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Alternative Living Spaces: Off Grid Cribs, Tiny Houses, Underground Homes, Etc.

Discussion in 'Projects, Builds, Woodworking, Metalworks' started by searcher, Nov 6, 2016.



  1. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    The Dairy Cottage, Amazing Tiny Cottage Design
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on May 26, 2017
    An hour and a half drive north from Venice brings you into the foothills of the Dolomites, the setting for this 19th century farmstead. One of its outbuildings, originally used for cheesemaking, has been converted by the owners into a tiny cottage for vacation rentals. The Dairy Cottage, as it is now called, is a gabled stone building roofed with overlapping flat rocks.

    Both the roof and the attic floor are supported by rough-hewn beams. The owners installed a kitchenette at one end of the ground floor, where you can still see the outline of the original fireplace. They added a wood staircase at the other end, turning the attic into a cozy loft bedroom. The bathroom with shower fits neatly below the stairs.

    A new door with a large glass panel brings more light into the living space, but the owners don’t seem to have added any other windows. There are just two small windows in the living space, one in the bathroom and one in the loft. They may have wanted to avoid altering the stone walls or roofing, which could be an expensive job if skilled stonemasons are hard to find. The loft especially would almost certainly benefit from another window or skylight for ventilation during the hottest part of summer.

    The Dairy Cottage would be a good base from which to explore the Dolomites, the Prosecco country and Venice. It can be rented through Airbnb.
    https://fr.airbnb.com/rooms/565404

    Photographs courtesy of The Dairy Cottage / Airbnb.
     
  2. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    DublDom Houseboat, A Modular Floating Cabin by DublDom | Small House Design Ideas
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on May 26, 2017
    DublDom is a line of wood-framed prefabricated dwellings produced near Moscow. Since its introduction several years ago, the DublDom system has been very successful within Russia. Its modular design and quick on-site installation make it especially suitable for vacation homes, temporary housing and installations in remote locations.

    The latest variation is a floating cabin called the DublDom Houseboat. The first one, shown in these photos, is moored on the Volga River three hours drive north of Moscow where it serves as a guest suite for the Hotel Палуба. It consists of a 26 m2 (280 ft2) DublDom26 model placed upon pontoons. As both the cottage and the pontoon system are modular, larger versions can be produced as well.

    The DublDom Houseboat has the same design and floor plan as its land-based counterpart. There is an open living area in front with a fully-glazed wall facing the covered porch. The bedroom area and bathroom are in the back corners. Here the hotel has put a sofa bed in the living area for extra guest capacity. The interior is finished with wood throughout for a cozy cabin feel, while the exterior is clad in durable metal.

    Like other DublDoms, the floating version comes insulated, wired and plumbed with all the fixtures already installed. With the DublDom Houseboat though, the utilities can be designed either for shore connections or for autonomous operation.

    With the success of DublDom within Russia and expressions of interest from around the world, the company is now looking for partners to manufacture and market the prefab houses in Europe and the United States. If you have construction industry experience and a suitable manufacturing facility, you can learn more from the DublDom website.

    Photographs courtesy of DublDom and the Hotel Палуба.
    http://www.dubldom.ru/index-eng.htm
    http://hotel-paluba.ru/

    More Videos: #tinyhouse #tinyhouses #smallhouse #cottage #cabin #tiny #tinyhome
     
  3. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    ARCA, An Arched Retreat in The Brazilian Rainforest by Atelier Marko Brajovic
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on May 26, 2017


    The humid forest of Brazil’s Costa Verde is the setting for this unusual small house. Nicknamed “Arca” (“Ark”) by the locals for its resemblance to an overturned vessel, the arched house was built as a getaway by architect Marko Brajovic. He designed it as a place where small groups could go to relax or to work while inspired by nature.

    Wanting to minimize site disturbance, the architect started with a prefabricated metal building typically used for storage or industrial purposes. This particular building was designed to be assembled by hand, and it took only a week to complete the shell on the concrete pier foundation.

    As the shell is entirely self-supporting, there are no support columns to impose constraints on the interior layout. In addition, since the end walls are non-structural, the architect could fully glaze both ends with a grid of aluminum-framed windows and sliding doors.

