Small adjustments to a room, especially in a tiny house or Cozy Home, can make a large impact. Without spending a lot of money, a few simple projects in a small kitchen can maximize space, enhance the visual aspects and even add value to the home. Maximizing space is essential in a small home and there are several simple tasks a homeowner can complete themselves.
Christopher Toleman and David Silverstein, co-owners of Arocon Roofing and Construction, give homeowners tips on how to improve their kitchens if space is an issue.
“Inexpensive, open shelves can really provide you with the most storage for less,” Toleman says, “Slide-out baskets can also be installed to the underside of wall cabinets.”
Extra storage in the kitchen can also be created by adding shelves to the inside of cabinet doors and by using nails as hooks underneath the cabinets. Hanging pots, pans, lids and utensils from these hooks makes them easier to get to and frees up cabinet space. Increasing the visual appeal in a kitchen can be as simple as updating hardware and adding a coat of paint.
“Updating hardware, like drawer pulls, is a quick and easy way to spice things up,” Silverstein says. “Painting your kitchen cabinets is another great way to brighten up your kitchen.”
If a homeowner wants to add value to their kitchen on a budget, it’s important to choose the most impactful project. Increasing the amount of natural lighting in a room, such as adding a skylight, can add value by making the space look bigger and feel more comfortable. Redoing the flooring is also a great place to start.
“The floor gets the most use, so replacing or upgrading your floors will greatly increase the value of the home,” Toleman says.
There are many types of flooring, each with different benefits. Tile has the most visual appeal and comes in many colors and textures. Laminate is durable and low maintenance. Wood is warm underfoot and quiet. Vinyl is inexpensive and has several colors to choose from. Also, upgrading appliances can significantly increase value of the home. When choosing which appliances to improve, start with the fridge.
“Your refrigerator is the appliance that gets used the most and also has the most visual impact because it’s the largest,” says Silverstein. “Today’s refrigerators really maximize food storage and are much more energy efficient than older fridges.”
Arocon Roofing and Construction is a screened and approved member in the HomeAdvisor network. They focus on creating individualized construction solutions and specialize in roofing, siding, gutters, kitchen/bathroom remodels and more. HomeAdvisor, is a leading website and mobile app provider offering resources for home repair and improve projects. For more tips on sprucing up your tiny space visit HomeAdvisor.com.
Tiny, small and Cozy homes can be a challenge when it comes to storage. Cozy Home Plans tries to add in as much built-in storage as possible into each small home, but sometimes you might have to let your furniture do the storing of your clothing, paperwork, books or DVDs. These days, more and more furniture is being designed to hold your belongings. Some of these pieces of furniture are unique, functional and stylish and still take up less room than some storage bins or other alternative ways to hide away your stuff.
This platform bed for $275 from Humble Abode features two large drawers on each side of the bed for clothing, bedding or towels.
This stylish chair from Coleman Furniture has storage inside the seat.
Target sells some nice looking ottomans in different shapes and fabrics that also double as storage cubes.
This dark cherry dining table has a storage pedestal base for stacking cookbooks or dining accessories, with a lower door offering even more out of sight storage. It costs about $260 from Wendy Furniture.
This rolling laundry cart from Casa not only holds laundry in separate compartments, but it can also hold clean clothes and it rolls around from bathroom to bedroom. It costs around $100.
Creating your perfect Cozy Home is combining both “visual” charm and “physical” comfort. A space that appeals to all 5 senses; sight, hearing, taste, smell & touch in a positive way will quickly become your favourite one. There are a lot of ways to do this; one of those is picking the right paint colour to help make any room feel alive and comfortable.
Based on experiments, different colours instil different vibes and emotions. The psychology of colours relies mainly on a sighted person’s mental and emotional sensibilities. Say, you see a cool one. The first vibe that you get from this is that the place is a restful one, where if you see a warm colour, the vibe that you get is that the place gives you passion and drive.
You can – in addition to setting the desired mood for your home – set goals for a specific room. This room could be a nursery, so you might want to paint it with bright and playful colours. This room could be a study room, so you might want to paint it with metallic colours to inspire you to strive for bigger achievements. You can use this colour psychology in order to achieve the mood that you want. Restaurants, if you have noticed, also use this. They usually paint their spaces with bright red, yellow and orange colours which evoke the feeling of hunger, savour and delight. Here is a rundown of a few colours and the emotions that they evoke.
As you can see, different colours evoke different emotions. Expressing your personality through colours is a great way to show off “you”. The emotions behind paint are sometimes left unnoticed, but they actually do affect people both mentally and emotionally.
Painting is a great DIYer project but it usually takes more time than you think. Here are some tips that may make it easier.
