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Space Saving Ideas for Small Houses

The tiny space you decide to live in must be used effectively. This is achieved through smart, often multi-purpose, furniture. To provide inspiration, I have compiled a few well-known as well as less-well-known space saving ideas for small houses which are mostly quite easy to construct.

Space saving tables and chairs

The classic dining furniture takes a lot of space in the context of being used just a few times a day, often only occasionally. There are ways of folding the table and chairs into a small space from where they can be unfolded when needed.

The seat boxes are stored under the table top. This can be at a coffee table height, or taken up to the standard dining table level. With the lower height, you will be comfortable drinking coffee; the higher level will offer comfortable eating.


This set is based on a similar principle. The only difference is that the seat boxes are not stored under the table top; they rest on it and are just slid off. The table leg can be telescopic to allow the necessary height for dining. When folded down, it is used as a large seat box. There is storage space under the table top.

The height of this set, when folded, corresponds with the usual dining table height; the
tables with back rests are pushed flush with the table top.

This system offers a high level of variability. What you see here is a set for two.


This is an extended version for three chairs. The ideal solution to store against the wall. A table for any number of diners can be put together when you combine these two types.


The table can be accompanied by storage instead of the third chair.
Tea table which can be extended as necessary by pulling out individual parts. This type of design is encountered primarily in the Asian cultures where space-effective solutions enjoy a deep tradition.
A dining area can be obtained also by using a fold-down table top. A system of retractable supports is hidden under the board. One of the easiest versions is a revolving support. You can use common hinges, the board can be anchored to the support with an embedded pin.
Although less elegant, a wall-mounted board is a structurally simpler, universal solution (A). A board mounted flush with the wall is more elegant but also more demanding. Not every wall allows this solution (B).


Another smart design is a fold-down table attached to the wall. The support used here is a tightening rope or chain anchored to the table top and to the wall. When unfolded, the table top is secured e.g. by a pin.
The entire dining table with seating can be integrated in the floor. This radical solution is technically rather demanding but with a definite wow effect.
This set for two combines two principles. A fold-down top and push-in chairs. The chairs are hung on the rungs below the table top. The foldable top is attached to a turning frame. This set offers a spatial dining area while taking relatively little space when folded.
A conceptually designed wall integrating the interior equipment of a house in cases. The “furniture cases” are reflected outwards, giving hints on the interior character of the building to the passers-by. When needed, the object can be pulled out of the wall.

Space saving beds

Beds are used primarily for sleeping although, in most households, they take almost 2 square metres of floor area, and often even the entire height of the room above it. In a minimalist space, this shortcoming can be overcome by non-traditional ways. The length and width of a bed is usually set to 2000 mm / 79” and 800 mm / 31.5” per person. The heights are more individual – at least 350 mm / 13.8” or, better, 420 mm / 16.5” to 500 mm / 19.7”.

A common sofa-bed is the ideal solution for shortterm increase in sleeping capacity – for example for visitors. Unfolding a sofa-bed usually takes time and, therefore, it cannot be recommended as a permanent sleeping solution (A). When not in use, this bed is in a vertical position. It just needs pulling down for the night. This eliminates any problem with physically demanding unfolding of the bed. The shelf remains horizontal throughout the folding process (B).
The following versions show how a bed can be hidden in a cabinet. The cabinet must be anchored firmly to the load-bearing wall structure to prevent the structure from falling on the user.
There are various variable sofa-bed segments which can be combined to form different configurations. Many versions of such multi-purpose modular furniture are readily available.
A sofa that can be quickly turned into a bunk bed.
The bed can be simply hung on the wall, freeing the space if necessary.
A double bed accommodating a small closet has just a single flaw: the pair using it will probably be forced to get up at the same time.

Unusual positions for beds

Beds for sleeping can be integrated in built-in closets. Everything is up to the imagination of the designer and builder. This can be you, or your architect and a craftsman. Various ways of combining functions are typical not only of buildings but also of compact, space-effective interior designs. Creating a living space is basically a game; there is no need to be bound by formal rules too much.

The following box system was used in the Cheryl interior. The website offers videos and photos from a compact interior solution. The boxes have uniform dimensions and lend themselves to a bed, sofa seating, kitchenette or wall-hung shelving.

The shelves are held by four pins; their vertical position between the load-bearing structure studs can be adjusted The box can be topped with an upholstered lid, creating storage space and a seat at the same time.

wooden modular furniture modular small timber house

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