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First thing, I'm calling anyone who has experience living in a tiny house or flat. I need a little advice on this so-called new movement, tiny house nation.
But for the time being, I'm a little nervous about moving from an apartment unit in Sydney west suburb with the size of 83 metre square (1 bedroom) to a tiny flat with a 32- square metre size. The flat itself will be built by backspace living in my parent backyard in Newcastle, a city in NSW, Australia.
Now I'm at the beginning of the application process for a secondary building. It will take two or three weeks to get approval from the local council before the backspace living company can start their land survey.
Post-colonial era from the early 19th century, Newcastle started its development from steel manufacturing. So its industrial landscape still dominates the city, with a population of 322,278 in 2016.
However, this city offers a layback lifestyle with hills rolling overlooking the harbour and the two beach nearby, Newcastle beach and Nobys beach. It'll be a significant lifestyle change for me, and I hope I'll be settling just fine.
So I found out the most challenging part of moving into a tiny house with the size of the 32-metre square isn't really sorting out what furniture and other things will fit inside a small space.
I've been eyeing tiny living and minimalist lifestyle for many years. So I follow my prominent minimalist YouTubers and read many books on minimalism. There are also a few TV shows I've watched over the years about living in a tiny house and minimalism.
From the various researches, I conclude that the key to moving and live in a tiny space successfully is a good plan and preparation. Your small space should reflect yourself and your lifestyle — the things that really matter to you. You should ask yourself how you're going to incorporate and accommodate your lifestyle with maximum practicality.
First, I define what kind of living I want in my tiny flat. Do you cook your meal more than you buy it? Do you spend more time outdoor than indoor? Do you love listening to music and watching a movie with a good Sound system? So basically, you need to find out who and what you are, maximise your needs, and adopt your new living in a tiny house.
In this case, I define myself:
As a vegetarian, I cook a lot because, in Newcastle, where I live, vegetarian takeaway isn't fascinating and takeaway and dine out is more expensive than when you cook your meal. So I want a fully functional kitchen just like any standard size house — the one with an induction cooking top and oven, a microwave, and a middle size fridge. The kitchen area has a sliding door that separates between the kitchen and the bedroom. It has multiple functions as laundry and a study. So I'm going to build up a fold-up table/desk on the other side of the kitchen benchtop, just under the bi-folding double glazed windows overlooking the courtyard.
I want a full-size bedroom with a comfortable sofa/chair in the corner whenever I'm tired of watching TV from my bed. The bedroom has a wardrobe and entertainment unit compartment where I keep a soundbar and a short-throw projector.
A small bathroom with good size vanity and shower room is enough for me. I don't spend a lot of times grooming or any other facial grooming activities.
I spend more times outdoor than indoor. So for me, the indoor space is enough for a sleeping nook, and I make my living room outdoor in any season and weather. To accommodate my outdoor lifestyle. I designed a courtyard with a patio and a small fire pit to enjoy outdoors in any weather and wintertime.
The unit is a self-contained flat with passive energy. So I will install solar panels with a good battery and a rainwater tank for the greywater system.
Based on the list above, you can sort out what you can still bring into your tiny space and what you can not. I sold most of the furniture I've owned for eight years because it no longer suits my small space. For instance, the bed frame. Though I can bring my old bed frame into my tiny flat, the old one was too high.
If I place it in my new tiny flat, a high bedframe will draw our eyes' attention to the bed than the entire room, so it will make the bedroom smaller. On the other hand, a low profile bed frame with a simple design and natural colour won't draw our attention to the bed. So I choose wooden colours such as oak wood, the low-profile bed frame and the natural colour. Instead, we will see the bedroom as a whole space. Natural colours and organic materials with straight lines will give a clean, minimalist look.
Though I love my TV unit and sofabed, unfortunately, they both should go. I don't really need the bedside tables anymore because they will take up space. Instead, I choose the bedframe with a bit of space at the back of the bed head. So I can keep any necessary items, such as mobile, speakers, a few books or my kindle reader, and other knick-knacks. This bedhead design allows you to hide your stuff from sight and make the room look tidy. I've been checking out many bed base designs such as Japanese bedframe from Muji, Koala bedframe, and Scandinavian style — though it's a little bit pricey.
Another option is to get a murphy bed company to install a wall bed that can transform into a couch. However, this option will cost me a fortune because I have allocated the budget for landscaping.
So that's an update from me about my journey to living in a tiny flat. I'll appreciate any advice and comments from readers.