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How People Around the World Make Tiny Homes Work

While 1000-square foot apartments and condos may be typical in North America, in many parts of the world people live in tiny homes. Sometimes, very high real estate prices make it a necessity. In a growing number of cases, though, people are moving to smaller homes because they want to simplify their life or because they want to reduce their carbon footprint. There is now a movement of people who are dedicated to drastically reducing the amount of space their homes take up. And these are not the starving artist garrets of years past. Today’s miniscule homes are often full of style and character.

Whether you live in small space because of your budget or because you are Eco-conscious, there are several ways that you can ensure that your minute house or apartment is comfortable as well as cute:

1) Change the way you think about small space living

Kirsten Dirksen used to live the typical North American lifestyle before she decided to give it up and move into a smaller space. She has even created a must-see documentary about small spaces around the world, called Tiny House People. You can view the film here. The one common thread amongst people in the doc? They don’t see tiny flats and minuscule cottages as a punishment; they see it as a great way to live.


2) Get some inspiration

Think your 400-square foot apartment is too tiny for style? Check out the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company here. You’ll see how others create beautiful spaces from houses that are around 100 square feet (or less!). Be sure to check out the Gizmodo website here to see more inspiring tiny homes.


3) Focus on what you really want in your life

Many people focus on gathering more things, but if you live in a studio apartment, cottage or another small home, you will need to stick with the basics. That means getting rid of anything you don’t need and focusing on just a few key spaces – a seating area, a bathroom area, a kitchen area, and a bedroom area. Even in a studio apartment, you will need to create separate areas for sitting and sleeping. To get some inspiration, check out the Japanese Microhouse, the Barcelona WonderSpace, and the Hong Kong apartment at the FW here.


4) Get smaller-scale furniture

Furniture that is sleek and simple is a must if you live in a tiny house. Another important feature is to look for pieces that function as more more than one thing. A seating area can be a dining area and can be a storage space as well if the “table” is a flat-topped trunk. To get some inspiration for small space living, check out the Mother Nature Network here.

5) Consider the benefits of downsizing

Small houses and apartments mean smaller bills, less waste, less time spent cleaning, and other benefits. Make up a list of positive changes you can expect from moving to a small space. If it still feels like you are giving something up, check out the inspiring homes at Design Boom here or at Huffington Post here. It may take a little more creativity, but small space living can mean more money for other things and just as much style as a larger space. In fact, you may be able to afford nicer décor and furniture if you stick with more modest spaces, thanks to the money you will save.


Tiny homes often are described as “adorable” and “cute,” but many can also be accurately described as gorgeous and stylish. With a little inspiration from those who have already made the switch, it is possible to set up a stunning small space just about anywhere, from a tiny cottage to a micro apartment.