The Shoe That Fits
Modern living is an ever-evolving landscape. A prevailing movement that has naturally come from this evolution is the trend of small homes – tight, compact living that optimises the limited space to be as efficient and as comfortable as possible. With limited square footage, these cosy abodes demand creative solutions to maximise functionality without making compromises where possible. This is where compact appliances really shine, carving out a niche corner of the market that specifically caters to the residents of these smaller homes. While regular appliances are crafted with impressive ingenuity, compact appliances are designed under further limitations than the average oven or microwave. From these limitations is where the creativity of the designers really comes into play, making the most out of what they can work with to ingenious results. To explore this concept in further detail, editor for Sydney Home Design + Living, Robin Harper, examines compact appliances on the market and their efficiency in small homes.
As space-saving graces tailored to fit seamlessly into small living quarters, compact appliances can be game changers when it comes to opening up possibilities for homeowners. From mini-fridges that neatly tuck under countertops to stackable washer-dryer combos, these appliances are tried-andtrue evidence that size isn’t always a predicator for performance. A testament to modern innovations that meet the needs of urban and rural dwellers, minimalist enthusiasts or those looking to make the most out of every inch of their beloved homes, there’s nothing quite like a size-conscious appliance to elevate your limited space. Let’s unpack the different appliances you might consider for your living space and the benefits that they can bring to your life as a whole.
IT’S ALL ABOUT PRECISION
First thing’s first, the best way to optimise space – regardless of whether it’s a fifty-square-metre trailer or an open-space penthouse – is to plan, plan, plan! It doesn’t matter how much space you do or do not have, if you don’t know how to use it, then it will end up becoming a huge waste of untapped potential. Every wall, every nook and every alcove have a purpose. It’s important to know its purpose and to plan accordingly. To consider the location of your appliances, aspects such as power points, budget and space are top priority. Vertical placement is often a popular choice for tiny home dwellers, as this means appliances such as ovens or fridges are more easily accessible in the kitchen while also free up space underneath for other essentials, such as storage or a secondary appliance. In tiny homes, the separation of spaces can also often be blurred.
A regular-sized home will typically adopt basic zoning principles that make sense for the layout and demographic it is targeting. For example, for homes targeting families, a living area, dining area and study may be separate. But for tiny homes, this luxury of space doesn’t apply. As such, it would not be considered out of the ordinary to also have a bookshelf in the kitchen or a loft above the bathroom. Really, the space is what you make of it and the only limitations are your own creativity and imagination.
SMALL YET ABUNDENT
Once you’ve planned out where you want everything to be and have a concrete vision in mind, the next step is considering the best appliances that suit your house’s unique circumstances. Bigger houses, as we know, will have a different layout that is more complex and varied. The advantage of a tiny home is that utilities such as energy and water can be more concentrated in certain areas to suit your immediate needs. For example, instant hot water heaters and propane-fuelled appliances are popular choices that can make everyday living easy. Tiny homes, comparatively, also don’t drain as much energy in the more energy-concentrated areas like the kitchen, requiring nothing more than a power source to be able to run your appliances. The important thing to remember is that if you plan to have a dishwasher in your tiny home, you will need a pipe or water tank to account for it. The best kinds of compact appliances are ones that are multi-functional. This saves you from having to potentially accommodate for double the space for appliances that can be combined into one. Microwave
ovens that come with a toaster function are a great choice, as it opens up possibilities for preparing meals available to you. Washer-dryer combos are also an excellent alternative, allowing you to wash and dry your laundry in a single unit. Other appliances such as certain rice cookers and air fryers are also useful, as they often can serve multiple different cooking functions.
LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE
In an era of minimalist appreciation and environmental consciousness, compact appliances not only conserve precious space, but also energy and resources. They are a perfect blend of form and function, offering a wide range of options that cater to diverse needs and preferences. When you can go from one side of your house to the other in just a few generous strides, regular-sized appliances are simply out of the question if you want good, efficient space regulation. Assessing what you have to work with, along with your own personal lifestyle, is a great way of prioritising the appliances that will suit your needs best. Perhaps you’re a gamer and would benefit from sacrificing space for a desk instead of a dining area. Or maybe you’re an indoor plant enthusiast and want a corner by the window specifically for your green children. Your lifestyle is what comes first. Consider your needs and your wants and choose accordingly. With well-executed plans and space optimisation, you can make your tiny home the best that it can possibly be.