    To warm up the industrial look, Eucalyptus boards were used for all the interior walls. Two bedrooms and bathroom facilities are partitioned off along the sides of the 72.6 m2 (781 ft2) floor plan. The “roofs” of these side rooms could potentially be used as sleeping lofts as well. The center was left as an open living and work space with a ceiling nearly 5 m (16′) high. When the house is being used for a working retreat, the beds fold up into couches so the bedrooms can become office spaces or breakout rooms.

    A-frames, arched buildings and similar structures where the roof comes down to the ground on both sides often suffer from a cave or tunnel effect from having large windows on the ends and few if any on the sides. Here the architect avoided that by keeping the end-to-end distance shorter than the width. It would be cheaper to get the same floor area in a shell that is longer and narrower, due to the reduced span, but that wouldn’t make for as livable a home.

    The building doesn’t appear to have insulation, however the manufacturer claims that the Galvalume panels are very effective at reflecting the sun’s heat. The floor is raised above the ground, allowing breezes to flow both under and through the house. A pair of wind-driven roof turbine vents also pull out hot air.

    Photographs by Victor Affaro and Atelier Marko Brajovic. Via Archdaily.
    http://www.victoraffaro.com/
    http://markobrajovic.com/
    http://www.archdaily.com/776305/arca-...

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  4. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  5. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Cozy Cottage in The Woods Near Asheville | Amazing Small House Design
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on May 26, 2017
    This small house is located in a rural residential area on the outskirts of Asheville, North Carolina. We don’t know how old the house is but it was recently renovated by the owners. With their updates, it’s certainly a cozy little cottage now.

    Entering into the 600 ft2 (55.7 m2) home, you find yourself in a single-room living space lined by three large double-hung windows on each side. The kitchen is built along one wall with enough room for a small dining area next to it, while the couch faces the windows on the opposite wall. At the far end, a set of French doors opens to a small sitting porch.

    Next to the French doors, a wood door topped by a stained-glass transom window leads to a bathroom featuring a clawfoot tub. The bathroom is housed within a new addition to the original cottage. It doesn’t have an outside window but it does have a skylight, and the transom allows it to borrow light from the main room. The bathroom doubles as a laundry room with a stacked washer and dryer.

    Back at the entrance end, a wood staircase spirals 180 degrees to reach the attic bedroom. The owners added a new shed dormer, providing plenty of headroom for walking around the foot of the king-sized bed. On the other side is a half bath, saving on trips down the stairs in the middle of the night. Although there is room for a dresser, the bedroom does seem to be a bit short on clothes storage space. There is one corner by the stairs that has been set up as a reading nook, but that space may be better used for a closet as most people would probably prefer to sit by the windows anyway.

    This cozy home can be rented through Airbnb. If you plan to attend the Tiny House Conference being held in Asheville next April, the cottage is about a fifteen-minute drive from the conference site.

    Photographs courtesy of Airbnb / The Cottage on Parkway Loop.
    https://fr.airbnb.com/rooms/1039028

    More Videos: #tinyhouse #tinyhouses #smallhouse #cottage #cabin #tiny #tinyhome
     
  6. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Tiny Cape Cod Cottage in Massachusetts, Small House Design Ideas
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on May 21, 2017
    This little cottage sits near Cape Cod Bay in Massachusetts. In winter, when the leaves have fallen, you can view the bay through the trees. We don’t know how old the cottage is but it did belong to the current owner’s grandparents. It was, however, recently renovated, so the interior is up-to-date while still in keeping with the age and character of the cottage.

    The cottage started out as a high post half Cape. Typical Cape Cod houses are categorized as quarter, half, three-quarter or full Cape, depending on the number of windows along the front. Often a young family would start by building a half Cape, with two windows on one side of the front door, and later expand it to a three-quarter or full Cape with either one or two windows on the other side of the door.

    This one was expanded more haphazardly though, with a shed-roofed addition at one end for the living room and a hip-roofed addition at the other end containing the bathroom. There is also a storage shed stuck to the back side. The kitchen and dining room are in the original cottage. That oldest part is dressed up with built-up crown moldings along the roof eaves together with gable end cornice returns. The additions are much plainer, trimmed out with flat facia boards.

    The term “high post” refers to walls that extend vertically above the lower-level ceiling, increasing the usable space upstairs. This one also has two large dormers, likely newer additions, which raise the ceiling to at least 7′ over most of the upper floor. That gives room for a relatively spacious bedroom suite including a half bath.

    This tiny cottage is available for vacation rentals through Airbnb.
    https://fr.airbnb.com/rooms/5194363

    Photographs courtesy of Airbnb.

