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434sf “Pocket House” May Be Tiny But It Wins Big On Style Points

This small backyard dwelling was designed by Jason Swift and Wendy Turner of Swift Architecture. Clocking in at an ample 434 square feet, the home has a clean and classy design, with a functional kitchenette, living room, and a sleeping loft in addition to a closed off bedroom. In these photos, the home is situated snugly in an unassuming backyard in Portland’s vibrant Mississippi neighborhood.


A view down from the sleeping loft shows off the robust living and kitchen area. Warm French doors open the space out to an exterior entry deck.


The interiors are warm but clean, making the space feel more open despite it’s modest footprint.


The large openings out towards the deck bring in plenty of natural light.


The interiors are playfully decorated to give the home a bit of lived-in charm. 


Clever use of open, off-the-shelf materials and components give the kitchenette expanded functionality and style.


The master bedroom opens up to a small private garden.



White subway tile gives the bathroom a contemporary feel, aligning with the Scandinavian theme that runs through the whole design.


The welcoming entry deck shows off the simple use of vertical wood siding to create a clean, attractive exterior.


Mar 5, 2015 / by / in
The Exbury Egg Is Unlike Any Houseboat You’ve Seen Before

A mobile office like this begs to have puns thrown at it till the roof caves in but the fact remains, it’s damn cool. This egg-shaped work of art doubling as a floatable living/work space has the unique ability to float down a lazy stream or open lake, tethering itself to wherever it may rest. An artist by trade, Stephen Turner created the egg as a response and a commentary on climate change. The structure rises and falls as the tide goes in and out, speaking to the gradual climb in ocean levels due to glacial melt. Turner has created a piece of infrastructure that is potentially immune to an impending natural catastrophe such as a flood, though he may need to add a stockpile of food and a small bed if he’s planning on an extended stay inside there.

Despite its unorthodox size and shape, the egg fits in well with its surroundings. 


The egg is loosely tethered to the shore, and a floating dock allows for access at low and high tide.

The Exbury Egg

Openings such as this oculus bring an abundance of light into the eggs interior. Not a bad place for a siesta!

Exbury Egg

Over time, the exterior wood will develop a patina as it comes and goes with the tide, reinforcing its connection with nature.exbury-egg-3

 The egg’s skeletal structure is exposed on the interior, telling the inhabitants the story of its construction.


 Seen here is a detail of the structural wood ribs, giving a nod to traditional ship-making techniques.


Images by Nigel Rigden | h/t tiny house swoon

While the egg looks like a perfect specimen, like anything on this earth, it will develop some wear and tear from use. “It will take on the patina of 730 daily tides below the water line, and 365 days of weathering by wind, rain and bleaching by the sun above,” writes Stephen on his website.

For more on the Exbury Egg, visit: Stephen Turner’s Exbury Egg


Mar 5, 2015 / by / in
Tiny Backyard Home With “Floating” Loft Brings The Colorado Rockies To Texas

This tiny house resides in the backyard of an ambitious Austin resident who wasn’t happy settling with a pea patch and a couple of koi ponds. Built on a 12′ flat bed trailer out of mostly reclaimed materials, this guest house provides big Texas living in a cozy 100 square feet of floor area. Rocky Mountain Tiny Homes, who designed and build to home, have effectively dubbed it the “Funky East Austin Rental.” Funky, indeed. If it appears that the interiors are fit for a mountain cabin in, say, Boulder, Colorado, it’s because they are! The owners were inspired by a similar home the company built in Boulder and were set on providing guests with a lodge-style experience from the comforts of their backyard.

The home was built from salvaged materials in Colorado before being shipped to Austin. That’s Rocky Mountain wood!


The small footprint means everything must shrink, including the highly functional mini-kitchen.


Exposed pipes in the bathroom add rustic charm while saving valuable space.


Ropes hang from the bed loft that support a swinging couch, adding a bit of Texas flair.


The vaulted ceiling opens up the footprint to allow for a sleeping loft that hangs above the living room.


The builders were able to set the home manually, without any need for a crane or other heavy machinery. 


The reclaimed wood and corrugated steel exterior blends well with the stylistic expression of the backyard.


Despite its small stature, the interiors flow well without ever feeling cramped for space. 


Photo Credit: Mandy Harris Urban Oak Photography

For more information: Rocky Mountain Tiny Homes

Mar 5, 2015 / by / in
A Skinny “Near House” In The Far East

Enter Tokyo, Japan – a culture and a city built upon geographic limitation and spatial efficiency. This home is one of many like it that maximizes function on a narrow rectangular footprint; using vertical design to enhance the perception of space. The “Near House”, designed by Mount Fuji Architect Studio fits neatly into its site and exhibits a clean, modern facade that gives little indication of the spaces beyond.  But once you get through the discrete front door, you are greeted with tall ceilings, rows of bookshelves, and plenty of design ingenuity that makes this house unique.

