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Steve Selby’s incredibly complete Econoline conversion is also incredibly inexpensive

Considering that we profiled a $140,000 THOW just the other day, $15,000 sounds even better than usual for a professionally built place with all the necessities. And since this one isn’t a THOW but a conversion of a 1991 Ford Econoline van, that price actually includes a fully functional vehicle along with everything else. It’s not one of your stealth conversions, either, having been covered with a layer of bamboo, so you could probably learn to love it even if you’re more of a THOW fan. It’s been completely insulated, wired and plumbed, and has a fresh water reservoir and a black water storage tank. Inside, there’s a bathroom, kitchen, dining booth, built-in storage, and sleeping for up to five! While it’s not slickly finished, it does have a nice all-wood interior featuring cypress and pine with bamboo and cedar accents and an oiled oak floor. It was created in 2015 by Steve Selby, an architect from Los Angeles; Steve seems like a pretty interesting guy, and certainly has a lot of interesting builds on his website, so be sure to have a look at that as well: You can find the listing for the van at

Sleeping for one over storage space in the back.

The dinette folds down so two more people can sleep here.

You can see the 5-cubic-foot fridge/freezer and the porcelain mini-toilet behind the bathroom door.

The kitchen includes a stainless steel sink and a small oven with a four-burner range. The master bedroom is up the ladder over the cab.

h/t Tiny House Talk

Sep 18, 2017 / by / in
New Frontier’s Escher expands the Alpha for family living

New Frontier’s newest, the Escher, is an extension of their well-received first build, the open-midsection Alpha. A quite literal extension: the Escher has been lengthened to 33 feet and set on a triple-axle gooseneck trailer to accommodate the needs of the family who commissioned it. They’ve kept the enormous glass garage-style /sliding doors in the middle, as well as the extremely high-end kitchen, and once again the central area is left open until the dining table comes out at mealtimes. The new additions include a master bedroom over the gooseneck, a home office, and a safe & secure child’s bedroom in the loft.

It’s a lot to fit into THOW, even one with 300 square feet of floor space, and the strain shows in the office area. It’s pretty tight to begin with, and even worse it’s the only way to get to and from the loft – i.e., the child’s room. Unless you’re blessed with Zen master level imperturbability, we’re guessing you’d probably start rethinking the whole work-from-home concept after the dozenth or so time your kid clambers over your back while you’re trying to beat a deadline! You’ve got the same problem if anyone else wants to use the bathroom, as the door’s right behind the workspace. Like the much smaller Cedar Mountain, this seems like a case of New Frontier trying to do just a little too much with the available space.

But the rest of the Escher looks perfectly functional – and gorgeous! – so the inadequate office is hardly a deal breaker if you have a nine-to-five job. Just make sure it’s a well-paid nine-to-five job – the Escher starts at US$139,900.

The Escher’s exterior features a trio of western red cedar, shou sugi ban cedar, and standing seam sheet metal.

With the dining table and bench seating packed under the kitchen floor, there’s lots of room for lounging and enjoying the view.

Kitchen amenities include a mini-dishwasher, a Whirlpool fridge, a Wolf oven, and a washer dryer (moved from the bathroom placement of the Alpha).

The bedroom holds a king bed and not much else, but ceiling height is much improved over the Alpha’s loft.

Here’s the office; it looks like you could rest your right elbow on the ladder and your back on the bathroom door behind you.

Probably due to the lack of free space in the master bedroom, the bathroom has a clothes closet and functions as the dressing room.

Unlike the Alpha, the Escher has no bathtub, but this is a very fine shower stall!

The bed part of the child’s bedroom can be closed off to create an exceptionally safe loft sleeping space.

The Alpha’s dining table seated eight; the Escher’s seats an incredible twelve!

h/t New Atlas

Sep 17, 2017 / by / in
iKozie: Well-designed modular housing for the homeless

UK charity The Homeless Foundation has come up with its own modular tiny house to assist people transitioning out of homelessness. A prototype of the 186-square-foot iKozie was recently installed in the back garden of a full-size house the group owns in Worcester. Set on a shallow foundation, it’s currently being fitted out for single occupancy and has a waiting list to move in. Unsurprisingly – the iKozie is quite well-designed and, for a house of this size, full-featured. It has separate spaces for the living room and bedroom, a tiny but full kitchen (which even contains a washing machine), a bathroom module, and a surprising amount of storage (much of it in the most logical place for it, the bedroom). The house cost about £40,000 ($54,000), comparable to the higher-end tiny houses for the homeless we’ve seen in Duluth and Detroit. Given the UK’s insane property market, it’s probably even more of a bargain over there – and given the iKozie’s functionality, The Homeless Foundation could probably ship a few of these to the States and sell them at a profit. (If you want to send a few bucks their way in the meantime, you can make donations here.)

