7 Tips Decorating Your Tiny House

Tiny_house_in_yard,_Portland

Decorating a tiny house is quite different from a typical small space like an apartment. There are several creative things you can do in this limited space to reflect your individual style and personality.

#1 Select Decor Style

Your choice of home decor style should never look out of place. If you’ve opted for a cabin style house, then you may want to continue for your interior. Other themes would include country, shabby chic, Southwestern or Western décor.

Many cabin style homes are ideal for beach themes and modern design styles. Be consistent with your theme throughout your home, keeping it the motifs to a minimum so you don’t overwhelm your design.

BEHR shelving

#2 Multi-Functional Is Key

The space within a tiny space is limited and usually open. Many tiny houses don’t have separate rooms. In fact, few tiny houses have a first floor bedroom, opting for a high ceiling to accommodate a sleeping loft. Since space is at a premium, the focus when selecting furniture and other items should be multi-functional.

Before you set out to buy furniture, commit to only purchasing those pieces that have at least two functions. If a piece of furniture can serve more than two functions, all the better. There are many such designs available so you should be able to find the perfect one to fit your budget.

Ottoman for Storage and Seating

For example, you could select an ottoman that also provides a storage area inside. This type of furniture usually has a lift-off lid or concealed compartment. You could also use it as additional seating for guests or also as seating for a lower than normal dining table. This is the kind of multi-functional furniture you want to use in your tiny home decor.

Wall Desk

A compact folding wall desk is ideal for a tiny house. An excellent example can be found on Amazon. Not only does the unit unfold to reveal a desk, but also features cubbies for various office supplies or other needed objects. You can even let the desk pull double duty as a small dining table. When not in use, simply fold the desk into the wall unit and latch closed.

Seating

When it comes to seating choice, comfort is a high priority. You won’t have a great deal of space to move about inside your tiny home, so when you sit down to read, watch TV or entertain friends, you want to be comfortable. There are some pieces of furniture that will fit nicely in a small space.

You may decide to use built-ins, such as a wide bench against the wall for back support. Thick lush cushions and pillows can be added. Underneath can be used for storage or storage for ottomans when not in use.

Other Furniture and Design Choices

  • Stepstool that converts into a seat 
  • Bar stools that can be lowered to fit underneath a lower table or raised to use for a bar 
  • Lift coffee table with a storage compartment 
  • Built-in cubbies; paint, stencil, or wallpaper the back wall 
  • Add doors to cubbies/open shelves; hang art and framed photos on door panels 
  • Other Storage Options

There are many other ways you can double-up on storage space. These include:

  • Pots and pans secured on wall hooks 
  • Narrow shelves added to windows for growing herbs 
  • Under-cabinet paper towel rack 
  • Chalkboard paint the end side of a cabinet for a message board 
  • Under-cabinet hooks for coffee mugs 
  • Open shelf running the length or width of a wall for additional storage (advantage of tall ceilings) 
  • How to Decorate With Colors and Patterns

One of the biggest challenges when designing a tiny home is to keep it from becoming cluttered. Clean lines can be maintained with cabinet doors on cubbies, closets and cabinets.

#3 Choosing a Color Palette

Just as you would with any home, you want to add some color. Many tiny homes feature wood paneling on the walls and ceiling. This cabin feel may be just your style. If you prefer a more open décor, opt to whitewash the walls and ceiling. This will give the illusion of a larger space. You aren’t limited to only white – you can use any color – just remember that the darker the color, the smaller your space will appear.

Striped Effect

If you wish to emphasize your space, consider using paint to create a wide horizontal line with a couple of narrow ones. You may prefer to take this technique to your floor or ceiling instead. Horizontal lines will give the illusion of your home being longer whereas vertical will emphasize the ceiling height.

Color for Separating Spaces

Since you don’t want your tiny home to appear chopped up, be careful about using color to separate spaces. Instead of painting walls different colors, consider using a small wall space for a splash of color. For example, you could paint the wall behind a loft ladder.

