XL Tiny House Big Enough for a Family

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One of the main criticisms of tiny houses stems from their limited use as family homes. But the company Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses of Durango, Colorado aims to change that with their newest offering. The so-called Red Mountain 34′ Tiny House is spacious enough for a whole family, yet still retains the main tiny home features and advantages, such as being towable.

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The Red Mountain 34′ Tiny House has a total floor space of 410 sq ft (38 sq m) and measures 34 x 8 ft (10.3 x 2.4 m). The ground level of the interior is comprised of a lounge, a dining area with a fold-down table, an office nook, a bathroom and a kitchen. The home also features two loft bedrooms. The master bedroom is accessible via a set of storage stairs, and is spacious enough to fit a king sized bed. The kid’s bedroom is accessible via a bookcase that doubles as a ladder.

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The kitchen looks quite spacious and is equipped with a fridge, a propane-powered range cooker, and a sink. The bathroom is large enough to fit a full-size clawfoot bathtub and shower, and also features a regular toilet and a custom-made sink. The house can be hooked up to the grid using a standard RV-style hookup, while heating is provided by a gas stove.

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This home was named after a group of three mountain peaks between Silverton and Ouray, Colorado, which are recognized by their red hue. This is part of the reason they used rusty corrugated wainscot, barn wood board and batten, and cedar shakes as cladding for the home, giving it a reddish tone.

The tiny house rests atop a triple-axle trailer and weighs around 14,000 lbs (6,350 kg). It cost $105,000 to build.

Family Experiments with Sustainable Living

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Helly Scholten of Holland has been living in an experimental sustainable house with her family since June 2015. The home was created by a team of students and researchers at the Rotterdam University and looks a lot like an oversized greenhouse. The Scholten family will live in it for 3 years in order to experience and explore sustainable ways to live.

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The home is called CHiBB (Concept House Institute of Building and Business Administration) House, and was built as part of the Concept House Village in Rotterdam initiative that was started with the aim of developing innovative solutions to sustainable housing. It measures 1,453 sq ft (135 sq m) and has three bedrooms, an office, and a generous living area and kitchen. There is also a large garden on the roof that the family uses to grow their own veggies and fruits.

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The house features a timber frame, and is topped with a glazed area which looks a lot like a green house. The home does not feature a solar power array, though a solar water heating system is used to provide the hot water. The interior temperature is controlled by opening and closing the windows. The home is equipped with a rainwater collection system, which is made up of six tanks. This water is used for flushing the toilet and irrigating the garden. The home also features a few green walls.

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Helly has decorated the home herself. According to her, living in this experimental home has been a good experience overall, though there have been a few problems too. Since there is no air-conditioning it can apparently get quite hot in the summer, and the heating system does not work, which meant that the family had to wear their coats inside during the winter.

The kitchen was also apparently measured incorrectly and resulted in the family not being able to use all their appliances. To fix it, they put a stove on the terrace, which now acts as a kitchen. Helly regularly blogs about their sustainable living experiment on her website.

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The family will continue living in the home until 2018. After that, the home will be sold for $554,000, while the family is already considering moving into an off-grid home to learn what that would be like.

Home Renovation Completed With the Help of Salvaged Materials

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Awhile back, architect Rolf Bruggink from Utrecht, Holland purchased a property on which stood an old, 1950s office building, and a coach house built in 1895. He planned to renovated the latter into a home, so he first demolished the office building. He salvaged a lot of materials from this demolition though, and reused them in the home renovation.

With the help of architect Niek Wagemans, Bruggink first drew up the plans of how to turn the old coach house into a modern home. Much of the focus was on reusing the old as much as possible, and to basically just give an old structure a new life. In that, they very much succeeded.

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The coach house measures 538 sq ft (50 sq m), which was all more or less one space. To create some partitions, they first inserted a series of enclosed, suspended wooden volumes, which basically divide up the house into the needed areas, namely bedrooms, bathroom and office. It was a very clever idea to use these suspended volumes for the purpose of separating off the space into different rooms, since the coach house had a very tall ceiling and this space was thus very well utilized.

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All these overlook the open plan dining, living and kitchen area. They also cut out a large window from the coach house wall to let in more natural light. The interior is very modern and minimalist, with a bit of an industrial aesthetic thrown in.

This is yet another example of a sustainable home renovation done right. It’s always more eco-friendly to live in an existing house, than to build a new one. And while they did demolish an office building in this case, they reused and salvaged a lot of the materials from that.

Modern House Built Out of Repurposed Materials

Building on a triangle-shaped lot can be tricky, but the firm OOF! Architecture from Australia has found a great way to make it work. The so-called Acute House, which they recently completed in Melbourne is a great piece of modern design. It is wedge shaped and was partially constructed out of repurposed materials, which were left from the demolition of an old cottage that stood on the lot before.

Acute House has a footprint of just 516 sq ft (48 sq m) and measures 1560 sq ft (145 sq m) since they had to use all of the available land. To do this they had to build upwards, as well as find a way to incorporate even the outdoor space into the design of the home. They achieved this by making one tip of the triangle into an outdoor area with it’s own door and wonderful views of the surrounding landscape.

The interior of the home is laid out on several levels. The first level houses the kids’ bedroom and the home office, as well as a guest bathroom. The clever bit in the latter is that they placed the toilet at the tip of the triangle to save space. The home also features an open plan kitchen, living, and dining area. A staircase connects the ground and upper levels of the home, and it is also shaped like a triangle, since it is squeezed into the triangular tip of the home. This allowed them to maximize the available space. The master bedroom is located in the attic, as is the master bathroom. The former is dominated by a large bed, while the latter features an open shower.

A lot of the materials used to construct this home came from the old cottage, which previously stood, on this lot. These materials include wood boards, fencing, doorknobs and vents, which they carefully preserved and reused. They also installed many large windows in the home, which floods it with natural light while also aiding ventilation.

This is a great example of how clever design tactics and some careful planning can lead to creating a comfortable home even in the most challenging situations.

Clever Transformation of a Small Apartment That Now Includes a Secret Kids’ Playroom

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Living in small or even tiny apartments is the reality for many urban dwellers these days, and while such living arrangements can be ideal for singles and couples, having kids does pose a problem. But the Polish design firm Mode:lina Studio came up with a very clever solution to this conundrum in the case of artist and designer Maciej Kawecki.

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Maciej is a work from home dad who lives in a 398-square-foot apartment with his six-year-old son. The design firm he hired to renovate his apartment installed a transformer unit, which can be used as a workspace for Maciej but also hides a playroom for his son. The multifunctional unit can be used as a desk, but also to hold business meetings as well as to cook and sleep.

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The sleeping part is located in a loft above the work desk. The shelving unit part of the transformer piece of furniture is on wheels and can be moved as needed. When pulled out it opens up the son’s playroom, which is located just behind the working desk. It’s also a great place to keep all of the child’s toys, so they’re not cluttering up the rest of the small apartment. The conference desk Maciej uses to meet with clients is also on wheels, and can be pushed aside and moved out of the way when not needed. The transformer unit itself is made of oriented strand board (OSB). It was mostly left natural, though they painted a few sections black to offer some contrast.

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This is certainly another great example of how transformer, multi-purpose furniture pieces can make even small apartments more functional. This version of it will certainly appeal to all those with small children, while I’m pretty sure most kids love to have a secret playroom!