Tiny homes – is bigger really better?

With living costs rising and the urgency of environmental action needed – people are turning to tiny houses as a solution for more sustainable and affordable lifestyles. Banishing the clutter, and embracing the minimalist ethos, tiny homes provide the perfect opportunity to simplify life and evaluate what possessions are really needed.

What is a tiny house?

Tiny houses have become less of a building classification and more of a movement over the years. It is a lifestyle choice, a new way of living with resourcefulness and freedom at the forefront. With most tiny houses measuring around 20-25m2 (about the area of a parking space), sizes can be anything up to 50m2. Another perk to these petite properties is that they are moveable – allowing for the freedom of changing the location of residence without the search for a new property.

Downsizing living space to upgrade life

A fundamental focus for these properties is to provide a more effective living. These tiny homes are having a huge impact and followers of the ‘simpler life’ have been enjoying the benefits that come with them. With space to a minimum, residents are forced to make some lifestyle choices, declutter, and find new ways to utilise every inch of the property. Focusing on keeping what you need and what is of value can be a great way to evaluate current lifestyle habits and self-reflect. Often, we hoard items, hiding them in cupboards or attics, only for them to remain there for years on end. We feel compelled to keep items, even if we know they will not be used or are of no real value to us. Having constant clutter surrounding us can increase anxiety as well as have a negative impact on the ability to sleep and focus on tasks. The cathartic experience of connecting with items and getting rid of those that we have no emotional or practical link with, allows individuals to hand-select what will be part of their day-to-day life. This style of living encourages more considered food and clothes purchases, thinking carefully about ingredients for meals, minimising waste, picking key pieces of clothing and donating or recycling unwanted items.

Environmental extras

Pleasingly, these dinky dwellings have a multitude of positive environmental impacts. The most significant is the reduction of emissions generated. Buildings are responsible for around 40% of energy-omitted greenhouse gases. With a smaller space to heat or cool – so the use of energy is reduced. In turn, with fewer rooms to light, electronics to run and not so many windows or doors impacting insulation, there can be a significant reduction in the carbon generated by the property. Additionally, many tiny homes utilise renewable energy sources such as solar, wind energy, thermal, biomass and eco heat pumps. These greener living options can not only reduce your carbon footprint, but also provide a more self-sufficient lifestyle which comes with financial benefits.

The construction of these tiny homes in itself is a far more economical process. For starters, there are fewer materials needed in the build. To encourage a circular economy, these materials can be recycled or repurposed and tailored to the needs of the home. Alongside this, there is also less labour involved in the process, a decrease in the need for larger machinery or invasive groundwork and therefore fewer vehicles travelling to and from the build.

Favourable financials

Despite the obvious saving made when buying or building a tiny home compared to a regular house, with pre-made versions costing around £35,000-£60,000 and the cost of building your own closer to £12,000-£15,000 (according to Checkatrade), there are also many other monetary benefits. Living costs are reduced, from utility bills to household item purchases and even food bills. There is also the opportunity to generate additional income, with many owners renting out their tiny homes for holiday or short-term lets. With continually increasing living prices, the positives of tiny home living are clear.

Layout – smart solutions

As tiny homes have grown in popularity, so the designs have evolved to create some ingenious storage and space-saving solutions. Interior design transforms into a Tetris-style puzzle, looking for ways to utilise every last inch of the property. The use of tiered levels with beds in a mezzanine area not only creates more space but also allows for storage or increased living area below. Sliding doors and stowaway furniture makes adaptable spaces that can be easily adjusted. Building storage into seating areas or hollowed-out spaces ensures that the free flow of the area remains whilst providing much-needed storage zones.

So, we have to ask ourselves – could these tiny homes be the answer to the shortage of homes, rising costs and the environmental crisis we face? If you are interested in hearing more and would like to discuss interior design solutions for your tiny home, please get in touch with us at here.


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