The tiny houses with big ideas to steal
There’s a magical draw to tiny houses. From hobbit-like wood cabins to fairytale treehouses and cute shepherd’s huts, the tiny house trend has captured our collective imagination. And with overseas travel restricted over the last couple of years, even more of us have returned from our UK staycations dreaming of building a tiny house that’s all our own.
Whether you’re actively planning a tiny-house building project, are after small-space interior ideas to steal, or just want to daydream immersed in tiny house inspiration, this blog post is for you!
This off-the-peg tiny house is a waggon on wheels - the ultimate in off-grid living. Image: New Frontier Design
This cosy cottage makes use of every corner of space for storage and display. Image: Real Homes
Tiny house living room ideas
The secret of a great tiny house is that, when you’re short on space, no room should have a single function. When taking inspiration from tiny houses, try to squeeze an extra purpose from every element in the living room. A built-in sofa can transform into a guest bed and you can create masses of storage space beneath. Seek out freestanding furniture with compact proportions to fit more in without making the space feel cramped – bedroom chairs, lamps and side tables are usually more petite than those designed for living rooms. Finally, soft and cosy touches like sheepskin rugs, wool blankets and twinkly lights are essential for that welcoming tiny-house vibe.
Tiny house hacks for living rooms:
- A built-in sofa that turns into a guest bed
- A trunk coffee table with hidden storage inside
- A bookshelf that folds down into a desk
A rustic display of jars and hand-made pottery sit on rough wood shelves in this tiny house kitchen. Image: Boiled Wheat
Hanging storage makes use of the vertical height in this reclaimed wooden kitchen. Image: World of Interiors
Tiny house storage ideas
Tiny homes hide storage in every nook and cranny so let no space go unutilised! Often, we forget to use the space above our heads, so look upwards and utilise hooks, rails and hangers. Open shelving in the kitchen can be practical and decorative at once. Decant dried foods into labelled glass jars and they’ll look pretty out on display.
Tiny house storage hacks
- Fix hook behind doors and inside cupboards
- Choose crockery that’s decorative and functional, then place on open shelves
- Fit bookshelves at ceiling height to use wasted space in the eaves
Storage can be created by raising the bed on a platform. Image: 91 Magazine
Sliding barn-style door, headboard shelf and hanging rail squeeze storage into every inch of this cosy cabin bedroom. Image: Unique Homestays
Tiny house stair ideas
Sleeping platforms and mezzanines are a common design feature of tiny houses, often with weird and wonderful stairs to reach them! From rope ladders and spiral staircases to fireman’s poles, tiny houses have them all. Sorry to be dull but, before you get carried away, stairs will need to meet safety and building regulations if you plan to use your tiny house as more than additional living space (including as a holiday let). Ask an architect for specialist advice on what’s allowed. Here’s more on the UK laws of a tiny house.
Tiny house hacks for stairs
- Build drawers into the stair risers and cupboards underneath
- Spiral staircases are space-saving and romantic
- If your tiny house has lovely views, consider an upside-down house layout
Draw on elements of the tiny house's past life and introduce rustic and reclaimed elements to the interior. Image: Unique Homestays
A simple but beautiful display case of found objects connect a tiny house interior to nature. Image: The Herringbone
Tiny house interior ideas
Small spaces naturally lend themselves to cosy interiors, so tiny houses are perfect for super-snuggly decorating looks. Walls of tiny houses are often wood, so embrace this and bring more of the outside in with lots of natural textures such as linen and wool, as well as botanical and floral prints. Found objects like dried seedheads, feathers and pebbles arranged aesthetically add a quirky finishing touch.
Tiny house hacks for interior décor
- Embrace vintage and secondhand pieces to get a lived-in look
- Start with nature as your inspiration for patterns and materials
- Use lighting to make zones within a single living space, so it feels larger
The channel Tiny House Big Living on Youtube is a great source of inspiration for tiny house interior design. Check it out for house tours of real tiny houses and lots of ideas to steal.
Tiny houses tend to be one space, so they are quick to warm up. What could be more magical than falling asleep to the crackle of a woodburning stove? Image: Onekindesign
Tiny house heating ideas
Q: What’s the difference between sleeping in a damp shed vs. a romantic log cabin?
Tiny houses and off-grid homes have been ahead of the curve in meeting their energy needs with eco-friendly solutions. Since many don’t have a mains gas or electricity connection, solar panels, wood-burning stoves and ground-source heat pumps are popular options. And, with energy prices soaring, could be cheaper to run too. Money saving expert Martin Lewis also recommends ‘heating the human, not the home’, so add baskets of warm wool blankets, hot water bottles and snug slippers to make your tiny house more cosy.
Tiny house heating hacks
- Beautiful wool blankets help keep you cool in summer, and warm in winter
- From 2022 all new woodburning stove installations must meet Ecodesign regulations
- A built-in bed with curtains around will keep you warm and provide privacy if your tiny house is open plan
The best tiny house staycations in the UK
Take your pick of these tiny house hideaways in the UK you can rent for a staycation and try your hand at living the tiny house dream!
The Lookout shepherd’s hut is perfect for a romantic escape. It’s beautifully designed with high-end fabrics, blankets from The British Blanket Company and even a wood-fired hot tub.
Wishbone is a breathtaking little barn conversion almost completely hidden by greenery. Inside, the rustic interior oozes tumbledown charm.
Log Jam is a magical writer’s cabin in the middle of the woods. Wake to the sound of the babbling brook, pop another log on the wood-burning stove and relax…
Smith & Hobbs is an old tailor's workshop dating back to 1906. The owners have lovingly restored this original timber-framed and corrugated iron building with quirky salvaged finds.
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