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My Top 5 Tiny House Must Haves

March 2, 2017
My top 5 tiny house must haves | Tiny Ambitions

I had the immense pleasure of attending the online Tiny House Summit last week. It was a truly wonderful and educational experience and I expect to keep sharing my thoughts on it over the coming weeks.

One of the biggest takeaways came from Tiny House giants (pun intended), Andrew and Gabriella Morrison of hOMe and

Before embarking on the build phase of a tiny house, Andrew and Gabriella recommend getting very clear on the non-negotiables of the design. If, when you get to the building stage, you feel like you’ve lost something, you’re never going to be happy with your tiny house.

This may seem like common sense, but in the five years I’ve been planning my tiny house (I’m slow I know), I’ve never actually done that. Maybe that’s why I haven’t 100% committed to a design yet!

I keep getting distracted by all the ‘cool’ features of other people’s tiny houses, without actually figuring our what makes sense for my life and my reality. For example, the gear room in SHEDsistence is wicked awesome, but if it was in my house it wouldn’t be useful because I would have no gear to put in it.

Gabriella and Andrew recommend putting pen to paper for your top 10 tiny house must haves- but I got stuck at a top 5. Maybe that means I’m easy to please?

My Top 5 Tiny House Must Haves

1. Build in L-Couch with Storage

I wish I could say I spend the majority of my time outside, doing adventurous things, but that’s not the case. I want an L-couch in my house tiny for a couple of reasons, mainly; napping, reading and watching Netflix. The trifecta if you will. An added benefit of this kind of couch is that it allows for storage underneath- major bonus.

2. Storage Stairs (rather than a ladder)

My desire for stairs rather than a ladder to the sleeping loft is mostly practical rather than aesthetic. We have a cat, so a ladder is not really an option. And I also don’t want to worry about falling down the ladder when I get up in the middle of the night for a bathroom break. Again, the stairs will act as as storage. Multi-functional design for the win!

3. Composting Toilet

Mr. Tiny Ambitions and I disagree about this aspect of our tiny house, but I’m the one with a blog so ha! I believe a composting toilet is the right choice for us for two main reasons: portability and eco-friendliness. Since composting toilets turn waste into compost, it can be used to fertilize flowers, trees and shrubs. Some models can even process organic kitchen waste!

From a portability perspective, while some models do require electricity, they don’t necessarily require a dug, permanent sewage system. Major mobility bonus!

4. Full(er) Size Fridge

I love to cook and my condiment collection alone could fill at least one small mini-fridge- if not more! Wherever we end up parking our tiny house, I doubt it will be somewhere with easy access to fresh food everyday. This makes a full(er) apartment sized fridge a necessity.

5. Offgrid Power Capabilities

The coolest tiny houses I have ever come across are 100% off-grid ones. I don’t think that 100% off grid is feasible (or practical) for us, but it would be nice to operate with some degree of self-sufficiency. My current off-grid ideas include solar panels on the roof, a tiny windmill on the exterior, a water storage tank under the previously mentioned couch, and propane powered appliances.

All of the other ‘must haves’ for our tiny house are aesthetically based design choices (like subway tile or butcher block countertops), and I will share those as I progress on the design.

Like Andrew & Gabriella said in their presentation, don’t be afraid to dream big for your tiny house design.

Did you miss the 2017 Tiny House Summit last week?

There were 5 great days and 43 terrific speakers, all on tiny houses and small-scale living. While the Summit is over, you can own the recording package, and be inspired to live your tiny house dreams! The cost of the recordings package is $149, but I’ve got a $50 off coupon for you. Use code tinyambitions and save!

You can also sign up to be kept informed of future events and activities from the Tiny House Summit team. 

What would be in your top 5 tiny house must haves? Let me know in the comments!

Full Disclosure: I am an affiliate of the Tiny House Summit, and this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase the video package using one of these links, I will receive a commission. I have chosen to be an affiliate for the Summit because I truly believe in the tiny house lifestyle and the more people who have access to it, the better. 

Image Credit: Unsplash

  • Morgane July 28, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    I don’t understand why you would need electricity for a composting toilet – we have a lot of these here (in Brittany 😉 West of France) and a lot of my friends (I live in a flat that’s above a laundromat, so no composting toilet for me at the moment!) use the compost in their garden too. An no electricity involved whatsoever (it would actually beat the purpose, I believe).
    I have just discovered your blog and really like it!

    • tinyambitions July 28, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      I think it depends on the model you buy. There are definitely electric models available in Canada. Obviously we would prefer one to be renewable energy only, but we shall see! Thanks for reading!

  • Lisa | Simple Life Experiment March 7, 2017 at 5:28 am

    I am so looking forward to seeing and reading more in the future about your tiny house design, Brittany! These are five excellent must-haves. I love in particular the idea of having a composting toilet. I recall once coming across an indoor composting toilet at a national park information centre that had absolutely no smell whatsoever (unlike those really icky ones usually found at campsites here in Australia..) and I remember wondering why we don’t all have these installed in our homes?!

    • tinyambitions March 7, 2017 at 7:06 am

      That’s so cool you found a composting toilet at a national park! I haven’t seen anything like that in Canada!

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