The iKozie is easily delivered by truck…

…and, for tight spaces, crane.

The steel-framed house features larch siding, a corrugated iron roof, and enough insulation to give it an ‘A’ energy efficiency rating – and the occupant a quiet night’s sleep.

The bathroom module is behind the couch; in front of it, a divider holds the TV and separates the area from the kitchen.

The designers admit that the bed’s a bit short, but say it was a compromise they had to make to get adequate storage space.

h/t Guardian

Sep 15, 2017 / by / in ,
How a widowed East German artist found a new life in a New Zealand house truck

High in the clouds New Zealand’s Golden Bay, up a steep hill and over five streams, you’ll find this beautiful handcrafted house truck. Built by master furniture maker Paul Wellington, it’s belonged to Luane Brauner for the past eight years. Luane, an artist who grew up in East Germany, had moved to New Zealand a couple of years earlier following the death of her husband. When a friend introduced her to someone who owned a house truck, she decided she wanted one of her own. She found a great one – and a great place to park it – and say she loves it more and more every day.

Credit for the story, and for the photos and video below, goes to Jola Josie, who grew up in a house truck traveling to gypsy fairs around New Zealand and made it her one-year mission to document the lifestyle of the country’s modern ‘gypsies’ (who are, for the most part, no relation to the Romany ones). See lots more house trucks (and Luane’s studio) on her website,!

h/t Tiny House Talk

Sep 13, 2017 / by / in
Vintage RV remodel keeps the period look, updates the tech

Whoever remodeled this 1955 Spartan Royal Mansion RV wasn’t much interested in updating it, visually at least. Although the interior was rebuilt from scratch, the décor is still spot-on 1950s mid-century modern. It’s kind of camp, but it’s kind of cute, too. The remodeler did take the opportunity to modernize the 34-footer’s appliances, so the stove and refrigerator are brand new, and there’s a lot of tech that just wasn’t available in 1955, including a microwave oven, a mini-split climate control unit, a Bluetooth surround sound system, and a smart TV. The RV, now called Spartacus, found a ready buyer and was last seen somewhere in Kentucky.

h/t Tiny House Town

Sep 11, 2017 / by / in
Build Tiny’s Millennial rolls doubles with two incredibly useful innovations

Here’s a new THOW from New Zealand that has all the standard features – kitchen, bathroom, sleeping loft – a lot of the nice-to-have ones – full-size appliances, washer/dryer – and a couple of very useful, very unique ones.

Build Tiny’s Millennial prototype has big glass doors facing each other across the midsection, plus plenty of double glazed windows on either side of them, so it’s going to be light-filled in any season and pleasantly breezy in the summer when opened up to take advantage of the cross ventilation. The clean, modern interior design will have widespread appeal, and the amount of storage space is truly admirable for such an uncluttered 24-foot house.

A lot of that storage is underfloor and in well-placed cabinets, but a lot of it comes from one of the really innovative bits of the Millennial. The stairs to the king size sleeping loft pull out from a set of cabinets that forms the bathroom wall, meaning that there’s storage space both above and below them. Basically, that’s twice as much volume as conventional storage stairs!

The Millennial’s other original feature, a fully functional home office in the secondary loft, may be even more useful. Some tiny houses have built-in office space, but it’s often an afterthought, a cramped desk area that’s not particularly convenient either for the worker or anyone who’s sharing the house with them. Build Tiny has definitely solved that problem; see the photos to see how they did it, then watch the video tour for more.

Here you see the only bad thing about the office loft: access. You have to climb over the kitchen counter and up the wall-mounted ladder to get to it.

Once you’re up there, though, you have privacy, a spacious desk, and a window to look out of. But do you have to sit in Lotus position?

No – just like in a Japanese restaurant, your legs drop down, in this case to rest on the top of the kitchen cabinets.

Slide out the stairs…

…and up you go, right over the coffee table.

There’s no tub, and just a basic composting toilet, but you get extra cabinet space thanks to those stairs and extra headroom thanks to a drop floor.

Sep 9, 2017 / by / in
Tiny House Warriors take on the Trans Mountain pipeline

Tiny house activism has usually meant non-confrontational efforts to reform building codes and zoning regulations, but now a group called the Tiny House Warriors is using tiny houses to take a direct-action approach to a much more controversial issue.

