Brilliant Tiny House Features $500 DIY Elevator Bed Built With Free Plans

Did someone say "push-button elevator bed"?

Ana White standing in her tiny home living space with the elevator bed at full height in the background

Ana White / Youtube

The ethos of doing it yourself in a resourceful, space-saving way is at the root of the tiny house movement. That said, one of the most amazing things about the tiny house world is observing the immense creative variety within the constraints of these small spaces, all attempting to answer the perennial question, "How can one make the most of a couple hundred square feet?"

These space-maximizing strategies are relevant to many of us, so it's always enjoyable to come across new ideas, such as the ones implemented in this elegant small dwelling by Alaskan self-taught carpenter, blogger, mom, and DIY-plans extraordinaire, Ana White. Together with her husband Jacob, Ana created a surprisingly spacious 24-foot-long tiny house for a client that is jam-packed with clever, transforming furniture ideas and an affordable DIY "elevator bed."

Watch the detailed tour.

Tiny House Design Ideas

One of the first impressions upon entering is how roomy the interior is, thanks to the large windows and to the pared-down layout at the center of the home, resulting in about 100 square feet of open space right in the middle. Ana calls the home "an open concept rustic modern beauty that looks simple, but does all sorts of things."

DIY Projects for Compact Areas

Probably the most ingenious part is the DIY retracting bed that can be raised above the sitting area's sectional sofa, which also doubles as storage and as a guest bed. Using garage hardware, cables, and pins to lock the bed's position in place, the bed can lift up and down with the push of a button—all done for around $500 and eliminating the need for space-consuming stairs. With the addition of a wall-mounted television, this area is also the entertainment center—whether one is watching in bed, or from the sofa. In addition, the coffee table storage cubes can be used as portable steps for getting into bed, or their lids used as laptop cushions.

In the middle of the home, only the slim profile of a built-in console occupies the space over the wheel well. However, this is no ordinary console. The sliding doors on the pipe rail can not only hide clutter, but can also transform into two desks, or one long table, either running along the console or as a full-sized dining table for entertaining guests.

Closer to the kitchen, there is a wall full of organizational modules, as well as a DIY pipe coat rack. There is a shoe bench that can also be moved over to form the last piece of the guest bed, as well as drawers on wheels under the kitchen platform that serve as storage.

In the kitchen, there is a sliding pantry, as well as built-in wall shelving for foodstuffs. The countertop is faux-marble, built as a cheaper, greener, and more lightweight alternative. Another great idea: one chunk of the counter actually rolls out, revealing a hidden spot for the combination washer/dryer machine—an interesting alternative to putting it under the stairs or in the bathroom as seen in other tinys.

The bathroom is equally interesting, with a sliding, ceiling-mounted mini-closet that usually resides in the shower when not in use, and can be moved over to the composting toilet side when the shower is needed. (It looks like the client didn't need much closet space.)

It's an impressive house full of brilliant, space-saving furniture designs—all built entirely out of materials found in hardware stores, due to Ana's remote location in rural Alaska. In all, this lovely tiny house cost the client around $60,000—split evenly between materials and labor. To make building things more accessible to determined do-it-yourselfers, Ana offers a variety of DIY plans and instructions (some with an affordable fee) for how to build the different pieces of furniture, including the whole house and the automatic bed.

Full framing plans for Ana White’s Open Concept Rustic Modern Tiny House are $89. And here are free step-by-step instructions for the push-button elevator bed.