Micro Tiny Home is a Minimalist’s Dream

Italian architect and engineer Leonardo Di Chiara recently designed and built a prototype of a micro tiny home, which is seriously small yet still wonderfully functional.  The so-called aVOID tiny house measures just 96 sq ft (9 sq) and is easily towable.  Given its diminutive size, it also presents some unique downsizing solutions.

The home rests atop a double-axle trailer and has a wooden frame, metal cladding, and plenty of glazing. The interior is comprised of a single room and a bathroom. To make the most of the available space, most of the furniture is hidden inside the walls. The home features a Murphy-style single bed, which can be pulled down when needed, and stored away during the day. It can also be turned into a double bed. The dining table also features a pull down design and can easily be stowed away when not needed.  There is also a small, but functional kitchenette, which features a sink, a two-burner induction stove, and some shelving for storage.

The aVOID home also features a rooftop terrace which is accessible via a ladder.  It is great for lounging on sunny days.  The bathroom is tiny and features a shower, composting toilet and some storage space.

Di Chiara is still working on the home, and plans to install solar panels and a greywater system, which will make it independent of the grid. The home is currently on display at Berlin’s Bauhaus Archive Museum of Design, but DiChiara lives in it full time otherwise, with the goal of learning all he can about tiny house living. He says it’s not much different that living at home with his parents, in a small bedroom which must also serve many purposes as one grows up.

Tiny Home Design With a Hidden Bed

The tiny home builder Cubist Engineering, which is based in Greenwich, New York has created a very interesting tiny home, which has no standard bedroom. Instead, the bed is stowed away under the ceiling in the living room and lowered with the press of a button when needed.

The so-called Sturgis is a 21 ft (6.4 m)-long towable home, and despite its very small size it is quite spacious. Most of the space is gained by not having a standard bedroom, but the rest of the layout was also carefully planned with maximizing the available space in mind.

The Sturgis tiny home features a CLT (cross-laminated timber) structure, and has a cypress wood siding, which was treated by the Shou Sugi Ban method to preserve it and deter pests.  The home also features a fiberglass roof. The home has a total floor space of 170 sq ft (15.8 sq m) and much of it is taken up by the living area, which is equipped with a modular sofa, some cabinetry, and a coffee table.

The kitchenette is small but functional. It features a butcher block countertop, and a two-burner induction stove, while there is also enough space for a fridge and freezer. The bathroom is also quite small, but big enough for a shower, toilet and sink.

The Sturgis has no lofts, the queen-sized bed is simply lowered down by the flick of a switch when it is time for bed.  The mattress is supported by a steel frame, which is wrapped in maple.   According to Cubist Engineering, the bearing and railing system used to raise and lower the bed is the same one that is also used to load fuel rods in nuclear plants.

There is also a so-called “bonus space” in this tiny home, which was created by a raised space next to the living room. It can be used as a reading nook, or storage space and is big enough to store a motorcycle. It can also be used as a utility area, storage space, and more. This storage area can also be accessed from the outside via a gull-wing door that is operated by a remote control.

For power the tiny home uses a standard RV-style hookup, though a solar power system is an optional add-on to the basic version.  Other add-ons include a rainwater collection system, an exterior deck, a security package comprised of cameras and motion sensors, as well as a remote management system, which allows for controlling the lighting, etc. using a smartphone app.

The basic version of the Sturgis home without any add-ons costs $99,000. Apart from homes, the firm also offers different versions of this tiny dwelling, which are suitable as retail space, studios and more.

Tiny Home – Micro Camper

Living in a 250 sq ft tiny home would be downsizing enough for most people, but Richard Ward of Terraform Tiny Homes from Dallas, Texas recently traded in this “mansion”, as he calls it, for an even smaller home. He spent the last four months traveling the country in this “mansion” and has now traded it in for a 54 sq ft micro camper.

The camper is called Terraform 3 and it was built atop a boat trailer. It can be expanded into a 120 sq ft home when stationary. Richard bought the trailer used for $175 off Craigslist.  The home itself was built out of 16-gauge, 1-inch square steel channel framing that was welded together. The structure is so sturdy that he could install a small rooftop deck, which is a very nice addition to the home. And this choice of framing also left more interior space to work with.