    More Videos: #tinyhouse #tinyhouses #smallhouse #cottage #cabin #tiny #tinyhome
     
  7. dacrunch

    dacrunch Platinum Bling Platinum Bling

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    One thing I've always wondered about =

    Getting a lot against a hillside/cliff... Blasting a dwelling 80% inside the cliff/hill.

    Probably only get "property taxed" for the square footage OUTSIDE the ground?

    And easy to heat/cool... since it's always in the 50's year-round underground.

    But today, with "environmentalists"... most likely a "no-no" from the "planning/zoning commission"...

    PS - I once knew a place where they built the full basement, then roofed it... claiming that "some day when we have the cash, we'll build the rest"... and their property taxes were almost nil.
     
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  8. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Waterworld done right: NY Truck-a-Float as truck/boat camper
    Kirsten Dirksen



    Published on May 28, 2017
    Architects Matteo Pinto and Carolina Cisneros wanted to create a houseboat to live on in the summertime in New York City. The owners of Marina 59 in Far Rockaway, Queens had given them the space to build something (they paid the slip fee). Inspired by the hundreds of used truck caps they saw for sale along the highways of New Jersey and New York, they decided to build a floating home using a cap as a prefab roof complete with windows and screens.

    They built four: one for themselves, for their partners (and friends) who had inspired the project, and two extra to rent out to help pay for the adventure. Dubbing it “Truck-A-Float”, each pod has a sleeping platform with a full size convertible sofa bed (an IKEA hack), a small closet, and a compact flip table as a very limited kitchen (coffee pot and kitchenware).

    Each floating shelters is named after its truck parent: the Century Horseshoe, the GMC Diamondback, the Jeraco Barnacle, and the Jeraco Swan.

    Pinto and Cisneros run the design/art firm ComboColab together and say perhaps one day they will build other truck-capped shelters on lakes, in trees, etc.

    Truck-a-Float: http://www.truckafloat.com/
    ComboColab: http://www.combocolab.com/
     
  9. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    My Classic Boat Tugboat Else 1911
    My Classic Boat



    Published on May 27, 2017
    This 1911 Dutch Tugboat is the UK home of marine artist Claudia Myatt. When asked if she was a starving artist, the lady whose work appears in Classic Boat and Practical Boat Owner magazines replied. 'There's wine and yogurt in the fridge'. This video is an insight into the highs and lows of living on an old tugboat on an East Coast river.
    Copyrights, Bob Aylott My Classic Boat. Claudia Myatt, for extra pictures and music.
    Please enjoy and share. Also to get updates on latest videos click the subscribe button



     
  10. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Forest Cottage in Scandinavia, Sweden | Small House Designs
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on May 29, 2017
    Vacation cottages in natural settings are found all over but seem to be especially popular in Scandinavia, maybe because Scandinavians want to maximize their enjoyment of the short summers. This one is surrounded by forest on Tegelön, a small island in the Stockholm archipelago. It is conveniently close to Stockholm yet feels worlds away.

    The cottage was built in 1944 and consisted of the living/dining room plus the kitchen and bedroom at one end, with the fireplace located near the center for heat distribution. The two bedrooms and sleeping loft at the other end were a later addition, bringing the floor space to 65 m2 (700 ft2). The living and dining room likely had a lower ceiling originally but it has since been opened up, putting the roof trusses on display. The cottage now has a connection to the grid, so electric radiators provide another option for heat.

    The property also has a 18 m2 (194 ft2) outbuilding containing a sauna and guest quarters. The only bathroom facilities, with a shower and composting toilet, are in the guesthouse. For some reason, while the kitchen was modernized, no bathroom was ever installed in the main cottage. However since there is running water in the updated kitchen, it would be relatively straightforward to turn the adjacent small bedroom into a bathroom, still leaving plenty of sleeping space.

    Photographs courtesy of Skeppsholmen.
    http://www.skeppsholmen.se/

    More Videos: #tinyhouse #tinyhouses #smallhouse #cottage #cabin #tiny #tinyhome
     
  11. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Solar Decathlon INhouse in Orange County, California | Small House Deign Ideas
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on May 29, 2017
    Solar Decathlon 2015 just wrapped up in Orange County, California. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design and build a small house powered entirely by the sun.

    INhouse was the entry by California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. INhouse placed 3rd overall and did particularly well in the architecture and market appeal sub-competitions.