The house opens up the the rear yard with towering floor to ceiling windows, showing off the tall interiors. 


If the door weren’t open, you’d be hard pressed to find a way into this stark street-facing facade!


Many of the interior walls are lined with shelves, which provides storage and speak creates a visual relationship to the floor structure above.


The bathroom is sleek and subdued, echoing the conceptual feel of the rest of the house.


So much for privacy! The shower opens out to a semi-screened exterior patio.


Natural light filters down the stairwell, reinforcing the vertical feel of the interiors.


The living space is open on both sides with floor to ceiling windows, adding a sense of directionality towards the bookcases at the end of the room.


The kitchen utilizes the back wall for storage while maintaining its clean, modern motif. 


photo credit: Shigeo Ogawa | h/t tinyhouseswoon
Mar 4, 2015 / by / in
The ‘Charred Cabin’ Provides Essential Living in the Harsh Desert

This small cabin stands in stark contrast to the dry, arid landscape of the surrounding Chilean desert. Designed by DRAA, the “Charred Cabin” uses pre-burnt wood siding to protect the home from the harsh landscape. The simplicity – both in form and materiality – is a result of providing the bare essentials for living on a restricted budget. The architect says: “To fit in a budget, the activities required to fulfill within the cabin were explicitly simple: a place to eat, sleep and read for two.”

While most isolated cabins attempt to blend in with their surroundings, the “Charred Cabin” chooses to perch itself prominently against the desert canvas. There is beauty to be found in how the architect has intentionally placed an unnatural object in a natural environment. This distinction is celebrated in a way that flies in the face of architectural convention.

The cabin sits up on wood stilts, reinforcing it’s contrast to the surrounding desert. 


The burnt wood siding gives the exterior character as well as long-term rot protection.


A few punched openings bring in light and frame several prominent views.


Interior material choices are as subdued as the charred exterior. Only basic functions are accounted for in the cabin’s 160 square feet.


A loft platform provides an area to sleep and enjoy the large clerestory windows. 

An exterior deck at the southern facade ensures an abundance of shade during hot summer months.


Simplicity in form allows the cabin to be a cabin, and the desert to be the desert.



h/t smallhouseswoon

photo credit: Filipe Camus

Mar 1, 2015 / by / in
Locomotive Luxury – A Uniquely Tiny Mountain Getaway

Tiny homes can be found in the most unlikely places. The Izaak Walton Inn at Essex Mountain Glacial Park in Montana took this to heart when they built a number of cozy lodge-style dwellings in the shell of old train cars. This particular caboose, called “The Great Northern X215,” provides visitors with a warm place to rest their bones after a long day of hiking, biking, skiing or canoeing. The retrofitted train car is complete with bathroom, living area, kitchen and sleeping room for four. The master bedroom even has a wood burning fireplace, evoking the tradition of rustic mountain lodging.

Once you get inside, you’ll never know you just stepped into the belly of a caboose!


The old train car provides the perfect ready-made shell for a unique mountain getaway.


An sleek ladder takes you up to a second sleeping area, allowing up to four people to sleep comfortably. 


The interiors are rustic and warm, and indicative of the surrounding Glacial Park setting. 


The kitchen is generously sized and fully equipped to cook up that freshly caught river trout.


For more information: Izaak Walton Inn

Mar 1, 2015 / by / in
Modern Retreat On Puget Sound Celebrates Earth, Sea, And Sky

On a sunny day nestled in Washington State’s scenic Case Inlet in, there might be no better view on earth than that of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. The natural beauty is unmatched as sea transitions to stone before continuing on to soaring snowy peaks. The Case Inlet Retreat by MW Works not only prominently frames this breathtaking view, it captures the very essence of sea, earth and sky. Upon approaching the home you are presented with three choices: enter the front door to experience sweeping views of the Sound beyond, climb an exterior stair to a roof deck in the clouds, or continue down the hill as the monolithic concrete base firmly grounds itself in the earth. Each path sets up a unique experience, and together they add up to a cohesive homage to the Pacific Northwest.

Sea, earth and sky. The retreat reflects the environmental diversity of the view it presents.

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As you emerge from the dense forest, the home presents itself as an accessory to the sprawling views inlet_2

The concrete entry platform appears to float, playing on the relationship between ground and sky.


Every element that touches the ground. such as this concrete kitchen counter feels massive, contrasting the lightness above.