The interior is reminiscent of a large teardrop trailer, and features a bed, a desk, a sink, some storage, and a small toilet. There is also an outdoor shower and an outdoor kitchen, which is stored away for transport using a hinged door at the back of the home. Ward likes to do most things outdoors, hence his choice to incorporate so much of the outdoors into his new home.  The deck and outdoor kitchen are perfect for that.

This new home is also a lot more mobile than his previous, larger tiny home was.  Much of Terraform 3 was constructed and furnished using repurposed and recycled materials.  For example, it features a countertop made of wine corks, and the floor is covered with pages taken from a vintage 1940s book of drawings.

Terraform 3 is very small and most people probably couldn’t imagine downsizing to such a drastic degree. But then again, how much space do we really need to live comfortably?

Tiny Home With a Flexible Interior

The recently completed Pacific Harmony tiny home, designed and built by the firm Handcrafted Movement, features superb craftsmanship and some unique interior layout ideas, which make it appear much more spacious than it is. This includes a bedroom, which can be turned into a dining room when needed.

The Pacific Harmony home is towable, and measures 28 ft (8.5 m) in length. The exterior cladding is board and batten, with accents made of Pacific Cedar, while the roof is standing seam metal. Much of the interior is taken up by the living room, which is placed in the center of the home and fitted with a sofa, and a large entertainment center. One of the bedrooms is also located on the ground level, next to the living room. It features a folding oak dining table, which can be folded out of the way when not needed so as to make room for the Murphy style bed.

Dining Area

Murphy Bed

Loft Bedroom

On the opposite side of the home is the kitchen, which features a propane-powered four-burner range cooker and a fridge/freezer. There is also a built-in breakfast bar, which can seat up to three people. The bathroom is adjacent to the kitchen and features a shower, sink and toilet. There is a sleeping loft above the kitchen, which is big enough for a double bed. It is accessible via a ladder which was made out of salvaged walnut. The flooring of the home is herringbone hardwood, while the countertops are made of quartz.

The tiny house gets its power via a standard RV-style hookup and has a propane-powered water heater. They also installed LED lighting throughout. There is also a small exterior deck, which is big enough for a table and chairs and needs to be taken off for traveling.

The Pacific Harmony is selling for $79,000.

Living Area

Kitchen

Light-filled Tiny House Made of Reclaimed Materials

I prefer rustic style tiny homes over the more modern, minimalist ones, and the new creation by tiny house maker Wood & Heart, based in New Hampshire, is a prime example of everything done right. The tiny house is called Legacy and is made of mostly reclaimed materials, which only adds to its rustic charm. This is the first tiny home built by the company and they’ve entered the market in a big way with it, as far as I’m concerned.

The Legacy tiny home is 26 ft (7.9 m) long and appears more spacious than it actually is thanks to the large windows, which flood the interior with natural light. The exterior cladding is cedar and features Shou Sugi Ban-style charred cedar trimming for contrast. The interior walls are also clad in wood, while they used closed-cell spray foam insulation to insulate the home. There is an exterior utility closet where they stored a tankless water heater, a propane tank and the 50-amp electrical panel with an RV outlet.

The counters are made of black walnut and African mahogany, while the flooring is solid hardwood oak. The home also features floating black walnut shelves and dining table. The kitchen is fitted with a four-burner stovetop with a beveled marble splashback and a 24-inch ceramic farmhouse sink. The split system AC unit is also installed here.

The living area is well-spaced for a tiny home, and features a pull-out sofa as well as plenty of storage space. The bedroom is located in a loft. The bathroom features honeycomb-patterned tiling on the floor and an an accent wall made from reclaimed timber. It is also spacious enough to fit a full-size tub and shower.

The ceiling is clad in rough-sawn planks of reclaimed timber and they placed three large skylights here, which together with the 13 Andersen windows elsewhere in the home lets in ample amounts of natural daylight.

The Legacy is set atop a trailer and can be purchased for $85,000. This price includes all the furniture, appliances and decor.