Tiny House Furniture: A Room-by-Room Guide to the Furniture You Need for Your Tiny Home

tiny house furnitureIf you’re considering the tiny life, you may be wondering what tiny house furniture you will need for your new home. Can you use the furniture you already have? Should you rely solely on built-in items?

By and large, people mainly choose built-in tiny house furniture because it takes up less space. Tiny houses have unique margins and size constraints, so you’re limited with your furniture selection. If you have a tiny house on wheels, you’ll also need to ensure your furniture is tied down and secure because you don’t want it crashing around when you move.

TINY HOUSE FURNISHINGS BY ROOM

tiny house living roomLiving Roomtiny house bedroomBedroomssleeping loftLofttiny house dining roomDining & Kitchentiny house patioPatios & Outdoor

When I built my tiny house, I didn’t have a lot of built-in tiny house furniture, per se. I built my clothes closet and some storage areas, but other than that, I purchased furnishings. I know it’s not that way for everyone.

So, what type of furniture should you consider for your tiny house? What can you buy, and what should you build-in? Here’s the tiny house furniture I recommend room-by-room.

Tiny House Furniture: Living Rooms

Tiny House Living Room Furniture

My biggest tiny house furniture goal was to have a really comfortable, nice piece of furniture where I could relax and unwind at the end of the day. I wanted the perfect tiny house sofa. I found a comfortable “sectional” at IKEA and bought only one section (which you can do with almost any brand). Later I upgraded to a small recliner chair. I love it because it’s perfect for sitting, relaxing, reading a book, or even taking a nap.

Tiny House Sofa Or Built-In Couch?

Tiny House Sofa Or Built-In CouchThe most pressing question when it comes to living room furniture is built-in vs. buying ready-made. As I explained above, I opted for a ready-made option. In the examples below, you can see how choosing a stylish loveseat or a portion of a sectional can look really cohesive in the space and make your tiny house living room feel very homey.

tiny house living room couch
tiny house l;iving room sofa
tiny house couch
tiny house living room sectional

When you choose a tiny house sofa, you may also want to look for one that converts to a bed. As I’ll explain when we discuss tiny house bedroom furniture, accommodating guests in a tiny home isn’t always the easiest option. A pullout couch (or simply a comfortable sofa) can offer guests an occasional place to stay but might not be an ideal solution for sleeping all the time. Still, if you find a great-looking convertible sofa that fits the space, go for it.

tiny house living room sofabed
tiny home living room sectional sofabed
tiny house living room furniture
tiny home couch
tiny home sofa
tiny-home-living-room-furniture

Let’s think outside the tiny house sofa for a moment. Another living room furniture option is to simply go with chairs. I really like the recliner that I got for my main living room. It’s comfortable, and it doesn’t take up much space. If you only have one or two people living in your tiny house, then a great chair or a set of chairs might be your preferred way to go.

tiny home chair
tiny home living room furniture
tiny house living space chairs
how to build a tiny house

Now let’s get to the big tiny house furniture question: built-ins or no built-in benches? So many people do built-in bench seats in their tiny houses. Let me tell you, I’ve been in a LOT of tiny houses, and sat on a LOT of bench seats, and frankly, they’re rarely comfortable. People put a lot of time and effort into building these seats only to discover that they’re impractical compared to a couch or a recliner.

That said, there are some ways to do built-ins right. The big advantage is that you can size the piece perfectly to the rest of your house. It will stay in place, no matter where you move your tiny house. The biggest bonus about choosing built-in benches for your home? You can design them with plenty of storage.

Here are some examples of bench seats that seem to work well for the space. Notice that they’re wide enough for comfortable seating and feature plenty of pillows and comfortable padding.

tiny house living room bench
built in benches tiny house
tiny house living room built in seating
built in bench seating tiny home

I also like the idea of combining a built-in piece with another chair or small sofa, so you get the best of both worlds—a nice reading nook with storage and a comfortable couch or chair to chill in. Below you’ll see how a bench seat can work well with other tiny house furniture.

tiny house built in seating
tiny home living room built in seating
built in bench and chair tiny house
tiny house living room bench built in

Other Living Room Furniture for Your Tiny House

Other Living Room Furniture for Your Tiny House

What else do you need in your living room besides seating? Depending on your layout, you may want to include a coffee table that can double as a dining space. A lift-top coffee table can double as a kitchen workspace or a place for your laptop. Watch movies from your couch and then tuck it away when you’re finished.

