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My Tiny House Design

May 15, 2017

After 5 years of planning, Pinteresting, and obsessive tiny house show watching, I have finally committed to a tiny house design!

Designing My Dream Tiny House

Honestly, the hardest part of getting my tiny house design from paper to the computer was finding a program that didn’t make me want to pull my hair out!

On a total fluke, I discovered that an online program I use for design work has basic layout templates. LucidChart is available online, for free(!), and it was exactly what I needed to transform my smudged graph paper drawing to a perfectly scaled masterpiece! While I know I will need to come to grips with SketchUp eventually, LucidChart was a great entry point for me.

This design builds on my must-have posts, so if you want a little background on what my plan before my plan was:

So what does my Tiny House Dream look like? Drumroll please…..

My Tiny House Design: Main Floor

Tiny House Layout - Bottom Floor: Tiny House Design
Image Credit: Tiny Ambitions
Elements from Left to Right
  • Large picture window
  • L-shaped couch
  • Hinged desk
  • Kitchen counter with stools
  • Storage stairs
  • Pantry
  • Fridge
  • Combined laundry and closet room
  • Full bathroom with shower, tiny sink, and composting toilet

The key part of our design that is different than most tiny houses is two separate spaces at the back of the house. It was important to us to have a dedicated closet and laundry space – we don’t have a lot of clothes, but having laundry in our house will add immense value to our lives. We currently drive half an hour one way to do our laundry. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is a total pain in the butt.

To be honest, I am worried that this design isn’t common for tiny houses for some building code reason (i.e. I haven’t seen it a lot because it is illegal). Since I haven’t been able to get my hands on the National Building Code yet (it costs over $300 bucks!), I am fully prepared to have to change the design if it doesn’t conform.

Another important element in this design is the tiny counter with stools. It is important to me to have space to sit down and eat dinner that isn’t on our couch. I get that eating on my couch would be more ‘minimalist’ and free up the interior space for something else, but a proper dinner space is something I really want, so I incorporated it into the design!

The last part of the main floor I want to draw attention to is the storage stairs. A ladder would obviously take up less space, but as I’ve written about before, is not a practical option for us. We have a cat – she is a ninja, but a ladder would be beyond even her abilities!

My Tiny House Design: Top Floor

Tiny House Layout - Top Floor : Tiny House Design
Image Credit: Tiny Ambitions
Key Elements from Left to Right
  • One foot storage loft
  • 10-foot sleeping loft
  • Queen sized futon
  • Dormer windows

There obviously isn’t a lot to say about the upper level of our tiny house design. We went back and forth between having a 10-foot or 12-foot sleeping loft. I argued against a 12-foot loft because it would have taken up exactly half the length of the trailer, therefore cutting the space into equal chunks that didn’t make sense to me.

This design is to scale, so even with a queen size mattress, a 10-foot loft is plenty of space while still maintaining a sense of openness in the living room below.

Another must have that was incorporated into this design was the dormer roofline. You can’t see it in this 1D design, but basically, the roof line will have tiny pop outs for space and light. I like the look of dormers, but they are also a practical way to make the sleeping loft more liveable without increasing the overall footprint of the house.

The Nitty Gritty Numbers

Dimensions: 22′ long by 8′ 6″ wide by 13′ 5″ tall

Square Footage: 189 sq. ft plus 86 sq.ft loft

Total Square Footage: 275.20 sq. ft

We probably could have made the house 24′ long and gained two wonderful feet of extra space – but I am actually very content with what we have been able to incorporate into the 22′ design. Not to mention I would have severe anxiety about having to navigate a longer trailer if we ever had to move.

So that’s our tiny house! I can’t wait to share a more flushed out 3D version with you guys soon! I’m also working on a tiny house budget that will be coming to the blog in the near future!

Have you considered living in a tiny house? What would you incorporate into your ideal tiny house? Let me know in the comments!

  • Brittany June 25, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    This is SO cool! My husband and I are actually beginning to seriously consider living full-time in an airstream RV. Our house is going on the market this weekend and once it sells, we will have to make the final decision about what kind of tiny living we choose. Wishing you the best on your TH dream!

    • tinyambitions June 25, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      That’s amazing! Our TH dream is definitely a couple more years away at least but I’m still excited about it everyday! I hope you enjoy your tiny life!!!

  • Kris June 12, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    As an older TH dreamer I am realizing I really want to be able to stand UP to get dressed!! Have you seen that addressed in any designs you have seen?

    • tinyambitions June 12, 2017 at 11:08 pm

      There are definitely designs with bedrooms on the main floor, but they tend to be tucked back so you wouldn’t be able to stand up and get dressed. I think our design does a decent job of that- the point of the ‘closet’ between the bathroom and the kitchen was to give us some space to get dressed. I’m sure as heck not planning on getting dressed in the loft! Thanks for reading Kris!

      • Kris June 13, 2017 at 7:25 am

        What kind of height does your loft have?

        • tinyambitions June 13, 2017 at 7:45 am

          The math is a bit complex on this, but our loft height is currently set at 3 feet and 11 1/2 inches. When you get into the overall dimensions of the frame plus walls, the loft gets eaten into very quickly!

  • Lisa | Simple Life Experiment May 23, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Brittany, this is so exciting! Thank you for sharing the design – I can’t wait to see the 3D version! I really like that you have included a dedicated eating space. I’ve seen quite a few tiny houses that don’t really have one, and while it’s fun every once in a while, I’m not sure I’d be comfortable eating my meals sitting on a couch day after day. The hinged desk would be absolutely indispensable for me, too – using my laptop on my lap hurts my neck too much. Yay for your tiny house dreams being on their way to becoming reality!

    • tinyambitions May 23, 2017 at 3:59 pm

      I’m glad you like it! Those two components were pretty much non negotiable for me. I eat every meal on my couch in my ‘full size’ apartment right now- and I am so over it! I can’t wait to share the 3D with you… as soon as I wrap my mind around how to do it!

    Hey! I'm Britt. I write about living a tiny, simple, intentional life. Because life doesn't need to be lived big.