folly beach

Tiny House-Tiny Living With Big Room Ideas

Since our beach cottage is really only 3 rooms- a bedroom, a bathroom, and one kitchen/den- we had to be very intentional with our den design since we spend a majority of our time in it. When we bought the house it was very dark and dreary, so once the floors and ceiling and walls were replaced, I followed several themes to make it feel bigger than it is! Here is the before picture

Lots of Natural Light

The first thing we did was to remove a small painted window and replace it with a large sliding glass door. Not only does it allow us to go outside easily into the backyard, it also brings in a large amount of natural light. The den also has a nice double window so we use slotted blinds, not curtains, to continue to bring in a lot of natural light.

The front door also has a glass front that allows light in, plus welcomes our neighbors to visit anytime!

White- White- White!

To visually reflect all of that natural light, we use all white on the walls and trim. The kitchen cabinets which are connected to the den in an open flow concept also use white to keep the space light and airy.

Light-colored Wood

The light-colored wood on the chairs, shelves and tables is definitely stolen from the Ikea catalog. Scandanavian design is perfect for our tiny beach cottage since people in Finland and Norway have dark winters with only a few hours of sunlight. They have learned what color schemes and furniture are “brighter” and simpler to keep the inside of the house cheerful yet cozy.

Storage Everywhere

All the furniture should have wood legs and not be upholstered or closed off all the way to the floor. This design keeps space under them which makes the room feel bigger and offers hidden storage. We store our wonderful rechargeable wireless vacuum under our couch- a beach house always has lots of sand so we vacuum daily. But because it is only 448 square feet, it takes one of us only 10 minutes or so for the whole house! we recently added a padded foot stool that has storage inside for books and papers.

Floating Shelves

My favorite trick to make a tiny room feel spacious is to use hanging shelves. You want a minimum of floor space being taken up with furniture, so these classic floating shelves allow you to decorate the house without crowding it. I love plants and floating shelves are a great way to place them. Pothos work great since they drape well and need minimal light and water, or use succulents or air plants for easy maintenance.

Another important rule for tiny living is a having great outdoor space. I will talk more about our challenges with adding an office shed and huge porch, as well as creating a small patio-like yard. Not only is our house tiny, but our yard is only 5000 square feet, which is the size of most houses! More to come on how we fit made our tiny yard feel expansive next time…

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