I keep a small folding table tucked away for when I need some extra surface space. It’s nice because I can use it as a card table, a TV tray, or a workspace.

If you want a built-in table for dining, look for something slim and easy to work around. You still want to access the storage of your bench seat, and you’ll want to comfortably sit and relax when you’re not using the table. The examples below fit the space without being obtrusive.

tiny house built in seating with table
tiny home seating with folding table

Make your living room your own with pillows, wall décor, plants, and anything else you like. Built-in bookshelves can be a nice touch. Rugs and lamps will go a long way to making the space feel cozy and welcoming. Remember that any tiny house furniture you put out will need to be stored or tucked away if you move your home. Being a minimalist, I’ve adopted a less-is-more mentality, especially when it comes to decorations, but you may like to have more decorations, totally up to you.

Tiny House Multi-Use Furniture

Tiny House Multi-Use Furniture

Throughout your tiny house, there are many places where multi-use furniture makes a lot of sense. I’ll cover Murphy beds in the Bedroom section later, but let me say that I’m not a huge fan of most multi-use furniture.

tiny house stairsPeople get excited about the idea of multi-purpose pieces, but I’ve found that many don’t work practically. I’ve found that most fancy multi-use items do a lot of things just okay, nothing really well.

My advice is to look for furniture pieces that do ONE job well. If there is a spot for storage, consider it added value, but make sure the tiny house furniture piece does its primary job first and foremost. Don’t get drawn in by the flash and fun of multi-use pieces that over-promise and under-deliver.

The one area where I do find multi-use furniture helpful is for living room storage. Ottomans that double as storage spots are great because they can be used as seating, footrests, and some even come together to create an extra place to sleep. Nested seating like chairs and stools can also be easy to store in a small space.

 

Tiny House Furniture: Bedrooms

Tiny House Bedrooms Furniture

Tiny house bedrooms are often lofts, but I wanted to talk about both ideas regarding tiny house furniture. If you have a loft sleeping area in your tiny house, it can come with its own set of challenges. Plus, lofts aren’t always for sleeping.

No matter what you have—a ground-floor tiny house bedroom or a loft bedroom—the most significant challenge is fitting the mattress comfortably in the space. You’ll need to look for a tiny house bed that’s the right size for sleeping while still giving you room to move around the area.

Furnishing Your Tiny House Bedroom

Furnishing Your Tiny House Bedroom

The leading tiny house furniture piece in a bedroom is, of course, the bed. Closets are often built-in, and while you may have a small shelf or nightstand, the bed is the central part of the room. You’ll need a comfortable mattress. Spring for high quality and consider a custom-sized option like tiny house mattresses from Tochta.

Once you have the mattress and bedding, it’s a matter of furnishing your bedroom with the items you need to sleep and relax. Wall-mount nightstands and light fixtures can help save space. Shelving behind a bed can offer a practical and functional headboard.

furnishing a tiny house bedroom
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tiny home bedroom headboard
tiny home bedroom pillows
tiny house bedroom furniture
tiny home bedroom furnishings

Getting More Space in Your Tiny House Bedroom

Getting More Space in Your Tiny House Bedroom

When I was building my house, dormers weren’t the norm. They came into vogue later on, and frankly, I wish I had dormers.

Not only do they add complexity to your roof line, but the extra space is nice. My bedroom is in the loft, and I started with a queen-size bed. (You can read about some of the challenges I’ve had with my loft here.) You could fit two people, but you couldn’t sit up on the edges without hitting the roof.

I’ve since switched to an XL twin mattress. While there’s more headroom, it’s not ideal. I would rather have a queen mattress with dormers because there would be more light, more space, and it’s more practical.

If you’re considering dormers, check out these examples below. You’ll see how it makes a world of difference in terms of bedroom space in your tiny house.

tiny home dormer bedroom
tiny home dormer bedroom furniture
tiny house dormer bedroom furniture
tiny house bedroom dormer

Murphy Beds, Trundle Beds, and Built-ins

Murphy Beds Trundle Beds and Built-ins

Let’s talk Murphy beds. For those unfamiliar, a Murphy bed is a bed that folds into the wall. Patented by William L. Murphy around 1900, these beds were made for small spaces (he lived in a New York apartment). You often see these beds featured in old movies, especially in the mid-century.

