traditional moldings would be nice

Have you seen moldings in tiny or small houses?

Moldings add vertical interest between walls and ceilings of all types. They also eliminate monotony from similar materials and colors. Most importantly, they offer a subtle, finishing touch.

See the traditional white crown molding installed in this welcoming entry area. The tiny cottage is based on Whidbey plans from Tumbleweed Houses. (At Home Arkansas)

See the traditional white crown molding installed in this welcoming entry area. The tiny cottage is based on Whidbey plans from Tumbleweed Houses. (At Home Arkansas)

One rustic treatment caught our eye because it’s not a true molding. Instead, barn wood is installed like a formal picture frame around the ceiling — and creates a smart transitional impact.

Brownback wood comes from the protected, unexposed back of reclaimed barn siding. Milled pieces get used to define the ceiling here. (JC Woodworking, Houzz)

Brownback wood comes from the protected, unexposed back of reclaimed barn siding. Milled pieces get used to define the ceiling here. (JC Woodworking, Houzz)

Whether you envision a modern home, cabin, cottage, bungalow or other style, there are many molding options. Start looking up for your downsizing inspirations, even in larger places. As a reference, below are some classic shapes.

Architectural styles call for different plane, concave, convex and complex molding shapes. In tiny houses, moldings are possible on a smaller scale. (Classicist)

Architectural styles call for different plane, concave, convex and complex molding shapes. In tiny houses, moldings are possible on a smaller scale. (Classicist)

More information: Molding prices vary depending on whether you pre-purchase or make them from scratch, plus installation costs. To see some of the steps, check out Fine Homebuilding or DIY Network.

Teeny decor for your tiny house

It’s natural to admire teeny decor, which some tiny housers proudly display or even use. With a little thought, miniatures become icons…or talismans.

Modern furniture — Consider well-known pieces in a tiny modern house. Chairs by Eames, van der Rohe and Rietveld are affordable if you downsize to 1:12 or 1:24 replicas. See what’s for sale here.

Charles and Ray Eames designed this American chair (1956) to be stylish and comfortable. Why not display one in a modern tiny house? (KSpence)

Charles and Ray Eames designed this American chair (1956) to be stylish and comfortable. Why not display one in a modern tiny house? (KSpence)

Bauhausers Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich first created the familiar Barcelona Chair (1929) for Spanish royalty! (KSpence)

Bauhausers Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich first created the familiar Barcelona Chair (1929) for Spanish royalty! (KSpence)

Gerrit Rietveld designed this angular colored chair (1923) which honors and echoes fellow Dutchman Piet Modrian's paintings. (KSpence)

Gerrit Rietveld designed this angular, colored chair (1923) which honors and echoes fellow Dutchman Piet Modrian’s paintings. (KSpence)

Porch swing — Custom built by a tiny houser located in Oakland, CA, one teeny porch swing creates a perfect welcome. Check out the house images, including custom furniture for people.

When a carpenter builds a tiny home, the porch swing becomes fine art. Look at the joinery! (Oakland Tiny House)

When a carpenter builds a tiny home, the porch swing becomes fine art. Look at the joinery! (Oakland Tiny House)

The custom made bench, storage, desk, chair and shelving make this tiny house special. (Oakland Tiny House)

The custom made bench, storage, desk, chair and shelving make this tiny house special. (Oakland Tiny House)

This old-fashioned tiny house sits on verdant hillside. It's a secondary unit on a city lot. (Oakland Tiny House)

This old-fashioned tiny house sits on a verdant hillside. It’s a secondary unit on a “city” lot. (Oakland Tiny House)

Armoire — A couple from Rhode Island fit an armoire inside their tiny house, on a shelf! Let’s take a sweet photo tour of the home, which should be ready for a cold winter soon.

Maybe this armoire seems too small, though it's a cute way to store jewelry in a tiny house. (Another Tiny House Story)

Maybe this armoire seems too small, though it’s a cute way to store jewelry in a tiny house. (Another Tiny House Story)

Sating nestled between shelves and a large window has become a favorite place to lounge. (Another Tiny House Story)

Seating nestled between shelves and a large window has become a favorite place to lounge. (Another Tiny House Story)

Called "The Pod" this off-grid tiny house is getting built by a couple who hold day jobs. (Another Tiny House Story)

Called “The Pod,” this off-grid tiny house is getting built by a couple who hold day jobs. (Another Tiny House Story)

going with led lighting

As incandescent bulbs fade away, LED and curly CFL contenders are duking it out. A new rival, called Finally, will also enter the ring with softer light. Yet LEDs are mercury free, unlike CFL and Finally bulbs.

We support LED bulbs due to their longevity, efficiency, overall cost/hour and styles appealing to tiny house dwellers. Let’s compare the bulbs for sale.

