Jasmine Roth is a hit in the HGTV world, executing wonders of renovation in homes across the California suburbs for her show “Hidden Potential.” But with all the locations where she has worked her make-over magic, Roth and her family made Park City, Utah their choice for a vacation home, renovated by the master herself.
Roth and her husband have been visiting the resorts in Park City with family for decades, and finally decided that a ski-in (or board-in, in their case) vacation home would be ideal. After scouting through HOA’s and attached home listings that could handle maintenance while they weren’t off the clock, the Roths decided on a 640-square-foot attached home that was the perfect fit. They dubbed it their “Tiny Mountain Home.”
“It’s small, but it’s perfect. It’s all the space we need,” Roth says. “A huge home we felt would make us feel like we needed to travel there more often to make it worth it, but it’s so small we rarely feel guilty. We go as much as we can, meet up with friends and family and if anyone ever wants to go stay, they’re welcome to!”
But with only a bit of space to work, the project presented it’s unique challenges.
“In the homes I’m used to, the entry alone is 640 square feet,” Roth says. “So you have all this extra space and storage in regular homes. I didn’t have that luxury.”
Roth and her team learned along the way as they created and designed this tiny home. She offers the following tips for getting big results when renovating small spaces.
1. A place for everything, and everything it its place.
Roth’s cardinal rule for small-space creations is basing the design less on trends, but rather more on function.
“Everything had to serve a purpose and be multifunctional,” Roth says. “We had to think through every single inch, because if we forgot something, we wouldn’t have a place for it.”
For example, Roth’s husband pointed out that they needed a place for snowboard gear. Without an entryway, storing bulky, wet items such as boots, boards and coats could get very messy. Roth solved the problem by cladding an entry corner with corrugated tin and added hooks and a drip tray to handle all their ski-bum needs.
2. Measure, Measure, then Measure again!
Roth’s next “must” is to be measurement-obsessed. With only 640 square feet, every inch counts. Her team learned first-hand when installing the Roth’s ‘must-have’ full-size appliances.
“That was a huge challenge. We were able to pull it off, but we had to measure everything within 1/16 of an inch to make sure that doors would open and everything would fit together,” Roth shares.
3. Mix it Up
Now that you’re measured, sawed and installed, the next hurdle is to style your space so it doesn’t feel cramped. Tiny Mountain Home started as small and boring: drywall, white doors, builder-grade tan cabinets. Roth mixed things up by adding a bit of black-and-white contrast.
Before: The main floor bedroom feels cramped and drab with original all-white paint finishes.
“In my opinion, a white wall with a white door will feel much tighter than a white wall with a black door,” Roth says of her black doors, adding dynamics to an otherwise bland space.
4. Decorate Despite it All
“You’d never think ‘let me add to this wall and that’s going to make my tiny space feel bigger,’” Roth says. “But it did, and made things feel much more finished.”
Red brick transformed a backsplash in the kitchen and a full wall in the family room, adding texture, grounding the space and helping the walls feel less cramped. Pops of color that include the blue sofa and carefully curated knickknacks added dimension to the interior. Shiplap-like siding on the walls adds depth and dimension to plain white walls, eliminating up any sense of monotony.
5. Storage Innovations
With only two closets in the Tiny Mountain Home, finding extra storage space was the biggest challenge. Luckily, Roth found two saving-grace items that she recommends for every spatially challenged abode: storage beds and stylish cubbies. The crew purchased two storage beds from IKEA that lift on hydraulics, adding what Roth calculated as the equivalent storage space of two full-size closets in each bedroom.
“I swear by the beds,” Roth says. “They are honestly the only way this space works for us.”
Roth’s favorite element of the space—and another storage wonder—is vintage schoolhouse lockers. Not allowing any bare wall space to be wasted, Roth found the yellow cubbies online, cleaned them up, added a wooden bench top and installed them directly onto the home’s upper bedroom wall. There, they add bonus storage and a bit of flair to the loft.
“They were the perfect solution because they were just the right dimensions, plus they’re fun and colorful,” Roth says. Each guest gets their own locker for snow boots or toiletries, and one even has a built-in electrical outlet for charging electronics.
Using these and other small-space strategies, Roth was able to create a cozy, functional, “mountain modern” (as she calls it) home that is a treat for her family and friends when they want to getaway for a weekend, and she’s proud to show it off whenever she can.
“This was one of those projects that was a stretch for me, but it turned out really well and I’m really proud of it!”