Tiny House | Interior

tiny house

A Tiny House interior is much smaller than a conventional residential dwelling even in Texas.


What is a Tiny House?

The term ‘tiny house’ refers to a way of life typically consisting of living in a smaller architectural structure providing you with the freedom of living a well-balanced, more sustainable

The 2021 International Residential Code (IRC), states that Appendix AQ Tiny Houses applies to houses that are 400 square feet in area or less.

Tiny House as defined by its lifestyle movement, however, can be residential dwellings of 1,000 square feet or less. What does it mean to live in a tiny house? Living in a tiny house focuses on having a bigger more rewarding life rather than a bigger house. A tiny house should offer a living area with a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping area.

Tiny House
A Modern Design of a Tiny House Constructed from Containers.

What is a Tiny House Lifestyle?

Living in a tiny house provides sustenance, freedom from clutter, less upkeep, less expense while providing a place to sleep, cook, bathe and chill out. It frees up finances to pursue creative ventures or travel to unseen regions of the world. Tiny House living creates the opportunity to spend more time in nature and enjoy outdoor living to the max. It creates a simpler environment to navigate on a daily basis.

How to Achieve a Tiny House Lifestyle

How to achieve a tiny house lifestyle and where to begin? A Tiny house interior is typically less than 1,000 square feet and often time 400 square feet or less. Downsizing is the first step when considering a tiny house. Your tiny house should be pleasant and functional. A less is more mindset is essential for tiny house living.  You can be as creative as desired with this process so have fun with it! The first question to ask yourself is of course how many people will live in your tiny house?

Practical considerations for downsizing based on two adults living in a tiny house require basic items such as towels, silverware, cooking utensils, a comfortable seating area for two, bedding, and a bed for two people. Quality not quantity is the key to comfortable tiny house living. Minimalist essentials and practices should be adhered to when considering, furnishings, clothing, and shoes. Furniture that doubles as storage space can provide most of the convenience of traditional closet spaces. Maybe not walk-in but the next best thing can be provided with open closet systems such as the Boaxal System by Ikea.

Tiny House Texas Style
Basic Tiny House Kitchen

Small entryway shoe organizer. Check it out here.

A Tiny House Interior Includes the Basic Essential Items

Kitchen basics include a trash can, 4 hand towels, silverware for 4, dishes for 4, a small skillet, an oven-proof large skillet, a small saucepan, a large pot, and a casserole dish. Other items would be a sharp knife, a small cutting board, 2 pot holders, and a baking sheet. Basic kitchen cleaning items are 2 sponges, a pot scrubber, dish soap and/or dishwasher soap, and paper towels. Other kitchen utensils should be kept to a minimum such as spatulas and other cooking essentials, based on your cooking style.

Bathroom basics include 4 face rags, as well as 4 hand towels, and 4 body towels. Also needed are shampoo, conditioner, blow dryer, 2 brushes, 2 combs, toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, as well as hand, bath, and face soap.  A small trashcan, shower curtain, and bath mat should complete your basic bathroom needs.

Tiny House Texas Style
Tiny Home Bathroom

Does Your Tiny House Interior Provide Additional Space?

If your space provides room for a stackable washer dryer combo, basic laundry supplies, an iron, and a small ironing board then these items will add to the comfort of tiny house living. If your space does not provide room, remember your minimalist approach to practical clothing will make for fewer trips to the laundry mat.

Tiny Houses in Texas

Where can I put my tiny home in Texas?

Tiny houses on wheels can be registered in most states as an RV including the state of Texas. This frees you from dealing with zoning and building code restrictions depending on the state. Tiny houses on a foundation are more complicated and regulations vary from state to state. Building codes dictate how to build your house and zoning determines the size of a dwelling that can be constructed in specific zones. Many cities and counties require a minimum size of 1,000 square feet.  

The 2021 International Residential Code (IRC) addresses tiny home construction under Appendix AQ Tiny Houses. Appendix AQ of the IRC relaxes various requirements in the body of the code as they apply to houses that are 400 square feet in area or less. Read the updated code appendix here.  

Tiny Houses are Legal in Texas

In Texas, the building size can also be limited due to any deed restrictions for the property itself. Texas does have some areas with unrestricted zoning ordinances. Generally, this is found in rural areas but there are exceptions for designated areas depending on the city or county. Texas currently has several tiny house communities located in its cities that allow tiny homes under certain circumstances.

