The tiny house trend is growing into quite a large market. With Baby Boomers hitting retirement age, Millenials putting off having kids and people looking towards sustainability, many people are enthusiastically embracing the idea that less is more.
But, the reality is that even the most minimalist modern Americans have a relatively large amount of stuff. One of the things that makes small space living work well is excellent built in storage. In most cases, you don't just have a standard closet. You have a variety of customized storage space to fit your needs.
Some units have an abundance of open shelving in a variety of nooks and crannies. One of the benefits of open shelves in a small space is that you don't have doors taking up space or needing space to be opened. Another is ease of access. But, a downside is that everything is on display. It can seem cluttered.
Another option is to close things up, but use sliding doors instead of swinging doors. This cuts down on the sense of clutter without needing space free to swing a door open. Alternately, you can build in open shelves, then cover them with simple curtains. This can be the best of both worlds while also lending flexibility. If you change your mind later and want to convert it to open storage, it easy to simply remove the curtains. If you want a new look, get a different set of curtains made from a different material.
Another way to make the most of the limited space in a tiny house is to outfit with flexible furniture. Wooden folding chairs and tables that fold away when not in use are two popular items. Other options include dual purpose items and small pieces on wheels so they can be readily moved around and repurposed.
Since it is a growing market, there is a growing variety of options at multiple price points. This is not just for the budget-minded anymore. These days, you can find upscale, stylish items designed with the tiny house lifestyle in mind. For some people, the tiny house is an alternative to an RV or trailer home, but the entire point is to have something more attractive and comfortable.
This movement is becoming so widespread and mainstream that the International Code Council announced last December that tiny houses will get their own appendix in the 2018 International Residential Code. This is a watershed moment that will make it easier for builders and manufacturers to serve the marketplace. It will help bring tiny houses out of the grey zone and into the umbrella of legal and code compliant housing across the U.S.
The legalization and codification of tiny houses has been a growing trend. Cities like Fresno, CA have recently passed laws to ease their inclusion in neighborhoods as legally valid full time housing when added to the backyard of an existing full scale house.
If you have ever wanted to downsize your life, now is the time.