Vina’s Mobile Tiny House is 140 Square Feet of Pure Charm

tiny-house-tiny-homeBy Lori Zimmer

Compliments: Inhabitat Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

Designer Vina Lustado of Sol Haus Design has designed her dream Tiny House, which is 140 square feet of pure charm. Called “Vina’s House,” the self-sufficient abode is placed on an 8 by 20 foot trailer and clad in wood. Illuminated with skylights, the tiny home boasts a gas fireplace and lofted sleeping area that comfortably sleeps two. Best of all, this beauty can be transported anywhere with very little fuss.

Vinas-tiny-house-on-wheels-140-square-foot-8-x-20With a desire to create her ideal home based on the principles of simplicity and sustainability, Lustado created the tiny house as a personal project with a budget of $35,000. With the trailer as a base, the home was designed to give the feeling of a cozy cabin, with a luxurious feel and clean, modern lines.

The resulting mini home may only be 140 square feet, but boasts all of the comforts one could hope for. Storage furniture helps to eliminate clutter, and create extra space without crowding the interior and double doors that open onto a patio extend the living area, while bringing in fresh air throughout the space. The living area combines a storage couch (that doubles as an extra single bed) and a work area, with a built-in desk that can also be used for storage. The adjacent kitchenette maybe be small, but it has everything one needs to make a hot meal, as well as ample shelving for plates and glasses; it is also connected to a small bedroom. The gas stove divides up the space, while also serving as a heating source in cold weather.


High above the kitchen is the lofted bedroom, which feels open and airy with a window at both the headboard and over the bed in an angled skylight. The dreamy home is tiny, but has an airy and comfortable feel thanks to the warm wooden interior and ample windows.

Read more: Vina’s Tiny House

Building a tiny house one square foot at a time

tiny-house-tiny-homeBy Isaac Riddle

Compliments: City Weekly

Heather Wade grew up in the foothills of Bountiful, where a home’s square footage measures in the thousands. Now a St. George resident, Wade wanted a house but didn’t want to be house poor. After learning about the tiny-house movement, she found the solution in the form of a 160-square-foot house. Wade, a graduate of Southern Utah University, spends most of her time outdoors or traveling for her work in the blood-collection division of the American Red Cross, so the small space was appealing. Thanks to the help of friends Erin Elder and Ryan Bingham, both SUU civil-engineering students, her house was recently finished, and Wade will move in September. Her house will stay in RV parks until Wade finds land to accommodate it.

Tiny-house-on-wheels-build-as-you-go-st-george-utah-heather-wadeWhy a tiny house?
My dad was encouraging me to buy a house. I started looking at houses, but was so turned off by the homes I saw. Every house looked the same. I was very turned off by the idea of owning a home, the maintenance on a home, being in debt on a home. I came across the tiny-house movement, and it was exactly what I needed. I own my house outright; it is a pretty cool feeling to own your home.

Don’t you think you’ll eventually need more space?
I don’t need much more than a bedroom. I don’t want to get married or have kids. I don’t want all these empty rooms that I have to fill with stuff; you end up constantly purchasing things. When you have a small space, there is not a whole lot you can purchase because there is not a lot of room to put things. You are saving money, which can go to other things like traveling or helping friends and family when they need it.

There is more of a sense of freedom. I didn’t want to be one of those people confined to their house because they have to be spending their Saturdays doing yardwork or cleaning their home. Whereas for me, it will take me a few minutes to clean my house and I’m out the door. I won’t be in debt; in fact, I don’t have any debt.

What obstacles have you encountered?
The house is being built by me and engineering students; none of us have any sort of construction experience. It has been a lot of trial and error, frustrations with each other and the house itself. Everything we have worked on has been a challenge, because we didn’t always know what we were doing. I haven’t had a free Saturday in a very long time; every Saturday is dedicated to working on the house. Working on the house, I’ve been the most stressed I’ve ever been.

What have you learned form this experience?
For me it is the more simple the better. Downsizing and getting rid of a lot of my things has felt like a huge weight off my shoulders. I know that not everyone can live that way, but for me, I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing a lot of things. This is something I want to do. There is a sense of pride putting your blood, sweat and tears into your own home.

