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.

Your turn.

Sound off in the comments.

“Live Simply”

Tiny House Design & Construction Guide


8 thoughts on “Could You Live In This Tiny House?

  1. We spent 5 summers in a 12×16 cabin on our lot while we paid off the land and were ready to build. We loved it, everything had to do double duty and we would convert the floor plan to allow clearance for the wood stove in the winter. It was great. It is now out guest house and everyone who visits loves it. We now have a composting toilet in our new place which we bought. Our new cabin is much larger, only because we were made an offer by the owner that we couldn’t pass up, it was so much cheaper than building. We love the idea of a small house and our daughter keeps looking at htis option when she decides to settle down.

  2. Reblogged this on r | one studio architecture and commented:
    Tiny Home living isn’t for everyone (like my wife), but in a world of increased mobility building a life and a home that is more compact and more intentional is an incredibly smart thing. Here’s a great example of a tiny home that packs plenty of comfort in a small package.

  3. I’ve seen this home before in a video and loved it! The one thing he said in the video that really hit home was “how many knives, forks and spoons do you really need?” I am downsizing from 1600 sq ft to 550 sq ft and I am looking at every thing I own and asking how many of XYZ do I need. I tend to have more clothes than I need, more books than I can ever read and to many electronic toys.It was this video that really started me getting rid of my excess stuff.

  4. I’ve actually been fascinated with the tiny homes for a while. Prior to having my baby, I think I could have pulled it off. I lived in a tiny cabin while in Alaska (My husky would lay on the floor and take up pretty much the entire living room LOL) and honestly, I miss it. It was larger than the 200 something square foot above, probably not by much. My last cabin (before I bought the house that I am currently in) was only 500 sq ft. We did fine with adequate organization. That’s the secret. Keep yourself organized and don’t own things you don’t need 🙂 When I had the cabin in Alaska TV’s were HUGE. It was hard to have a sizable TV because it would stick too far from the wall. The first thing I thought when I bought my first slim tv was “darn. That would have been perfect in my cabin”. LOL

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