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!
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.
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.
The Little Sprout is a 16×16 foot foundation house in Bellows Falls, Vermont. Designed by Holly Bartel of BigEnough LLC and built by Radican Construction, it has a ground-floor bedroom, a galley kitchen, a large living room, a small bathroom and loft storage, as well as a couple of things you just won’t find in a THOW: a 12-foot vaulted ceiling and a finished kneeling basement. Situated on a 0.3-acre lot a five-minute walk from the village square, the Little Sprout is connected to municipal water & sewer and the electrical grid. It includes a Whirlpool refrigerator/freezer, GE oven, LG washer/dryer, American Standard flush toilet, and an electric heating system. If you’re looking for a small home in small-town Vermont, the asking price is $85,000.
Set on a poured concrete foundation, the Little Sprout has an asphalt shingle roof and wooden clapboard siding over closed-cell spray foam insulation.
Large Andersen windows let natural light from the sunny lot into the spacious living room.
The kitchen features solid cherry cabinets and a lengthy granite countertop. Just remember not to stick your dirty dishes in the washer/dryer!
A low dividing wall makes the bedroom semiprivate while preserving the open feel.
The bathroom’s actually not that big even by THOW standards, but it does have the basics: sink, toilet and a 32×32 shower stall.
A new Zyl Vardos design is always a treat, and the Damselfly is a classic. Featuring an offset roofline replete with Abel Zimmerman Zyl’s trademark impossible-seeming curves, as well as a big window-box poking out from the kitchen area, the house has the most attention-grabbing contours since the MoonDragon. And although it’s just 24 feet long, high ceilings and a 10-foot width means there’s plenty of space inside – even with a ground floor bed, a twin loft, and lots of built-in storage. All that custom cabinetry (plus the appliances and fixtures to go with it) doesn’t come cheap, unfortunately; the house, which can currently be viewed by appointment at Zyl’s Olympia, Washington, workshop, is priced at $105,500. Oh well… While we’re waiting for our check from the millionaire, let’s do some window-shopping… literally – the Damselfly has 13 handmade ones!
The curvaceous roof may look like metal, but it’s actually low-maintenance Onduvilla asphalt/fiber shingles.
The all-cedar exterior features sculpted trim and rafters.
The extra width makes it possible for the living room to share space with the kitchen. The 40-inch TV can be swiveled to face the bed as well.
The window-box gives a pleasantly open feel to the kitchen – and its middle section actually does open!
Note the finger-holes in the cabinets. Simple, but attractive and pretty ergonomic looking, too.
The bed sits on top of a huge storage platform and next to an 80-inch tall armoire.
Even though the loft’s not the primary bedroom, Zyl still provides a real staircase, complete with storage and a handrail.
Subway tiles, a beaten copper sink, a Kohler flush toilet, and a semicircular fiberglass shower stall add up to a sleek little bathroom.
Who wants to go through life in a funk? Well, maybe you, after you get a look at Brian Crabb’s oddly named but impressively designed Funk tiny house on wheels. With weathered copper and earth-toned vertical elements under a triple roof line, the 254-square-foot Funk presents a unique and intriguing face to the world. The gorgeous modern interior more than lives up to the expectations it raises. Except for their size, the living room and kitchen would hardly look out of place in a brand-new, high-end foundation home. If the attention to aesthetics doesn’t quite carry over into the bathroom and loft, those rooms are at least perfectly functional and even roomy by tiny house standards. If you like the Funk, you can have one built for you by Utopian Villas of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, starting at $68,877.
Rows of clerestory windows from Pella leverage the Funk’s vaulted ceilings to let in natural light.
The 86-square-foot living room is enhanced by a beautiful ceiling, a glass end wall, and – a rarity in tiny houses – a capacious bookcase.
A comfy sofa, and dining for two.
With counters and cabinets on both sides, plus a deep sink and a full-size oven and fridge, the kitchen should satisfy even the most avid cook.
The bathroom tiles and fixtures feel a little unspectacular in comparison to the finish in the main area, but they’re high quality (Kohler), and there’s also a washer/dryer in here.
The loft has in-floor storage, a nice way to avoid cluttering things up.
