We’re trained to think that bigger is better, but the development of uber-cute, ultra-efficient homes of 500 square feet or less, have some questioning this wasteful assumption.
Our homes are our castles. Inside their walls, we grow, laugh, cry, cook, work, play and sleep. Before the housing market crisis, homes were getting massive. Dubbed “McMansions” these cavernous dwellings sucked up energy at an alarming rate, despite being empty more often than occupied.
But the economic crash appears to have been a reality check: builders and architects are seeing more request for small homes that make more efficient use of space and electricity. In recent years, designers have taken the idea of tiny homes even further, proving that a few hundred square feet is all we need to live in comfort. Don’t believe it? Here are four tiny home designs that will make you want to downsize immediately.
1. Micro Compact Home
Measuring only 91 cubic feet, Micro Compact Homes (pictured above) somehow manage to include room for two double beds, a bathroom, lobby, dining space for 4-5 people, a fully functional kitchen and top-notch entertainment technology. Made mostly from aluminum, Micro Compact Homes can even be recycled if worn or damaged beyond acceptable use.
OK, I’ll admit that this one’s more experimental than practical, but it was too cool not to include. This cylindrical design is a modular prototype that provides flexible space within a minimum housing unit, explains Arch Daily. Three different sections are dedicated to different functional needs: there’s a bed and table in section, an exercise cylinder, and a kitchen with a sink. To change the functionality of the house at any given time, you simply “roll it” by treading down the center pathway, just like a hamster wheel.
3. Nano Living System
At only 200 total square feet, the Nano Living System is billed as “the world’s smallest sustainable house.” Despite its diminutive size, the designers claim the house can contain a family of four inside its convertible rooms. Solar panels on the roof provide electricity while a rainwater catchment system enables grey water recycling. A green roof and argon-filled windows or solar heat pumps can be added for enhanced self-sufficiency. Inside are all the basic necessities of a home, including the kitchen, bathroom, closet, dining room as well as two king size beds that are built into the ceiling and drop down to rest on the dining room table and the sofa and coffee table.
4. Tumbleweed Homes
The beauty and clever design of Tumbleweed Homes almost makes you forget that they’re smaller than the average apartment! The Zinn, featured above, is a mere 99 square feet which means that you can ignore the permits required to build a house in most towns. The Zinn is one of the company’s Box Bungalow designs, which means you pick the shell and then customize interior options according to your needs. You can purchase the building plans for $49. Buying the kits start at $12,999 or you can get it assembled for you starting at $14,999.
Images furnished by companies/designers mentioned.