All you need to know about bulb cost, longevity, electricity and overall cost per 50k hours. Also catch the spelling error for electricity and you win 10 points. (Angie's List)

All you need to know about bulb cost, longevity, electricity and overall cost per 50k hours. Also catch the spelling error for electricity and you win 10 points. (Angie’s List)

LED in the lead

“A good rule of thumb to understand is that a typical LED light will use about 12 to 18 percent of the electricity as a traditional incandescent or halogen bulb would use for comparable lumens,” explains Michael Beverly, a Los Angeles electrical contractor. Lumens refer to the bulb’s light brightness, by the way.

LED prices, at $36/bulb, seem high though one lasts as long as five CFL and 42 incandescent bulbs. LEDs save money vs. incandescents and, with dropping prices, should beat CFLs soon. Throw in electricity usage and costs, and LEDs already achieve the lowest cost/hour.

The upcoming Finally costs $10/bulb, and you’ll need four to match LED’s longevity. Overall, it lands between LEDs and CFLs on total cost/hour. Finally bulbs resemble old incandescents, delivering warm and dispersed light. Dimmers don’t work yet.

LED for design and decor

Beyond the numbers, LED bulbs fit nicely with different fixtures: recessed high-hats, pendants, lamps, strips, etc. LED light diffuses better than earlier versions and maintains brightness and color through its 50k hour lifespan.

Many tiny house dwellers use them now.

Tiny house owners Christopher and Malissa Tack surrounded all their windows with LED lighting. Their kitchen lights are shown here. (Tiny Tack House)

Tiny house owners Christopher and Malissa Tack surrounded all their windows with LED lighting. Their kitchen lights are shown here. (Tiny Tack House)

In his tiny house, Art Cormier installed LED lighting exclusively. Some LED strips are shown in the great room here. He used laledus.com, a local Louisiana maker. (Tiny SIP House)

In his tiny house, Art Cormier installed LED lighting exclusively. Some LED strips are shown in the great room here. He used laledus.com, a local Louisiana maker. (Tiny SIP House)

At the Tiny Project, Alek Lisefski nestled a large LED fixture near the wood ceiling beam. It’s completely hidden from view, unless you are working in the kitchen. (The Tiny Project)

At the Tiny Project, Alek Lisefski nestled a large LED fixture near the wood ceiling beam. It’s completely hidden from view, unless you are working in the kitchen. (The Tiny Project)

uncommon space-saving lamps

How far would you go to conserve lighting space in a little house? For lamp lovers, check out three models which make their own space-saving statements.

Sticker lighting — These matching floor and table lamps don’t exactly exist, though work perfectly well as lighting sources.

To operate these two lamps, place their stickers on the wall and affix cords and bulbs with a screw.(Pa-Design)

To operate these two lamps, place their stickers on the wall and affix cords and bulbs with a screw. (Pa-Design)

Flat, bendable lighting — This table lamp arrives as a flat piece of stainless steel, and uses minimal space when bent into shape.

After bending, this lamp stands with its obvious cord and hidden bulb. Pick a white, black, red or steel finish. (Almerich)

After bending, this lamp stands with its obvious cord and hidden bulb. Pick a white, black, red or steel finish. (Almerich)

Quarter lamp lighting — This floor lamp sports a quarter-sized shade and base, to nestle into any corner. Call it the wallflower model, right?

Like any lamp, simply find an unused corner and plug in this quarter lamp lighting -- and you're good to go. (ConceptJI)

Like any lamp, simply find an unused corner and plug in this quarter lamp lighting — and you’re good to go. (ConceptJI)

cute cube to dining for five

Let’s celebrate a transformer that fulfills its mission. Imagine a slatted wood cube inside your little house, placed near the entry or seating area. When you want to invite guests over for a meal or celebration, the cube disassembles into a complete dining table and seating for five.

Qube rolls around the place. It could be used for an art display, nice plant, work space or snack tray. (Dioinno Architects)

Qube rolls around the place. It could be used for an art display, nice plant, work space or snack tray. (Dioinno Architects)

The Qube slats are truly functional. They turn into a table and five seats, including the empty cube. (Dioinno Architects)

The Qube slats are truly functional. They turn into a table and five seats, including the empty cube. (Dioinno Architects)

Based in Buffalo (NY) and Korea, Dioinno Architects won Architizer’s A+ Jury Award for Qube 1 this year. Architizer calls the piece a hot product, due to its multitasking appeal and prowess.

Qube works well in urban spaces or smaller homes, as described by Dioinno: “Use of material and space is at the maximum efficiency, but its appearance is mostly minimal. Then it transforms the space when it is expanded. Qube is designed to create extra space when it is needed.”

Cheers for the Qube, a looker that isn’t hard to set up for a social gathering. It’s heartening to discover alternatives beyond folding tables like mighty-lites.

cool, small, wall-leaning furniture

We enjoy seeing surprising wall-leaning furniture as much as anyone. While these pieces may be great space savers, call us curious: Are they comfortable to use? What weight can they support? Do they, ugh, fall down easily?

