Posts Tagged With: tiny house design

Tiny House Design Inspiration: The Micro House from Studio Liu Lubin

I had seen these tiny little fiberglass cubes before and they seemed way too small, but now Studio Liu Lubin has started combining and stacking their Micro House and it looks very cool!

Studio Liu Lubin's Micro House.

Studio Liu Lubin’s Micro House.  Where you can sit, stand, or lie down (alone.)


Studio Liu Lubin's Micro House - stackable fiberglass units.

Studio Liu Lubin’s Micro House – stackable fiberglass units.


Studio Liu Lubin's Micro House.

Studio Liu Lubin’s Micro House.

Categories: Tiny House Design | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Tiny House Inspiration: Pocket Shelter

I don’t know how this guy stayed hidden so long!  the house was finished over a year ago and it just now appeared on Tiny House Swoon.  It’s beautiful; the extruded front porch, the reclaimed materials, the interior with live-edge wood plank countertops and sheepskin couch covers…

Aaron Maret’s Pocket Shelter:

Aaron Maret's Pocket Shelter tiny house.

Aaron Maret’s Pocket Shelter tiny house.

Aaron Maret's Pocket Shelter tiny house.

Aaron Maret’s Pocket Shelter tiny house.

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Categories: Tiny House Design | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

Tiny House Interior: Decorating

Well, seeing as it’s the fourth month of winter, I figured it was time to make some insulated curtains for our tiny house that we have been living in since May 2012.  Of course, I’ve been thinking about the curtains since… oh, maybe October of last year, but I was stalled because I couldn’t decide what color they should be.

Since it’s a small house, everything needs to relate, so I didn’t want to just add a new color or pattern.  I finally decided to go with a color scheme of gray and yellow throughout the house and I really like how it’s turned out!

Tiny house roman shade curtains in the closed position.

Tiny house roman shade curtains in the closed position.  Curtains are lined with quilt batting to provide insulation from the cold winter weather.

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Categories: Living In the Tiny House, Tiny House Design | Tags: , , , | 19 Comments

Tiny House Inspiration – A Small Modern Dwelling on the Navajo Rez

Hello everyone!

happy happy holidays and to all a good night.  🙂

I came across a really inspiring small house (not tiny… but still very small!) and wanted to share it with you all for inspiration…

Nakai House by University of Colorado students

Nakai House by University of Colorado students – Tiny Living in Style

So this house was designed and built by University of Colorado students in collaboration with DesignBuildBLUFF for a client who lives on Navajo tribal lands in Utah.  DesignBuildBLUFF is a non-profit organization located in southeast Utah that works with college students to help Navajos on the Indian reservation.

Nakai House by University of Colorado students – Interior

The plan is essentially an open rectangle with lots of glazing.  Nooks off of a storage wall house the bed, bathroom, and closet.  An upstairs loft contains a guest bedroom.

Nakai House by University of Colorado Students – ground floor plan and loft plan

The bedroom nook is exactly what they talk about in A Pattern Language.  Check out this previous blog for more pattern languages that apply to tiny house design and more details on why a bedroom nook is better than an entire room for sleeping.

Nakai House by University of Colorado students – Interior bedroom nook built into storage wall.

The client is a collector of artifacts and memorabilia so one interior wall is entirely composed of shelving used to display her prized possessions.  The house becomes a museum gallery and her collections take center stage, rather than piling up in closets.

Interior storage wall in Nakai House

The thing I can’t get over is how this project was built in 80 days for $25,000…  Apparently they don’t pay the students for their labor.  Still, even if that number only includes materials, it is remarkably low.  Impressive.

Nakai House by University of Colorado students

Nakai House by University of Colorado students

Photography is by James Anderson.

Check out this Dezeen article for more photos.

Hope all is well with everyone!  and have a wonderful Christmas!

– Carrie




Categories: Tiny House Design | Tags: , , | 10 Comments

Futuristic + Modern Tiny Homes

I’ve been coming across of lot of “modern” / “futuristic” tiny structures lately and thought I’d share them with you for some out-of-the-tiny-box tiny house inspiration:

Modern Houseboat .

‘Thesayboat’ by Marek Ridky of the Czech Republic, ‘the houseboat built with a clear vision which can be summarized in Corbusier’s assertion that “human habitation should be a cell with a view of the stars”.’