    Part of the home’s curb appeal is due to a covering of redwood strips. The redwood screens are not just for aesthetics though; they also cool the house by shading the walls. The screens are more opaque where the sun hits the house hardest and more transparent on other sides. According to Cal Poly’s analysis, the screens cut the cooling load by nearly 5%.

    As the teams build their houses near their respective campuses and ship them to the competition site, most adopt a modular approach. That was the strategy Cal Poly used for their 986 ft2 (91.6 m2) entry, splitting INhouse into three modules. The center module is the home’s mechanical core, containing the kitchen and bath along with all the HVAC and electrical equipment. The core is flanked by a living area module to the south and a bedroom module to the north.

    The living area module is open to the kitchen, creating a nice T-shaped open plan layout. The size of the living area may be a bit bigger than many of you would prefer but keep in mind that the Solar Decathlon houses are designed for hosting tours and large gatherings as that is part of the competition. With the design of INhouse, it would be quite easy to make the living area and bedroom modules longer or shorter.

    A 15’ folding glass wall opens the living room to a screened patio for seamless indoor-outdoor living, which certainly makes sense in a temperate climate. The patio is enclosed by sliding redwood screens and is shaded by an array of photovoltaic panels. The panels are a state-of-the-art design that also absorbs reflected light from below, giving a small boost to the direct sunlight hitting the top sides.

    The bedroom module is a large room that also contains a flex space, with the furniture arrangement defining the two functional areas. The flex space could obviously be used for many things but has been set up as a home office for the competition.

    It would be nice to be able to turn the flex space into a second bedroom but the floor plan layout doesn’t make that easy as the bedroom half is reached by going through the flex space. To split the room into two bedrooms, you’d also have to allocate some space to a hallway, making one or both bedrooms much smaller. So, the flex space isn’t as flexible as it would have been if the door was located more in the middle of the room or if an allowance had been made for adding a second door elsewhere. One possible solution is to just shift the entire bedroom module to the east.

    At the back of the house there is a constructed wetland for treating the home’s grey water. The cleaned water is used to irrigate the landscaping, eliminating any need to use fresh water for that purpose. You can read more about the design and technology used in the house on the INhouse website.
    http://www.calpolysolardecathlon.org/

    Photographs by/courtesy of Solar Cal Poly and by Thomas Kelsey courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.
    http://flickr.com/photos/solarcalpoly/
    http://www.solardecathlon.gov/
     
  12. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    “House Zilvar” An Energy - Efficient Home With a Folded Roof, Asgk Design, Small House Design
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on May 31, 2017
    “House Zilvar” is a small wooden house with an unusual shape. The home’s distinctive appearance is the result of what is essentially a shed roof that twists and folds along the length of the house, changing the direction of slope from one end to the other. Located in rural Bohemia, it was designed by Prague studio ASGK Design for a family of three who wanted a small energy-efficient house that would bring them closer together.

    The entrance is at one end of the house, together with the bathroom and storage closets. The rest of the 58.0 m2 (624 ft2) ground floor is an open living area comprised of an eat-in kitchen in the middle of the house and a lounge space at the far end.
    More Videos: #tinyhouse #tinyhouses #smallhouse #cottage #cabin #tiny #tinyhome

    Two separate bedroom lofts overlook the living area, allowing for easy communication between family members. Although both lofts overlook the living area, they cannot be seen from each other; the lowered roof valley in the middle divides the upper volume of the house in two, giving the bedrooms a degree of privacy. Each loft is reached by an industrial-style steel staircase.

    The ground floor is pinched in the middle, with an inset terrace pushing into the side of the house. That together with the roof shape results in a very dynamic space where more or less of the interior is visible as you move around the living area. The architects say that the interaction of sunlight with the angular design “dramatically changes the shape of the house and makes you feel like an explorer in a canyon.”

    The lounge area consists of a multi-level platform with large windows facing a pond on one side and meadows on the other. There is book and firewood storage under the edges of the raised floors, as well as hatches that provide access to additional under-floor storage.

    The house is very well-insulated with 18 cm of mineral wool insulation in the walls covered by 4 cm fibreboard on the exterior. The fibreboard allows the walls to “breathe”; water vapor can diffuse out rather than condensing within the wall cavity. The roof construction is similar but with a thicker layer of fibreboard. All the windows are high-efficiency triple-glazed units.

