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Cramped Campervan or Affordable Abode? Maximising your space!

We created a Pinterest board looking at small storage ideas, inspired by this post! Head over and have a browse if you’re interested. 


Written by NDA tutor Ruth Skrytek

It’s about time that the mobile home industry started to evaluate the efficiency of mobile living, and start to offer a more permanent and comfortable solution for owning your own home on the road!

Whether it be a truck or van conversion, camper or trailer house, or even a bespoke-built self-designed tiny home – tiny living culture is growing incredibly fast and it’s not surprising.



Thanks to companies like IKEA and the DIY culture of Pinterest – the idea is becoming more and more realistic – especially for young couples and families desperate to get out of the renting world who are struggling to save for a mortgage.

Small spaces have proved to be liveable – the “Tiny House” trend has seen much attention from TV and media, with many programs airing that celebrate both tiny homes, van and truck house living, and self-build homes.



The techniques have evolved over time, especially since the typical 80’s campervan style. With each self-build being documented online, creators and designers will borrow ideas from each other to create the most effective bespoke home – personal to them.

So why not use those genius tiny home design hacks and techniques, and take them on the road? I’ve put together 12 of my favourite space saving/practical ideas to maximise room and efficiency to make a tiny home feel like… well, a home!



1. Vertical Storage and Drawers

Smart storage drawers (especially these vertical shelving units) should be in every home – not just tiny homes! They are just so good at space-saving and easier to organise than the typical cabinet.

Slide locks would also be installed to prevent accidents whilst on the road!


2. Modular Sofa Beds

What a great way to save floor space – when the bed is not in use, it can easily be converted into a sofa! It’s also great for further storage underneath. IKEA sell great foldable mattresses for this purpose!


3. Murphy Bed

Murphy beds aren’t just great for space saving in the day time, but also can allow for desk/shelf attachments underneath to further create storage and modular solutions.


4. Perimeter Storage

This type of storage doesn’t just have to be behind furniture – but in the form of ceiling/wall shelving over-head, too. This type of storage isn’t noticeable at first glance – which is what makes it so ideal for a tiny home!


5. Foldable Dining Sets

You’ve probably seen some campers and RVs with a built-in dining table and chairs, which either then turns into a bed, or can fold into the wall. However, there are hundreds of designs for foldable tables and chairs which could be stored within the home – instead of installed ON the home – to make the dining table more portable, and also able to be taken outside.



6. Composting Toilet

Contrary to popular belief, composting toilets do not smell – they are completely odour free if installed correctly! They are also better for the environment – and use absolutely no water, meaning you’re not depleting the main water supply in the home!


7. Storage Under-Foot

A seemingly normal empty space – is secretly full of very smart storage solutions! This allows for less built-in furniture to be used within the tiny home and opens options for more traditional furniture which can be moved around instead of putting storage inside furniture.


8. Staircase Storage

Ever thought about how inefficient your under-the-stairs cupboard is? Each step is an opportunity for storage!


9. Designated Outdoor Living Space

Whether this is simply an outside decking area able to be stored away, or a handy slide-out or drop-down deck which gives you that option of an outdoor living space on sunny days!


10. Slide Out/Fold Out Extra Rooms

This is actually quite a popular feature in some old campers and RVs – the slide-out mechanism can be completely manual, or, powered by hydraulics. It’s an expensive feature, but makes a huge difference to the size of the interior floor space.


11. Stove Fire for Warmth

These can be found in almost any shape and size, so are perfect for keeping a tiny home warm in the winter!


12. Top Deck and Space for Solar Panels

One of the most impactful feature for some people with tiny mobile homes is the inclusion of a top deck area – this allows you to experience the views of whatever location you’ve pulled up in! It also gives access to any solar panels installed.


Ultimately, the most important thing to consider for a tiny home is how to make it personal, unique and bespoke to the person living inside it, whether it be temporary or permanent!

There is no reason why a tiny home should be a modern modular clinical feeling space, either. With reclaimed materials and traditional design techniques, a tiny home can feel incredibly cosy and welcoming.



With the techniques listed here, it could even be possible to fit many people in a tiny home all at once, with all the space saving ideas! Perfect for growing families and those that like to entertain!

I hope you enjoyed this blog! Can you think of any other great space saving ideas?

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2 Responses

  1. I love the ideas here and am going to take inspiration from them. For my next project I was looking to modernise an old caravan and was looking for clever ways to maximise the space.

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