10 Experts Reveal Clever Ways to Maximize Space in Your Log Home
Worried you just won’t have enough space in your small log cabin?
How can you maximise every possible area for storage to ensure that you do?
Most people that build a log cabin for the first time want to build a relatively small cabin and therefore we often get asked for space saving tips.
So we decided to ask the experts for their tips and inside secrets on space saving.
We got in touch with lots of tiny home specialists, enthusiasts and people who live in log cabins to bring you unique, tried and tested methods to make the most of out of your space.
Tod Parmeter, Golden Eagle Log Homes
Tod Parmeter, runs the family owned business, Golden Eagle Log Homes, alongside his brother Jay. The family business was set up by their parents in 1986 so they have ample expertise!
“In the loft area of the home where the floor and ceiling meet is often a wasted space because of lack of headroom. We will often design the home to eliminate that low headroom area by building a knee-wall and adding shelving or closets in that now better utilized space.” – Tod Parmeter.
Beth Ann, Tiny House Enthusiast
Swapping the legal career for a tiny life, Beth blogs about all things tiny and has built her tiny home with her own two hands!
“My top tip is go “go vertical!”
Example: I have a floor to ceiling shelving unit that is only 3.5″ wide but goes from the floor to 6′ tall and I can fit about 60 rolled up shirts in it – I roll them up like you would towels, and I can see all the rolled up ends to know what shirts I have. Although I do not own anywhere near 60 shirts, but it works for hand towels and similar things, too.
The shelves also accept plexi-glass fronts that secure the contents for tiny house travel.” – Beth Ann.
Mark Burton, Tiny House (Cabins)
Winner of the Shedworking ‘Best Design Award 2012’, Mark Burton designs and builds mobile and static tiny homes.
“Nearly all of our tiny house and cabin designs are an open plan space to maximise the footprint. We use lofted areas for upper bed areas, storage and children’s dens so the ground floor area can be used purely as living space.
As we all know, heat rises so these upper areas are warmer than the ground; it makes good use of heating which would otherwise be wasted as you would not feel the benefit of any heat up in the ceiling area.” – Mark Burton.
Mike Pickering, Wee Make Change
Wee Make Change blog about everything tiny home, from building your own tiny home to examples of people who have entered the exceedingly popular tiny house movement.
“Minimise your stuff to give yourself more room.
Design as many items to be multi use.
Think outside the box, even the most random place can be used to store stuff.” – Mike Pickering.
Jennifer Baxter, Live a F.A.S.T Life
Jenn Baxter lives in a 144 sq. ft, tiny home in Lake Norman. She is also an accomplished writer and lives life ‘less about getting more, and all about doing more’.
“The key to maximizing space in a tiny house or other small home is to be creative! In tiny homes, space is a luxury, so it’s important to make the most of what you have. One of the best ways to do this is to use multi-purpose furniture. For instance, a rolling file cabinet that doubles as an ottoman and extra seating. Or a desk that folds out from the wall and doubles as a dining table. You should also use every inch of available space – that means nothing is too high or too low! Try installing high shelves in the bathroom to store spare towels and toilet paper or toe kick drawers in the kitchen for storing cookie sheets & baking pans or pet supplies. Make use of space under steps by installing built-in cabinets and add extra storage in the steps themselves by installing lift-up flaps. For tiny homes with a loft, don’t forget the floor space there either! Installing trap doors in the loft floor allows for additional storage space for clothes or shoes. And lastly, don’t forget to get things UP on the walls! Using a magnetic rack for knives and spice jars and shelves for plates and glasses saves both counter and cabinet space in a small kitchen.” – Jennifer Baxter.
Allen Halcomb, Moss Creek
Allen Halcomb is the president of Moss Creek, a group based in Tennessee who design rustic American log homes.
“Look for small areas that can be built out with high density storage systems. These include areas under stairs, low ceiling areas, and shallow closets.” – Allen Halcomb.
