Tiny Minimalist Home

The firm Escape has been making tiny homes for a while now, and their latest offering, the so-called Escape One, is just as well built as all the others. It features a charred wood façade and an interior layout that maximizes the available space in the most thoughtful way possible.

The Escape One is built atop a 25 ft (7.62 m)-long trailer and measures 276 sq ft (25.6 sq m). The home is clad in wood throughout, and the exterior cladding was treated with the traditional Japanese Shou Sugi Ban method, which both preserves the wood and protects it from pests and decay naturally. The interior walls are also clad in wood, but these were left in their natural state.

As is the case with most tiny home builds, the interior was kept simple. The ground floor features a sitting area, a spacious kitchen, and a bathroom. The kitchen features a good amount of counter space and shelving, as well as a stove, sink and fridge. The bathroom is large enough to fit a toilet, sink and shower. The bedroom is located in a loft, which is accessible via a set of stairs. There appears to be a lot of headroom here, especially if the bed is low. There is also a second loft above the bathroom, which can be used for storage.

The home is very well insulated and has an average R-rating of R-30. The lighting is LED throughout, and while the base model features a standard RV hookup, a solar power system is an option. Other off-the-grid optional add-ons include water storage, and a composting toilet package. Customers can also opt to install a mini-split air-conditioning unit with a heat pump, and a propane furnace for heating. Luxury items such as a flatscreen TV with Blu-ray, stone countertops, and more are also available as an add-on to the base model.

Prices for the Escape One start at $49,800, which is quite a bargain.

Traditional Design Techniques Make This Apartment a Lot More Spacious Than It Should Be

More and more people are opting to live in micro apartments in big cities across the world, mainly due to rising real estate prices and rents. The problem is that small spaces can very quickly begin to feel cramped, but with some clever design solutions even this challenge can be overcome. Which is exactly what the Australian designer Nicholas Gurney managed to do in the renovation of this tiny apartment.

The apartment measures a very modest 258 sq ft (24 sq m) yet it has been transformed into a cozy home for a newlywed couple. The designer succeeded to make it such by following a set of Japanese organizational principles known as the 5S. These are, “sort, straighten, shine, standardize and sustain” (seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke). This methodology was developed in Japan after World War Two to maximize efficiency in manufacturing, but has since been integrated into other areas like health care, education, and government as well. The first step in applying this method to the apartment design involved Gurney tasking the clients with creating a list of possessions that they could not live without, so that the space and storage areas in the apartment could be adapted to it.

The home is now fitted with custom-built cabinets, which are extra-deep, so the fact that they contain “stuff” is not apparent at first glance. The things contained within them are also stored according to different levels of priority, meaning that the important stuff is stored at the front, and the less important stuff at the back.

They kept the main area as open as possible, adding a table on wheels which can be placed where it’s needed, or rolled away under the kitchen counter to make more space. The kitchen consists of two areas, namely a wet and a dry one. The wet area features a sink that is tucked away out of sight. There is also a perforated screen door which separates the living room from the bedroom and which also supports the flatscreen TV. The screen can be rolled away so the couple can watch TV from either the bedroom or the living area. The bathroom is placed into a corner space in the apartment and separated from the rest of the space by a mirrored door, which effectively hides it and makes the space appear larger.

The governing principle that was applied to this design was “a place for everything and everything in its place”, and they succeeded. This is a great example of how much can be done with very tiny living spaces!

French Tiny Home is Not as Small as it Looks

In France, laws require tiny homes to be smaller and lighter than the ones in the US. For this reason, it is downright impressive just how cozy and spacious the tiny home La Bohème which was recently designed by the firm La Baluchon, actually is. They packed a lot into a very small space without sacrificing comfort, which was quite a feat.

