Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Posts Tagged Family

Tiny House Plans For Families

As more and more people join the tiny house movement we are getting a lot of folks looking to make the leap with families.  I get the question a lot: “how do I live in a tiny house with a family?”  People want to know how they can enjoy the family life and set up houses for tiny house families.

Tiny House Families

There are a few approaches to this:

  1. Choose a small house that has enough room for the family, but the per person square footage is reasonable
  2. Build a slightly bigger, tiny house; maybe expanding to 10 foot wide and up to 40 feet long.
  3. Start with a small house when your kids are small, then add on or move to a bigger house later
  4. Build multiple tiny houses: adult’s/kids houses, sleeping house/living and kitchen house, other arrangements

The point here is to not get tied up in what a tiny house is supposed to be, but what works for you and your family.  I have people email me all the time who feel that they have to live in a traditional tiny house that’s 150ish square feet. Nope!  Forget that unless it’s right for your situation.  Tiny houses have thrived because they are flexible housing solutions, not some rigid definition.

Some of my most popular posts of families who live in small spaces are:

I also have posted some small houses that I think could lend themselves to being used for a family or adapted:

When it comes to designing a tiny house for a family I thing there some important things to think about when it comes to the layout, storage, number of rooms etc.

First step is to create a list of needs.  What does your family need to function or put another way, what does a house need to provide you with to live your life?  I like to think of this room by room, I’ll go around the person’s current space and look at what function or activity takes place in each space.  So on our list we will put for the kitchen: pantry storage (10 cubic feet), food prepping area (sink, 6 square feet counter top, trash can, cutting board, knife), washing dishes (4 square feet for dish drying rack, place to hang towel, soap, sink)

You can see the idea here.  We are trying to operationalize everything in our house, making sure to only write down the core functions, our true needs and the minimum that we need to achieve them.

Here is a video of two parents that have designed and lived in their tiny house for a few years now with two young kids:

 

I think the two biggest challenges when it comes to designing a tiny house for a family is storage, larger food prep/eating area and extra bedrooms.  For storage realize that not all your possessions have to be crammed into your tiny house.  You can read about my extra storage space which is a cargo trailer here; families could easily do something similar, maybe even have the trailer sub-divided into compartments for each person.  Also think about rotating wardrobes, for many people they have a winter set of clothes and a summer set of clothes, try to have another place to put the out of seasons clothes.

For extra cooking space for bigger meals, design the kitchen around what your needs are.  If you freeze a lot of things, have a space for a freezer.  If you supplement with canned vegetables, build in a can rack.  Here is a pinterest board that I’ve made up of great space saving storage ideas for tiny houses:

Follow The Tiny Life’s board Tiny House Storage on Pinterest.

The biggest challenge for tiny houses for families is the extra bedding spaces.  I think there are two approaches to this: 1) have bedrooms for every person or parents, boys, girls.   Or 2) have spaces that convert to a bedroom.

First here are some small house designs that have multiple bedrooms that might work.  Please note, these are just floor plans, there are now building plans for them.

8x24-41.gif

source: http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/books/

rendering_480 rendering_544 bbb-floor-plans-bbh Small-Home-Building-Plans

The next major option for beds for you children might be having convertible spaces such as having some of these ideas below in your living room, at night it would become the kid’s bedroom.

night-and-day-teddy-roosevelt-daybed-5

A futon that lays flat to become a bed, then a trundle comes out for another bed.

trundle-bed-children-creatively-closes-private-tent-with-light-1-thumb-630x546-21614

This is a trundle bed, but I liked they made a tent which would be fun for kids, but also allow them to close the flap and afford them some privacy or alone time.

p4040_1

Here is a elevated trundle that has two beds and storage.

imagebywidth.ms

A standard trundle bed

2-murphy-bunk-beds

A double bed, bunk bed Murphy style

Two-Bedroom-And-Book-Storage-Design-For-Small-Space-1024x683

two bedrooms in a small space.

 

Your Turn!

