The Solar-Powered Orchid Tiny House Has a Gorgeous, Light-Filled Interior
Built in Nashville and delivered to an artist living in Los Angeles, the 20-foot-long Orchid Tiny House is a stunning example of small-space architecture. New Frontier Homes used engineered lumber to bolster the framing and ridge beam of the stick-framed house. A steel beam installed along the cantilevered roof provides additional support and stability.
"The roof, which we refer to as a ‘self-stick modified rolled roof,’ and which works like a rain screen, is built with the same dimensional cedar as the siding. This was incredibly challenging. All of the cedar pieces for the roof were raised off the siding and separated by three-quarter inch, so they look as if they are floating," says New Frontier Tiny Homes founder David Latimer.
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The house has an open floor plan, and the main living lounge doubles as a second bedroom at the front of the house. The kitchen and dining table are located on a raised platform in the middle of the house, and the back of the house features a bathroom and a main closet topped with a lofted sleeping area.
Latimer says that his designs are heavily influenced by Scandinavian and Japanese aesthetics. "Both of these traditions use very clean lines, and elegant open spaces, uncluttered by cabinetry and shelving and knick-knacks. The use of texturally nice natural materials gives spaces a warm, inviting, and homely feel."
What really makes the Orchid stand out from other tiny homes is its LED valance lighting. "I’m obsessed with light," says Latimer. "I focus a lot of energy on maximizing natural light and really making a unique, functional, completely controllable lighting design program."
Inspired by his experience during the 2017 solar eclipse, Latimer installed valance LED strips on the cantilevered front porch and almost every interior area of the house. Each light has an individual dimmer switch, so residents can create different moods and make the interiors as bright or dim as they like. "With LED valance lighting, the source of the light is not visible, which gives the interiors a soft, sensual glow," says Latimer.
Latimer custom designed and built a sofa bench, with storage space underneath, that can be pulled out to reveal a bed. A HVAC cabinet in the living space doubles up as an armoire.
"A lot of tiny house designers/builders try to cram a bunch of shelves and high cabinetry for added storage. This closes off an already small space. I like clean lines, and I don’t want to see clutter. I want to see the beautiful shape of the home, the finishes, the lighting, and I want it to look and feel clean," says Latimer.