To be completely honest, I’m not a fan of the Murphy bed. I know that many tiny house dreamers like them in concept. I find that people don’t actually fold them up every day. They end up being sloppy and take up space like a regular bed. For a guest bedroom, a Murphy bed might be a solution to create a multi-use space, but I don’t find Murphy beds very practical for everyday use.

If you like the idea of Murphy beds, here are some working examples below. You’ll see how the beds that convert to a working or sitting space are a little more likely to get tucked away when not used in these examples. With overnight guests, they could be a practical solution.

tiny house murphy bed closed
tiny house murphy bed open
tiny home murphy bed stored
tiny home murphy bed
tiny home murphy bed ideas
tiny house murphy beds

As for trundle beds, hideaway beds, pullout beds, and rollaway beds, they can be useful in the right circumstances. I’ve even seen ingenious “drawer beds” that tuck into the wall. Many of them fall into the same fate as Murphy beds, in that they seem practical until it’s time to tuck them away, and then they become messy. However, these solutions can be useful for families with younger children, especially if they share a bedroom. The kids can use the bed for sleeping and then tuck it away later.

The other alternative bed I’ve seen used in tiny homes is a hammock. While hammocks look Pinterest-worthy and seem fun, I would make EXTRA sure you’re comfortable with sleeping in a hammock for the long term. For most people, they aren’t practical bedroom solutions (but can be fun for kids and great for lounging around).

Tiny House Guest Beds

Tiny House Guest Beds

So what do you do for tiny house bedroom furniture when it comes to guests? An air mattress can be useful for guests that visit occasionally. I find it’s common to think you need a guest bedroom for visitors (what I call an outlier activity). To have a whole room dedicated to an outlier activity (think formal living room, dining room, home gym, and guest bedroom) isn’t practical in a tiny house. In a small home, an outlier room requires tiny house furniture and space that you don’t have to spare.

When I have guests, I spring for a hotel. Frankly, living in a tiny house means I save a lot of money in other ways. The money I would have spent on furnishing a guest room can afford basic accommodation for friends and family. It’s nicer for everyone’s space and sanity.

Tiny House Furniture: Lofts

Tiny House Loft Furniture

There’s a lot of overlap between tiny house bedroom furniture and tiny house lofts. The bedroom is almost always in the loft in a tiny house, and the loft is almost always a bedroom. But it doesn’t have to be that way. A ground-floor bedroom with a loft lounge or storage can be practical. I’ve even seen a loft kitchen that changes up the “typical” idea of what can be done with a tiny house loft.

tiny house loft shelving
tiny house loft furnishing and storage
furnishing a tiny house loft
tiny house loft furnishing

When considering what you want to do with a tiny house loft, look at the rest of your space’s functionality. With a few chairs, pillows, and décor, your loft might become the best area for lounging, practicing your hobbies, or working. In these “alternative loft” examples, you can see how the right decorations make the space useful.

tiny house loft chairs
tiny house loft furnishing ideas
tiny house loft furniture
tiny home loft furniture

Tiny House Stairs and Ladders

Tiny House Stairs and Ladders

One of the challenges and benefits of having a tiny house loft is the need for stairs or a ladder. A lot of people prefer having stairs because they offer storage. That said, stairs take up a LOT of room, but you can find a way to rethink the usefulness of stairs and make them functional. I like the example seen at Tiny House Giant Journey, who created storage and stairs in a unique way. Their tiny house furniture fits together to create the staircase but can be used for seating and storage as well.

tiny house giant journey stairs
tiny house giant journey steps to loft

I have a ladder in my house because it saves a lot of space. BUT climbing up a ladder year after year can wear on you. I’ve broken down the tiny house stairs versus ladders question here to help you weigh the pros and cons.

Tiny House Furniture: Bathrooms

Tiny House Bathrooms Furniture

There’s not a lot of free-standing furniture in the bathroom. Most pieces are built-in, like storage and cabinetry, in addition to the obvious plumbing. I have to say that I probably get the most questions about tiny house bathrooms and how to make a space that’s functional, furnished, and still attractive (and hygienic).

I’ve outlined many of the planning details in my post Designing Your Dream Tiny House Bathroom to help you decide on what you need as far as a toilet, shower, storage, and a sink. Tiny house bathrooms can be really beautiful, despite being small.

