How Big Is 100 Square Feet? These Homes Pack a Lot of Functionality for Small Spaces

published Aug 22, 2023
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How big is 100 square feet, really? Numbers and math can tell you a lot about a floor plan’s dimensions, but they can’t explain what it’s like to be inside a space that measures a mere 100 square feet. To understand what it would feel like to be inside such small square footage, you’d need actually to step foot within such a home. 

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But the very next best thing is to take a virtual tour, and the 14 spaces below are around 100 square feet, as well as genuine, actual homes that real people live in. That’s right — 100-square-foot dwellings aren’t just relegated to being powder rooms, laundry rooms, working spaces, or other teeny one-use interiors. As the 14 homes below prove, 100 or so square feet can be plenty of space for all the needs of a home — even for couples and families! 

Whether you’re an aspiring small-space dweller or simply curious about spatial measurements and the logistics of small-space living, understanding the actual size of 100 square feet can be invaluable. Once you know what 100 square feet really feels like, you’ll be able to understand other similarly small spaces more easily, which can help you on any future home-hunting missions or DIY projects.  

Below, explore size in relation to several different types of homes, from a studio apartment to RVs, buses, and other mobile homes, all providing you with the confidence and space-planning abilities to take on your own 100-square-foot-sized(ish) project.

Credit: Gracie Brett

1. This 100-Square-Foot Micro Studio Features a Ton of Brilliant Small-Space Ideas

While the concept of a home that’s literally only 100 square feet seems inconceivable, this brilliant studio dweller proves it’s more than possible to thrive in such small square footage. Gracie Brett lives in a sunny Boston apartment that was broken down from a brownstone to smaller apartments. 

To see more of Brett’s clever space, visit the full house tour.

Credit: Elaina Zayac
"It's the small but thoughtful touches throughout my dorm that make it feel so stylish. A pop of pastel colors here and there, a soft area rug, warm lighting, and fresh flowers all contribute to the cheerful vibe," wrote Elaina.
Credit: Elaina Zayac
"My space planning logic is super simple: Create different "zones," and keep like items together. All food and kitchen supplies are located in the coffee bar/kitchenette zone, school supplies and beauty products are kept at my desk/vanity, and my wardrobe closet serves as my primary clothing storage," Gracie explained.

2. This 120-Square-Foot Dorm Room Highlights the Benefits of Downsizing

Elaina Zayac made the uncommon choice during her first year at college to move back into the dorms. There was a reason behind Zayac’s decision to transition back into a 120-square-foot dorm room. “I saw downsizing as an opportunity to challenge my interior design skills to create a space that was highly functional, made maximum use of the small square footage, and felt equally as mature as it did youthful,” Zayac shared in her Small/Cool contest submission. 

Learn more about the DIY projects that made this space shine in her small/cool entry.

Credit: Kai Branss

3. A 118-Square-Foot DIY Converted Bus Is a Lovely Tiny Home

Small living spaces aren’t limited to just traditional homes. Take Kai and June’s DIY-converted U.S. school bus based in Germany, for example. The couple successfully lives in 118 square feet and gets to travel freely. 

Learn more about their DIY converted van and their favorite element in the full house tour.

"We joked about wanting to find a van that had the same attribute as Doctor Who's Tardis: an exterior of limited size, with a much larger interior! I think we managed to achieve this effect, and, being a 1985 Dodge van, some might say it's also a time machine!"

4. A Mom and Her Teenage Daughter Share a 112-Square-Foot Vintage RV Camper Van

A 112-square-foot Dodge van was the perfect place to call home for mom and daughter Evelyn and Sasha Bielmann. “We bought this one in particular because the layout worked for us, so we didn’t need to make any structural changes, but it still had the original 1980s fake wood paneling and red velour upholstery everywhere,” Evelyn shared at the time of her house tour. 

Explore the full house tour to see how this mother-daughter duo flourishes in their van.

5. This Mother-Daughter Design Duo Transforms Buses into Tiny Homes, Like This One

Sometimes, tiny spaces are packed with huge meanings. At least that’s the case for the mother-daughter duo, Lisa and Megan Donahue, who founded Live Simply Buses in honor of their son and brother, Michael, who passed away when he was 15. Their most recent 98-square-foot renovated school bus is named “Linus,” and it’s a “2011 Chevy school bus that has been transformed into a one-of-a-kind surfer’s dream,” the pair said at the time of the house tour. 