Handcrafted Movement is moving fast indeed! It’s no surprise that the stunning Pacific Pioneer, which they finished just last month, has already sold; even at $77,000, there are very few THOWs that exhibit such an excellent combo of finish and functionality. The unexpectedly good news is that the Pioneer wasn’t a one-off but the first of a series, and the second one, the Pacific Pearl, is ready to go right now. The basic layout is identical; like the Pioneer, the Pearl has two big (51 square feet) lofts, a ground floor master bedroom, and complete kitchen and bathroom facilities at the other end. The major difference is that the Pearl doesn’t have a built-in sofa, or a divider between the living and dining areas, which gives the middle of the house a more open feel. It’s priced at $75,000, and if you want it, we suppose you’d better give Matt Impola a call tout de suite – but hopefully he’s got at least a few more of these in the pipeline.
Pacific Cedar trim over board and batten siding on a triple axle trailer with built-in leveling jacks.
Instead of the Pioneer’s louvers, the Pearl goes with a sliding door for the master bedroom.
With a smaller standalone sofa, no divider, and a tapered kitchen counter, there’s more room in the middle.
The kitchen includes oak butcher block countertops, a 24-inch 4-burner gas range, and a 10-cubic-foot fridge/freezer.
Aside from the square mirror, the ¾ bathroom’s just like the Pioneer’s, complete with a space for a washer/dryer.
The lofts are the same as well.
The queen size memory foam mattress comes with the house.
DC-area couple Luke and Courtney not only built thebiggesthouseintheworld (all 230 square feet of it), they also milled all the lumber themselves! Since the wood – mostly poplar, cherry and cedar – came from trees that Luke cut down while working as an arborist, that was more a necessity than a case of taking DIY to extremes. Matched with a giant deck, their house is well integrated into a lovely forested lot, and Luke and Courtney are now working on the landscaping with the aim of making a “woodland garden” featuring ferns and other native plants.
A brown metal roof and green poplar siding complement the colors of the surrounding trees.
With gravel paths leading right up to the door, the house looks so perfect here that you’d never guess it has wheels.
Outdoor dining among the ferns.
The view from the front door shows the cozy kitchen, sleeping loft, and a little bit of built-in storage.
The dining table is to the right; there’s a handy coat rack to the left.
The bathroom, just off the kitchen, also holds a composting toilet.
Big windows and lots of space in the 72-square-foot loft.
TexZen Tiny Home Co. calls this model the Open Concept, and while the name may not be particularly distinctive, it is descriptive. The high-ceilinged 22-foot house really is open from the huge kitchen at one end to the bathroom sink at the other. (The toilet and tub are behind a partition, and there’s a barn door that can be slid over to close the bathroom completely.) Since there’s nary a loft in sight, the headroom remains impressive throughout. No, all that open space doesn’t leave room for a bedroom, but a sofa bed in the sizable living room might make this just the ticket for people who prefer elbow room to privacy.
Sheet-metal skirt notwithstanding, this is a THOW on a double-axle trailer.
The small closet built into the bathroom divider would be especially useful if the living room doubles as a bedroom.
High walls topped by clerestory windows make it impossible to feel claustrophobic in this house!
The kitchen contains a giant fridge, plenty of cabinets, and a dining table that could double as a work desk.
With the closet closed, this is what you see of the bathroom.
Around the corner are the tub and toilet, and, visible in the mirror, a washing machine and dryer.
Rewild Homes has just finished yet another custom build (they don’t do prêt-à-porter), and the 24-foot Kestrel may be the easiest to love of them all. The finish work is as classy as ever, and the floor plan has a nice balance of space, storage and functionality. There’s a little more room to move around than in their (also 24-foot) Warbler, but also more built-in features than we saw in the 28-foot Whiskey Jack (much of which was left for the owner to fill in). In the Kestrel, a couch positioned against the front wall faces an open area just inside the door to make a living room, which the Warbler lacked. Meanwhile, cubbyholes on either side of the couch and extended storage stairs facing the galley kitchen mean that the house is no slouch in the storage department. And past that, at the Kestrel’s keister, there’s a compact but full bathroom that’s truly elegant both in design and execution. Let’s see what it looks like:
Not bad, but wait till you see the inside – Rewild admits that they were “so excited by the beautiful interior that [they] completely forgot about the outside!”
A small loft above the living room provides a little more storage space.
Taking the long view: both the storage stairs and the kitchen counter seem to go on for miles.
No oven, but lots of space for food prep – and for washing up in the black granite sink.
The storage stairs hold a washer/dryer, fridge/freezer, and large hand-built cabinets with soft-closing drawers & doors.
A sensible arrangement of sink, toilet and bathtub makes a relatively small bathroom seem spacious.
It’s fully tiled and decorated with a granite-topped vanity and hand-crafted wood inlays on the door.