The tiny house movement has us all considering a life with less stuff.
If you’re worried that giving up space means giving up modern living however, a Cork designer has shown that it’s entirely possible to create a home that’s small in size but big on style.
Interior designer Deirdre O’Sullivan has been transforming her client’s homes through her business Style 25 Painted Furniture for years.
This year she finally took the plunge, downsized and moved into a ‘tiny house’ – a small, low cost home – to save for a mortgage.
“I moved to Passage West around three years ago when rent started to go up in the city.” Deirdre told Yay Cork.
“But after a year my rent was raised there too so I decided to move home to my parents’ to save for a mortgage. Two years on and, although I had managed to save, my income still wasn’t enough for a small mortgage.
“At this point I was really starting to miss my own space so I decided to think outside the box.
“Fortunately my parents have a bit of land, which I eventually plan to build on. Initially I was looking at a cabin but it ended up being too expensive for something temporary. The easiest and most cost-effective solution was a mobile home.”
Deirdre found exactly what she was looking for on Done Deal, purchasing her mobile home from a dealer in Fermoy who included delivery to the site in Blarney.
After a black paint job transformed the exterior into a forest cabin, she got to work on a chic, mid-century interior design, replacing the cream carpet with a rich wood floor and painting over the yellowed magnolia on the walls with a fresh coat of bright white.
The dated built-in couch was ripped out and replaced with a luxe looking velvet sofa (incredibly, Dee found the piece online a few years back and reupholstered it in an eye-catching petrol blue).
In the kitchen, the cabinets were painted a bright white on the top to give a more spacious feel to the room and petrol blue on the bottom. Adding gold vintage-style hardware, a marble-effect countertop and retro accessories completed the look.
A round dining table offers extra space to entertain or work.
‘Going tiny has given me back my independence’
“Refurbishing the mobile home didn’t take much time, I could only work on it for a few hours in the evenings, put those together and it would probably add up to about a week, full time. It was all cosmetic work so very manageable.” says Deirdre.
“The main things people worry about are space and heating. Most of the built-in storage is still empty (two months on) and I had a stove fitted, which easily heats the whole place. It helps that the windows are double glazed, something to look for when buying a mobile.”
Greenery and bright boho accessories give the room a cosy, modern vibe.
In the bathroom, the drab walls were given a new lease of life thanks to some tropical themed wallpaper, while the units were painted a rich blue and finished with new brushed gold fittings.
The bedroom is cosy and bright, with a full sized double bed, a single wardrobe and overhead storage for clothes and other items.
“The only possible negative is that I don’t have a washing machine, I use my parents’ machine, which suits me just fine.” says Deirdre.
“I would have been a big believer in “less is more” and having a tiny home has just reinforced that belief. I have everything I need here to live comfortably and contently until the next chapter.”