They’re members of the indigenous Secwepemc Nation, and they’re aiming to place ten tiny houses in the path of a pipeline proposed to pass through their land in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Their leader, Kanahus Manuel, says the Secwepemc haven’t consented to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and don’t want it due to the potential for environmental damage. She’s hoping that having people living along the proposed route will provide additional leverage for stopping the project. (Secwepemc Nation territory, like much of British Columbia, is rather sparsely populated.)

Kanahus, along with her four children, stayed in a tiny house for several months while participating in the Standing Rock protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline. She realized that tiny houses would be a relatively easy way of occupying threatened land, and that small structures would also make good sites for cultural activities like language camps and traditional tattooing.

With financial support from Greenpeace Canada, which also opposes the Trans Mountain pipeline, the Tiny House Warriors started building the first of their tiny houses on September 7, 2017. They’re planning to finish the other nine within the month to coincide with the beginning of work on the pipeline. Will they make it? Well, as the photos below show, tiny house builds go pretty fast when you have enough people helping!

h/t Huffington Post

Sep 9, 2017 / by / in
Small house on the harbor with a great nautical interior

This small house is located right on the water of historic Rockport (Massachusetts) Harbor, a site so quaintly charming that it’s a well-known mecca for tourists, artists and photographers. So let’s get one thing out of the way straight off: It’s not cheap. It’s not even pricey. It’s $688,000, i.e., pretty close to fourteen hundred dollars for each of its 496 square feet. Location, location, location, right? But hey, if you can imagine it being transported to some stretch of coast where you could actually afford to live, it’s a pretty nice little place. It’s not nearly as old as the harbor, having been built in 1974, but the Yale-trained architect who designed it took pains to pay tribute to area traditions – and to the lobstermen’s shack that formerly stood on this very site. Aside from a small, chic bathroom, the interior is open-plan, with a classic (and surprisingly unpretentious) nautical style and, of course, lots of windows for those enviable harbor views. From a tiny house standpoint, it has an ample sleeping loft and, although it’s on-grid, makes use of an on-demand water heater and a cast iron stove, both powered by propane.

The granite steps lead up to Rockport’s many restaurants and boutiques.

You can see the Atlantic Ocean from here, as well as the world-famous Motif Number 1.

Premium insulated windows let the lucky owner (an artist) enjoy the view in comfort year-round.

Exposed plywood, exposed plumbing, and what looks a lot like a coffee can utensil holder keep things down-to-earth in the kitchen.

The tile-and-glass bathroom’s a different story. (Well, ship’s bathrooms aren’t generally reckoned to be the most charming part of shipboard life!)

Lovely light – and lots of space – in the sleeping loft.

h/t Curbed

Sep 7, 2017 / by / in
Part pyramid, part cathedral, the Prism captures the essence of the peri-urban landscape

With a pyramidal core and two sphinxlike extensions staring out over Bordeaux’s Lac de la Blanche, Lou Andréa Lassalle’s Prism obviously takes some of its inspiration from Ancient Egypt. But hardly all of it: The two stained glass walls call to mind France’s great cathedrals, and the timber construction signifies the actual purpose of the place as a weekend cabin. It’s a very interesting mix of elements, and that might be part of the point. The Prism is a facility of Refuges Périurbains, an organization which maintains a number of whimsical small structures for Bordelais looking to get out of the city for a night or two. The name translates easily enough as “Peri-urban Refuges,” and the peri-urban part refers to areas which have a mixture of urban and rural elements. The Prism, Lassalle explains, is “a place between two dimensions” that “evokes the esotericism of the waterbank where local fish, monsters from the depths, high voltage towers and natural fog mix.” On a more practical level, it sleeps eight, contains a composting toilet, and one-night stays are free! Reservation information is here, and our article on Les Guetteurs, another Refuges Périurbains project, is here.

h/t Tree Hugger

Sep 7, 2017 / by / in
Timbercraft Ridgewood

The Ridgewood is a very capable, very attractive mid-size (28-foot) tiny house on wheels from Timbercraft Tiny Homes. It has a large dormer loft on each end, but most of the action is on the ground floor. It’s nicely finished in classic style, with a pleasant sitting room in the back, plenty of built-in storage, and plenty of room to move around, especially in the central kitchen area. The highlights include a full set of appliances, a cozy dining booth, a large bathroom with a beautiful claw-foot tub, and big skylights on either side of the peaked roof.

h/t Tiny House Talk

Aug 31, 2017 / by / in