Small Space Lessons: Floorplan & Solutions from Malissa's Hand-Built Retreat

Small Space Lessons: Floorplan & Solutions from Malissa's Hand-Built Retreat

Kimber Watson
Apr 24, 2014

Malissa's Perfect Retreat debuted in our 2012 Small Cool Contest and appeared again as Malissa's Hand-Built Home, an entry in our 2013 contest. Given that this home is in our teeny-tiny division and designed by the owners, lets see what creative small space solutions they came up with!

The best part about designing and building your own home is that it enables you to incorporate many customized built-in options from the start. The fold-down table below the computer screen is a perfect example. When in use, you have a nice large work surface, but the large size of it would also swallow this room if it wasn't able to fold flat against the wall. The wall shelving above offers vertical storage and I would also bet the built-in bench hides extra concealed storage.

Even though this is a very small home, the vaulted ceilings make it appear remarkably larger. The vaulted ceiling also provides the extra room necessary for a sleeping loft, accessed by a ladder capable of moving left or right via a track. The sleeping area offers enough room for a large bed and more customized cabinet storage, probably doubling as a dresser. The windows, along with the skylights, provide a lot of natural light (and I bet, one heck of a stargazing view).

The compact galley-style kitchen might be small, but it looks like the perfect setting to whip up some delicious comfort food. With an entire wall of recessed shelves, spaced in a variety of configurations to accommodate different sized containers, the kitchen has ample open storage. The overhead track lighting is also a welcome detail in the kitchen. But most of all, I love that whether you are washing dishes at the sink or cooking on the stovetop, Malissa's retreat has a view in store for you.

This house may be tiny, but by being able to design and customize their space to suit their needs, sometimes less can be more. One shouldn't feel that a simpler life is an impoverished life. Rather, simplicity leads to a richer and more satisfying way of living.

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