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Cut-rate Chimera? No, the Triton stands on its own – for $30K less!

We really liked Wind River’s eclectically designed Chimera, so when we heard them describe their Triton as a simplified version we knew we had to check it out. (Well, the truth is we’ve liked everything we’ve seen from the Chattanooga area company… but back to the Triton.) The 26-foot THOW does do without the Chimera’s solar capability, its amazing wood-and-stone bathroom, and a couple of high-end kitchen appliances, but other than that it’s hard to see how you’re giving up much with this model – and you’re saving over thirty grand; the first Triton cost just about $57,000. You also get one nice feature the Chimera doesn’t have: a small semi-private workspace next to the bathroom. Find it in the photos below.

An exterior accent wall showcases the bright blue door on this unit.

Looking down from the master loft you can see the living area and the kitchen that straddles the rear of the house.

Since everything’s confined to the end wall there’s not much counter space, but we love the metal pantry!

As in the Chimera, the washer/dryer is under the stairs; the fridge isn’t, so there’s more storage space here.

Here’s the study, with a lovely built-in desk. Great if you work from home – and potty breaks have never been easier!

Even though it’s sharing width with the office space, the bathroom is complete and looks navigable enough.

Decent ceiling height and natural lighting – on one side of the bed, anyway.

May 18, 2017 / by / in
A custom park model from a customer-friendly company

DC area builder Humble Houses describes its 420-square-foot DreamWood as a “luxurious park model”, and that seems about right. This is a big, spacious home with lots of elbow room in the sitting area, the appliance-heavy kitchen, and the elegantly appointed bathroom. Of course there’s also a ground-floor master bedroom, and here Humble Houses has been even more generous with the space. There’s plenty of room to walk around the queen bed to the his-and-hers wardrobes on either side – but during the day, you don’t have to! The bed is a custom murphy model, and when it folds up, a desk folds down to turn the private bedroom into a private home office. We usually see murphy beds in smaller THOWs, but putting one in a park model turns out to be a great touch that effectively gives you a whole extra room and greatly expands the functionality of the home.

The DreamWood costs $85,000–$110,000, depending on how it’s finished, meaning it’s not exactly the cheapest park model you can find. A brand-new Kropf Island series is less than $70K, for example. You do get more in the way of custom craftsmanship from Humble Houses, though, and there are several additional reasons you might want to go with this company. If you’re interested in one of their units (they also make 24- and 28-footers), they’ll let you stay in one of their display models for a couple of nights so you can make sure it’s a good fit. If you buy one, they’ll donate 10% of the sale to autism outreach. They’ll also provide you with a parking spot for the first six months. And if you decide to leave your humble house for good, they’ll buy it back for up to 80% of what you paid.

Modern/classic exterior styling comes standard; a fold-up deck is optional.

Taking the long view.

The counter between the living room and kitchen doubles as the dining table.

Full-size appliances and a wall made of 150-year-old reclaimed barn wood.

The bathroom is a flawless blend of space, storage and sophisticated finish.

Two rooms in one, thanks to the fold-up bed and a fold-down desk.

May 15, 2017 / by / in
A Peace Corps volunteer’s tiny retirement plan

Rachel Jones was home on the last Christmas vacation of a 27-month stretch in the Peace Corps when she started to think seriously about where she would live when she returned to Kentucky for good. She’d been a casual follower of the tiny house movement for a while, but home ownership of any size or shape had seemed pretty far in the future. Suddenly, it didn’t. She spent a little time looking at small-not-tiny houses and apartments in the area and quickly decided she couldn’t afford anything good enough to call home. And as her mother had just introduced her to HGTV’s Tiny House Hunters, Rachel began to wonder whether a THOW might be her best bet after all. She could use reclaimed materials to keep the cost down, and she could take it with her if she needed to move for work…

Well, you can guess the rest; upon returning to her Peace Corps posting, Rachel worked up a design and found a great deal on a Craigslist trailer, which her father bought for her while she was still overseas. When she came back, they built her house together. Here it is.

The locally milled cedar siding was sourced from the Jones’s own property.

The very cushiony seats of the dining table fold down into a queen size mattress.

Tableware on shelves and hangers gives a rustic touch to the kitchen; more storage is under the counter.

Positioning the kitchen sink right next to the shower must have simplified the plumbing.

The toilet, though, is a composting unit.

Instead of a bathroom sink, there’s a small closet for clothes and toiletries.

