your dream tiny home floor plan that’s spacious, covers all your needs, and looks great. Need some inspiration on what to ask your builder to incorporate into your tiny home blueprint? Check out this collection of creative floor plan ideas from TikTokers who are part of the tiny home community.
Create a Loft
Whether you want a home office or a master bedroom, building vertically can add an entire extra room to your home, while still leaving the floor plan open and spacious.
Lofts are one of the most common ways builders add a bedroom or quiet space to a tiny home because this “room” is separate from your living room and kitchen. You’ll also have a stunning view of the rest of the home.
Check out how this tiny home has the loft space set up:
Go with Built-in Ladders Instead of Stairs
Many of the tiny homes featured on TikTok have more than one loft-style bedroom to get the most bang out for their buck on floor space.
The commonality between them? They almost always have one set of stairs leading to one bedroom, so they can head to the other bedroom via a ladder to save on space.
Keep this hack in your back pocket when you’re working on your tiny home floor plan. You can ask your builder to design the ladder on wheels to make it easy to slide away and hide behind a wall.
Get Creative with the Space under your Stairs
While most traditional households don’t think twice about what may be under the stairs, tiny home dwellers and their builders realize this is prime real estate.
Some TikTokers got creative with utilizing the space that’s out of sight. One couple had a series of closets and drawers built for their clothes, pantry items, pots and pans, and even a custom space for their modem. They even managed to fit their full-sized refrigerator and microwave in the alcove under the stairs. Very impressive!
In another video, this TikToker asked her builder to transform the space under her stairs into a fully-fledged walk-in closet! This is the only space in her home for her entire wardrobe, so they made sure it covered all her bases. There’s enough room for two racks of clothes, space to hang dresses, a full-length mirror, a shoe rack, and a built-in vanity table with pull-out drawers for make-up and jewelry.
Stack your Appliances
We see this in traditional homes: Appliances strategically arranged on floor plans to maximize space throughout the home, but this layout is especially clever in tiny houses.
Check out these TikTokers’ tiny house home tours, featuring a vented over-range microwave above the stovetop and oven (with additional cupboards on top to boot!), and a stacked washer and dryer.
Get the measurements right for the appliances. With the dimensions in mind, your builder can help you design your home, so they all fit neatly in their designated spaces.
Opt for Sliding Doors
Ever notice how some home blueprints show just how much space may be taken up by opening and closing the door, or leaving it ajar?
When you’re dealing with a tiny home and its closely-knit quarters, you can avoid this altogether by asking your builder to install sliding doors.
Pay attention to this tiny home tour; throughout the home, the doors aren’t in the way because they slide to the side, fitting neatly into the wall.
You can also opt for sliding doors in your shower to keep the look sleek compared to a shower curtain, which may take up more space.
Make Use of Natural Light
Windows add tons of natural light and brightness throughout your home, so your job is to work with your builder to determine where to place them to let optimal amounts of sunshine pour in.
Better yet, if you have a beautiful view outside of your home, think carefully about where to construct the room you want facing this vantage point.
For example, you’d love waking up to this TikToker’s gorgeous view every morning. We’re not surprised they enclosed the bedroom with full-length windows:
Don’t forget to add windows in your loft as you design your floor plan so natural light seeps into every corner of your tiny home.
Design Windows that do Double Duty
With less space to work with, you may not have as many nightstands, coffee tables, or end tables. That’s okay – instead, ask your builder to install floating shelves along the bottom of each window for picture frames, plants, and other mementos.
Here’s a look at how this tiny house TikToker turned her bay window into a brightly lit window nook. When she lifts the cushions, she reveals an extra hidden space for loads of storage.
You’ll also see plants and picture frames on the floating shelves in the living room and bedroom. There’s even a floating shelf in the corner of the room to hold adorable succulents. We like that the builder matched the floating shelves with the wooden window frames to keep the look seamless.
In the same TikToker’s bathroom tour, she showcases two floating shelves just below the window, so there’s space for towels and a basket of fresh face cloths. No need for a storage closet packed with linens!
Design Multi-purpose Rooms and Furniture
Studio apartments know how to get creative: Between Murphy beds that pull out from the wall to couches that pull out into full-sized beds, there are plenty of ways tiny home floor plans can transform a room’s purpose.
You can ask your builder to create a living room space with a built-in couch that can transition to a bed with pull-out slats, just like this one. Notice how the extra storage space:
This family of seven has two sets of bunk beds in their kids’ bedroom, with under-the-bed storage, too:
Design Adjustable Kitchen Countertops and Dining Room Tables
The kitchen is the focal point in most households, and tiny homes are no exception to this rule.
Check out how this tiny home has a built-in bar table right in front of the window. Just add some chairs and you can use the space for mealtime or as a work-from-home desk.
It also has all the other features listed above, from an oven stacked atop the dishwasher, to plenty of pantry space beneath the stairs, and windows lining the loft. We love the skylight in the loft-style bedroom, too!
Look at this tiny home tour, too: you can spot the dining room table installed along the wall. Simply pull it up and hold it in place and you’ve got a place to convene at dinnertime! Then tuck it away when you need your space:
If your builder is fitting your kitchen with an island, make sure you leave space for chairs for a breakfast bar. That’s another ingenious way to use every bit of space in your home.
Don’t Forget the Exterior
You can extend your tiny home’s space by adding to the floor plan outside, too! We love this tiny home’s back patio where the homeowners drink their morning coffee in the sunshine:
And depending on how warm the climate is in your part of the country, you can even ask your builder to install a private outdoor shower on your patio, just like this TikToker’s: