Here's a great shot from ONE of MANY cabins that the Blue Moon Rising tiny house compound (a retreat and educational center) has on its property. You can rent these out to get a taste for tiny house and cabin living- perhaps to see if its right for you/feasible. I really think this is a GREAT approach: Stay a night at a tiny cabin or rental listing, or two/three, and get a feel for what works, and what doesn't, first hand. I've stayed in several listed micro-properties, and its money well spent!
Anyhow, from this one single photo, here's what I really like with this particular set-up/design....
www.bluemoonrising.org for more on this cabin....
1. The loft serves as saved space for additional sleeping, but does not dominate the room, and as a result downplay the overall size and spaciousness (especially vertically) of the room.
2. The loft has safety railings for those who toss, turn, and sleepwalk (ouch!). This does close in the feel of the loft and you do lose some visual freedom as a result, but for many, it might be a trade well worth it.
3. The recycled barn board cladding give the room texture, interest, and color- all in one, AND probably saved them a bundle, cost-wise. Note: always be wary of lead paint though- know your source of wood.
4. You can't really STAND where a bed resides during the day, so its "space lost" in an upright sense, so why not consider putting in bunk beds? You can still recline, nap, and read on them during the day.
5. Each bunk has its own window- a huge plus. In terms of natural light, ventilation, and a view (a tricked expansion of space), its a "win" on all fronts. The bunks, in so darkly colored a room, might otherwise feel cramped, depressing, and too isolated.
6. The ladder isn't completely vertical AND has a small hand railing on it (tough to see in the photo). This makes getting to the sleep loft easier AND safer.
7. The loft has its own decently sized window. You NEED airflow and light in a loft, otherwise it feels like a tomb, or could end up one, should a fire break out below. This window appears to be just big enough for egress by most, and is pretty classy in its framing too.
8. Plenty of storage space under the lower bunk. With storage space in a tiny house, you'll want to take all that you can get.
9. The red, bold, trim, would be easy to make yourself, and darn inexpensive, and its still effective and pleasing to the eye.
10. The bunk nook appears to have a copper rod for a pull-across privacy curtain. Simple, but it works, and is a "must" for those who need to tolerate early risers.
-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen