With my new-found time freedom since moving into my own tiny space, I have had the opportunity to travel, as I have always wanted to do. I recently went on a road trip to New England with my sister Beverly. Along the way, we stopped in several beautiful towns and had so much fun being part of the tourist community in each.
NOTE: If you click on the pictures below, you can see a larger view.
While touring a very old, sparsely-furnished plantation home in Georgia, probably where the owner lived as he climbed the ladder of success, I had to laugh because even back then, they had multiple-purpose furniture. Here you will see a picture of a table with a drawer for storage that, when flipped up, turned into a chair. And when being used as a table, the area where the seat is also served as a storage area while the table was in place. The more I tour the old homes of the South, I get the feeling that these were the first steps to bigger, fancier houses, because it was a status symbol to show how successful you were by building bigger and more opulent homes. And now the tiny house movement comes along and shows how unimportant big and opulent homes are to a lot of people.
While visiting historic St. Mary’s City in Maryland, we were able to step aboard the tall ship, the Maryland Dove. You can see Beverly here with an authentic deck hand who showed us around the ship. And what do you think was the first thing I encountered while looking in the crew’s and captain’s quarters below but an excellent and attractive idea for storage! I can’t wait to get home and make one of these and have fun figuring out what wall space it will fit best on.
On another day of sightseeing, my sister and I had the thrill to go aboard the USS Constellation. The frigate, constructed in 1854 and used in the civil war, pre-WW1 and World War 1, was best known for its work fighting the slave trade. The USS Constellation is now preserved as a museum and docked in Baltimore, MD. It was amazing to see how the day-to-day life of the sailors and the officers as well, played out in the spaces they lived in. I loved the desk that each officer had in the tiny space they called their own. I have a desk almost identical to this in my own tiny space. I love it because there are drawers for storage and a nice-sized drop leaf to work on. This is a great idea for you in your own tiny space.
The officers slept in these bunks with a side rail for bad weather and enlisted men slept in hammocks. But note the beautiful bed the captain slept in. What is of particular interest is the width of the beds. Even though men were shorter years ago, these beds were very narrow, much like the bunks on the current military ships and submarines of today. This is a fine example that if grown men can sleep in a small bunk, a child could easily be comfortable in one when you are designing your space to include children.
It’s amazing how, if you look into your own history, you will discover some wonderfully useful ideas that your parents or grandparents used in their everyday lives that you can reinvent to fit into your ideal lifestyle.