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 Clean lines and muted materials allow the interiors to take a back seat to the…well…if you don’t know by now… 

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Even the most private areas of the home, such as the shower, are fully open to the view.

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Corner windows such as this reinforce the feeling of hovering above the inlet_8

Here you see how the massive concrete plinth anchors to the earth, allowing the home to float above.

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See more at: MW Works | Photo credit: Jeremy Bittermann

Feb 28, 2015 / by / in
Meet “Margo”, A Tiny House on Wheels With A Charming Personality

When Nancy Shadlock decided to build her very own tiny home on wheels, which she named ‘Margo’, she had grand visions of living anywhere and everywhere without being shackled by the permanence of a concrete foundation. There’s nothing overly flashy, extravagant or delicate about her creation but it does have plenty of small design touches that add up to a charming personality. The home has a kitchen complete with a gas stove, a full bathroom and sleeping room for four. It’s hard to believe how much old-fashion charm  has been squeezed into every square inch the flat bed trailer had to offer. All nooks and all crannies are accounted for in terms of functionality and personal flair. It’s everything that makes even first time visitors feel right at home.

Simple and effective. This house on wheels ensures that home is always where the heart is.


A view from the bed loft shows off the charm of the cozy living room.margo-tiny-house-12

The kitchen is small but functional. Thankfully Nancy isn’t 7 feet tall!


A rustic fireplace is all that’s needed to heat the small space during long winter nights.


A four-burner gas stove is a luxury not many tiny homes can fit.


The home is filled to the brim with personal touches, such as this wacky mosaic back splash.


The bathroom is plenty big, complete with a low-flow shower and compostable toilet.





She used the random 2×4 scraps to build an art wall that pays tribute to the build. We also love the antler guitar hanger next to it!


A quiet sleeping loft enjoys natural light, ventilation, and even room to hang your clothes.




Take a trip through Margo with Nancy herself in this video!

More information:

Feb 27, 2015 / by / in
This Dazzling Treehouse Was Made To Look Like A Spyglass

Sometimes the only reason you need to build something cool is one hell of a view. A majestic view of New York’s storied Hudson River Valley and a bit of creative inspiration was all it took for Germany-based Baumraum to design this tiny house, which appropriately mimics the form of a spyglass. A family with two small children makes claim to this one-of-a-kind vacation home. The interior is small but flexible, providing just enough space to frame the view while leaving room to sleep four. And besides, with a huge deck that’s almost the size of the home itself and a view like this one, there’s plenty of reason to relax outside.

The main home is anchored to a pile of large rocks at the rear, and rests on a v-shaped steel frame as it cantilevers over the cliff.


The spindly catwalk that makes way to a vertigo inducing exterior deck reflects every childs dream to build the perfect tree house.


You can tell this isn’t the first go-round or the German-based company Baumraum. In fact, they have designed some extraordinary treehouses around the world.


Heavy-duty straps support the deck which appears as if it’s growing out of the towering maple tree.





h/t Archdaily

Feb 26, 2015 / by / in
Offgrid Treetop Home Floats Amid The Surrounding Forest

Every so often a structure magically embodies the context within which it is built. This off-the-grid cabin, designed by Anderson Wise Architects, sits atop the trees in the shadow of a shear granite cliff locals have dubbed ‘The Matterhorn,’ and does more to evoke the spirit of Montana than a worn down mechanical bull in a roadside saloon. The architects have surgically placed the building so as to not disturb the surrounding flora and fauna, setting the entire home on steel piers and allowing the forest to naturally flow beneath it.

It’s skeletal form and warm material palette reinforce this sense of place, making sure there is no mistake that those who live here are one among the trees. Large floor to ceiling windows give way to sweeping views of the ponderosa pine forest. A properly placed foot bidge gently lifts you off terra firma and into the canopy beyond. In addition to having no active heating or cooling system, the house pumps all of its water from the lake below. As time passes the home will further integrate itself into the gentle eco-system it has found itself a part of.

 The home fits in so well with the surrounding forest…wait..where did it go?!


Exposed views. Exposed structural elements. Everything about this home is open to its surroundings.

The interiors are elegantly detailed and mirror the warmth that greets you on your way in. Sliding doors save precious space without needing to swing open.


At every turn you are reminded that you are a tiny cog in the great nature machine.


An open plan spills out onto a cantilevered deck as the floor disappears beneath your feet.


As a certain point the building goes away completely, leaving you alone with the trees.1319033443-14-cabin

All aspects of nature, including the weather, are celebrated, as seen here with the articulated roof scupper.


The floor plan is uncomplicated, structurally efficient and formally elegant, allowing it to appear as if it is floating above the forest floor. 


h/t ArchDaily

Feb 23, 2015 / by / in