Updated: Dec 31, 2020
A question we've been getting a lot of in our Instagram DM's, is "How did you figure out the design for your home?"
Designing a tiny home can be very overwhelming and takes a lot of work. Designing any space does. But especially when you are using most of the areas in the home as a two-in-one function, there's a lot of foresight that needs to be had.
The first stage of our designing process was full of dreaming.
We made a whole binder and scrapped booked page by page- all the different aspects we wanted to create in the tiny home. Copper sink, wrap around porch, Murphy's bed, giant floor space for yoga, claw-foot bathtub, skylights in the loft...etc. We let our imaginations fly. Most of these ideas never came to light but some of them did. All the different visions gave rise to even better and more feasible ideas. First it was important to get the creative juices flowing, and not letting practicality get in the way of our dreaming phase. The dreaming phase was a critical step.
Then we talked. And talked. And discussed. And dreamed some more.
We were constantly talking layout. We were scouring the internet and Pinterest for builds that we liked and didn't like. Both were important. The more we talked, the clearer we got. Each idea led to another and slowly we were starting to see the vision for our home.
Next, we made cardboard layouts. With each area/section of the house we measured each space out to the inch. We used chalk on concrete in the shape of the space we were designing. We then used cardboard to act as the walls, and to give us a sense of actual space. This was probably the most fun part of the designing phase. It was so awesome to see what the space was actually going to feel like. It felt like we were finally making big steps toward our dream.
As we went through this cardboard layout process, we were able to get a sense on what areas we definitely wanted to be more spacious and others we felt able to detract space from. As simple as this sounds, this really gave us the framework and the specificity we needed to make bigger decisions down the road.
With each of our findings, we noted them down into our plans. "We could work with 4'5" in this space, but don't want to go any smaller than 3' 9" etc." From there it became a puzzle of numbers and how we could make things fit according to our spacial preferences. It was numbers and graph paper for a while there. Getting a feel for what we would be able to have in such a small space was sometimes sobering. But it also made the bigger spaces, like our shower, all the more coveted.
Once we had rough numbers for each of the spaces in our house (Master Loft, Kitchen, Eating Bar Table, Bathroom/Shower etc) we were able to start our basic build. There were so many unknowns on what the house was going to end up looking like. We didn't have our windows or doors planned out- those came later. This was because we went with a timber-framed build instead of a stick frame. But with the rough numbers we had a general sense on what were creating.
We were forced to embrace flexibility with our build. Sometimes aspects of the trailer came up that had to shift our design to another direction. Costs sometimes had a play in the shift of our designs. Sometimes our taste's changed. For example we were pretty set on ship lap paneling on the interior in our house- until we started leaning more towards sheet rock. The process was just that, a process. It was constantly unfolding and changing. Going with the flow was just our experience. Everyone who has gone through building a tiny home will have a different rendition.
All in all, designing the house was a mix of both overwhelming and so incredibly fun. I would sum up our process to:
Crafting our spaces with chalk on cement/exploring our options
Going for it/Constantly recalculating
Although a bit vague this is the best consolidation of the process, we could come up with. Thanks for following and hoped this helped.