In case you hadn’t noticed, tiny homes are the next big thing.
1. Keret House
Blink and you’ll miss it. That’s because this home, built in the wasted space between two buildings in Warsaw, looks like little more than ductwork from the outside. From the inside, however, this “writers’ respite” built by Polish architect Jakub Szczesny is a full home, with everything a person could want magically crammed in a space that’s 122 centimeters at its widest, and 72 cm at its most narrow.
2. Converted School Bus
What do you do when you come into the possession of a dilapidated, out-of-service school bus from 2000? If you’re crafty (and have a bunch of friends), you can turn it into a 220-square-foot living space with more amenities than my apartment. And that’s exactly what “Stephie” from TN did, after winning the bus at auction for just over $2k. The project took 8 months, and a lot of elbow grease, but I think we can all agree: the product beats just about any RV on the market, for less than one month’s rent in New York City.
3. The Yosemite
The latest and greatest model from Tennessee-based “Valley View Tiny House Company,” the Yosemite packs a lot into just 180 square feet (including the lofted bed space), and is totally portable. And while the home itself is awesome, even more awesome is the company behind it. Valley View Tiny House Company donates a portion of every dollar to the less fortunate, and ultimately hopes to partner with organizations to help build tiny homes for the homeless. A double-win for those looking to downsize to reduce their eco footprint and save the world.
4. Oceanside Retreat
Maine-based Creative Cottages LLC is proving, once-and-for-all, that you don’t have to sacrifice much to get into a tiny home (as evidenced by the “Oceanside Retreat,” one of their newest projects). The company is headed by owner, designer, and builder R McAllister Lloyd, and has a fierce commitment to “No Waste construction, using local materials where possible” and “environmental sensitiv[ity] affording low impact on [construction] sites.”
5. Shipping Container Cabin
When it comes to epic upcycling, this tiny cabin in the woods might just take the cake. Made from joining 3 shipping containers, this unassuming shelter somewhere in Southern Ontario contains everything but the commode (which is attached around the back).
6. The Ultra-Portable Tiny Home
If you’re starting to get the tiny home itch (like much of the world right now), you’re probably of the mind that versatility is key. Enter: the mac-daddy of mini mobile homes, featured on FYI’s Tiny House Nation series. It’s got 3 beds (a master bedroom and 2 bed lofts), looks gorgeous on both the inside and the outside, and comes in at a grand total of 400 square feet. I, personally, will try to remember this the next time I’m bemoaning not having enough space in my 600 sq. foot apartment.
Another prime example of using awkwardly-shaped, otherwise-wasted bits of land to guide the design and build process, this angular house in Japan looks somewhat unappealing from the outside, but truly spectacular on the inside. Located in Suginami-ku, Tokyo, this house (built by Mizuishi Architects Atelier) has three-stories that add up up to a total of 594 square feet.
8. Japanese Forest House
The only thing more awesome than this rustic, traditional Japanese-style 200-square-foot tiny home is the story behind it. Several years ago, while kayak-craftsman Ben Schulz of Oregon was exploring a recycling center, he discovered a brass sink and was immediately inspired. According to his blog, he realized that “if I took it I’d have to build a home for it. I eventually brought it up to the register and started planning my house on the drive home.” Schulz sourced as many local materials as possible (which he says “connects [the project] more deeply to the landscape, your neighbors, and yourself), and roughly half a year and a mere $11,000 later, Schulz had hand-built this epic cabin.
9. The Cubica
Another epic shipping container upcycle, this converted home by the Costa Rican company Cubica comes in at a mere 160 feet… but what it lacks in interior space, it makes up for with foldaway everything, and an awesome hardwood sun deck on the roof. A collective of architects, designers, and builders, Cubica touts the versatility of the shipping container as a ultimate, low-cost, ultra-portable base for a luxury mini-home.
10. The EcoCapsule
The EcoCapsule was announced last month by the Bratislavian company Nice Architects, and immediately went viral as the final word on little homes. The egg-shaped pod is architecturally designed to collect rainwater and dew (which is then filtered for use), and is equipped with a series of solar panels and an extendable wind turbine to function completely off the grid. Optimized for two people, the EcoCapsule contains a folding bed, heated shower, flushable toilet, dining area, kitchenette, and lots of food storage in just 86 square feet of space. Nice Architects will announce the price of the EcoCapsule in a few months, and plans to start shipping them out at the beginning of next year.