    Photographs by Petra Hajska, courtesy of ASGK Design.
    http://www.hajska.cz/
    http://www.asgk.cz/
     
  13. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Pye’s Beach House in Mississippi | Standard Creative | Small House Design
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on Jun 2, 2017
    Ten years ago Friday, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Mississippi, its record-breaking 28′ (8.5 m) storm surge virtually obliterating the small coastal town of Waveland. Pye Parson and her family had evacuated in advance, along with most of the town’s residents. When they returned, the town looked like it had been bombed. All that remained to identify their former homesite, just two blocks from the beach, was a 100-year-old oak tree and the brick steps that once led to their front door.

    Given the loss of not only homes but also businesses and jobs, schools and other infrastructure, about two-thirds of Waveland’s population resettled elsewhere following the disaster. Pye’s family did the same, however she longed to return, dreaming of the day she’d be able to rebuild. In the meantime, she and her son Quen would return to the property for weekend camping trips, marvelling at how quickly nature was reclaiming the area. What had been a neighborhood of single-family houses was turning into a forest of young trees.

    One day she came across a casting call for FYI television network’s “Tiny House Nation”. She applied and was soon accepted to be on the show’s first season. However the planned house didn’t meet the minimum size required by Waveland’s zoning regulations, necessitating a lengthy variance process. As a result, the home didn’t appear until the show’s third season. Waveland is reportedly considering changes to their regulations that would make it easier to build a small or tiny house.

    The small house was designed by architect Bruce Lanier of Standard Creative. It is elevated 15’ on piers and fortified to comply with new building regulations intended to reduce future losses from storm surges and hurricane-force winds. A 24’ by 24’ square floor print and shed roof were chosen to keep the construction costs lower.

    The 576 ft2 (53.5 m2) floor plan is divided in four, with the living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom each occupying a corner. Over the bathroom is a loft accessed by stairs and easily big enough to serve as a second bedroom. The remaining main floor spaces have high ceilings and huge ceiling fans to provide natural cooling.

    Outdoor spaces greatly expand the living area. Pye’s family typically has breakfast on the deck and dine in the outdoor living room they created below the house. If they wish to dine inside with a large group, a fold-down dining table and benches are ingeniously stored in the barn-style sliding bedroom doors.

    With jobs and school keeping them elsewhere, Pye and her family are using her small house as a vacation retreat for now, but they plan to move there full time when circumstances allow. In the meantime, it is also available for vacation rentals through Homeaway. Enjoy the photos!

    Photographs by courtesy of Pye’s Beach House.
    http://www.pyesbeachhouse.com/

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  14. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Tiny Sod Roofed House in Northern Coast Denmark | Small House Design
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on Jun 1, 2017
    This little cottage is nestled among the sand dunes on the northern coast of Denmark. Its vernacular appearance and sod roof might fool some into thinking that it is a historic home, but the fully-glazed gable gives it away as being much younger. Sod has been used as a roofing material for hundreds of years in Scandinavia. It remained the most common roof type in rural areas until the late 1800s, when it was gradually supplanted by tile and later metal.

    In recent years there has been a revival of interest in traditional building methods and materials. That coupled with the concept of green roofs has led to sod being used on newer homes, such as this one built in 1987. While the materials are literally dirt cheap, they are very labor-intensive to build and therefore costly unless you do the work yourself.

    The dirt and grass does add some insulation but its main purpose was to hold down the layers of birch bark that provided the actual waterproofing. In new construction, the birch bark is usually replaced by asphalt felt and a dimpled plastic drainage layer. That is likely what was used on this house, judging by the metal drip edge visible below the sod layer.

    Like its predecessors, this small house is recessed slightly into the ground and has short sidewalls to deflect the often harsh coastal winds over the roof.

    The wood-lined interior is cozy with a roughly 40 m2 (430 ft2) floor plan. The short sidewalls mean that the only windows are on the gable ends, but the living area’s window wall ensures that there is no lack of daylight.

    The bedroom and bathroom are in the back corners, with the bathroom accessed through the bedroom.

    The cottage is currently on the market with an asking price of 1,295,000 Danish kroner, or roughly US$195,000.

