Tour a 400-Square-Foot Tiny House That Got a Big Color Makeover

published Jun 27, 2018
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Mike and Shaina have been slowly renovating their 400-square-foot house, which used to be a doctor’s office. It is now their single-room live-work space. (Image credit: Emma McAlary | Apartment Therapy)

Name: Shaina and Michael, and Keiko
Location: Stanardsville, VA
Size: 400 square feet

When Shaina and Michael decided to downsize, they knew the perfect tiny house to call home: the darling property that was originally built to house Shaina’s grandfather’s medical practice! The couple edited their possessions down to the essentials (beloved local art, items with emotional resonance, family heirlooms) and said hello to simpler living.

Days start with smoothie bowls in their pint-sized kitchen, followed by walks with Keiko, and creative brainstorming at their computers. (They’re documentary filmmakers, and their latest project, The Rebound, is about the National Wheelchair Basketball Association). Yep, you read right: Shaina and Michael live and work together in less than 400 square feet. And thanks to some savvy design moves and the power of Sherwin-Williams paint, they do it with style and space to spare.

Close to beautiful parks and the hip town of Charlottesville, VA, Shaina and Michael’s abode is well-situated for their active lives, which can jump from international travels (they met in the Philippines) to sunset dog walks and brewery visits.

(Image credit: Emma McAlary)

How do you unify a space that has many jobs to do?
See how a summer-vibes color becomes this multitasking room’s hero ⇒

The two quickly learned that tiny homes need to work smart, not hard. So, Shaina and Michael started with thoughtful renovations, like adding a space-saving Murphy bed (built by Shaina’s carpenter father) and removing an interior wall off the kitchen. Then they used paint to help delineate spaces and make the home feel fresher, bolder and bigger.

(Image credit: Emma McAlary)

Conventional wisdom says to use light colors in small spaces. We didn’t listen to conventional wisdom.
See how a dark, moody color brought this kitchen to life ⇒

Paint adds instant visual interest, and it’s especially powerful in a space where every detail counts. With Sherwin-Williams paints, they could count on vibrant colors that last a lifetime.

(Image credit: Emma McAlary)

A Murphy bed is a small-space lifesaver, but remember: it’ll be visible all day and all night.
See how turned this one into a serene focal point…with a matching faux headboard to boot ⇒

From the well-placed accent wall to the dramatic faux headboard, Shaina and Michael’s paint choices brought their petite house to bright life.

(Image credit: Emma McAlary)

TV walls are notorious design challenges, in small spaces and large spaces.
See how a little color cohesion can make it all come together ⇒

(Image credit: Emma McAlary | Apartment Therapy))

For some of the bolder choices, the couple wanted to see how they’d look in their home before touching brush to wall. For that, they used the Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap® Visualizer Mobile App, which let them see exactly how a hue would look in their home. The result is the bright sunshine-y yellow that pops up in both prominent and unexpected places throughout the house.

(Image credit: Creative Studio)

Sure, the bathroom isn’t the most inspiring room to design. But don’t overlook it! It’s a small space full of big possibilities.
See how it became the perfect room to try out a bold new color ⇒

Now, each area is more distinct, and Shaina and Michael’s natural boho style stands out even more, letting their most treasured possessions—which happen to be their only possessions—shine.

This post is sponsored by Sherwin-Williams and was created by the Apartment Therapy Creative Studio.
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