  • What did I miss?  What else would you need for your family?
  • What will your tiny family house look like?

Nada House

Today we have another for the tiny house family readers, a Japanese house that is 678 square feet for a small family on a very narrow lot.  What I really like about this house is the central part of the house is flooded with natural light through all the floors, while at the same time almost becoming an architectural focal point itself with the natural wood shelves.

5231

6541

213

1

5144f2f7b3fc4b88c600008a_house-in-nada-fujiwarramuro-architects_section1-528x620

5144f2f5b3fc4baa2c00007a_house-in-nada-fujiwarramuro-architects_oishi217212000-528x396

5144f28bb3fc4b88c6000083_house-in-nada-fujiwarramuro-architects_oishi2165520001-528x704

5144f2ccb3fc4baa2c000079_house-in-nada-fujiwarramuro-architects_oishi216832000-528x396

Via

Small House For The Family

One thing I like to say when talking about tiny houses is that it is not a certain square footage that makes a tiny house a tiny house, but a reasonable square footage per occupant.  So that means that for families, a tiny house is going to be getting into the small home category and there is nothing wrong with that, in fact it’s great!  So today I found this beautiful small house the has three bedrooms and two full baths, but still  is reasonable in terms of space and extends living to the outdoors.  The house is under a thousand square feet (not sure exactly) and was built in BC Canada.

front

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Via

Tiny House Chat: Famlies

Mark your calendars for the next Tiny House Chat!
8-9 EST, 5-6 Pacific on December 10th.
The chat will be held here and how to login instructions are here

In the spirit of the holidays we will be talking about FAMILIES in the tiny house world, among other things! Joining us we will have guest hosts Kacie Erickson from TreadingTiny.com as well as Peter and Abby with FatandCrunchy.com  As always Macy Miller from MiniMotives.com will be co-hosting the chat with me.  Please bring any questions you would like to chat about with these folks and others!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this, Tiny House Chat is a space for Tiny House enthusiasts to come together and share ideas and stories. The concept of this is to be for the Tiny House community and facilitated by the community. We hope that this platform will achieve the following:
  • Develop lasting connections among the Tiny House community.
  • Strengthen and expand the community.
  • Foster the sharing of ideas.
  • Provide a resource for the various stages of a tiny house
  • Have a lot of fun and get to know each other better!!

The Chat will take place at these times in the various time zones:
5pm-6pm Pacific Time
6pm-7pm Mountain Time
7pm-8pm Central Time
8pm-9pm Eastern Time

Tiny Houses For Families

Over the years I received a lot of comments and emails saying that Tiny Houses aren’t practical, “how am I supposed to fit my whole family in 150 square feet”, etc.  At this point I should disclose that I do have a bias to Tiny Houses for one or two people as I am currently not married and have no children.  However, to understand this I would point out that Tiny Houses have no definition.  They don’t have a dictated size, form, shape, color, etc.  What does this mean?  A Tiny House is what you want it to be; it is this flexibility that draws people to us, that opens doors and minds to what could be.

The answer is that the Tiny Houses that are 100-200 square feet aren’t designed for families.  A Tiny House for a family might be 1,000 square feet, but it isn’t about the number, it is more a factor using space efficiently and reasonably to suit your life style needs.  I always tell people to consider the square footage per person living there, if they are insistent about the number.

The truth is, that Tiny Houses of 100-200 square feet isn’t a magical number, that has been divined by some deep insight or other means.    In fact the size of the trailer often dictates the size of the house, so in a way, it’s quite arbitrary.   To this point,  Tiny Houses don’t have to be built on a trailer either, because there is no true definition of Tiny Houses.

Today even the definition of a family is being challenged, it is no longer the traditional family unit that is being considered a family.  Couple that with the fact that Tiny House is whatever you want it to be and we begin to see that the Tiny House Movement as a very flexible thing that morphs to your needs, not what someone else tells you it needs to be.

 

Some Families in Tiny House Links:

 

Your Turn!

  • What do you think about raising children in a Tiny House?
Page 1 12