Tiny House Spotlight

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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
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
Wine tasting on wheels

It says ‘School’ on the side, but the only classes given inside this California-based THOW will be on wine tasting. It’s a Kootenay built by TruForm Tiny for Liberty School Winery, who will be using it to reach oenophiles who can’t reach their vineyard in Paso Robles for a tour. Liberty School had this shou-sugi-ban-sided unit customized a bit for their purposes, perhaps using the online design tool found on TruForm’s website (check it out, it’s an interesting way to add your own touches to either the Kootenay or the Payette model also available from the RVIA certified builder, and you can see how much everything costs right away). This one cost about $75K.

Maybe too much wood for a wine, but just right for a tiny house! The floor is, appropriately enough, cork.

The master loft above the bathroom can hold a king bed, and there’s a sizable storage loft on the other end.

The subway tile backsplash and black-and-white fridge/freezer add some class to the kitchen.

There’s also a very nice restroom for freshening up.

Taste a little too much and you might end up with a view like this… drink responsibly, folks!


Apr 21, 2017 / by / in
ShowMe’s Starlighter1: radiant heat & solar for $35K

Here’s a 20-foot THOW that’s appealing on first glance, worth a second look when you notice the price tag is just $35,000 – and downright intriguing when you learn a little more about it. The just-finished Starlighter1 is the first home from Bob “Hotrod” Rohr’s new company ShowMe Tiny Homes. ShowMe is located, where else, in Missouri, but Hotrod says he built his first tiny house in Whitefish, Montana, way back in 1983. Since then, he’s become a world-renowned thermal, solar and hydronics expert, and he’s put his knowledge to good use in the Starlighter1, which has heated floors and walls thanks to a Roth Radiant Panel System, as well as two Kyocera 120-watt photovoltaic modules feeding a 110 amp-hour deep-cycle battery and a number of 12-volt DC outlets. See the ShowMe webpage to find the full spec sheet (containing loads of other goodies you’d never expect to find in a $35K house), but first get a feel for the floor plan with these photos:

This is (obviously) the kitchen, and less obviously the bedroom: The plywood panel at the far end folds down to reveal a twin murphy bed. The kitchen area boasts 70 inches of granite countertop, a 2-burner infrared stove, and a 9.9 cubic foot fridge.

The five foot long, 32 inch deep closet opposite can hold plenty of clothes, even if they do have to share space with a mess of utilities.

On the other side of that there’s a table for two…

…or a couch, or another bed, depending on what you need at the moment.

You can watch TV from there, and you can straighten your hat in the full-length mirror before heading out the door.

Head the other way and you step into the bathroom, which has a flush toilet…

…and a 32-inch fiberglass shower stall, but is too skinny to fit a sink.

Apr 17, 2017 / by / in
Siesta Key Vacation THOW

Famous for its fine, white quartz sand, Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Florida, has often been ranked number one in the whole USA – and sometimes in the whole world – so as beach vacations go you could do a lot worse. And when it comes to beach houses, you could do a lot worse than this brand new THOW located a short walk from the Siesta Key shore. You can book through VRBO at $129 weeknights / $149 weekends, two-night minimum, with a $65 cleaning fee.

Known as the Amy, it’s located in a first-of-its-kind tiny home beach park. Shade trees and an LG air conditioner should keep things cool enough through the summer.

The place is agreeably bright inside, with a small sitting area and an unusually capable kitchen for a short-term rental unit. You can see the big sink and fridge; just outside of the frame there’s an oven with stovetop, microwave, toaster and coffeemaker.

Tucked behind the stairs to the loft, the bathroom is also quite spacious, with huge mirrors and an interesting angular design for the vanity and shower stall.

A full staircase makes it easy to reach the loft, which barely contains the large bed.

A private paved patio next to the Amy hosts a table and chairs for outdoor dinner or drinks.

h/t Tiny House Talk

Apr 12, 2017 / by / in