Tiny House Community
Tiny Home Community

Are Tiny Houses Popular in Texas?

Spur, Texas which has declared itself the tiny house capital of America has done away with most of the building codes. Tiny housebuilders must submit building plans and agree to connect to the electrical grid, water supply, and sewage system. They also require all tiny homes to be on a permanent foundation due to safety requirements for tornados.

Lake Dallas Tiny Home Village in the Lake Dallas Downtown District of Lake Dallas, TX boasts of being the first tiny home village of its kind built inside city limits from the ground up as a tiny home village for homes on wheels. The city of Lake Dallas is located in Denton County, Texas. You can read more about Lake Dallas Tiny Home Village here.

According to the Denton Record-Chronicle in an article dated May 26, 2020, Lake Dallas Tiny Home Village is home to a dozen or more families, each in their own small houses up to 340 square feet big on about an acre of land. Couples and families moved in with the hopes of finally living in their dream homes while also forming a tight-knit community.

The article also states that the tiny home movement encourages living a simpler life in a smaller space, according to Tiny Home Builders. People ‘go tiny’ to be more sustainable, decrease home maintenance, be more mobile and save money. The Lake Dallas tiny homes are in a neighborhood near Lake Dallas City Hall. Read Press coverage in its entirety here.

More Tiny House Communities in Texas….Tiny House Interior cont……

The Village Farm tiny home community located in Austin, TX sits far off of East Austin near Martin Luther King Jr Blvd and Decker Lane. Other tiny home community projects in and near Austin, TX are in the process of being developed

Developers are planning Pecan Meadow Village in Kyle, TX according to the Hays Free Press. Another planned development in Manor, TX at Manor Tiny Wildlife Resort is underway.

Waters Edge at Lake Conroe just north of Houston, TX is a community of tiny homes and cabins. These are just a few of the new tiny house communities in Texas as of this writing.

The last decade has seen a large growth in the Texas Tiny House landscape with tiny house communities popping up in various locations. Many tiny house community projects are in the development phase and there is no shortage of residential tiny home builders.

Tiny house communities are being explored for housing the homeless throughout the US. In Texas, as noted by KUT 90.5 Austin’s NPR Station, the Mobile Loaves and Fishes Community First Village in far East Austin currently provide housing to 221 formerly chronically homeless Austinites in its tiny house community. Expansion is ongoing that could add space for at least 1,400 additional tiny homes.

So How Much Does a Tiny House Cost in Texas?

Coastal Tiny House
Coastal Tiny House

There is no shortage of tiny home builders and dealers in Texas. A prebuilt tiny home in Texas generally costs from $30,000 for an unfinished shell to as much as $100,000 for a custom high-end finished prefab or site-built Tiny House.

Texas also has no shortage of land to put your Tiny House on. With over 267,339 square miles there is more than ample room to find the perfect spot for your Tiny House regardless of whether you prefer urban or rural living.

Buying or building a Tiny Home in Texas can be a great retirement option. What better time to downsize and embark on the Tiny House Lifestyle? If this is something that appeals to you then consider tiny house designs that eliminate stairs; believe it or not, this is achievable in a tiny house with a 254 square feet footprint. Read more about retirement in Texas here.

An important consideration for any homeowner is homeowners insurance. There’s no law that requires home insurance, however, you should consider it even if your home is paid for. If you have a mortgage lenders will require you to carry standard homeowners insurance as a condition of the loan. You may choose to self-insure if an affordable property insurance policy is not available for your home.

Can You Build a Tiny House on Your Current Property?

Texas Allows You to Build a Tiny House on Your Current Property

For some, a Tiny House may simply be an avenue to enhance their current property with an additional income stream or provide housing for a relative or friend. This is a hot trend in many areas of the country but can involve some difficulty. If renting it for temporary housing such as an Airbnb, buyer beware – know before you build. Many cities have placed sanctions on where and if a temporary housing dwelling can be constructed as well as imposing additional tax burdens.

Taking into consideration all the above information Texas does allow tiny house construction on your current property if the property is appropriately zoned and there are no deed restrictions prohibiting it. Each city and/or county have specific zoning stipulations and it is up to you as the property owner to check with your governing city or county regarding current zoning regulations for your property’s legal address.

