the floorplan

Read why we're building The Nest tiny house here

Designing a tiny house floorplan, especially one built on an 8.5' x 24' trailer, is no simple feat. How can you fit a living space, full kitchen, full bathroom, closet, queen bed, and extra sleeping space in less than 200 square feet and still make it feel open and not cluttered? Oh, and what do you do with those wheel wells? We even took a "babymoon" to Portland, staying in a few different tiny houses to get the feel for different options. I intend to blog more in depth about this trip...someday. For now, here are the places we checked out: 

After perusing many different designs, we knew a few features were really important to us. You've seen House Hunters, right?  Well here's our wishlist: 

  1. Spacious kitchen with generous counter space
  2. Standard-sized kitchen sink
  3. Apartment-sized fridge with separate freezer
  4. Closed kitchen storage
  5. Space for dining 
  6. Space for working
  7. A modified staircase (as opposed to a ladder)
  8. Regular shower with enough headroom for a tall person
  9. Bathroom on the opposite end of the kitchen (so it doesn't feel like you're going in the kitchen!)
  10. Enough headspace in sleeping loft to sit up in bed
  11. Place to put suitcases out of the way
  12. Plenty of natural light

Reluctantly, I will share my first attempt at drawing a floorplan. I must give credit to the Music City Tiny House in Nashville, which very much inspired this first undertaking. 

The wheel wells are another hurdle, which apparently I forgot about in my design. Typically, these are the solutions: 

  1. Raise the floor above them, limiting the ceiling height
  2. Build in between them, shrinking the width
  3. Disguise them with built in furniture or storage around them

Thankfully, our architects Hunter and Damon were able to see beyond our original vision and had some pretty cool ideas up their sleeves. They took our wishlist in hand and presented us with three options.  Two included sleeping lofts, and a third featured a separate bedroom on the same level. 

Option A

Option A

Option A's features include: 

  • Queen bed sleeping loft
  • Bathroom with walk-in closet and washer/dryer combo
  • Kitchen with standard sink, under the counter refrigerator
  • Pull out "peninsula" for extra prep, dining, or work space
  • Space for sectional storage sofa
  • Wall of windows with glass sliders
  • Modified ladder with wide treads and generous angle
  • Step down to bathroom allowing for more headspace in bathroom and loft
  • Raised main floor over wheel wells with storage underneath

Cons:

  • Kitchen and bathroom not on opposite ends
  • Under-the-counter fridge
  • Steep loft access

This option also features a genius wheel well solution with its "tri-level" approach.  By raising the main living space above them, we aren't worried about headspace and gain storage underneath. By stepping down slightly to the bathroom beyond the wheels, we recover the headspace in both the bathroom and the loft. The huge windows would also be pretty special and would allow for a continuous "room" out onto the deck. However, the bathroom and kitchen were not on opposite ends, and I didn't see much counter space. Plus, the only access to the loft was still pretty steep. This could be tough for the population of guests that may not feel comfortable on a ladder.  

Option B

Option B

Option B's features include: 

  • Queen bed sleeping loft
  • Bathroom with walk-in closet and washer/dryer combo
  • Galley-type kitchen with taller fridge under stairs
  • Option for pass-through window/counter above kitchen sink (to function as a bar on the deck outside)
  • Storage stairs for loft access
  • Wheel wells hidden under kitchen counter and stairs
  • French doors

Cons: 

  • Kitchen and bathroom not on opposite ends
  • Small living space
  • Limited workspace
  • Fewer large windows

This option gives us the stairs we were hoping for, which would accommodate a larger fridge, extra storage, and wheel well disguise. Plus, it would be much easier for guests to access the loft. Placing the kitchen along what will be the southern side would also allow for a pass-through window and counter on the deck, great for entertaining. However, the living space is significantly smaller and there isn't much room for a dining or workspace other than the sofa and coffee table.

Option C

Option C's features include: 

  • Single-level
  • Separate bedroom with queen bed
  • Bathroom with walk-in closet
  • L-shaped kitchen
  • Room for taller fridge
  • Wall of windows with sliders

Cons:

  • Even smaller living space
  • No washer/dryer
  • Limited storage

This option solves the problem of difficult loft access and adds privacy to the bedroom area, something our guests may very much appreciate. The floor would be raised above the wheel wells, providing storage underneath, and still lovely high ceilings. However, the close bedroom quarters would make changing the sheets so often rather tedious. Plus, the living space is significantly reduced. Without the need for a loft though, the opportunities are endless for very interesting architecture and form.

In pure House Hunters fashion, we want to hear your thoughts!  

WHICH one is the winner?  

Let us know in the comments, which one would you choose! A, B, or C?  

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