The tiny house movement is gaining big speed—and we mean big. In just a matter of years, it went from a very small alternative lifestyle to a massive, worldwide trend. Small, compact living gives homeowners the opportunity to travel, a vagabond lifestyle, and less worry about wasting money on rent (for a place that you’ll likely never buy).
But as enchanting as these pint-sized homes are, tiny houses certainly possess their fair share of problems: Small spaces are, quite literally, small. And if you aren’t careful with how you design and decorate the space, this small footprint can really show.
To help give your small space a big makeover, or to give you inspiration for your future tiny home, we’re taking to the one source of all our décor inspo: Instagram. These 18 tiny homes could have us fooled. From little cottages to RVs, to micro homes on wheels, these ingenious designs are anything but tiny. Read on, and get ready to feel inspired for a big life change.
All White Everything
It’s a universally acknowledged truth that white opens up a room. Take this RV, for example. The white cabinets, white walls, white curtains, and neutral accents make the space appear so much bigger than it really is—and no one would ever be able to guess it’s an RV.
Beam It Up
Consider this a total Chip and Jo move. This tiny house fakes a large floor plan with tall ceilings, accented by a beautiful industrial chandelier and authentic wooden beams. Without the loft space you might see in a typical tiny home, this airiness actually makes it feel like there’s more opportunity to move around.
Believe it or not, this is an RV bathroom (yes, really!). The number one reason why this feels so much more elevated than your typical tiny house bathroom? The open shelving. The simplistic wood-and-bracket design adds storage without the bulk.
Nook It Out
We love a good reading nook. Sometimes, though, it feels like tiny houses forget to embrace the coziness and opt for big furniture wherever it fits. Here, small furniture creates the perfect nook to curl up in with a book and a glass of wine.
Coat With Color
Maybe we’re going against everything we said about white spaces, but color can be such a great tool for elevating a space as well. This little kitchen exudes spunk and eclectic pops of color—without which the tiny space would feel like a cramped area.
We have to admit: Even though a loft can add very necessary space to a tiny home, sometimes it’s an eyesore. This little home is everything but. The thin railing, white shiplap, and vaulted ceilings make the loft feel like a natural addition to the space.
Work With the Walls
When you’re working with less wall space, it’s easy to forget about how much character wall décor can bring. This house makes the most of the few walls it does have: funky square tiling that spills onto the floors, subway tiling, and floor-to-ceiling murals. In other words, it’s completely sophisticated.
A New Cubicle
Most tiny houses check off the bare necessities: a kitchen, a bathroom, a sleeping space. But a dedicated space for work is just as necessary. This small desk looks like an office you might find in a 3-bedroom home, but it takes up minimal space.
Create Areas of Conversation
While you might not be able to throw massive dinner parties in a tiny home, the small space shouldn’t stop you from trying to host a few get-togethers with a friend or two. That’s why it’s so important to create conversation areas—like this one, which uses the small square footage as a way to make a curved bench.
Paint, Paint, Paint
We never underestimate paint. It’s one of the only interior design weapons that’s low risk and high reward. If this kitchen had wood-stained cabinets, it would have a closed-off look. But the bright blue paint makes it look like a kitchen straight out of a two-floor antebellum manor.
Those who decide against a loft run the risk of having a bedroom that takes up way too much space. This small cottage bedroom uses minimalism to its advantage—making the small room feel much bigger and adding a spa-like ambiance to the décor.
Fire Up the Fireplace
Yes, tiny houses can have fireplaces too. This electric stove is the perfect size to heat up the entire space on a cold winter night. But it also doubles as the perfect decorative accent when not in use the other 6 months of the year.
Small spaces are, in an essence, whimsical without even trying. To add to the whimsy (and to add seating without sacrificing floor space), go for an egg chair. Not a fan of the egg chair design? You can just as easily switch it out for a hammock or bench swing for a fresh look.
Stairs with built-in storage have a certain allure, but as much as they draw us in, they’re also bulky and unattractive. To help a tiny home reach its full potential, it’s all about minimal stairs that take up as little room as possible. These stairs even skip out on support beams, so there’s more room for standing storage and an entertainment center.
At a glance, you would never be able to tell that this space is only 143 square feet. We like to think that a lot of the openness is thanks to the bed. Instead of a bulky frame, this bed is built into the floor, making the space seem so much bigger.
Open the Floor
As children, we were all probably lectured at one point or another for leaving our belongings all over the floor—but here, it’s an intentional part of the charm. The small baskets add extra storage without the bulk, not to mention a cozy space for pets to snooze.
Putting up another wall can really close off a space—especially if you're only working with a few hundred feet. Here, zones are divided thoughtfully with the use of height, depth, and wood detailing.