May 14, 2017 / by / in
Gypsy Mermaid: a watercolor dollhouse brought to life

The gentle charm of the Gypsy Mermaid bespeaks its origin in watercolor. That’s the medium Rebekah Sofia used for her first concept sketches, drawing on no experience but that of building her own dollhouses as a little girl. Valuable experience nonetheless, as when she and her husband Robert began building the 26-foot house in 2015 they found there wasn’t much they needed to change.

Construction-wise, they had a fair idea what they were doing. They’d remodeled their first home together, Rebekah had worked in interior design, and Robert had learned a thing or two growing up with his homebuilder father. Robert concentrated on the structural elements, the cabinetry, and the giant pizza oven (see photo below!); Rebekah handled many of the more decorative features like carving and paintwork.

Using reclaimed materials and doing everything but the spray foam insulation themselves, the couple spent only about $15,000 on the build. After working on it a couple of days a week for a year and a half, they’re now getting ready to take it on the road. Supported by Robert’s window washing business, they’ll visit friends, stay at RV parks, and check out some of the tiny house villages popping up across the country. First up, though? A big yard sale to get rid of everything that won’t fit inside!

The soft hues of artistically delineated cypress and sheet metal define the shabby chic exterior.

The salvaged French doors open onto a built-in couch in the central living area.

There’s a bathroom behind, and a beautifully detailed home in front!

The wood-burning pizza oven is insulated with ceramic cloth to keep the outside cool.

Photos Ocala Style

h/t Tiny House Talk

May 10, 2017 / by / in
HouseBox’s all-wood house truck

On first glance, Helga could pass for a custom THOW built on a truck instead of a trailer, but it’s actually a (very thorough) conversion. The truck in question, a 1989 Mercedes 814, began its career as a horsebox, which is British English for horse trailer. The beautiful remodel is the work of Somerset outfit HouseBox, who, as their name implies, have some experience with this sort of thing. (They also do other conversions and original custom builds.) Helga was in a bare-bones state when they got her, so after scouring her down to bare wood and metal they had a free hand for the rebuild. Now she’s off-grid capable and has an amazing natural wood interior with a full kitchen and bathroom, a sleeping loft, and a cozy living room with storage under the stairs and under the seats.

The enclosure across from the kitchen holds the bathroom (featuring a corrugated metal shower stall) as well as utilities and the solar batteries.

The kitchen sink can be covered when not in use to provide extra counter space.

While the kitchen is accented by blue paint and copper fittings, the living room is a completely woody experience – there’s even a tree trunk!

Naturally shaped logs also frame the entrance to the small, well-lit sleeping loft.

h/t Curbed

May 9, 2017 / by / in
David Cameron’s Red Sky Shepherds Hut

David Cameron may have left office in ignominy over the Brexit botch, but he’s found a very classy way to join the tiny house movement. It’s a 16×7 wheeled garden shed from Red Sky Shepherds Huts of Oxfordshire, and it cost £25,000 ($32,000) after customization with options like painted wood siding, hardwood stable doors, a Salamander woodstove, and a pull-out double sofa bed. David’s wife, Samantha, chose the design upgrades and the Farrow & Ball paint scheme in colors listed as Clunch, Old White and Mouse’s Back. More standard features include timber-frame construction, sheep’s wool insulation, and tongue-and-groove pine walls inside (base price is £16,500/$21,000).

David looks awfully pleased with his purchase. He’s planning to write his memoirs inside – if he can keep it away from his children…

David with Red Sky owner Paul Bennett, who built the hut with his son Adam. Hard to say who’s prouder!

Traditional black-painted metal wheels.

The Salamander is set in the corner.

Kirkpatrick hinges; the fittings are high-end throughout.

h/t Guardian

Apr 30, 2017 / by / in
An $800 popup home that anyone can put together

It may not look like much, but this particle-board-and-corrugated-metal prototype could be the most practical tiny house solution yet proposed to meet the needs of the urban poor in developing and newly industrialized countries. It’s located on the terrace of the Cuckoo Hostel in Bangalore, India, and is currently occupied by the hostel’s founder, Rajat Kukreja. Designed by Sampath Reddy, an aerospace engineer who runs a modular building company called Popup Housing, the house is built on a Lego-like frame of slotted angle iron fastened together with nuts and bolts. That makes it very easy to set up – or take down, if it has to be moved – and because all of the structural materials are readily available on the scrap market, the whole thing cost less than $800. It’s already wired for electricity, and Rajat and Sampath plan to add solar panels, a rainwater catchment system, and insulating vertical garden walls. Ultimately they want to scale up the project and partner with local governments to have their structures located on unused public land as affordable housing. They’re also seeking crowdfunding to explore adding plumbing, using more sustainable materials, and developing larger-sized models. (Let’s just hope that doesn’t end up making things too complicated – and expensive.)

