If you haven’t heard about tiny houses, here’s what you need to know: tiny houses are typically no more than 500 square feet and focus on simple living without sacrificing on quality. When it comes to tiny living, it’s a good idea to incorporate designs that are also functional. Functional DIY additions that make the most efficient use of space in a tiny house can make the building process a fun, creative experience. Let’s take a look at some design ideas to help you make the most out of your tiny house.

1. Overhead Mason Jar Storage

This is the perfect DIY addition to your tiny house kitchen, or any space where you want to store small things safely. First, glue the tops of mason jars to a strip of wood. You can then install the strip of wood under cabinets or somewhere over your kitchen space. Fill the jars with herbs, spices, or pastas so when you screw the jars into the tops, you’ll have a colorful display of ingredients. Unsure where to keep things like stray earrings or paperclips? Mason jars are also a visually pleasing way of keeping track of the small stuff.

2. Pallet Bed

Recycling old pallet wood is a great way to do right by the environment and by your wallet. Building sites and companies that are in shipping often have perfectly good pallets lying around. No need to spend big bucks on a bed frame–just cut, sand, and piece the pallets together until they’re the right dimensions for your mattress. Add a string of lights on the wall and you’ve got the perfect rustic-chic bedroom.

Pro Tip: A pallet bed is also a nice addition to a sleeping loft. It can look a lot nicer than a mattress on the floor!

If you enjoy recycling old wooden pallets, have a look at these 8 creative DIY pallet projects.

3. Multi-Functional Cutting Board

Surface space is precious in a tiny house kitchen. Give yourself the gift of extra counter space and a cutting board, by using the cut-out piece to cover your kitchen sink. You’ll have a strong cutting board, as well as something to fill the space over the sink when there’s a lot of food prep to be done.

4. Storage Stairs

If climbing a ladder into a sleeping loft doesn’t sound appealing, then a multi-functional set of stairs might be the solution. When designing your set of stairs, be sure to add plenty of shelving or cubbies along the side. Although stairs can sometimes take up a great deal of space, adding storage options to your custom home design is an ideal compromise.

When it comes to designing your tiny house, it’s a good idea to first make a list of the features you know you want. Next, consider ways they can serve one or more purposes. Can a breakfast bar also be a workspace? Are the mirrors on the wall placed in an ideal place to spread natural light? If your answers are yes to questions like these, then you’re on the right track.

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