La Bohème tiny home rests atop a double axle trailer and is only 19.6 ft (6 m) long. it is made of wood, and features a bright green roof, which is an interesting choice, to say the least. The tiny home also has plenty of glazing, which lets in lots of light and doubtlessly aids ventilation. An interesting touch is the narrow window above the door, which is where the sleeping loft is located.

The ground floor of the home was left open and features a living area, kitchen and dining area. The living area is fitted with a sofa bed, that sleeps two, while the dining table can sit up to four people. The kitchen is equipped with a fridge and a propane-powered stove, as well as a sink and a fair amount of counter space.

The bathroom is fitted with just a toilet and shower, since the owner deemed that the kitchen sink was sufficient. The bedroom is in a loft, and is accessible via a ladder. There isn’t a lot of headroom here, but the windows let in plenty of light so it doesn’t feel as cramped.

La Bohème has a typical RV-style hookup for it’s electricity needs, while they installed LED lighting throughout to make it as energy efficient as possible. For insulation they used natural materials, namely cotton in the floors, a mix of linen, hemp and cotton in the walls, and wood fiber in the ceiling.

La Bohème is located in the picturesque Vendée region of France and the owner lives in it full-time. It cost about $70,500 to build.

Tiny House That Borrows From the American Craftsman Style

Zyl Vardos, the tiny house firm from Olympia, Washington has recently completed yet another unique tiny home model. It’s called Fuchsia and features a number of unique features, such as a downward angled roof. It’s compact and gorgeous, and would make a perfect cabin or even home for two.

The Fuchsia is only 24 ft (7.3 m) long and weighs 10,250 lb (4,649 kg). The exterior cladding is cedar and it is towable. The home features a stable door with a lovely stained glass window as the main entrance. The interior is dominated by an open plan living, dining and kitchen area. The ceiling in this part of the home is quite high and features well-sized skylights which flood the interior with light and make it appear more spacious. The kitchen area is quite small and is fitted with a propane-powered range oven, and a sink. Once the house is completely finished it will also feature a fridge. The bathroom is just off the kitchen, separated from the rest of the space by a sliding door. it is fitted with a normal toilet and a concrete shower cubicle.

The bedroom is located in a loft, which is accessible via a staircase that has integrated storage space. They also installed quite a large closet under the stairs, so storage space is not a problem in this tiny house. The headroom in the loft is adequate.

The Fuchsia must be hooked up to the grid via a standard RV-style hookup for power, while hot water needs are met by an on-demand propane-powered water heater. The tiny home pictured here has already been sold, but it would cost $90,000 to build a new one like it.

Couple converts school bus into their first home

Rising rents and huge student loans, coupled with difficulty finding job security are leading more and more young people to reconsider what a home should look like. Brittany and Steven of Adventure or Bust are one example of a young couple who opted to convert a disused school bus into a full time home. They converted the bus themselves, and will use it to travel and work on the go.

The majority of the interior space is taken up by the lounge/kitchen area. The sitting area features an L-shaped sofa, which can be converted into a full-size bed for guests. There is also a flat screen TV in this area. The kitchen which adjoins this space is fitted with full-size, energy efficient appliances, namely a fridge, stove, and a washer/dryer combo unit. The bus they used for the conversion has a side door, and the kitchen counter they installed across it can be lifted up to make the door accessible.

The bathroom is fitted with a Nature’s Head composting toilet, and a small shower. The bus is very water efficient, since no blackwater is produced, and all the greywater is filtered and used to irrigate the vegetable garden. They use the compost on their fruit trees. The bus also features plenty of closet and storage space.

The bedroom is located at the far end of the bus and is just big enough to fit a queen-size bed. The latter can be lifted up to reveal a storage area, the 100-gallon water tank and grant access to the rear door of the bus.

They renovated the bus themselves, and the total cost came to just $17,600, which includes the purchase price of the bus. While the bus is very water efficient, it has to be hooked up to the grid for power. They are currently saving up for a solar power array so that they can use it completely off-the-grid. They also plan on painting the exterior as soon as funds allow it.