Yes, I traded my 2600 square foot house for a 12-acre farm with a 900 square foot farmhouse, and I knew there would be compromises. Gone was my big, beautiful kitchen island with the breakfast bar seating, and I had to say goodbye to my 7 foot farmhouse table, leather couches, and a few pieces of bulky furniture because I knew they’d never fit in the new house.
We decided to branch out a bit beyond the 900 square feet, so we’re still in the reno stage, but when it’s finished this farmhouse is still going to be a tiny home. Although I can’t actually put anything to use yet because most of my stuff is still in storage, I’ve begun to plan for all of the extras a small house needs. I know that unless I use every square inch of the place, I’m going to end up frustrated. With six people living here, functionality and livability is at the top of the list.
Because we realize that six is a crowd when it comes to a tiny house, we started by making made changes in the floor plan as we went. Instead of having low ceilings and an attic, we opted to remove the ceiling and make them vaulted. That way we could create a loft for my 12 year old. I’m now Mom of the year for that choice, and although we might have eliminated some storage space, we created an extra bedroom.
But when it comes to the kitchen, I wasn’t going to be able to get away with extra space from above. It’s small and narrow, so we won’t be able to have an island like we did in the old house. I’ve had to sacrifice cupboard space to get my 36-inch Samsung refrigerator inside it too, but that’s a sacrifice I was willing to make.
In order to find a space for everything and put everything in a space, I’ve had to get a bit more creative. Here are a few products you can find on Bestbuy.ca right now that will create space in a small home.
Mobile Kitchen Cart
Yes, it was hard to give the idea of having a fixed island in the kitchen. It’s nice to have that extra space on your counter, and the kids loved eating there every morning or for lunch. Although I don’t have the space for something permanent, I can have the same functionality with a Homestar Kitchen Island Cart.
It has spots to spare including areas for wine bottles, cookbooks, and even a rack to hold towels. It also has two drawers and two shelves, so if you had to give up cupboards to fit into a tiny kitchen, the extra drawers and space will really come in handy. Plus, you can just wheel the kitchen cart to a corner when you don’t need it.
When you don’t have a lot of walls, you have to be really selective about what you put on them. I’ve thought long and hard about how to store all of the stuff we have, and lining a wall in each room with a shelving unit seemed to make the most sense.
You can use bookshelves to store much more than books or things you’d like to display. Put a few baskets on the shelves and you can hide away school supplies, paperwork that you need to address, and even laptops or other electronic gadgets you have lying around every day.
I’ve never really worried about bathroom storage until I moved into this house. Now that I’m without a large vanity and closet, I’ve had to search for alternatives that still look good and fit into the house. The Hadfield 5 shelf storage caught my eye because it looks like a ladder, and it would be perfect for rolled up towels and toiletries.
I used to have a couch at the end of my bed, and although it was pretty, it wasn’t very functional. Instead of the couch, I’m opting for an ottoman with storage. In fact, I’ll probably have a few ottomans stashed around the house. An ottoman like the Bruce Peters bench ottoman is stylish, comfortable, and there’s a storage compartment inside for everything you don’t want lying around on the floor.
Don’t forget about the pets
I have two small dogs and a cat, and when we were moving I was blown away by the amount of stuff that came with them. We packed litter pans, dog beds, cat beds, and a big basket of dog toys and cat toys that I found under the couches and inside the closets.
Those dog toys used to be the bane of my existence because they’d chew them then leave them in the middle of the floor, but I managed to find a solution that combined both the dog bed and storage for their toys: the South Shore Dog bed with storage.
There are so many reasons to love this bed. You can fill the mattress with the stuffing of your choice, and that’s a great option if you have a dog like mine who suffers from allergies. All of their toys will fit in the drawer, and it’s big enough to put their leash in there too.
For small dogs in small spaces, I also love the Koolatron automatic pet dish. It really helps when you don’t have a lot of storage because you can fill it up once and then put the dog food away from the week. It stores food in six chambers and when the time goes off at the interval you set, it will automatically open up and your dog can eat.
I never thought I could trade off a large house for a small, but now that I have, I’m shocked at the amount of space we wasted in our old home. We never really used every nook and cranny like we will be here, and I actually think it’s kind of fun trying to find solutions to storage issues.
If you have any small home tips, please share them in the comments, and if you haven’t checked out part one and part two of my home renovation series, be sure to take a look.
Home Renovation Part 1: Choosing your appliances
Home renovation Part 2: Setting up your smart home
Stacey tells you how to renovate your kid’s space and turn it into a home theatre