Cozy, Kevin B Harrington
Even if your house is tiny or small, you might want to have an area or space that’s specifically for entertaining purposes. This can include a TV, stereo system, computer or laptop space and maybe even some cool speakers. With technology getting smaller every year, even the tiniest house can have a great place to watch movies or listen to music without taking up too much room. Several Cozy Homes have a space for a flat screen television including the 384 square foot Crested Butte and the 505 square foot Mount Kiska. With a little ingenuity, a small entertainment space can be integrated into a living room with a flat screen TV area.
A small cabinet or shelf from IKEA can hold a DVD player, a compact stereo, a cable box and even some movies in a small corner. The key to keeping space uncluttered is to install as many things on the wall as possible. This includes the TV, the speakers, shelving and wiring. Speakers for a small house can stay in one area or can be installed in various places around the house. An unobtrusive style of speaker system from Bose is only around $160 and comes with custom mounting brackets. They are only about 4 inches high and about 11 inches wide. If your main source of entertainment is your computer or laptop, this and its components can be tucked away into a desk or shelf or even inside an ottoman with an inside storage area…only being brought out when you want to watch a movie or your favorite show.
If you have to share your small space with other people and you don’t want to watch or listen to the same thing, a good pair of headphones can be a relationship-saver. A pair of wireless TV headphones allows one person to listen to the TV while the other sleeps or reads. A Sennheiser set of headphones runs about $70.
The cardinal rule to a soothing bedroom? Comfortable bedding. You don’t have to be basking in the lap of luxury with rich and extravagant sheets, pillows and comforters. Do what makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Begin with a mattress that fits your needs then layer away. Cover that with a fluffy feather bed. Continue layering with a nice pair of sheets, jersey or flannel in the cold winter and light cotton or sateen in the warmer months. Top the sheets with a quilt, blanket or down comforter. Toss pillows, again fit to your liking and you have just created the best bedroom sandwich ever.
Trend alert! Throw a chunky cable-knit blanket across the end of your bed to add that cozy feeling.
Limit the number of colors you bring into your bedroom to three, buffered by a neutral hue. For example, pair a coral duvet over your new Macy’s mattress with a navy headboard; or consider painting an accent wall navy, with a cream comforter and Kelly green rug. Don’t know where to begin? Thenest.com recommends you start with a neutral base and then add color, texture and pattern from there.
Play with texture in your bedroom by adding a classic white sheepskin rug next to your bed so it’s the last thing your toes feel as you climb into your comfortable grotto of joy. Also, although a mirror might not the be the first thing that comes to mind when you consider adding texture to a room, the depth found in a mirror or group of mirrors is actually quite organic. Images of texture reflected back out in the room. Unique!
Whether a piece of antique furniture, family photos or monogrammed pillowcases, keep your bedroom personalized with your charm. It helps with the cozy feeling you are attempting to perfect. Keep the balance by not cluttering the room with too many trinkets or anything too large. If you have a character-filled piece like a massive, dramatic headboard made of stone, or a piece of art, tone down the rest of the room so the piece shines bright and isn’t overpowered by anything.
Anything that diverts your attention away from rest needs to be removed from your bedroom. While some people enjoy television in their room, leave it in the living room, den or even on the patio (protected, of course). Also, try to leave work exactly where the word itself indicates – at work. At least keep it out of the bedroom. Same goes for social media like Facebook, which can keep you up all night thinking. Stick with a good book, gentle music or simply pet your cat in order to calm your soul as you drift off into the night.
Add elements of nature to your room to soften the feel. Bring in a few plants in creative ways, create a wooden headboard or hang tree-themed wallpaper on an accent wall. Might as well go big and cover all of walls with nature-themed art.
Guest post for Cozy Home Plans by…
Daughter of a designer and home ec teacher, Victoria learned everything she would ever need to know about being a successful designer from her mother. Victoria loves passing her mother’s secrets on to readers.
The design of all-in-one kitchens has really flourished in the past few years. Way beyond the design of The Jetsons, these modern tiny kitchens for tiny homes really take into consideration space-saving techniques, new technology and style. Some of these designs include flat-pack kitchens and mobile units that can be pushed out of the way for when you have company. While some of these may be available in small quantities solely by the designer, the little Avanti kitchen is a viable idea for a compact home.
This revolving cylinder which contains a full kitchen can rotate 180 degrees and is equipped with stainless steel sink with chrome single lever mixer, a garbage can and drawers. The upper shelf can rotate a full 360 degrees and can store plates, containers or your pots and pans. This small space saving invention actually contains the same amount of cupboards in a conventional kitchen and has it’s own lighting, electrical sockets water and waste disposal. You can also include all the necessary appliances – refrigerator, microwave dishwasher etc.
Not only does the Flow 2 Kitchen provide a space for preparing food, but waste products are also used to fertilize plants and dishes drip dry over plants in terracotta containers. The gas cook top is made up of a floral pattern, offering an alternative to conventional standards. The continuous surface allows pots to be easily moved on and off the heat source.
