If there’s one thing that smaller living spaces benefit from, it’s the space-saving benefits of transformer furniture, which can change from one shape to another. The inherent multifunctionality means that less furniture is required in a smaller house, which frees up more floor space.
In a lot of the tiny houses we’ve seen over the years, the type of transformer furniture is the rule rather than the exception, as tiny houses are typically between 200 and 400 square feet. With such restrictions, it is important to carefully plan how different pieces of furniture will fit your lifestyle.
A wonderful example of thoughtful planning is this adorable little house that has some very creative ideas for different pieces of furniture that can transform. French couple Mathieu and Amélie designed and built the 24-foot house after taking a few courses and traveling all over Quebec, Canada with their baby during their maternity leave. We get a more in-depth tour of the house via Exploring Alternatives:
On the outside, this 8-foot-wide DIY home is clad in cedar, a natural material that can withstand harsh Canadian winters and becomes elegantly weatherproof over time. Most of the house’s utilities – like the propane tank and water heater – are tucked away in their own built-in mini-sheds near the front tongue clutch. The roof is covered with waterproof wind-resistant onduvilla shingles from roofing solutions company Onduline, which the couple chose because of the wind forces that tiny houses on the street are exposed to.
When we enter the brightly lit interior of the house through the patio doors on the side, we enter the living room, which also serves as a dining area and bedroom for the guests.
How is all of this achieved? Well, it is all thanks to the couple’s clever multifunctional sofa, which has a modular, pull-out design that can either slide partially out to form a sectional sofa or all of the pieces take out to make a large bed for guests form.
In addition to these uses, the area also serves as a dining area. This is done via the smart little folding table that is suspended by a cable wire suspended from the top of a retractable copper pipe.
Instead of adding additional chairs, the couple decided to use the lower half of their specially welded steel-framed stairs as their seat – a brilliant idea.
Here the sofa modules are all completely pulled out and form a bed.
The kitchen is huge by tiny house standards and divided into two opposite counters, which are covered with light bamboo boards and each have their own large windows. There are plenty of cabinets and drawers here too that are painted white to keep things light and airy and come with stylish leather handles. They opted for a deeper, wider sink to make sure washing larger pots and pans wasn’t a problem. The large fresh water tank is located under the sink and works with a 12 volt pump.
Behind the kitchen there are two large cupboards that face each other. Here you can hang clothes or install a small refrigerator.
Immediately behind it is the bathroom, which is equipped with a composting toilet and a shower with a mini bathtub. The couple chose this option as it meant they could bathe their baby and prevent spills in the bathroom.
Back in the main room we see the beautifully designed open staircase that uses a white painted, welded steel frame to minimize volume. The couple say they chose stairs rather than a ladder as it would be safer than a ladder. But as some may point out, there is no railing here, which would definitely compromise the safety of the design. (Another possible solution: get rid of the attic entirely.)
The sleeping loft is comfortable and has a few built-in storage corners on the back. The loft also has two operable windows; Amélie says this was an important consideration because she survived a house fire a few years ago, which made fire escape and fire safety a major priority (as it definitely should be for everyone). For this purpose, the house is fitted with fire-resistant Roxul insulation – and not one, but two fire extinguishers, one on each level. There is even a custom-made sling that can be used to lower the baby from the upstairs windows.
This lovely tiny apartment was a home on the way to see the couple and their baby before they decided to sell it, settle down a bit more, and move on with their next project. Either way, the home is a stunning example of how well-made transformer furniture can make a huge difference in making small spaces feel more spacious.