Storage couch

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Trying to fit everything we wanted into the Tiny House floor plan was tricky! We wanted a downstairs study, a good size bathroom, a kitchen with decent bench space and a comfortable couch. Basically a normal size house crammed into a tiny space right? But when you pull all of that together and then still have to add in a space for the stairs to the sleeping loft, we were left with having a bit of a teeny lounge area.

For our teeny lounge area we wanted a couch that was comfortable and functional. Something that opened up easily for storage and that you could lay down on and not feel like your napping on a school camp bunk bed.

Luckily these days, mainly thanks to IKEA and other Tiny House owners, there is a wide range of unique furniture ideas that make designing for small-spaces a lot easier. It wasn’t hard finding the inspiration we needed.

We had been recommended to get our couch made by a company called “Buy Now Furniture” in Henderson. It was going to cost us more than if we were to make one up ourselves but honestly this couch is so comfy I’m really glad we decided to do it this way.

We drew up our plans and took it in store to talk to them about what we wanted.

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Initially we wanted a small ottoman too but we realised we really didn’t need it or have the space for it.

The shop was FULL of all sorts of furniture and had walls and walls of material samples you could choose from.

We had checked out their website before we went and saw that they also made storage ottomans so we just asked them if they could make us two larger versions of those, one long one and one short one, with comfy foam tops that they would normally out onto a lounge suite. And then add cushions on top to match. The owners were really helpful and said it wouldn’t be a problem, they could have the order done within 6 weeks! So that was it. Easy! We chose our material (which was the hardest thing to do with so many to choose from) and showed them our Tiny House plans. They were so interested in our Tiny House that they want to now build their own! (We’re convincing everyone to build tiny!)

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Choosing our material for the couch.

The secret to our storage couch is in the special hinges we needed to install. I had seen on the IKEA storage couches that when they open up they have these really cool struts that pull out and then lift up. This mechanism was going to be perfect for our storage couch; we couldn’t have normal hinges because we would have to pull the couch away from the wall every time we wanted to open it. The furniture place didn’t really understand what we were after though and I was finding it hard trying to explain it so I told them we would source them ourselves. Only afterwards did I find out that the mechanisms are very hard to find in NZ!

After a lot of searching, I found a company in NZ that supplied the hinges but they were going to be $200! So I kept searching and found some on a website called AliExpress for half that price which included shipping from China. (Seriously great business idea if you wanted to start importing these! In China they sell them for $10). Sigh.

But, the hinges work really well! Willem and I installed them pretty easily with only a minimal amount of swear words. And we love the couch! It’s so comfy and very well made. We are thinking we will get a foam-top cushion made for the last step of the stairs which is next to the couch (see the photos below) so we can make the couch a little bit longer when needed. Or we can even pull out the step when we want extra seating, or use its as a foot stool 🙂

(UPDATE): I got a quote from the furniture company to make the foam-top cushion for the bottom step but they were going to charge us $250! Its such a small little thing! So instead I took one of the cushions that we ordered for the couch (which turned out to be excess to our needs), trimmed it to shape and sewed back the edges to fit a piece of foam. It worked perfectly! I got the foam from Para Rubber for $40, dug out and dusted off my sewing machine and within an afternoon made it myself 😉 See pics below!

 

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