This Tiny House in New Zealand Is a 241-Square-Foot Slice of Paradise
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This Tiny House in New Zealand Is a 241-Square-Foot Slice of Paradise

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By Laura Mauk
Inspired by the cinematic landscape of New Zealand’s North Island, this tiny home is the guest house you’ve always wanted to visit.

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."

Cherry Picker, a guest home designed by Build Tiny, is situated on the North Island of New Zealand. It features views of the South Pacific Ocean and a lush pine forest.

"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.

An expansive wraparound deck lets the guest house live larger than its 241 square feet.

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 tiny home is clad with black-painted vinyl siding and bright white trim. "The client wanted to make the most of the outdoor setting and asked us to build a removable outdoor bar under the kitchen window," says designer Gina Stevens. 

The entrance for the tiny home is wrapped in cedar, which adds warmth to the vinyl cladding.  

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."

The bright red standing-seam metal roof (viewed from the main house) helped inspire the tiny home’s name: Cherry Picker.

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. 

A double-sided shelf, made by local craftsman Mark Vibert using recycled native Rimu timber, sections the living area from the kitchen and provides storage.

A sizable window in the living room frames a view of of the adjacent pine tree forest. A recycled Rimu timber shelf above the window provides additional storage.

The kitchen cabinetry was crafted from poplar plywood. Two of the drawer fronts are stained a warm brown tone that contrasts with bright white cabinetry.

The dining area, flooded with natural light due to strategically placed windows, is flanked by the living room and the kitchen. Plywood wall panels provide warmth and texture for the space.

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.

The loft bedroom is situated above the kitchen. The staircase is outfitted with drawers and a tall cabinet for cooking tools.

An operable skylight in the loft bedroom ventilates the tiny home and harnesses sunlight for the bedroom as well as the living area below.

An outdoor shower allows guests to experience the stunning landscape even while bathing.

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."

More from Build Tiny:

Downsize in Style With This Sleek Tiny Home Starting Below $38K

This Off-Grid Tiny Home Packs a Powerful Kitchen Into 183 Square Feet

Just One Look at This New Tiny House Will Make You Want to Downsize

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Build Tiny / @buildtinyhomes

Furniture selection: The Room / @theroom.interiors

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