What advice would you give someone considering a tiny house?
Not everybody can live small. Be sure this is something you want and that you are passionate about. People who think they can just experiment with this tend to not stay in a tiny house long. If this is something you want, and you think might make you happy, then do it.

See story at: City Weekly

Under 200 Square Foot Tiny Houses in Northeast

tiny-house-tiny-homeBy Nina Glinski

Compliments: Stuff

Doug Immel recently completed his custom-built dream home, sparing no expense on details like cherry-wood floors, cathedral ceilings and stained-glass windows – in just 164 square feet of living space including a loft (15.24 square metres).

The 57-year-old schoolteacher’s tiny house near Providence, Rhode Island, cost US$28,000 – a seventh of the median price of single-family residences in his state.

“I wanted to have an edge against career vagaries,” said Immel, a former real estate appraiser. A dwelling with minimal financial burden “gives you a little attitude.” He invests the money he would have spent on a mortgage and related costs in a mutual fund, halving his retirement horizon to 10 years and maybe even as soon as three. “I am infinitely happier.”

Aldo Lavaggi 105-square-foot tiny house new york hudson valley

Dramatic downsizing is gaining interest among Americans, gauging by increased sales of plans and ready-made homes and growing audiences for websites related to the niche. A+E Networks has begun airing Tiny House Nation a series on FYI that “celebrates the exploding movement.”

The pared-down lifestyle allows people to minimise expenses and gain economic freedom, said architect Jay Shafer in Cotati, California, who founded two micro building and design companies and is widely credited with popularising the trend.

Aldo Lavaggi off the grid tiny house runs on car battery and solar power“It shows people how little some need to be happy, and how simply they can live if they choose,” said Shafer, 49, who shares a 500-square foot home with his wife and two young children.

Despite gains in the labour and housing markets, Americans choosing mini houses remain wary of tethering themselves to a mortgage.

People want “a more modest lifestyle now,” said Derek Diedricksen, who travels nationally to lead building workshops. Those who opt for super-small structures don’t want to “waste their time or be a slave to a house they don’t fully use.”

Defined as 500 or fewer square feet (46 square metres), tiny houses range from primitive 9-square-metre huts to award-winning displays of sustainable architecture with elegant streamlined design. While many are built on wheels to avoid regulations, mobility isn’t the main draw.

Aldo Lavaggi, 36, can support himself as a folk musician in New York’s Hudson Valley thanks to the 105-square foot (9.75 square-metre) home he built on a friend’s farmland in the Berkshires and has lived in since August 2012.

“There’s a fallacy of limited options,” he said, arguing that people don’t need stellar credit, thick wallets or even a full-time job to own a house. His residence runs on a car battery and energy from two solar panels. He pockets enough cash to splurge on artisanal bread and gourmet cheeses from the local market. “I’m earning more than I spend,” he said.

Even with the micro-trend, the number of tiny houses in the United States is, well, tiny – just in the thousands per unofficial industry surveys. Their popularity is growing, however, as the U.S. homeownership rate has fallen to 64.8 per cent, the lowest in almost 20 years, and the median size of new single-family houses is the biggest ever – 2,384 square feet in 2013 (221.5 square metres), a 3.4 per cent increase from 2012.

Click Here to view the entire Tiny House Movement story…

A Little Paint for Your Tiny House = Adorable

tiny-house-tiny-homeBy Janet Eastman

Compliments: The Oregonian

When it comes to tiny houses, every inch counts. Trying to make a place look as spacious and inviting as possible adds to the pressure of making the right design decisions, from ceiling height to paint colors. If you overwhelm a minuscule room with jarring colors, it won’t be the relaxing hangout you envisioned.

Architect Russell Hamlet of Studio Hamlet on Bainbridge Island, Wash., understands how light and color can expand the perceived size of a tiny house or small room.

“Bright light in the foreground with slightly darker areas in the background creates a perspective that increases the perceived depth
 of a space,” he says.


