This newly built tiny home for two in Australia proves that downsizing does not mean you must sacrifice comfort. It’s called Zen Tiny House, and it is quite large for a tiny home, and certainly big enough to accommodate the two owners, Nadia and Kester Marshall and their two Australian shepherd dogs. Nadia designed the home herself, and commissioned the local tiny house builder Sam Commerford to build it.
The home is 24.6 ft (7.5 m) long and 9.8 ft (3 m) wide. It also features a window box that is 1.6 ft (0.5 m) long and is quite a clever extension of the space. The home features a large patio, 8.2 ft (2.5 m) sliding door in the lounge area, which effectively opens up the space and makes the interior appear larger. The sitting area features an interesting custom-made couch which is connected to the stairs leading up to the bedroom. The latter is in a loft, which appears quite spacious, with a good amount of headroom.
The generous width of the home allowed them to make the kitchen more spacious. It is fitted with a full-size stove and fridge, and features lots of counter space. There is also plenty of storage room here. The bathroom is quite spacious as well, and features a shower and a composting toilet. There is also an extra door here for easy access to it after a swim in the sea.
They used Weathertex for external cladding, which is made from 98% recycled Australian hardwood that is mixed with paraffin wax and painted with an ageing stain. The window box and the extruded window were clad in cedar treated with the shou sugi-ban technique. All the cabinetry inside the home is made of plywood that was coated with Rubio monocoat oil. They used whitewash v-join pine for the ceiling, and gyprock (dry wall) for the walls. The flooring is made of vinyl wood-look planks. The outdoor deck is modular, and can be completely removed and packed away in a single day.
The total cost of building the home came to $55,000, which does not include the deck.
Living in small apartments or tiny houses calls for some clever solutions to make the most of the available space. This often involves custom-made solutions and hacks, but more and more firms are also starting to offer ready-made furniture elements designed specially for small dwellings. One such was recently developed by the Mexico City-based design firm LC-MX. They created a modular kitchen system, which can be made as big or as small as you need it to be.
They named this kitchen system Latifolia and its minimalist, modern aesthetic makes it suitable for pretty much every home. The system features a self-supporting steel structure, which in turn supports the wooden shelves that can be placed in a whole range of positions taking into account the space requirements as well as the owners needs in terms of storage and the placing of kitchenware, appliances, and so on.
The supporting structure is made out of strong but lightweight powder-coated steel, which is very durable. The shelves and counters can be order in walnut, American oak, or tzalam depending on what the client prefers. There is a timeless aesthetic in combining wood and metal elements, and this modular kitchen system takes maximum advantage of it. The steel supports can also be extended out for increased stability and to support heavier items.
There isn’t much information of how the materials used in this system are sourced (i.e. if the wood is sustainably sourced, and if the steel used is recycled). The price has also not yet been revealed. However, this kitchen system is a great addition to the arsenal of those wishing to downsize to a small apartment or a tiny home without needing to custom design all the pieces of furniture, or get creative with furniture made for bigger spaces.
We spend more and more time indoors, glued to our computers and tablets. One solution to this is certainly changing our habits, but another is also living in a home that allows more contact with the world outside it. And that’s exactly what the recently unveiled Breathe house, designed by the NYC firm SO-IL offers. The design of it may be a bit “Haute Couture” but it is still a great idea.
Breathe is being marketed as an active living experience home. It is narrow and three stories high, and instead of traditional walls, the home is wrapped in a breathable, light-permeable skin of “purifying fabric” which lets in and filters light and air.
The home was designed in collaboration with MINI Living and erected on a 538 sq ft (50 sq m) lot. The home has a minimal carbon footprint, and features a modular steel frame that divides the home into six living spaces. There is also a garden on the roof, which is fitted with a rainwater collection system that provides water for the household.
The ground floor features a kitchen that opens into the outdoors. A spiral staircase leads from this level into the lounge and work area, and further up into the sleeping area. Semi-opaque screens separate the different spaces of the home, offering privacy while at the same time letting in light and air.
The skin covering the home is reusable, and made from a translucent PVC mesh, which creates a sort of microclimate inside the home. It filters in light, while also filtering air since it’s coating captures dust and dirt and prevents it from entering the home. At the same time, these walls do not keep the outside out, meaning that inhabitants can still experience everything that goes on around them.
Breathe features a flat pack design, so it is easy to both assemble and disassemble it. It is also easy to transport it to just about anywhere. It is not, however, suitable for all climates and locations. The main aim of the design was to challenge traditional ideas about what housing must be like, and instead offer a solution that could bring us all closer to nature. It is certainly innovative.
Living in a small space is not for everyone, especially when it comes to living in densely populated urban areas. With a towable tiny house, you can park it anywhere and have as much nature and space around it as you wish, but in an apartment you’re pretty much stuck where you are.
But the current state of the market is such that city dwellings are very expensive, and more and more people who do not want to move to the country are opting to live in micro apartments. When designing such spaces, maximizing the available space is of the utmost importance, and the Danish firm Studiomama did an awesome job in that regard with this former mini-cab office, which they turned into a cozy home.
The space was bought at an auction and measures 139 sq ft (13 sq m). The designers then set out to turn it into an apartment with the aim of proving that with clever solutions even such a small space can become a comfortable home. The achieved this by installing seamless walls which hide the storage areas, and give the sense of spaciousness. They were inspired by boat design in coming up with this solution. They also placed mirrors along one of the walls, as well as in the kitchen, which further adds to the illusion of this being a larger space than it actually is. Since this apartment has so little floorspace they integrated all that was needed into the built-in furniture.
The home features a dining nook with a built-in bench to sit on, while this bench can also be extended to increase the sitting space. The bench also has a footrest built into it, which can be stored away when not in use. The bed can also be folded away when not in use. The home also features a work area in the form of a standing desk, which has it’s own storage area. I suppose the dining table can be used if you wish to sit while working. The home also features a fully equipped kitchen and a bathroom, which is the only part of this home that is separated off from the rest of the apartment for privacy.
The tiny house firm Escape has just released the so-called Traveler XL Limited, which is an upgraded and expanded version of their 2015 model of the same name. The new model is bigger than the original and can sleep up to 10 people, which is very impressive for a tiny house.
The Traveler XL rests atop a triple-axle trailer an is 30 ft (9.1 m) long. The interior measures 344 sq ft (32 sq m). the home features plenty of large windows, which let in lots of light making it appear even more spacious. Much of the ground floor is taken up by the living area, which includes a sofa bed. Next to this is the kitchenette, which features regular sized appliances, including a fridge and a range cooker. There is also a good amount of counter space and a sink.
The bathroom is located on one end of the tiny house and is big enough to contain a 5 ft (1.5 m)-long tub, which is impressive. It also has a toilet, sink and cabinet, and enough space to install a washer/dryer unit.
The standard configuration of the home has 2 bedrooms. The master is on the ground floor, with enough headroom to stand up in. The second bedroom is in a loft, which is accessible via a ladder. The company offers the option of adding a second loft, which is large enough for several beds. In this case, and with the sofa bed, the house Is big enough for ten people to sleep in. This would get a bit cramped, I imagine, but is still quite a feat to get that much sleeping space out of a tiny home.
They also offer a number of add-ons to take this home off-the-grid. They offer two solar power packages. The first has a 500 W solar panel array, which is connected to a 200 Ah battery storage unit. They also offer a version with a 1 kW solar panel array that is linked to a 400 Ah battery storage unit. The home can also be ordered with a normal RV hookup for electricity, and customers have the choice of installing a composting toilet.
The standard version of the Traveler XL Limited costs $78,500.