You don’t have to drastically shrink your whole life to fit into a 200-square-foot space in order to learn a space-saving trick or two from the tiny house movement. Builders and carpenters see working with such a compact living space like a puzzle, and they’ve come up with some pretty cool solutions that translate well to small rooms and apartments.
Raise & Lower Your Loft Bed at the Push of a Button
Carpenter Ana White built this incredible elevator bed for a tiny house she created. The bed raises or lowers over the couch using sliding door hardware and a garage cargo lift that costs about $200. The platform can be raised all the way to the ceiling during the day, lowered all the way down at night, or stopped halfway so both the loft bed and the guest bed below it can be used. White has more information on this system (and free plans for this tiny house design) available at her website.
Put Your Couch (or Bed) on a Platform
There are lots of ways to either craft or hack a platform bed, whether you’ve got the carpentry skills to recreate these two clever tiny house creations or just get some inexpensive items from Ikea and improvise something that’ll give you lots of extra storage space. The stepped system seen in ‘Tre Livelli’ by Studioata is especially cool, eliminating the need for standalone furniture. There’s a whole kitchen hidden in there!
Squeeze Your Closet Under Your Bed
Another cool tiny house trick (often deployed in campers, too) is to place the bed atop a storage area and use a hydraulic lift for easy access to the contents. Italian furniture manufacturer Dielle makes a freestanding version of this that has an entire closet underneath it! DIY-ing a design like this might seem tricky, but you can get a standard bedlift kit for as little as $45. You could also just use the space beneath a lofted bed as a luxurious walk-in closet, as seen in this interior by De La Haye Makelaardij.
Turn the Stairs Into Your Dresser
You don’t even have to have a sleeping loft to make use of a dresser shaped like a staircase. It’s great for accessing high storage, too – like bookshelves hung just beneath the ceiling. And while it’s always helpful to be handy, you don’t even have to custom-make these. Companies like Cymax offer them for as little as $350.