As the years go by, space becomes more and more of a luxury in the United States. The smallest studio apartment average in the country is found in Ferrelview, Missouri, measuring 342 square feet where the average rent is $445.
When it comes to one-bedroom apartments, Iowa City tops the charts with an average of 549 sq. ft. for $945. There’s a stark difference with the average rent in Brooklyn, NY ($3,115) while only being 44 sq. ft. bigger.
The luxury of space is part of the reason the Tiny House Movement took off and became a sustainable alternative for several people. For example, a YouTube channel named Living Big In A Tiny House features different tiny houses of all sizes to showcase the lifestyle.
Because the owners of these tiny houses need to adapt to these spaces, they have devised ways on how to create an illusion of space as well as maximize what they have.
Shadows make the room appear smaller. This is why having as much light as possible gives the illusion of space. Here are ways to integrate more light in the room:
- Several light sources: Having multiple sources of light reaches every nook and cranny of the room. Instead of having one light in the middle of the ceiling, consider adding several recessed lighting around.
- Natural light: Instead of turning on too many light bulbs in the daytime, welcoming natural light saves electricity. Skylights can do the job of recessed lights along with rolling up the blinds or sliding the curtains on windows.
Storage is one of the main issues when one lives in a smaller space. Where could they possibly put all their stuff in the house? How does it all fit? The answer is utilizing every unused space as storage. There’s storage under the stairs, under the bed, and the center table doubles as a box.
Creativity is a big requirement when it comes to building tiny houses because there’s a lot of strategizing of where and how to place objects so that they can be maximized. In New Zealand, one tiny house built by Gina uses an IKEA shoe storage not just for shoes but for her laptop, blankets, and more.
Minimalism extends more than just the style of the interiors and exteriors of the home. It’s not just about straight lines and a neutral color palette.
The central practice of living in a tiny house is to only own what you need, placing the minimalist lifestyle on the forefront. To illustrate and describe minimalism, try this: Think of how many things you have in your room right now. Then, think of how many of them you actually use and how many of them are there ‘just because’.
This might be familiar because of the Marie Kondo method of “Does it spark joy?” The Minimalists also have a similar approach by emphasizing the importance of consciousness and mindfulness in the decision of owning things. Minimalism centers on the value of things rather than its quantity or the ‘just because’ attached to them.
Living in a tiny house does seem out of the norm, especially with the culture of consumerism and excess prevalent in society. As a reaction to this culture, this movement teaches a lot about maximizing space and minimalism.