Bigger than a breadbox.
August 31, 2008 12:05 PM   Subscribe

Tiny Houses - Design Boom compiles a nice list of tiny residences around the world.
posted by dobbs (25 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
Seattle's Smallest House?
posted by Tube at 12:20 PM on August 31, 2008

holy shit this rocks.
posted by jayder at 12:36 PM on August 31, 2008

I keep this book in my living room, and never tire of looking at it. It makes my 950 sf apartment seem huge!
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 12:38 PM on August 31, 2008

Tiny houses
On the Rhine.
posted by dirigibleman at 1:02 PM on August 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

Thoreau's place
posted by pracowity at 1:23 PM on August 31, 2008

heh, the "single hauz", inspired by the modern highway advertising billboard -- it'd be badass to actually build one of these in the city with a proper billboard presentation earning you money to pay the ground rent. From 2 minutes of googling I see that a moderately-sized wallscape in a high-traffic area can (apparently) bring in $10,000+ mo, enough to cover the mortgage on a $2M property. hmmm.
posted by troy at 1:23 PM on August 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

That is the very best tiny house collection I've seen on the web. Awesome post dobbs.

Oh man, I love the single hauz. Way cool!

I'm fond of little dwellings. A couple come to mind to share here. The mini island with house built on recycled bottles.

And chattel houses, small because they needed to be portable for all the wrong reasons.

For the last 21 years I've lived in a tiny apartment in NYC, about 325 sq feet and always wondered why there hasn't been a great store for tiny place furniture, collecting the good stuff all in one place, instead of having to hunt and peck for ingenious design in various corners of the universe.

There are so many tiny dwellings in the world, in NYC and Japan especially, I hope somebody makes a tiny home furniture site and makes tons of money doing it.
posted by nickyskye at 1:29 PM on August 31, 2008 [2 favorites]

How many ways can someone misspell tumbleweed? I'm just saying...
posted by Samizdata at 1:35 PM on August 31, 2008

Dirk Dieter (previously on MeFi) and his 250-sq-ft house.
posted by christopherious at 1:37 PM on August 31, 2008

the "colani rotor house" is reminiscent of a 3x3x3 (a la rubik's cube]) design idea I had for a tiny house a couple of years ago.

In this design, the core cube is the main activity area, which would be the home office in my case.

Instead of stairs, though, the rest of the rooms are accessed by lowering and raising the entire house up or down 1 level relative to the core cube.

The ground level would have the garage and utility room.
The main level would have the kitchen, lounge, and washroom.
The top level would have the bedroom suite.

In essence, instead of moving around the house throughout the day, the house would bring the required spaces to the occupant as they needed them.

Kinda sedentary, but fun. Amazing how god-awful bad American architecture has remained.

Tooling around my old haunts in central Tokyo via google streetview I was reminded at how unconservative their civic architecture has been & is.
posted by troy at 1:45 PM on August 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oh man, I totally want to move into the spherical treehouse.

Awesome post!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:52 PM on August 31, 2008

Tiny House?
posted by Awkward Philip at 1:59 PM on August 31, 2008

Reminds me of a book via Cool Tools
posted by acro at 2:49 PM on August 31, 2008

Nickyskye - there is such a store. Tiny Living.
posted by minervous at 3:49 PM on August 31, 2008 [3 favorites]

There are a lot of tiny houses at the Martha's Vineyard Campmeeting Association.
posted by found missing at 4:15 PM on August 31, 2008

Ted Kaczynski stylee... Those Swedes are onto something
posted by marvin at 4:46 PM on August 31, 2008

This is great.
People always give me funny looks when i tell them i don't need much space. these guys make it look wonderful!
posted by photomusic86 at 6:13 PM on August 31, 2008

Thanks minervous. I was disappointed though, slim pickings really. I hoped for a real selection of innovative designs. I do really like the case dining table.
posted by nickyskye at 6:43 PM on August 31, 2008

I love the idea of tiny living. I'm doing it right now in a studio, but not too well, I must admit. I need kitchen counter space. And surfaces to clutter. There's no room for clutter in la maison du tiny. Do the people who live there take out the trash twice a day? Where are their tax records from the '90s? Where are the scrapbooks they made as kids? Where are the awesome prints and found objects that came into their lives? Where are the books? They probably composted that stuff, or never collected it at all.