    Photographs courtesy of EDC.
    http://www.edc.dk/
    http://www.edc.dk/

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  15. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    A Small House Unique in San Fransisco Bay Area | Bernard_Maybeck | Small House Design
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on Jun 4, 2017
    The “Cubby” started out as a single-car garage before being converted and expanded into an eclectic one-bedroom cottage. It was designed for his own property by Bernard Maybeck, a renowned architect associated with the Arts and Crafts movement in the San Fransisco Bay Area. When the 1923 Berkeley fire destroyed the family house, along with several hundred other homes, the Maybecks turned to tiny house living. Bernard Maybeck designed a one-room studio for his son Wallen to live in while the rest of the family took up residence in a tiny cottage that was moved onto the property.

    A few years later, Wallen was married and the couple had newborn twin daughters. Needing more space, Wallen moved his family into the Cubby. At that time it was just a long narrow room with French doors at each end. The building had a very wide sheltering roof, a typical feature of Maybeck’s residential designs. Taking advantage of the 4′ (1.2 m) overhangs, the young couple pushed the walls out to obtain more room inside. That added space was used for a two-piece bathroom and a simple kitchen on the downhill side, and seating nooks flanking an oversized concrete fireplace on the opposite wall.

    Some time later, a bedroom and bathroom addition was built into the hillside above the garage and connected to it by an internal stair. Together the two parts have 724 ft2 (67.3 m2) of floor space. Because of the slope, the bedroom’s ensuite bathroom and walk-in closet were raised a few steps higher than the bedroom itself. Like the main living space, the bedroom has French doors at each end with one set leading to a private patio and the other set opening to a deck with a view of the bay.

    Both parts of the cottage have high, airy ceilings. In the original garage, the exposed trusses were stained a teal blue to highlight them against the redwood paneling. The bedroom addition was finished with stained plywood. Maybeck was known for adapting industrial products for residential use, and plywood was then an innovative new material. The lower parts of the walls have since been covered in wallpaper.

    Not many people are fortunate enough to live in a Bernard Maybeck-designed home, but this one can be rented for vacation stays through Airbnb. Enjoy the photos!

    Photographs courtesy of Airbnb.
    http://wordpress.redirectingat.com/?i...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_...

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  16. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    How Much Does Off Grid Homesteading Cost?
    Life Inside A Box



    Published on Jun 4, 2017
     
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    Off The Grid Alaskan Tiny House In A Tree ~ Land & Building For $35k
    Tiny Home Tours



    Published on May 30, 2017
    This is part one of an awesome tree house being built a few miles outside of Seward, Alaska. As you can see from this video, the project is still underway. But, for someone who has minimal building experience, Trevor has done an amazing job with this tiny home. Later in the season I hope to bring you a follow up video detailing what this young couple does about electricity, water, sewage, interior decor and insights learned from the process. These two are living a life that almost everyone watching this video dreams about. Living in Alaska in their very own tiny house...all for around $35K!

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    WWII Veterans Custom Alaskan Shipping Container Tiny House Build ~ Part 1
    Tiny Home Tours



    Published on Jun 5, 2017
    This will be a continuous tiny home building project I will be working on throughout the summer. Part 2 will be posted next Monday and will dive deeper into the technical part of the tiny house build. They recently ordered a composting toilet and will be putting up the insulation and walls soon.
     
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    A Small House Cob as in a Storybook Cottage | in Gulf British Columbia| Small House Design
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on Jun 5, 2017
    Cob is an age-old method of building that can be used to create very unique organically-shaped structures. This particular example, called the Cob Cottage, is situated on Mayne Island, a quiet and laid-back locale in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia. It was reportedly the first cob house in Canada to go through the building permit process.

    Cob uses a mixture of clay, sand, straw and water to form load-bearing walls. Cob structures are built by hand with the mixture laid in layers and allowed to dry. This process lends itself to creating structures with curved walls, rounded openings, built-in display niches, and sculptural decoration. Building with cob requires a lot of physical labor but the materials are cheap, so it is one way to get a very low-cost house as long as you don’t pay someone else to do the work.

    The Cob Cottage was designed by Mayne Island’s Cobworks in conjunction with Oregon-based Cob Cottage Company. The two-story core of the house is a roughly circular living room with cantilevered Douglas fir stairs leading to the bedroom above. The curved walls are topped by a rounded roof, which is supported in the bedroom by a naturally bowed tree trunk used as a beam.

    The main roof swoops down on one side to shelter the entry foyer and bathroom. On the other side, a separate roof covers the kitchen with its custom curved cabinetry and adjacent dining nook. There are many other touches of custom woodwork on display throughout, including the railings and several hand-made furniture pieces. The cottage has approximately 600 ft2 (55.7 m2) of floor space over the two levels.