Other ways to add color include:

  • Window treatments: Up and down shades or mini-blinds can feature your favorite color. 
  • Sheer panels: Choose a set of three solid colored sheers to use for a pop of color in the loft and provide a touch of privacy. 
  • Cabinet knobs or pulls: Buy or paint cabinet knobs or pulls in one or more colors.

BEHRnook

#4 How Much Pattern?

You can use patterns in your new home, just keep in mind that too much of a good thing won’t be good for a small space. The key to using patterns is to match the colors for a cohesive design. Mix patterns with solid colors for an effective look.

  • Curtains: Use these to separate areas while adding a color pattern to your decor. 
  • Area or scatter rugs: Too many rugs will create a cluttered look so opt for one rug; choose either an oval in front of the couch or a unique shag shape in the bedroom loft. 
  • Bedding: Opt for color and pattern for your bedding choices. 
  • Sheers for the loft: A wisp of privacy is gained with a couple of pairs of sheers at the end of your loft and can be tied back for a dramatic look. 
  • Throw pillows: Pillows on a couch are always an excellent choice for adding interest in patterns, shapes and textures. 
  • Kitchen cabinet doors: Give the coveted space the illusion of depth with decorative glass either in a clear or colored pattern doors. 

#5 Small Touches for Big Impacts

There are many other ways you can add depth to your tiny home design without it becoming overpowering. Mix colors and patterns together for an intentional design and then pepper small touches throughout.

BEHRkitchen

Kitchen, Living Room, and Bedroom Options

A few suggestions for the kitchen, living room, and bedroom include:

  • Add a small touch of color with a tile backsplash.
  • Paint the ladder or even use different colors for the rungs for climbing to a lofted bedroom.
  • Add a small Fleur-De-Lis stencil on the kitchen cabinet doors. 
  • A scrolling stencil created using a hue lighter or darker than the wall color at chair rail height adds a dramatic flair. 
  • Stencil lamp shades on a wall sconce in the bedroom or living areas. 
  • A wall decal (either a graphic or word art) placed on the wall opposite the entrance door will greet guests into your home. 
  • Use decorative baskets on an open shelf anywhere you have space. 
  • Floating shelves can serve as end tables for a couch.
  • A tiered wire basket suspended from the ceiling gives additional kitchen storage. If your home is mobile, simply loop through a wall hook to secure when traveling. 

BEHR shelf

#6 Bathroom Ideas

The bathroom tends to be very small in a tiny house, so there’s not as much opportunity for decorating, but there are ample choices to make this feel homey.

  • A shower curtain can make a small bathroom come alive. 
  • Decorative wall hooks are a nice touch.
  • Wall shelves above the toilet can hold baskets of washcloths and toiletries. 
  • Hang a shampoo caddy from the showerhead. 
  • Add a fabric valance over a window shade or blind to give a small touch of color and pattern. 
  • A bath rug is a nice decorative and utilitarian choice. 
  • Decorative hanging baskets thrive on moisture.

#7 Lighting Options

Many tiny homes have tall ceilings and take advantage of transom windows for letting in lots of light while preserving wall space for valuable storage options. Even though the space is different from a typical home or apartment, you can still layer lighting for a great ambiance.

  • Recessed lighting on dimmer switches provide indirect and ambient lighting without creating a cluttered look.
  • One or two pendant lights over a bar or dining table can become art object with stained glass or hand-blown stylized designs.
  • Wall scones can be a better option than traditional table lamps, freeing up an end table for other uses.
  • Ceiling fan light combo may be needed depending on your regional location.

Keep Your Décor Elements Balanced

The test of a good tiny house design is for a truly balance decor. Keep furniture to scale to the space. Don’t overcrowd or clutter your new home and you’ll be very happy with the end result.

top photo: Wikimedia Commons
all other photos: BEHR

 

 

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Sally Painter

"Everyone can have a beautiful home decor. It just takes a little creativity," says author and freelance writer Sally Painter. This former commercial and residential designer is also a Feng Shui practitioner and believes that, "Everything you choose to put in your home should resonate with you emotionally. If it doesn't - get rid of it!"

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