Still, I seriously wanted the Single Hauz when I saw it, particularly one on a single stilt over the water. Then I realized that the dogwalking arrangements would be difficult. Also, what happens when a storm blows in?
posted by Countess Elena at 7:17 PM on August 31, 2008 [3 favorites]

Ah, countess Elena. You nailed it. Tiny living means spreading one's messes elsewhere. Papers, albums, possibly wearable clothes, that bicycle one wants to ride but not just now. Stuff.

Found some other odd looking places, the sphere houses at Bolwoningen. Little bubbles on stalks. Part Teletubbie, part alien from the 80's.

Another kind of mini house I like are the ones in the allotment gardens in Amsterdam.
posted by nickyskye at 11:33 PM on August 31, 2008

Do the people who live there take out the trash twice a day? Where are their tax records from the '90s? Where are the scrapbooks they made as kids? Where are the awesome prints and found objects that came into their lives? Where are the books? They probably composted that stuff, or never collected it at all.

Most of that stuff can go into storage somewhere else. How often do you really need most of that stuff? Books are great because they can fit anywhere - on high shelves, in corners... I think "living" in this case comes down to the having only the stuff you really need on a daily basis.

I just went through this when I moved from San Francisco to London this year. I decided to leave everything behind. I sold furniture. Sold or gave away books. Threw away old clothes. Sent stuff off to storage at my parents house. I arrived in London with nothing more than 2 suitcases full of clothes and my laptop.

Since then I've become very aware of what I am acquiring. Had to buy utensils and stuff for the kitchen. Food. A table to eat at. A bed to sleep on. A couch to lounge on during the day. What else? Not much really. We've acquired a few books but also have started taking advantage of the local library.

Our place looks spacious and minimalist. We could definitely cram more stuff in. But I've come to realize, I suppose, that a home doesn't have to be a "showroom" for all your possessions. It can just be a place to live.
posted by vacapinta at 3:36 AM on September 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

Our house is 1000 square feet, and we do, indeed, have to watch the clutter. I do keep things at my mom's house--those scrapbooks and old photos and Grandma's secretary that I don't have room for. It constrains our hobbies; I'd love to have a table saw, but there's no room. The work bench is outside. We've gotten rid of tons of books (dunno, maybe literally tons). I mean, why do we really need books that we've already read and won't read again, when I work in a library and we have the internet? Can't have a stand mixer; don't have the room. Dining table chairs are nice foldable ones. Laundry dries in one shower, and the other was converted into shelf space. Yeah, it's a hassle, and we plant to move out at some point, but I walk to work every day, and we're near shops and cafes and all those great things one finds in cities.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:32 AM on September 1, 2008

They probably composted that stuff, or never collected it at all.

Collecting is highly overrated.

When I moved into my tiny space five years ago (it is described as a "tool shed" on my lease), I started mailing off my memories and collectibles to my children. In a way, it is quite freeing. I still keep books (up high), but I have drastically changed my ideas about what I really need to live happily. This is sort of like living on a boat -- or camping out every day. In fact, my best description is, "it is not so much a 'lowered style of living', but more like luxury camping -- I even have hot water and cable!"

Great link, dobbs.
posted by Surfurrus at 1:12 PM on September 1, 2008

These styrofoam domes are 475 sq ft, weigh 175 lbs, and only take a few hours to assemble. Still nowhere to put all these books.
posted by fidelity at 9:47 PM on September 1, 2008

Note that most of those are described as "cabins" or "chalets", implying they're not actually meant for year round living.
posted by electroboy at 9:07 AM on September 2, 2008

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