While the "tiny house" movement started back in the late 90s, these micro living spaces have grown in popularity over the last decade—particularly following the subprime mortgage crisis in 2007-2008. With housing loans becoming harder to obtain and financial burdens on potential homeowners growing ever larger, many are turning to tiny houses to downsize their lives and monetary obligations. Tiny houses are frequently less than 300 square feet, but that doesn't mean that they are all about sacrificing luxury. To prove that, we've compiled a list of some thoughtful and innovative tiny house designs, which show that you can still live large and enjoy life to the fullest while reducing your home's overall footprint.
If you'd like to learn more about tiny houses and sustainable living, you should definitely check out the YouTube channel of Kirsten Dirksen, a blogger for Huffington Post and sustainable living enthusiast who focuses her videos on these topics and more. In particular, be sure to watch the hour-and-a-half long documentary she made on tiny houses: We The Tiny House People. In the meantime, check out these amazing tiny houses for some awesome examples of what can be accomplished with hard work, a small budget, and a tiny space.
Minimal and mortgage-free
In 2011, architect Macy Miller began constructing her 196-square-foot tiny home near Boise, Idaho. During the construction process, she met James, who soon moved in with her as they completed the build. With a flatbed trailer foundation and clad in recycled pallet wood siding, Macy and James' home is a minimalist take on the tiny house movement. Their tiny house is filled with tons of hidden storage space, and the abundant natural light makes the interior seem spacious, despite the small footprint. It provides plenty of room for the couple, their two children, Hazel and Miles, and their Great Dane, Denver. In 2015, the couple renovated, enclosing the back porch in corrugated tin to provide an attractive additional living space. In total, Macy and James spent just over $11,000 on their tiny house, which provides their family with a great home and allows them to live both rent and mortgage-free.
The Arado weehouse
Alchemy Architects designed and built this gorgeous modern cabin on the Minnesota prairie for a violinist of the Minnesota Orchestra and her family. Their tiny home clocks in at 336 square feet, and came with a modest price tag of $60,000. The beautiful house features off-the-grid living, floor-to-ceiling windows, Douglas fir interiors, and built-in cabinetry and kitchen elements furnished by IKEA. The exterior is clad in painted fiber-cement siding, which provides a rustic look that stands up to the elements, while also being extremely durable and fire-resistant.
A woodsy studio
This beautiful mid-century modern tiny house is located in the backwoods of Chappaqua, New York. Constructed by the design team at Workshop/APD, they found two perfect rock outcroppings to bookend this micro home. At 300 square feet, this tiny home is intimate, but with unique storage spaces, walnut interiors, and inspired use of windows and decking, it maximizes the impact of the great outdoors and gives a luxurious touch. Exterior siding of Ipe wood—also known as Brazilian walnut—continues the natural motif, which allows the home to blend seamlessly into its surroundings, while offering a full package of beauty and durability.
Are you interested in tiny houses, but not sure if you're ready to change your lifestyle to a smaller space? Consider renting a tiny house for a night or two to try it out. Hidden among the trees in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, this former silo was repurposed into a sculptor's studio before becoming a sought-after rental property. The "Silo Studio" is surrounded by picturesque gardens, nearby ponds, and even a babbling brook. For $225 per night, you will get a two-story cottage with canopied bed upstairs and charming living space downstairs. You'll enjoy the peace and quiet of the secluded location, and hikers will love the nearby access to the famed Appalachian Trail.