The Avanti Mini Kitchen is probably one of the more affordable (around $700) and practical all-in-one kitchens and can be connected to any space that has water and a plug. There is no oven, but there is a nice stainless steel sink, a built-in refrigerator and a small cabinet.
Named after “grandma” in German, this compact kitchen folds flat against the wall and with the push of a button, warps into a 3D kitchen and dining area with a table, two chairs, a lamp and some cupboards.
This stylish little kitchen on wheels includes a stove, a tiny refrigerator, drawers and storage compartments, sockets for small electrical appliances, a large chopping board and pull-out worktop. It’s made of durable white Corian® and ceramic glass and can be moved and swiveled around 360°.
Even though it is still snowing parts of the country, this is actually a good time to get a head start on your tiny garden for your Cozy Home. We did a post last year about small vegetable gardens for your small home…so how about adding a water feature to your garden with a small pond or fountain? Many cultures add water features to their gardens to represent peace and balance. In Japanese culture, water represents serenity in nature and in Islam, the word paradise means an enclosed garden with the sound of water. Water not only brings peace to your green space, but it also attracts helpful wildlife like birds, frogs and dragonflies.
Because your Cozy garden is small, your pond or fountain should be too. This saves you time and money up front and care and maintenance later on. You can get a huge range of ideas for garden water features from Pinterest. There are several different types of ponds and fountains that you can build yourself for around $200 in supplies.
You can purchase a pre-formed pond liner from any home improvement store for around $30-$75. To install, all you need is an area large enough to dig a hole for your pond, a shovel and a level and some sand to set the liner. Flagstone, flat rocks and other plants can be put around the pond once it’s installed and filled with water. A fountain or spitter and some water plants can also be added to aerate the water. Here is a great video by Patti Moreno on how to install a pre-formed pond in a small space.
Vinyl or Rubber Pond
Vinyl ponds give you a little more leeway as to the shape and size of your pond. High quality vinyl is laid inside and over the lip of your pre-dugged hole and held down with rocks, soil and other landscape materials. You can add pond pebbles and rocks to the bottom as well as fish and plants. Vinyl is more expensive (around $90 for a 10×10 foot liner) and is prone to damage from rocks and roots.
If you want to keep it even more simple, just add a small pot or container fountain to your Cozy Home patio or deck. These can be made with various pots and fountains can be purchased in a garden store or online for around $20. If the pot is large enough, fish and plants can also be added.
The winter months are a good time to get some indoor work done on your small or tiny home. Painting your Cozy Home walls is one of those projects that can be done while you are stuck inside. The Cozy Home Plans blog has a post on the types of colors that work best in a small home, but here are a few tips on how to simplify your painting job and keep from making a mess or getting frustrated while working in a small space.
1. One of the worst things about painting is trying to get around awkward, permanent objects. This includes the toilet tank. A good tip is to cover the toilet tank with sealable plastic wrap (the kind you use for sandwiches) to keep the paint from getting on the porcelain tank.
2. When you are taping off your trim or other woodwork with painter’s tape, here’s a tip to keep the tape from peeling up and to prevent bleeding. Lay the tape onto the woodwork and press it down with the corner of a putty knife. Let the tape stick out perpendicular to the trim to act as a little protective roof to catch paint drips. A great way to then get that painter’s tape off is to soften it with the heat of a hair dryer. Use the dryer on the low setting until the tape is soft and then pull it off at a 90-degree angle.
3. Don’t you hate it when you scrape a little extra paint off your brush and it goes running down the side of the can? Take a screwdriver and a hammer and poke a few holes in the lid edge of the paint can. The leftover paint will drip back down into the can.
4. Soften and loosen up spilled latex paint with pimple pads. These pads (usually used for the faces of teenage boys) will soften up the paint, but won’t harm your wood or other surfaces. The pads work best on paint that’s been dry just a few hours.
5. Renew old painter’s or masking tape by putting it in the microwave for 10 seconds.
Photo by OlgerFallasPainting/Flickr
If you’re DIY installing Kitchen cabinets in a Tiny, Small or even a BIG micro house, following these simple tips will make it go smoother. This example is a Kitchen I personally did a few years back from floor to ceiling.
Now the Tips!
#1 Whether your project is a simple make over or an extensive remodel, consider getting Plan 3D first. This software is easy to use and makes creating rooms or even a complete home very simple. Having the ability to add or change cabinetry and appliances with a few mouse clicks is great! Choosing from thousands of combinations of colors, wood types, cabinet styles, flooring options and counter tops in the convenience of your own home with no pressure makes this process actually fun. Creating your virtual Kitchen, Bath etc… first can possible save hundreds, if not thousands if you end up changing your design mid-stream. All this fun and peace of mind for as little as $14.00 with Plan 3D. Plus you get bragging rights that it was all your idea! There is a link on my site, lower right side at the bottom under ‘My Favorite Program”.
