Seeking safe space for pocket change and snack crumbs : our take on tiny house couches

P1030896 (1)Before we started building furniture, our house was beginning to look a lot more like a yoga studio instead of, well, a house. To be fair, most normal houses built today are supposed to be empty, but because this is a tiny house and a single Ikea bedside table would probably fill the entire living room, we had to get smart about our furnishings. We knew we were going to have to build our own furniture, and because my dad has a wood-shop I had a few theories on how to make boxes, we ultimately ended up doing was what we do best: completely winging it.


Because we’re 20 somethings, we needed a futon. Literally no other horizontal platform would do unless it was taco shaped and sounded exotic. Being practical, we decided that a tacoshapedcouchmass was nothing unless it could also act as storage for every possession we had to live with but couldn’t be bothered to look at every day. What I mean to say is we decided to build an overly complicated couch and closet from scratch, and, because we nurture a deep hatred for free time, we also decided that it had to act as a guest bed. Simples!


Like the capable carpenters we aspire to become, we made sure to measure the space at least three discreet times and used these measurements to draft a simple box. The final couch would be L-shaped and was supposed to occupy a space beneath our largest front window and against one of our long walls. Sierra’s plan was to create what she called “a nook” where the shortest side of the couch would be walled tucked into the corner of the house to form a comfy spot for sipping tea (other hot beverages are available). Legally speaking, we had to include an enviable nook in our house, or else we wouldn’t be able to post pictures of our house on Instagram, Pinterest, or Snapchat without levying huge fines.

From the beginning of this project, we decided that the couch would have to Michael Bay into some kind of bed. Ultimately, we concluded that the couch would simply look like a big box with a lid, and a panel on the front of the couch would unfold into a platform for sleeping. With that in mind, we started dredging up as much scrap plywood as we could find and milling it to the right sizes. We used a few left over door and piano hinges for the lids.


The box had to be built in two separate parts so it could fit through the door, and logistically speaking, this was probably for the best, because even just the first part weighed nearly too much for both Sierra and myself to carry. Of course, once we finally wrestled the box inside the house, we realized that we had forgotten to cut the back of the couch to fit around the wheel well. Woops. 30 minutes and about a pound of sawdust later, the first half slipped perfectly into place. Next was only a matter of measuring our remaining space, and building a box to fill it.


Once we had installed both halves, I set to work building a panel that would unfold from front of the couch and drop down two legs to support itself and the weight of an exotic taco mattress. I could never seem to get the bench to hold much weight without the folding supports buckling, so I decided to make a piece of faux trim that would pop off of the floor and prop up the bench when it was in use. After that, the couch was practically done! Overall, I feel pretty pleased with it, even if it is a little rough around the edges. At the very least, the box itself is large and dark enough for me to take a nap in if I need it.



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