Although a color scheme should be kept simple, contrasting colors can help to expand a space, he says. Rarely recommended black, when combined with white, can add a sense of depth.

Light colors on ceilings and walls dissolve boundaries, making a room seem larger; darker colors enclose the volume of a room, making it feel smaller and more intimate, he adds.

Too much dark blue, purple, red, black and other dark hues 
can make a tiny space look like a cave, while warm colors seem to advance toward us and cool colors tend to recede, he adds.

Paint can have a psychological effect and that’s amplified in a small space, says Janie Lowe, co-founder of Portland-based Colorhouse, which only makes and sells paint that has no VOCs (volatile organic compounds), toxic fumes, toxins or chemical solvents.

Lowe likes warmer whites with yellow undertones rather than gray or “dirty” whites in a small space. “Grays could feel like it’s a cloudy day all the time,” she says.

Since paints tend to stay in place for a long time, she suggests selecting colors that you won’t tire of quickly.

Bolder, playful colors can accent architectural features and define zones of a tiny house. But again, don’t over do it, she advises.

A powder room and other short-stay rooms in a larger house can make a statement with radical colors but those same bright hues can be unsettling in a tiny house or a room that you linger in for hours.

“I’d recommend a color that is light, comfortable and soothing,” says Lowe, like Colorhouse’s Beeswax.05 and Beeswax.06.

Since horizontal planes don’t benefit from light making them look lighter, any color will look darker on a ceiling than on a wall. Lowe likes Colorhouse’s Air.05, which has a slightly pale green tint. “It gives a feeling of greenery outside reflecting in,” says Lowe. “It’s like a breath of fresh air even in a concrete jungle.”

Jeff Flowers of Compact Appliance reminds tiny space dwellers to consider the room’s function: 
Kitchen areas benefit from bright, sunny colors that energized you in the morning. For the bedroom loft, you might want to pick gray or sage green that will be calming at night.

Also, think about the finish. 
A gloss finish such as satin, eggshell or semi-gloss opens up a small space, he says.

Tiny house builder Joseph Crowell relies more on wood paneling than paint to add character to the 9 ½-foot-long vardo-type trailers he handmakes in Ashland.

The former tile installer and proud dumpster diver buys or finds castoff planks of blue stain pine, mahogany and recycled barn wood and installs them on top of plywood, inside and outside of his mini houses on wheel.

Like the vintage crystal knobs on cabinets and manzanita grab railings, elements in his custom houses are both functional and artistic.

As for color? Burnt sienna, terra cotta and turquoise are used for the trim to draw the eye to specific objects. His latest tiny house has purple trim painted above a red door.

“If you’re going to do it, might as well use a color that goes with the flavor,” says Crowell, whose work appears in the book “Tiny Homes On the Move: Wheels and Water” by Lloyd Kahn. “When clients see the purple against the wood grain, they love it.”

He says he wouldn’t use hot pink but he’s building a tiny house with forest green trim. “Nothing loud,” he says, “but tasteful and keeping with the style.”

Click Here for the Rest of the Story

Artists create a tiny house in a loft

tiny-house-tiny-homeBy Lloyd Alter

Compliments: Tree Hugger

Your dream Brooklyn loft is a big open space with high ceilings, but if you want to earn a little income on airbnb you need to be able to offer a little privacy. Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao solved this problem by building two cabins in their loft; a tree house for themselves, and a cute little cabin for guests.

Artists create a tiny house in a loft

Kim covered this project a few years ago, but it has evolved since then and has a new website. Kim quoted the designers:

Frezza and Terri Chiao build tiny houses in loft

Rather than building floor-to-ceiling walls to divide the apartment into two bedrooms, the pitched roof of the cabin and elevated floor of the treehouse maintain the openness and character of the loft while also allowing sunlight to fill the entire space. As a result, living in the space can feel like living outdoors, in a small community of two houses.

loft tiny houses 1 with pitched roof 1 with elevated treehouse

A lovely idea, building a tiny house inside a big loft, to host travelling artists.

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