The most significant tiny house furniture needs in the bathroom are storage, cabinetry, and a place for a hamper or laundry basket. Laundry storage is one of those quirky things that people often forget to plan in (like a kitchen trash can) and then later regret not having the right space to store.

tiny house bathroom sink and cabinet
tiny house barthroom furniture storage
bath furniture in a tiny house
tiny house bathroom cabinets

Other furniture may include shelving or a vanity to use as a bathroom counter space. Again, counter space is one aspect of a small bathroom that people think they can forgo until they move in and realize that they need a workspace in the bathroom. I’ve seen some incredible bathroom vanities that were converted from a purchased piece of furniture (usually a tall table or a cabinet), so that’s a consideration if you have space.

tiny house bathroom furniture
tiny home bathroom furniture and storage

Don’t neglect storage in the bathroom. You’ll need a spot for towels, spare toilet paper, and any products you like to use. Shampoo, soap, and other toiletries can get in the way if you’re in a very small spot, so you’ll need a method of organizing them. As I always advise, take the storage you think you’ll need and then double it. You will thank yourself down the road for adding in extra storage.

Tiny House Furniture: Dining Area & Kitchen

Tiny House Dining and Kitchen furniture

Like the bathroom, the kitchen and dining areas of your tiny house will likely feature a lot of built-in pieces. Most of us don’t have many free-standing pieces of furniture in those spaces, simply because it’s not practical. That said, you will need a table of some sort and chairs for the dining space. It can be helpful if these pieces of tiny house furniture are multifunctional (for example, if they can also double as a workspace).

Furnishing a Tiny House Dining Room

Furnishing a Tiny House Dining Room

The “dining room” is pretty much just an eating space, a breakfast nook, eat-in kitchen, or bar in a tiny house. Most tiny homes don’t have the square footage to accommodate a full formal dining room. It comes back to those outlier activities. Yes, you may love the idea of throwing a dinner party, but in a tiny house, it’s not practical to host large dinners indoors or to have a dedicated room for an event you hold once or twice a year (like Thanksgiving).

But of course, there are practical and beautiful ways to create a dining space for one or two (and even for a small family) in a tiny house. The most common way is to have a fold-out “bar” or high-top table with bar stools or chairs. These tables can easily double as extra counter space too.

tiny house dining room furnishings
tiny house dining room

When looking for chairs and stools, you can have a little fun. Seating is one piece of tiny house furniture where you can select a design that adds personality to your house. Of course, a simple, lightweight, and functional barstool is an excellent option, but if you plan to use the dining table as a workspace, you may want to explore chairs (or stools with comfortable back support).

tiny house breakfast nook
tiny house dining with a view
tiny house dining table and stools
tiny house dining area with stools
tiny house dining table with stool
design and build a tiny house book

The other dining room furniture option for your tiny house is a built-in breakfast nook-type space. These are often equipped with bench seats that can double as storage. You may find this helpful if your cupboard space is minimal. There are plenty of ways to make the dining area an attractive and functional part of your tiny home.

tiny home dining nook
tiny house nook seating
tiny house dining table nook

When furnishing a dining space for your tiny home, it also depends on your climate. I’m fortunate to be able to eat outside quite often at a picnic table. I enjoy dining outdoors. On colder days and nights, I have a TV tray that I typically use as my table. For my lifestyle, that works just fine, but if you prefer sit-down meals, you may want to plan for a dining space.

Kitchen Furnishings For A Tiny House

Kitchen Furnishings For A Tiny House

So much of the kitchen consists of built-in pieces. It’s splitting hairs whether it can even be referred to as furniture or if the kitchen furnishings are considered appliances. If you’re wondering how to best set up your tiny house kitchen, I’ve created a Complete Tiny House Kitchen Guide to help.

Many questions come up around equipping tiny house kitchens because the sizing is a little different for appliances like stoves and fridges. You’ll want something small enough to work in your space but large enough to be useful. It’s essential to explore tiny house kitchen ideas if you love to cook. Spend extra time planning to ensure you get the kitchen that you want.

Below are some tiny house kitchens side-by-side with their floor plans to help you get a full idea of the layout.

tiny house floorplan
tiny house kitchen
tiny house layout
kitchen in tiny home
u-shaped kitchen
kitchen in tiny house
kitchen floorplan for tiny house
kitchen floorplan for tiny home
tiny home kitchen plan
tiny home kitchen design

As for actual tiny house furniture needed in the kitchen, there isn’t much. IKEA has some free-standing furniture pieces that are nice for small kitchens. Look for chopping blocks that tuck away and foldup islands and tables. The “drop leaf” design is often a preferred feature in tiny house kitchen furniture.

