10 Tiny Houses We Love

10 Tiny Houses We Love

By Byron Loker
Tiny houses are spreading like proverbial wildfires across the world—and probably because it really just makes sense. The tiny home lifestyle is the ultimate application of creative resourcefulness, and allows residents to reduce their environmental footprints without sacrificing good design.

Here's a quick sample of some of our favorite tiny houses across the globe.

Four Lights Tiny House on Wheels

Jay Shafer’s Four Lights Tiny House Company sells floor plans for houses that start at 98 square feet. The Gifford is a craftsman-inspired, 112-square-foot structure that can be wheeled from site to site. Shafer has also designed a residential community of micro-dwellings in Sonoma County, California.

Avava Prefab Tiny House has brought design and drafting solutions to homeowners, real estate investors, and contractors in Hawaii.

The Porter cottage makes the most of its unwieldy site. It was sited as close to the water as legally allowed to take advantage of the views, yet far enough away from the graywater leach field where the soil is deep enough to allow for proper run off. The screen porch was angled so that the solar panels can capture direct southern sun exposure.

By replacing a wall with a custom wood-and-glass partition, architect Matt Krajewski transformed a previously dark one-bedroom railroad apartment in Manhattan into a light-filled home. Compact furnishings, like a Mandal bed frame from IKEA with integrated storage, maximize every inch of the 390-square-foot unit, which is housed in a former tenement building.

For this Dutch collaboration between Zecc Architects and designer Roel van Norel, building on top of the foundation of what used to be a greenhouse was a cost-cutting measure. Built in a forest north of Utrecht, the tiny cabin lets the owners "flee daily life" while taking in as much or as little of nature as they like. 

This tiny house has many convenient features including a Lunos air exchanger with a heat recovery system, hydronic radiant floor, full-size bath with a 40-gallon water heater tank, composting toilet, AC unit, all-in-one washer/dryer, water filtration system, and more. "For the Sakura, and any other home that’s meant for cold climates, the hydronic radiant floor is a must-have. We're the first tiny-house company to offer that type of system,’’ says manufacturer Minimaliste.

This sleek and modern L-shaped house consists of two separate structures that are joined by a deck. The 400-square-foot main house, which rests on a solid foundation, includes a kitchen, living room, bathroom, and loft bedroom. To make the small area feel more spacious, it was designed with high ceilings, lots of windows, and two custom garage doors to let in more light.

Architect and metalworker Christi Azavedo was tasked with transforming a 93-square-foot brick boiler room from 1916 into a guesthouse in San Francisco. She spent a year-and-a-half designing and fabricating nearly everything in the structure, except for the original brick walls.

Cabin Knapphullet is small cabin inspired by its location that's nestled between large rocks and low vegetation of the Sandefjord coast in Norway. It's only 323 square feet, but contains an open living space with a bathroom and mezzanine bed that sleeps two people. Although the building occupies a small footprint, the space expands vertically over four levels, including a roof terrace.

"When you have a tiny house, having an outdoor space off a room can make a big difference," says architect Mary Ann Schicketanz. Luckily, each room already had its own deck, which she simply refurbished by installing concrete floors and galvanized-steel railings.


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