    If you’d like to experience living in a cob house, the Cob Cottage is available for vacation rentals through Airbnb. Have a great weekend!

    Photographs courtesy of The Cob Cottage / Airbnb. Via Tiny House Living.
    http://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/1720832
    http://www.tinyhouseliving.com/unique...

    More Videos: #tinyhouse #tinyhouses #smallhouse #cottage #cabin #tiny #tinyhome
     
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    Building Amazing Homes & Mobile Spaces Using Shipping Containers!
    Exploring Alternatives



    Published on Jun 5, 2017
    In this video we explore and learn how to use shipping containers as strong, durable and mobile building blocks to create amazing structures of all kinds, like a house, addition, office space, or cabin; and we feature a few stunning projects to get you inspired!

    Anthony Ruggiero from Storstac Inc. (http://www.storstac.com/) showed us around their yard in Toronto, Ontario and took the time to teach us about the ins and outs of building with shipping containers. We're excited to share the tips and information we learned with you.

    Shipping containers come in standard 20 foot and 40 foot lengths, and there are other specialty custom sizes like the 10', 45', 48', 53' long containers.

    Almost all shipping containers are made in China, and can be bought used (after they've been used for 10-20 years), or new, which means they've one been used once.

    Since there are no shipping manifests for used containers to show what was transported in them over the course of their lifetime (it could be anything from clothes to nuclear waste), it's better to build with a new shipping container that's only been used once.

    They're made with COR-TEN steel, which is a weathering steel that can withstand harsh weather conditions and elements like salt water because the rust on weathering steel creates a protective patina to keep it strong, whereas rust on mild steel would actually weaken the metal.

    While building with shipping containers is not necessarily cheaper than conventional building, it does have advantages because the containers are modular, movable and mobile, durable, and have a unique, modern look.

    They can be do it yourself friendly if you've worked with steel before, or if you find a company to take care of the steel work for you so you can focus on how to frame it and finish it from the inside.

    Let us know what you think of shipping containers as alternative building blocks in the comments!

    And if you're interested in learning more about Storstac and the projects they've worked on, check out the links below:

    Storstac
    http://www.storstac.com/

    New Old Stock - LA Man Cave
    http://newoldstock.com/

    Harlem House Addition in Toronto
    http://www.storstac.com/portfolio-ite...

    Rogers Fan Hub in Toronto
    http://www.storstac.com/rogers-shippi...

    Thanks for watching!

    Mat & Danielle
     
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    A Garden Cottage on The River Bille That Flows Through Hamburg | Germany | Small House Design
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on Jun 6, 2017
    One of our readers has sent us photos of her weekend house on the river Bille that flows through Hamburg, Germany. Marion designed the small cottage herself, and she and her husband built it over a couple of years with the help of a professional carpenter and assistance from a friend.

    Marion’s cottage is located in an allotment garden. Allotment gardens are typically managed by an allotment association, which divides the land into individual garden plots and assigns them to the member gardeners in exchange for a small annual payment. Marion’s allotment garden is one of the largest in Europe, with over 2,000 individual garden plots. She and her husband really lucked out in getting a spot right on the river.

    Some allotments don’t allow any structures apart from a small toolshed. However many others do let the gardeners build a small cottage suitable for overnight stays. The allotment is then not just a place to grow food but also a retreat, allowing the gardeners to spend weekends and short vacations there relaxing and socializing. However full-time residency is not permitted.

    Marion’s garden cottage is 24 m2 (258 ft2). The living area is cozy with a woodstove for cooler nights, but most of the living and dining will likely take place out on the wood deck. At one end of the cottage there is a kitchenette and a half bath outfitted with a composting toilet.

    The sleeping loft above has lots of space thanks to two dormers. The dormers are actually a hybrid combination of gabled doghouse dormers and shed dormers. Doghouse dormers have a taller front wall which gives more headroom near the outside wall while shed dormers offer greater headroom away from the wall. Marion’s design merges them to get the advantages of both.

    Thank you Marion for sharing your garden cottage!
    Photographs by/courtesy of Marion Tepp.


     
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    The Small House a Pier in The Hillsborough River of Downtown Tampa | Florida | Small House Design
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on Jun 4, 2017
    A ramshackle exterior conceals a modern residence in this truly unique character home. The small house is built at the end of a pier in the Hillsborough River within sight of downtown Tampa, Florida.