To learn more about how their renovated school buses are packed with thoughtful touches, visit the full house tour

Credit: Emily Soon
"My van was built to explore my home country from north to south and coast to coast. However, the pandemic had other plans, and my van became my primary residence. Moving into my van full-time as a stationary home, instead of as a travelling accommodation across Canada, was never my intention, but has proven to be the perfect space for me to call home. My love for maximizing space, creating efficiencies, and optimizing storage made designing my layout the best part of the experience. I spent most of my van build designing the most spacious, multipurpose layout, which included a list of non-negotiables that made my layout the best possible for my lifestyle," Emily explained.
Credit: Emily Soon

6. A 72-Square-Foot Van Is This Adventurer’s Full-Time Residence

When Emily Soon originally bought her 72-square-foot van, she had big plans to travel Canada from “from north to south and coast to coast.” However, the COVID-19 pandemic quickly squashed those dreams, and instead of exploring, she moved into the van as a stationary, full-time residence. Even though those plans were put on pause, the adventurer found joy in finding ways to maximize her space cleverly. 

Explore this Small/Cool entry to see how Soon created dual-purposes spaces.

7. This Couple (and Their Goldendoodle) Call Elsie the 120-Square-Foot Trailer Home

Freelance writer Carson and entrepreneur Mel spent eight months reimagining their 120-square-foot 1968 FAN travel trailer, which they dubbed “Elsie.” The pair was able to blend their styles into the stunning space. Mel appreciates “cozy eclectic” vibes, while Carson admires “rustic or cabin-in-the-woods” aesthetics. They were also inspired by the look and feel of local fauna and flora while designing their space. 

To see how the travel trailer turned out (here’s a hint: it’s incredible!), explore the full house tour.

8. This Family of 6 Lives in a 60-Square-Foot Converted Van They Designed Themselves

When most people think of smaller homes, it’s fair to assume that only one to two people could live there. However, a family of six proves those theories wrong in their 60-square-foot converted van. Not only is their space functional, but it’s also comfortable and stylish. “We love the closeness being in our van provides, physically, emotionally, and mentally. It gives our family time to connect and just be present, especially for my husband and I,” Mika said at the time of her house tour. 

See how this family has mastered the art of small-space living in the full house tour.

Credit: Cat Carroll
Credit: Cat Carroll
Layout of Stu.

9. This 100-Square-Foot Converted Bus Feels Like a Cozy Tiny Home on Wheels

When the couple Cat and Aaron purchased their 100-square-foot school bus off Craigslist for $6,000, it looked just like you’d imagine — a big yellow van (and it only had three seats!). But the pair was up for a challenge, and their renovations proved fruitful. The space is now utterly liveable with a queen-sized sleeping area, kitchen, composting toilet, outdoor shower, and many more amenities. 

Check out the full house tour to see how this couple thrives in their converted school bus. 

10. This Is Definitely the Cheeriest Tiny House of All Time

When Lee Pera became fed up with Washington, D.C.’s steep living costs, she took matters into her own hands and sought help from the community. Even though she hadn’t touched a power tool since middle school, she (with the help of others) built the cheeriest, most vibrant 145-square-foot tiny house.

Explore more of this happy tiny house in the full house tour.

Credit: Matt H-B

11. Two People Live in This Cozy, 140-Square-Foot Van

Steph and Matt, the duo behind Slow n’ Steady Livin, wanted a home that would fit their lifestyle, which is constantly adventuring without a permanent address. They found their perfect home in an updated van. “Our motorhome, Ivy, is a duck egg blue Iveco Daily 1996 with an extended back,” Matt said at the time of the house tour. 

Learn how Steph and Matt’s motorhome allows them to seamlessly travel the world in the full house tour.

12. A 100-Square-Foot Bungalow ADU’s Transformation

Ginger Curtis of Urbanology Designs transformed a 100-square-foot shed in her backyard into a functional, stylish, and modern bungalow accessory dwelling unit (ADU). Now, the space, which is filled with natural light, is used for sleeping, working, or curling up with a good book. 

To see how the small space is uber-functional, visit the full house tour

Credit: Alex Jensen
Home sweet home
Credit: Alex Jensen
Moon Bus floor plan

13. A 128-Square-Foot Converted School Bus Is Full of DIY Projects

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Alex Jensen, Graham, and their puppy, Cosmo, were inspired to “acquire a safe adventure vessel.” The pair found precisely that in a 128-square-foot old school bus that needed a complete overhaul. But the couple wasn’t deterred from investing in some DIY projects — especially creating clever storage solutions (like the metal gutter in their kitchen that holds fresh herbs!) to house their necessary items. 

See how this couple lives comfortably and stylishly on the open road in the full house tour.

14. A 127-Square-Foot Tiny Home Cuts Down on Power Bills

Always wanting to live near Colorado’s mountains, Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller decided to make that dream a reality by constructing a 127-square-foot tiny home. It’s fair to say that they built their home in the most cost-friendly way possible by furnishing it with products from thrift stores and constructing it with pieces from local salvage yards. 

Explore the full house tour to learn more about this beautiful home in the Colorado mountains.