Modern Houseboat: Thesayboat by Marek Ridky

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Categories: Tiny House Design | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Everyone Poops. Tiny House Toilet Options.

I came across an interesting article about toilets and thought I would share it with you all, as toilets seem to be a favorite topic of discussion among tiny housers.  Click HERE to read the Fast Company article about Bill Gates’ sponsored toilet inventions around the world.  One submittal:

China’s toilet submission.  Not sure where you sit.  Looks dangerous…

My fave was China’s toilet design submission that “extracts and disposes fecal sludge on-site”.  Not to pick on the Chinese… but c’mon, do I really want to dump fecal sludge outside my home?  I’m sure there’s some way to make it “odorless” right?  … but I have no trust for systems claiming to be odorless, as that has been our main complaint with our Incinolet incinerating toilet.

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Categories: Living In the Tiny House, Tiny House Design | Tags: , , , , | 109 Comments

Tiny Hospitality, Podcasts, and Tiny House Furniture: a Swiveling Table

hello everyone!

well, it’s been three weeks of living in Santa Fe now, and we are loving it!  it’s great to have the house out on some land that provides some long views from the interior and a lot of exterior spaciousness.

Recent happs:

  • Shane spoke on Tiny r(E)volution’s podcast about Tiny Living yesterday… you can listen to the podcast by clicking this link.
  • My brother and his family visited us over the long weekend so we got to try out “Tiny Hospitality”…
  • And a recent addition to our tiny house was a swiveling table…

Swivel table in the living room.

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Categories: Living In the Tiny House, Tiny House Design | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments

Tiny House Interior – Custom Upholstered Couch Cushions

Hello everyone!

I apologize, the blogs have been few and far between because… well, because we’re just living in the house now, and things are going smoothly.

I am excited because I finally made the custom cushions that I had been envisioning for our Tiny House couch.  You may have seen interior photos and noticed the hulking mass of a black futon mattress on our couch and wondered about my taste as a designer, and rightly so.  That was a temporary solution until I could venture to the fabric district in L.A. and procure upholstery materials.

BEFORE: The heeedeous black futon couch….

AFTER: lovely gray upholstered cushions

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Categories: Living In the Tiny House, Tiny House Design | Tags: , , | 11 Comments

Out for a Drive – Part III – Our finished Tiny House

We took video footage of our tiny house out on the road a month ago and we finally got it edited and uploaded for you all to watch:

I mentioned this in past blog posts, but watching the house pull out of the shop was one of the proudest moments of my life!  It was like watching our child perform on the big stage!  (Metaphorically speaking, of course.  We don’t have any children.  Just Rio, our terrier – and he doesn’t do any stage shows as of yet.)  So much work and effort and stress and plans and dreams all finished up and out in the big world.  It was heartwarming.

I was the follow car and it was so funny to see all the rubbernecking as we drove down the road.  Everyone either whipped their head around or flew to the rearview mirror to catch a glimpse of our house going down the road.

I did a longer post about taking the house out for a drive back here

Next up: we’ll do some interior tours and photos.

Hope all is well!

– Carrie   (and Shane – who edited all the video footage and created this really cool movie!)

Categories: Living In the Tiny House, Tiny House Construction, Tiny House Design | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

A Pattern Language for Tiny Houses

One of my favorite design books is “A Pattern Language” by Christopher Alexander.

It has so many useful suggestions for what makes design good – for what makes towns / buildings / spaces function well and be spaces that fit people’s needs and desires.  It is set up starting from macro (the distribution of towns) to micro (half inch trim), describing all the elements of towns, buildings, and construction.

I was reading it the other day and realized that a Tiny House is perfectly set up to meet many of the patterns.  Such as:

  • 79.   Your Own Home
  • 105.  South Facing Outdoors
  • 109.  Long Thin House
  • 117.  Sheltering Roof
  • 128.  Indoor Sunlight
  • 159.  Light on Two Sides of Every Room
  • 188.  Bed Alcove
  • 190.  Ceiling Height Variety
  • 222.  Low Sill

79.  Your Own Home.

The book says “People cannot be genuinely comfortable and healthy in a house which is not theirs.  All forms of rental–whether from private landlords or public housing agencies–work against the natural process which allow people to form stable, self-healing communities. … Keep the emphasis in the definition of ownership on control, not on financial ownership. …  give people the physical opportunity to modify and repair their own places.”

