You’ve probably seen them on social media, the Internet, or on TV shows like “Tiny House Nation” – small, fabulous homes that are mean, green and energy efficient. Tiny homes are touted as being affordable, earth-friendly, and some are even off the grid. If you don’t have a down payment for a condo or a suburban house, you may well be able to swing a more affordable tiny home. If you need to live in town, but can only afford a studio apartment, you fall in this “tiny living” category as well. Tiny living spurs new entrepreneurs in many areas: some companies make elegant homes out of railroad cars, others manufacture small, modular homes, and others produce furniture custom made for small apartments and tiny houses.
But if you choose this trendy new lifestyle, you have to get very creative with the use of interior space. And that usually means custom made furniture designs. Living in small spaces, such as a tiny home or apartment, means that there’s no room for the mass produced furniture you usually see in showrooms – those honking entertainment centers, that unfolding recliner, or the sofa the size of a small boat. If you’re going small, you’re going to need a custom wall unit at the very least to store essential items in a space-saving way, and probably custom cabinets and custom chair designs as well.
In a tiny home or apartment, every bit of space has to justify itself, has to have one (or more) utilitarian purposes. A bed may fold up into the wall, or be located at the top of a tall ladder. There may be only one small table for dining, and stackable stools may be used instead of chairs. Storage space will almost certainly go up instead of out. In this kind of environment, custom furniture helps the house owner maximize every millimeter of available space. Custom made chairs may fit snugly into a corner, a futon may serve as a sofa by day and a bed by night, and the tiny breakfast table may double as a food prep area and fold up against the wall when not in use. Any necessary appliances may be camper-sized, and the lounge area is often outdoors on a (small) patio or balcony, because there’s little room for that indoors.
Custom furniture, that fits a tiny space like a hand in a glove, is practically the only way to make a small space stylish and functional. Larger pieces waste precious space and make the rest of the living area look smaller by comparison; unnecessary pieces make the space look cluttered and may even become a tripping hazard.
If you live in a tiny space, whether a small house or tiny apartment, it’s wise to consult with a furniture pro for suggestions about the types of custom furniture that would make sense in your home. A furniture pro can craft stylish, functional furniture that’s proportional to your home, and that helps you make the most of the space you have.