Factors that may affect your ability to build a tiny house with a foundation on your current property would be if the building is considered an auxiliary dwelling unit (ADU) such as a ‘granny flat’, ‘mother-in-law quarters’, or other additional living quarters on a single-family lot. Accessory buildings are not allowed in all cities or zones in Texas, so again, knowing before you build is the word of the day.

Tiny House Interior

Tiny house interior
Pleasant Functional Tiny House Interior

Scaling down to a tiny house presents you with the opportunity to create a comfortable eye-catching interior design. You can incorporate creative storage options into your design as well. Your Tiny House interior should reflect who you are and provide a sense of security and comfort as well as positive stimulation. Remember your overall scale is smaller than a typical dwelling. Furniture and other physical items in the room should be chosen on the proper scale otherwise bulky furniture and too many small items in a room can create a cluttered environment. 

The minimalist design style works well in a tiny house interior and will make your space look larger. However, if your style leans toward other interior design types not to worry. Monochromatic color schemes, neutrals, or even white walls, white curtains, and white cabinets paired with neutral accents or small pops of color will work with almost any interior design style and also create the illusion of more space. Multifunctional furniture that serves a dual purpose could be a game-changer for a practical yet stylish room layout.

Pendant Lighting, Wall Art & Hanging Greenery

Pendant lighting gives you more floor space, and art on the walls rather than other decor items will also reduce any clutter. Furniture that doubles as storage is a huge plus in any small space. Having some open, airy window coverings paired with natural organic elements will bring the outdoors in. Hang greenery from the ceilings if possible, to create a healing, emotionally supportive space of wellness in your tiny home interior.

Consider French doors for more natural light if windows are limited. As in a larger space combining kitchen and dining using as much of an open concept as the build will allow will also give the space a larger panorama.

tiny house design
Tiny Home Dwellers are Often Drawn to the Outdoors

Tiny House Dwellers and Outdoor Spaces

Residents of Tiny homes are often drawn to the outdoors, so creating outdoor conversation spaces, a barbeque & grilling area, open fire pits, hanging a hammock as well as creating other areas for enjoying the outdoors will free up the interior, especially when expecting guests.

If your acreage, zoning, and deed restrictions do not prohibit additional auxiliary units a small bunkhouse outfitted with stacked bunk beds can provide additional space for overnight guests as well as serve as a daytime office space or playroom for kids.

Alternative energy sources work beautifully with most Tiny House designs. With less space to provide energy for and the right energy choices, you could live practically free of utility bills. Rural locations would be great for this with a well and septic tank installed and an alternative electric supply source. Your out-of-pocket upfront costs would quickly pay for themselves.

Just imagine being mortgage-free with no out-of-pocket utility costs in a short 10 to 15 years down the road. That sounds like the recipe for early retirement to me!

In Conclusion, Tiny House Living Offers many Benefits

Although living in a tiny house isn’t for everyone there are many benefits to the tiny house lifestyle allowing you to live a less stressful life and have more meaningful life experiences. A tiny house using eco-friendly materials leaves a smaller carbon footprint and has a positive impact on the environment.

The cost to build a tiny house is less than a conventional dwelling which will save money on energy costs as well as the possibility of being mortgage-free much sooner than the conventional homeowner with a typical 2500 square feet home. The tiny house provides you with more savings, less time spent cleaning and maintaining your dwelling. This creates more time and money to spend doing the things that you love.

Wound you live in a Tiny House?
Would You Live in a Tiny Home?

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What is a tiny house lifestyle?

Tiny House as defined by their lifestyle movement can be residential dwellings of 1,000 square feet or less. Living in a tiny house provides sustenance, freedom from clutter, less upkeep, and less expense while providing a place to sleep, cook, bathe and chill out. It frees up finances to pursue creative ventures or travel to unseen regions of the world. Tiny House living creates the opportunity to spend more time in nature and enjoy outdoor living to the max. It creates a simpler environment to navigate on a daily basis.

Kay Keeton, Ed.

Editor in Chief, Kay Keeton - Texas Lifestyle Expert. Kay is a designer turned author, marketer, storyteller, and influencer. A sixth-generation Texan, Kay is both an authority as well as being passionate about sharing her home state of Texas's diverse culture and lifestyle. Kay is a content writer and editor of content for various local and national online publications.

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