TechTalk

The latest tech reviews and inspiration from Currys

Tech for tiny houses

Micro homes are on the rise, but can tech help make your downsizing dreams come true?

kitchen-and-home

Article Main Image

The 'Tiny House Movement' is getting a lot bigger in the UK. With the average house price bloating to around £264,500, younger people are getting creative and turning to micro homes with much smaller price tags. And even older generations looking to downsize and lead a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle are jumping on the trend.

If you’re interested in moving into a dinky dwelling, then know that living with less room doesn't mean sacrificing those everyday appliances. There’s some great space-saving tech out there that can make mini home living hugely convenient, and we’ve rounded up a few of our top picks.

Before we get to them though, let’s explain exactly what tiny houses are and where the movement all started.

What is a tiny house?

Tiny houses are super compact and affordable homes designed to take up less space. Most are made from sustainable materials like wood, but lots of micro home enthusiasts upcycle and even transform things like shipping containers into their perfect properties.

Tiny homes can be about living off the grid using generators, gas bottles, and even solar panels. But for others, it’s just about downsizing — so they’re still hooked up to mains electricity, water, and have all mod cons.

The real beauty of tiny houses is their simplicity, where the most is made of every square inch of space. That's why you'll see some really smart storage solutions — from underbed drawers to secret compartments in every available nook and cranny.

How big are tiny houses?

Tiny homes in the UK must be under 400 square feet in floor area. It’s not much space to play with, but with some big ideas you can maximise the room you have.

Where did the Tiny House Movement start?

The Tiny House Movement started in the United States and really caught on in the early 2000s. According to Today's Homeowner, there are now over 10,000 tiny homes in the US — and that number is set to rise.

The movement has expanded beyond the United States and there are tiny homes now popping up all over the world. But it's still a pretty new thing on this side of the pond, with only around 200 tiny homes officially recognised in the UK.

Benefits of tiny houses

Here are just a few of the benefits of choosing to live in a tiny house:

  • Lower up-front cost: Tiny houses are more budget-friendly than traditional homes as they’re smaller and constructed from affordable materials. According to Checkatrade data from 2022, the average cost of a prefabricated tiny house is £47,500.

  • Easy to build: If you fancy building a micro home instead, they’re pretty simple to put together with fewer materials required and no bricklaying involved! There are plenty of companies over the UK that manufacture tiny house kits with everything you need.

  • You save money in the long run: With no mortgage or rent to pay, you can save a lot of money per month by living in a tiny house. According to THC Homes data from 2020, you could save between £780-£1057 per month depending on where you live.

  • Reduced carbon footprint: Tiny houses consume less energy than full-sized homes as there’s less space to heat and light. This helps you not only save on your energy bills, but lower your environmental impact too.

  • Simpler lifestyle: With less space for possessions, many people find themselves decluttering and feeling a greater sense of freedom though leaner living.

While tiny house living is all about space-efficiency and compact living, you can still make your abode practical, comfy, and clean with these space-saving appliances and gadgets:

Undercounter fridge

You're not going to have much room for a full-sized fridge, so you'd be best off getting a low-profile undercounter fridge that you can easily tuck away under a worktop in your mini kitchen. Worried about how much you can fit in? We’ve answered some common fridge storage questions to help you know which items to fridge, or not to fridge.

Keep an eye out for undercounter fridges with reversible doors that let you choose which way you want the door to swing open. That way, you can make sure it doesn't interfere with surrounding objects or walls and maximise your available space.

Induction hob

Induction hobs are usually smaller than traditional stoves, making them perfect for a compact kitchen. And you can put them anywhere too, so you’ve got more freedom to play around with your layout.

We love induction cooktops as they use magnetic energy to directly heat your cookware and not the surrounding area. This means less energy is wasted and there’s less risk of fire.

Slimline dishwasher

You won't have to give up the luxury of a dishwasher if you live in a micro home. Just get a slimline dishwasher that’s designed to be narrow enough to squeeze into small spaces.

A lot of these still give you the useful settings and features you’d find on their full-sized counterparts, including eco modes. For help getting hooked up, check out our how to install a dishwasher guide.

Air fryer

If you haven't heard of air fryers, you must have been living off-grid for a while! These small kitchen appliances are basically energy-efficient mini ovens that can rustle up meals in less time than traditional ovens and cookers.

But you can be even smarter with your small space with the new Ninja Double Stack air fryer. It's got two drawers stacked on top of each other, so you get more capacity while using a lot less countertop. Read our 3 easy air fryer recipes that you should try for some inspo…

Tankless water heater

Tankless water heaters are brilliant for tiny homes as they provide hot water on demand without the need for a bulky storage tank. This means they take up very little space — leaving more room for your living area and storage.

Plus, they're more energy-efficient than traditional water heaters as they only heat water when it's needed. Lowering your energy bills and helping you lead an eco-friendlier life.

E-reader

If you're a real bookworm, then you probably have a big collection of novels, autobiographies, and non-fiction must-haves. But as beautiful as they are, books can take up a big chunk of space — especially in a tiny home. This is where an e-reader can come to the rescue, just like your favourite fantasy protagonist!

E-readers can store an entire library of books all within their light enclosures that are no bigger than a tablet. And popular models like the Kindle Paperwhite even emulate the look of real paper, with weeks of battery life letting you get through a few top titles without needing a recharge.

Mini projector

Tiny home needn’t mean tiny screen! With a compact portable projector, you can bring blockbuster films and gripping series to life in your micro house. And when the credits start rolling, just switch it off and easily store it away.

The Philips NeoPix Easy NPX440 mini projector is a great affordable option. It produces a screen up to 80 inches for immersive viewing, and with built-in speakers, you won't have to splash out on a soundbar either. There's also loads of inputs for connecting TV streaming boxes, gaming consoles, and laptops.

Handheld vacuum cleaner

You’ve got to keep your tiny house clean, which makes a cordless handheld vacuum that can get into tight spaces and hard-to-reach areas a great shout. Tackle small messes quickly without having to drag out a larger vacuum cleaner or find a plug. And when you’re done, you can easily store it away in a small cupboard.

Want more advice?

See? Living in a tiny house can still work for tech lovers. For more advice on making the most of small spaces, check out our practical tips for small kitchens.

Related in Kitchen & Home

Related Article Image
Can AI do your spring clean?
Related Article Image
Celebrate Pride 2023 with the Currys LGBTQ+ Network
Related Article Image
Hands-on with the Shark Stratos IZ400UK cordless vacuum
Related Article Image
Celebrating Pride at Currys
Related Article Image
5 things to think about before buying a fridge freezer

Small but mighty tech!