One of the key limitations in tiny house design is the fact that they pretty much have to be built on trailer chassis. Many city zoning bylaws actually have minimum building sizes to keep the riffraff out and the property taxes up; many building codes have minimum room sizes and other rules that make it very hard to build small. By having tiny house designs with wheels, it becomes a recreational vehicle and it can sneak under a lot of radars. The kicker is that it is really tough to design a decent space in an 8′-6″ wide (exterior dimensions!) space.
Andrew and Gabriella Morrison have pulled it off in their 221 square foot home. In many tiny house floor plans, designers compromise on something, be it kitchen or bathroom. Gabriella writes:
To our surprise we have not felt, at any point, that we have had to make any compromises or sacrifices in our self designed and built home. Not once have we felt that our space was too small, that our needs weren’t luxuriously met, or that we didn’t have enough space to run our home business, entertain, cook, bathe, watch movies, play guitar, wrestle with our dog, or store our clothes and belongings. Not once have we been uncomfortable, hurt our backs in the lofts, struggled on our stairs, felt like our fridge or kitchen sink was too small, or felt that we didn’t have enough space for an item.
By putting the kitchen at one end and the bathroom at the other, they are able to use the full width of the trailer and make them generous. In fact, they have a full size five burner range, an 18 cubic foot fridge and more cabinet space than they can fill.
The bathroom is also very large, which you need if you are going to use a big Sun-Mar Excel Self-Contained Composting Toilet (and the bigger, the better.)
The central area design is another key element, with the built in sofa and eating counter/ home office. It is a clever way to deal with dining, just like sitting at a bar with a nice view. It is a bit counter-intuitive to build permanent seating into such a narrow space, but it seems to work here.
Of course I am sure a lot of people complain about the lack of storage that would be available in a tiny house. Here is an idea: Get rid of your stuff! But here there is a storage stair. Actual stairs! Which is a whole lot nicer in the middle of the night than a ladder. It leads up to a very generous loft, with another ladder-accessible loft over the bathroom at the other end.
Tiny house living certainly is not for everyone. But I feel that this tiny hose floor plan and design ticks a lot of boxes that people feel would be must haves if they were ever going to consider tiny house living.
In her conclusion, Gabriella nails the reasons that tiny house living is so seductive to so many people, even if it may seem like an impossible dream for a lot of people.
Because we chose to build tiny rather than a larger house, we were able to pay for the materials in cash and now have the security of knowing that we will always have a place on this planet that we can live for free. And being that it’s off grid, we aren’t bound to utility bills and the system.
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