Should you buy furniture in general from IKEA? I include IKEA in my list of resources for tiny house furniture, and I know people have different takes on the retailer. Indeed, many of their furnishings aren’t the highest quality, but it’s very affordable.

It’s important to recognize what you’re getting for the price and realize that there will be some assembly involved. Because they’re based in Sweden, where there are many smaller living spaces, they understand what you need in a tiny home. I think that as long as you’re selective and aware, you can find some nice tiny house furniture at IKEA, especially kitchen items.

The most useful furnishings in my tiny house kitchen are my sink with a built-in cutting board, the hanging storage baskets, and a small space coffee maker. The coffee maker is a particular favorite of mine and well worth the investment. Again, I’m not sure these items count as tiny house furniture, but they’re needed in your kitchen.

Tiny House Furniture: Patios and Outdoor Furniture

Tiny House Patio and Outdoor Furniture

When you think of tiny house furniture, you probably think of indoor furniture only, but I want to point out that your patio and outside space can be a very functional and essential part of your home! In fact, my outside area is probably my favorite spot to spend time and relax. Below is a rendering of my outdoor space.

ryans tiny house propertyFurnishing the outside of your tiny home is just as important as the inside for functionality and maximizing the use of your space. So, what tiny house furniture do you need for outside?

I have two Adirondack chairs made of composite and they’re much more durable than the typical wooden chairs. They require no maintenance or upkeep, they’ll last for many years, and they’re beautiful. I highly recommend investing in them. I also have a composite bench and table. It’s perfect for extra seating and the perfect place for two people to eat. When the weather’s nice, I also work at the table.

For cooking, I love my gas grill. I cook many of my meals out there, especially in the summer. It keeps the heat out of my house, and it’s so easy to clean up. It’s my favorite way to cook healthy, simple food. I also have a fire pit, which is more for gathering than cooking.

Because I spend so much time outside, I have some bistro lights to use the space after dark. You could also include potted plants, side tables, and other furnishings to make your outdoor space feel extra homey.

Recommended Tiny House Furniture Sources

Recommended Tiny House Furniture Sources

Where can you buy tiny house furniture? What are the best retailers?

There are specialty tiny house outfitters and tiny house builders who can help you with the built-in items for your tiny house. The built-ins are often part of the overall design and layout. As for free-standing furniture, these are the best places I’ve found that feature furniture that works well in small spaces.

ikea furniture

IKEA

The Swedish furniture giant is a favorite source for tiny house furniture. Plan to build your own pieces, but many of the items have been designed specifically for small space living.


benchmade modern furniture

Benchmade Modern

Benchmade Modern is an excellent source for beautiful, custom couches made to fit your space. If you want a comfortable seating option, check them out.


tochta

Tochta

For custom-sized mattresses, Tochta is a great resource. The mattresses are high quality and can be created to fit a tiny house bedroom or loft.


resource furniture

Resource Furniture

Despite my mixed feelings about Murphy beds, multi-use furniture can be extremely useful in a small space. Resource Furniture makes beautiful pieces that fold out, drop-down, and tuck away.


the container store

Container Store

Tiny house living is all about staying organized, and the Container Store helps you do just that. They offer an array of items to organize and furnish any sized space.

If you’re looking for tiny house furniture to compliment your built-in pieces, these spots should keep you covered. Remember that you can often afford higher quality items with a small space, so look for furniture that’s durable, comfortable, and beautiful.

Your Turn!

  • What is your must-have tiny house furniture piece?
  • Do you prefer built-in or free-standing furniture?
3 Comments
  1. Thank you! This was fun. It’s good to see examples with drawings and photos side-by-side; not always easy to make them as informative and interesting as you have done.

  2. Just a couple of thoughts …
    First , as usual a very comprehensive look at resources and solutions . Well done .
    Plus some ideas that have worked for me . Patio furniture has worked well for me inside . It comes in various configurations , sizes , and is lightweight and easy to move around . Which brings me around to my… murphy bed . It literally takes me less than a minute to pull my chairs out of the way and open out the bed. And I don’t have to make the bed every day , just flip up the foot and fold up. And I don’t have to climb a ladder or deal with limited headroom . At 70 years old , no ladder or steps is a blessing .

  3. Could you tell me how much completing the inside of a 16 x 24 ft tiny home with a 16 x 18 ft loft may cost at minimum? I am finishing out my site built shed conversion. Thank you!

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