Rajat not only lives in the prototype – he has his office and music studio there as well.

Although the very lightweight construction means that the house won’t be a permanent structure, it should last five or six years, and almost all of its components can be further recycled.

Sampath (center) and Rajat (right) pose with Marvin Diaz inside their creation.

h/t Eartha

Apr 26, 2017 / by / in
THOW-and-lot combo on Orcas Island showcases Shibui’s first build

Granted, if you owned 3½ acres of property overlooking Orcas Island’s beautiful East Sound, you might not really want to go anywhere else. But now you can – own it and leave it in the comfort of your own home – with an unusual THOW-and-lot combination for sale at $349,000 through Orcas Island Realty. The THOW in question is a 20-footer with a vardo-style curved roof manufactured in 2016 by Shibui Woodworking of Banks, Oregon. It appears to be their first build, and it looks outstanding!

Mixed cedar siding under the standing seam metal roof makes for an exterior that almost competes with the view behind it.

With a forest of tall trees and not a neighbor in sight, the view on the other side’s not half bad either, and as you can see the property comes with a tiger wood deck and a shed as well.

We’ve kvetched about prices in the San Juan Islands more than once, but with scenery like this and the fact that a high-quality custom THOW alone runs around $75K these days, $350K for the combo actually seems kind of reasonable… are we just getting jaded?

The woodwork inside of the house is a really nice blend of alder and Brazilian cherry in contrasting orientations.

Check out the detail on the Douglas fir tansu stairs – that’s some skillful cabinetmaking!

Located directly across from the kitchen counter and under the loft, the bathroom is on the small side, but it does manage to hold a toilet, a shower, and a very nice Italian tile floor.

h/t Curbed

Apr 26, 2017 / by / in
Muji Huts now available at tiny house village; enter full release in fall

It’s been a couple of years since Japanese conglomerate Muji rolled out its Muji Hut division by showcasing three concept models at Tokyo Midtown Design Touch 2015. None of those ended up making it into production, but now the official Muji Hut has officially arrived. The 98-square-foot hut, which Muji developed based on market response to the 2015 prototypes, will go for three million yen, about 27,000 US dollars.

It’s currently on limited release as part of the Shirahama School House tiny house village, a multi-use development located on the grounds of a shuttered elementary school and featuring individual garden plots alongside communal kitchen and bathroom facilities and shared mini-offices. It sounds like a great idea, and apparently demand is high enough that the first Muji huts to be located there will be sold by lottery. (You can request a tour of the place here if you know enough Japanese to fill out the form.) Unrestricted nationwide availability is scheduled for the fall, but there are no plans to ship outside of Japan.


The timber-framed hut has a galvalume roof and oil-stain burnt cedar siding. It’s meant to be situated on a concrete foundation.

Interior walls are structural plywood with a cypress veneer; the floor has a mortar finish.

You expect minimalism from Muji, and that’s exactly what you get. Hut residents not fortunate enough to secure a spot at Shirahama School House will be getting to know their local restaurants, laundromats and bathhouses very well indeed!

It sure is a nice place to sleep, though, and Muji says it fits up to four for that purpose. Given the lack of facilities we’re not sure we’d want to live here full-time, but it looks like it would make a great weekend cabin.

h/t SoraNews24

Apr 25, 2017 / by / in
A skinny Cornish cottage with spectacular sea views

This ultra-charming 339-square-foot seaside cottage in the Cornish village of Porthleven, known locally as the Doll’s House, was listed in February and for some totally inexplicable reason is still on the market. (Well, its quarter-million-pound price tag could have something to do with that, and no, we’re not converting that into dollars, because if you have to ask…) It looks quite cute between two larger homes and even has a little patio out front.

But the real action, view-wise, is across the street, where you can see the Porthleven’s harbor and the famed Lizard Peninsula a bit farther off.

You get a slightly reduced view of the same from the small reception area / dining room just inside the front door.

The ground floor continues with a cozy and quite functional looking kitchen.

After passing a bathroom in the back, you come to a rear-facing bedroom upstairs.

Across from that is a sitting room/library where you can read a book or watch TV.

But then again, the sea view’s even better from up here, and there’s a tempting window seat from which to enjoy it.

h/t Tiny House Talk

Apr 24, 2017 / by / in