Jeremy Weaver, Wind River Time Homes
Tiny home owner, and one of the faces behind Wind River Tiny Homes; Jeremy Weaver helps turn people’s dreams into reality by designing and creating custom tiny homes.
“My answer is going to be a little different. I think it is important (whether you are building yourself or having one built for you) to live in space for a month before you make final decisions on the final storage tweaks like open shelves, hooks, hanging baskets etc. You don’t really know how your tiny space will function best until you have lived in it for a while. Then you start to figure things out like “hey, I am always dropping my coat on the floor here, maybe this is where my coat hook needs to go.” Lindsay (my wife) and I have been tweaking our house since we moved into it 2 years ago and are still finding places to put shelves and hooks.” – Jeremy Weaver.
Cassidy Newton, Tiny Heir Loom
Tiny Heir Loom design and create luxury tiny homes and stick to their motto ‘downsize but don’t downgrade!’.
“Even though living tiny teaches you to live with less, there are still things that you can’t live without. For every space there needs to be storage solutions. Living in a tiny home means you may have to get a little creative, but living with less is a very rewarding experience. As writer Chuck Palahniuk once said, “The more things you own, the more they own you.”
With our tiny homes, our most valuable storage space is created within our design. We analyze each home to ensure that every space is utilized. A classic example of this is creating shelves or drawers into the staircase that leads to a loft. We also like to integrate storage under seating, around windows and within platforms.
One space in a tiny home that doesn’t always become fully used but can be a great opportunity for storage is an open wall space. This area can be used to hang shelves, hooks and magnets especially in places that aren’t heavily trafficked.
It’s also important to take advantage of under-utilized space such as cupboard doors where hooks can be hung to accommodate flatter items or organize supplies that can be hung up.
While cupboards and drawers are obvious choices for storage, there are still ways to get the most out of them. One great suggestion is to use collapsible storage bags that you can suck the air out of with a vacuum. This suggestion is great for clothing, bedding, and other items that don’t necessarily need the air and just take up more space.
Getting rid of often bulky, annoying packaging materials such as cereal boxes and pouring your cereal into more permanent, space saving containers will not only add to the visual appeal but also save storage. Another great minimalism tip when it comes to food storage is to buy local, fresh food and only what you need. This is not only often healthier but will encourage you to cycle through items instead of bulking up. Buying products with less packaging is not only eco-friendly but will save you on storage as well.” – Cassidy Newton.
Ethan Waldman, The Tiny House
Ethan has plenty of hands on experience of tiny house building and provides advice about how to build your very own Tiny House.
“Save small cardboard boxes (like the one your iPhone came in) to use as internal organizers for drawers. There’s nothing worse than opening a drawer and finding hundreds of small items in a big pile. Make sure you organize the small things as well as the big ones, and reuse all that packing material you get in the process!” – Ethan Waldman.
Aaron Castle, Tiny House and Community Advocate
Our last tip comes from Aaron, a community advocate who wants us to think about all the material things we own, and whether they are really necessary.
“What we have forgotten most as a species, though, is how to be honest with ourselves about what we need and don’t need as we move through the increasingly material and less natural world around us. I have too many hobbies, and interests. It’s easy for me to hoard musical instruments and art supplies and I have to check myself before I bring something home. Where am I going to put this thing? How is my spouse going to react to this thing? How much more room do I really have in my closet? Will I ever actually make a collage with this material, or will it just clutter up my work-space as a menacing reminder that I dream of a project that will never actually get done. Be truthful about what you will and will not use as you select material things.
Tip from Aaron: Remember all that space that was in those interior walls you framed and closed up? It makes valuable storage space so long as you aren’t worried about sound carrying through your little cabin.” – Aaron Castle.
So there you have it, right from the mouths of the experts!
Lots of tips on how to maximise your small spaces, from stairs that double as cupboards, to going vertical and making the most of a whole wall, floor to ceiling.
My favourite space saving tip is to live in the space for a month before you make any decisions on where you are going to put your storage.
What do you think? Which is your favourite, or do you have any better tips?! We would love to hear from you in the comments below.