This pattern isn’t about the american dream, or commerce, or profit… it’s about responsibility and stewardship, which are healthy and necessary (in my opinion.)  Our tiny house is the first home I have ever owned.  I have been renting for about 14 years… living in about that many different apartments, houses, etc.  Well.  Just apartments and houses.  I never rented anything too unusual…  haha.  And I have been craving a home of my own… a place to nurture and create and carve around me and my family.  Hooray for tiny houses and for my husband, who has the skills and the persistence to build our house.

105.  South Facing Outdoors.

South Facing Outdoors

Because a Tiny House is mobile, it can be re-positioned seasonally.  We have two large windows designed for passive solar heating in the winter, but now, during the summer, we have those facing north, to limit any solar gain.

109.  Long Thin House.

Long Thin House

This pattern is so different from how homes are currently built.  but it makes so much sense.  Gets daylight and natural ventilation into all the rooms.  No dark spaces inside.  And, smaller structural members can be used to build it, saving resources and costs and labor.

117.  Sheltering Roof.

Sheltering Roof sketches

I love the way Tiny Houses accomplish this Pattern.  No wasted attic space.  And a beautiful spacious vault inside.  Which, when you read the pattern, it explains that dwelling in the roof space actually causes the building to envelop the inhabitants, making it personal and cozy.

128.  Indoor Sunlight.

Indoor Sunlight

this Pattern says  “If the right rooms are facing south, a house is bright and sunny and cheerful; if the wrong rooms are facing south, the house is dark and gloomy.”  A tiny house can easily achieve this because every room can face south… and it can be repositioned seasonally to face the largest windows toward the south in the winter.

159.  Light on Two Sides of Every Room.

Light on Two Sides.

This one is obvious and easy for the Tiny House to achieve.  I love all the daylight inside our Tiny House.  I think the white painted finish inside helps amplify the light, but I also think the house’s small size lends toward generous daylight.  We never need to use electric lights during the day.  It is such a happy, bright, sunny space.

188.  Bed Alcove.

Bed Alcove.

I was surprised when I first read this Pattern – “you mean we don’t need entire rooms to sleep in?”  No way!   People feel safer (and thus sleep better) when they’re enclosed on three sides, without a lot of space floating around them in their sleep.  And, if you’ve done any research on curing insomnia, they suggest to reserve your bedroom for sleeping, and this will help preserve it as a place of calm relaxation.  So, if we’re just sleeping in there, why not a bed alcove?  And then another space for clothes and dressing.  Our bed alcove is wonderful!  So cozy.  I love how the bed is slightly elevated and has small windows for views outside, as well as a view into the main part of the house.

190.  Ceiling Height Variety.

Ceiling Height Variety achieved by an elevated floor.

Ceiling Height Variety achieved with a loft.

the Pattern says “A building in which the ceiling heights are all the same is virtually incapable of making people comfortable.”

Ceiling height variety is one of those things that I don’t really notice, except when it’s not there…  I’ve lived in so many rental houses that had 8′-0 ceilings throughout.  They felt so… flat.  And squatty.  And, I don’t know how to describe it.  But the design idea is to allow higher ceilings for those rooms with more occupants and more boisterous activities – like living rooms and kitchens maybe, but spaces that are meant for quiet, seated activities, or for sleeping, should have lower ceilings – providing the intimacy required.  Tiny Houses are perfectly set up to achieve this pattern.  The second photo looks almost exactly like the Tumbleweed style of Tiny House.  The first photo is more like our Tiny House, except we have a closet (and a gooseneck hitch) under our bed platform.


We’re doing well living in our tiny house!  the toilet is still a work in progress.  Incinolet claims it should be odor free.  It’s not – there is a horrible odor outside.  It makes me not want to use the toilet, which isn’t a very homey feeling!  We’re going to try a new heating element.  And in the meantime, I’m reading the Humanure Handbook by Jenkins.  I wish we had a place to start a humanure compost pile, then I would definitely go that route, but we don’t right now, as we’re renting land to park our house on.

Shane has been working on editing video footage that we took the last time we took the house out for a drive and we’ll post that awesome video soon!

hope everyone is well.  we love hearing all your thoughts and comments on tiny living, etc.

– Carrie

Categories: Tiny House Design | Tags: | 9 Comments

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