#2 Take time to visualize first whatever activity will be done in the room. In this Kitchens case, efficient cooking is our primary goal followed by food and appliance storage plus great looks. Don’t be limited to the current configuration either. If it’s a complete remodel, power can easily be moved. Plumbing is more challenging and expensive to move but still possible. Consider both present and future needs for this room could save costly additions later on.
#3 Get everything in advance for the project. In this kitchen we were adding a microwave instead of the vent hood, refrigerator with icemaker and dishwasher to make it more modern. Ask yourself… What will I need for doing this? In this case… extra outlets, power for DW and a way to get water across the Kitchen.
#4 Start with a clean slate either by demoing and repairing walls or prepping them first. Mark all the studs if at all possible somewhere around the 4′ height. This will help you gauge the location of studs for both the upper and lower cabinet securing.
#5 Install uppers first by securing a ledger board to the wall with screws. This is for resting the upper cabinets on during instillation. Don’t worry you can easily patch the holes later or place a backsplash over them. Make sure the top of the ledger is level and no less the 58” or 18” above the finished counter top height. Secure each cabinet with no more than one or two 3” screws directly into the studs that you found earlier. At this point level and fasten the faces together with screws by clamping and predrilling the holes first. This guarantees no splitting and shifting of the wood faces and gives you a clean smooth surface on the front. Then finish securing the cabinets to the wall.
“Bonus Tip” Now that the uppers are installed it’s time to move on the base cabinets. If there currently “not” sitting on a finished floor, you can always shim them up or remember they will be at least a ½” lower when the floor is installed. This is a good time to recheck the floor level too. Always start at the highpoint and raise the others up as necessary to meet this finished height.
#6 Installing base cabinets is the same as #5 except no ledger is needed because you have the floor. Make sure all gaps meet MFG’s specs and are even both front and back. Keep a 4’ level handy and keep checking constantly.
At this point you should have a perfect surface for countertops. Now you just have to decide what types!
Marble, Granite, Engineered Stones, Solid Surface, Stainless Steel, Ceramic Tile, Wood/Butcher Block, Concrete, Soapstone or Laminates.
Good luck with your project from Cozy Home Plans!
Cozy, Kevin B Harrington
During more extreme temperatures, your electricity bill can jump by about 50-60 percent. That can really dig into your budget. Even in a tiny or small house, there are various ways to save on electricity costs. Here are the top five ways and a few you many not even have considered:
Great Stuff Insulating Foam Sealant
The cheapest solution to saving money on electricity might be one of the most important. Cool air from air conditioners and hot air from heaters will find any gap or crack in your home and sneak out. Break out the Great Stuff Insulating Foam Sealant and seal up any gaps or cracks in the walls and ceilings. The foam will expand to fill in spaces up to 1 inch wide and created an airtight, water-resistant bond. A can of Great Stuff will run you about $8-$12.
Dual/Tri-Pane Glass Windows
A little more investment might be in order for these energy savers. In cold weather climates nearly one-third of a home’s total heat loss occurs through the windows and doors. Single pane windows are huge culprits, so investing and installing double or even triple-pane windows will result in lower electricity bills. These windows use layers of glass with air or gas in between each layer to keep cool or warm air inside. A typical triple-pane 36″x54″ window with LowE glass and argon will cost around $250.
If you can’t afford a whole house full of triple-pane windows, try some cellular shades, also known as honeycomb blinds. These fashionable shades are made up of two layers of fabric that are joined together at the seams so that when the shade is pulled down, excess solar radiation is shut out, and pockets of air are created to insulate the room. The soft, double-layered fabric that keeps too much heat from coming in while still allowing daylight in. They also help keep your space warm by preventing heat from escaping through your windows on chilly winter nights. Cellular shades cost around $35-$50 each and come in many different colors.
Ceiling fans are not just for outdoor porches in the Deep South. Even a small ceiling fan can make a difference in both the winter and summer. During the summer, a fan can circulate the air that comes from air conditioner or it can just work alone to keep the air cooler. In the winter, a ceiling fan can also push the rising warm air from a fireplace or heater back down into a room. A small ceiling fan will cost between $75 and $200 depending on the size and style.
Changing your mind about how you react to certain temperatures will also save you money. Instead of turning up the thermostat or space heater in the winter, put on some luxurious silk underwear or a warm sweater. In the hot summer weather, don’t run the clothes dryer inside; instead hang your clothes out on a clothesline. Also during the summer, avoid using the oven and dishwasher and maybe do most of your cooking outside. Oh..and turn out the lights when leaving a room.
Photo by Snap Man/Flickr