When a recently retired, well-traveled couple in New Zealand needed a guest house for friends and family who visit from oversees for long periods of time, they called upon Build Tiny. "Our clients, who live on the North Island of New Zealand, wanted a home away from home for their loved ones," says Gina Stevens, Build Tiny’s co-founder and director. "It’s hard to talk about this house and not also mention the stunning views of farmland, a pine tree forest and the South Pacific Ocean."
"The Cherry Picker tiny house is different from anything we’ve previously built," says Stevens. "Normally, we do tiny homes without a site in mind—as our designs are meant to move often."
Since Cherry Picker is a stationary guest house, Stevens did things differently. "Because the site for Cherry Picker cops high winds, we created a sheltered back entrance," she says. The designer and builder also positioned the house so that it faces north, making the most of available light, and she carefully considered window placement in order to frame vistas of the epic landscape around the house.
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The colors and the materials palette for Cherry Picker—black-painted lightweight vinyl siding with bright white trim and a cedar-framed rear porch—were informed by the clients’ existing home. "The main house sits further up on a hill and looks down on the tiny house, so it was important that they connect aesthetically," Stevens says.
The 241-square-foot dwelling measures 9.5 feet wide, and it features an expansive loft and recycled native Rimu timber throughout the interior.
Cherry Picker’s name was inspired by the clients themselves. "We always let the clients name our tiny houses," Stevens says. "This client was inspired by their own family name, which means ‘cherry’ in Dutch. It’s also a nod to the home’s bright red roof."
Stevens finished the interior with lightweight poplar core plywood stained with a warm medium-brown tone. "The kitchen cabinetry was made with poplar core plywood, but it has a high-pressure laminate finish that’s long lasting and suitable for cabinetry," Stevens says.
The colors of the kitchen—white-painted wood and medium-brown stained wood—were selected to match the color scheme of the client's existing house. "The alternating drawer fronts that feature a veneer of New Zealand native Rimu timber are the exact same thing you see in the kitchen of the main house," Stevens says. A cupboard unit on wheels in the kitchen also has a solid Rimu top that matches the drawer fronts, stair treads, and shelving throughout the house.
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Cherry Picker was designed to accommodate two guests. "The main loft sleeps two, and the pull-out couch is for older guests that may struggle with accessing the loft," Stevens explains. "The main focus was having a large living area with a connection to the outdoors." A deck extends the living area and creates an indoor/outdoor living experience during the summertime, and an outdoor shower is tucked around the deck’s corner. "There are also taps for a future outdoor bath," Stevens says.
Cherry Picker features views from every window. "There’s even a window in the shower with a view," Stevens says. "The site is so private and remote—it’s just incredible."
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