Take a peek, along with our practical thumbs up/down judgment calls.

Thumbs-Up: Wall-leaning tables and desks

The wall-leaning Appunto table has pizazz, and should handle a computer or meal with aplomb. We also like how it folds straight down for storage. Let's applaud this French design for tiny and small living. (Laurent Corio, designer)

The wall-leaning Appunto table has pizazz, and should handle a computer or meal with aplomb. We also like how it folds straight down for storage. Let’s applaud this French design for tiny and small living. (Laurent Corio, designer)

A Lovebird consists of two wall-leaning desks which connect drawers to form a standalone table. It's a true multi-use solution for work and play. This Japanese design comes from a student completing her coursework. (Yuki Matsumoto, designer)

A Lovebird consists of two wall-leaning desks which connect drawers to form a standalone table. It’s a true multi-use solution for work and play. This Japanese design comes from a student completing her coursework. (Yuki Matsumoto, designer)

Thumbs-Up: Wall-leaning seating

Flip is designed to look as if it has been made from the tops of two chairs,

“Flip is designed to look as if it has been made from the tops of two chairs,” explains its British chair designer. The piece is a solid, practical wall-leaner which easily flips to reveal a higher or lower seat rise. (John Caswell, designer)

A small space winner designed in land-locked Switzerland, the Curt evokes a traditional shipdeck chair with a seat sling. It's obviously comfortable, has an anti-slip coating for safety, and may be easily stored. (Bernhard Burkard, designer)

A small space winner designed in land-locked Switzerland, the Curt evokes a traditional shipdeck chair with a seat sling. It’s obviously comfortable, has an anti-slip coating for safety, and may be easily stored. (Bernhard Burkard, designer)

Thumbs-Down: Wall-leaning tables and desks

This U.S. ladder-style piece looks handy with a computer desk and storage shelves to boot. It's only thumbs-down because you may find similarly-sized furniture with standard support instead. (Mastercraft LBI, designer)

This U.S. ladder-style piece looks handy with a computer desk and storage shelves to boot. It’s only thumbs-down because you may find similarly-sized furniture with standard support instead. (Mastercraft LBI, designer)

The Kaki is an all metal, round wall-leaner with a little bend to grab against the wall. It seems best-suited for an entry hall or side table. As a lightweight, this Japanese design is elegant though impractical -- unless you love it. (Kenyon Yeh)

The Kaki is an all metal, round wall-leaner with a little bend to grab against the wall. It seems best-suited for an entry hall or side table. As a lightweight, this Japanese design is elegant through impractical — unless you love it. (Kenyon Yeh)

Thumbs-Down: Wall-leaning seating

Does this Dutch piece work? An elegant bench holds at least two people, proving the physics of a wall-leaner. Still it suffers for beauty over comfort, and appears useful for short-term or secondary seating. (Izabela Boloz, designer)

Does this Dutch piece work? An elegant bench holds at least two people, proving the physics of a wall-leaner. Still it suffers for beauty over comfort, and appears useful for short-term or secondary seating. (Izabela Boloz, designer)

These Japanese “R Chairs” bat 1000 percent on sheer design dynamics and simplicity. However the cool chairs don’t seem practical unless you crave lots of temporary seating for guests. (Yuichi Takeuchi, designer)

These Japanese “R Chairs” bat 1000 percent on sheer design dynamics and simplicity. However the cool chairs don’t seem practical unless you crave lots of temporary seating for guests. (Yuichi Takeuchi, designer)

delightful dressers and drawers

On this summer weekend, we look with wonder at delightful dressers and drawers that toss aside conventions. Here are unusual ways to store your stuff, courtesy of Straight Line Designs.

Vern is taking a trip to a design and decor show. He's a dresser that sits up, with humble posture. (Straight Line Designs)

Vern is taking a trip to a design and decor show. He’s a dresser that sits up, with humble posture. (Straight Line Designs)

Vern and some of his kids are taking a quick breather. The kids sit nicely anywhere, especially indoors. (Straight Line Designs)

Vern and some of his kids are taking a quick breather. The kids sit nicely anywhere, especially indoors. (Straight Line Designs)

Hang up or display Little Black Dresser anywhere, for small storage. Measures 14”w x 46”h x10”d. (Straight Line Designs)

Hang up or display Little Black Dresser anywhere, for small storage. Measures 14”w x 46”h x10”d. (Straight Line Designs)

One or two Raymonds would make great bedroom storage pieces. Measures 38”w x 35”h x 41”d. (Straight Line Designs)

One or two Raymonds would make great bedroom storage pieces. Measures 38”w x 35”h x 41”d. (Straight Line Designs)

Whitney Lou is a curvy dresser that's not just for kids. Measures 48”w x 20”h x 24”d. (Straight Line Designs)

Whitney Lou is a curvy dresser that’s not just for kids. Measures 48”w x 20”h x 24”d. (Straight Line Designs)