    The structure was built over 50 years ago, likely as a boat shed. Someone probably started living in it when the area was still somewhat unregulated. When more restrictive land use regulations were put in place, the existing residential use was “grandfathered” in, i.e., allowed to continue despite not complying with the new rules.

    After following the dock to the house, the front door opens to a hallway that leads past the bedroom to the open living space facing the water. Large windows and narrow decks surround the living area, allowing you to enjoy the river and skyline views from inside or out.

    The bedroom’s ensuite bathroom has an old-time cottage feel with a clawfoot bathtub and a pedestal sink. There is also a powder room for visitors off the entry hallway. Laundry facilities are included too, with a stacked washer and dryer in a bedroom closet.

    Planning a visit to Tampa? The Hillsborough River house can be rented through Airbnb. Have a great weekend!

    Photographs by Ybor Photography, courtesy of Airbnb.
    http://www.vacationrentalphoto.com/
    http://wordpress.redirectingat.com/?i...

    More Videos: #tinyhouse #tinyhouses #smallhouse #cottage #cabin #tiny #tinyhome
     
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    This is a Garden Cottage in Denmark | Small House Design
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on Jun 9, 2017
    This gabled cottage presents a fairly closed appearance to the street with just a few small windows. But around back, large windows and French doors open it up to a sunny brick patio surrounded by a lushly-planted garden.

    Those big south-facing windows make the small house quite bright inside. With its open, airy interior and garden views, the cottage feels more like a summerhouse out in the countryside than a suburban dwelling. However it is in fact located in Hellerup, a suburb of Copenhagen.

    The ground floor is an open living space that wraps in a U-shape around the bathroom and a small entry hall. A steep flight of stairs accesses the spacious bedroom loft over one end of the living area. The wood floors, vaulted ceiling and exposed beams have been given a whitewash finish, lightening the wood while still allowing the grain to show.

    A small second bedroom could easily be created on the main level by enclosing the space currently set up as a home office. Altogether the home has 80 m2 (861 ft2) of floor space.

    Photographs courtesy of Airbnb.
    https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/2293596

    More Videos: #tinyhouse #tinyhouses #smallhouse #cottage #cabin #tiny #tinyhome
     
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    A Beautiful in Tennessee Cabin Home | Small House Design
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on Jun 9, 2017
    Many of us dream of living in a cabin. One of our faithful readers has shared photos of the Tennessee cabin that her family calls home. She describes how they renovated the small cabin to make it into the perfect home for them.

    My husband, my daughter and I share a small cabin with three dogs and four cats. Our home was built in 2004 as a vacation rental. When we purchased it in 2011, it had 585 ft2 (54.3 m2), very little storage space and needed some TLC. We are passionate about living in a small home, but we’re not minimalists. We love to cook, create artwork, play games, take pictures and be outdoors. All of these hobbies involve supplies or accessories. So, for us, the challenge of living in a small home came down to finding a way to store our things neatly in our living space.

    When we moved in, the cabin had a 5’ x 6’ laundry room. The door to the laundry room swung inwards and there was a window in the room, so the space didn’t reach its maximum storage potential. We chose to turn half the laundry room into a mini walk-in closet that my daughter and I share. The closet door swings out into the little hall that leads to the bathroom and bedroom.

    Enclosing part of the front porch gave us an extra 50 ft2 (4.6 m2) of interior space. We used the new space as a mud-room / office / kitchen addition. The remaining adjacent half of the former laundry room became a recessed space for the refrigerator and a 3’ deep, pantry-style cabinet.

    The original bathtub had a large crack and the pedestal sink was broken. When the exterior wall was removed to enclose part of the front porch, we brought in a new, smaller tub. That gave us enough space to have a stacked washer and dryer in the bathroom. Luckily, there was also enough room to replace the pedestal sink with a set of cabinets. We chose stock kitchen cabinets, rather than smaller bathroom cabinets, because they offered more storage space. We installed a top-mount sink so that the drawers in the cabinets were fully functional, although one drawer did have to be modified to allow for the plumbing. We used cork for the counter.

    We used several of the same cabinets in the main living space, but added to them to create open spaces and drawers. Wall-mounted adjustable shelving creates open storage for dishes, cooking accessories and art supplies. Several baskets store smaller items. Removing the laundry room door gave us wall space in the dining area that allowed us to install a bench, which provides additional storage and also hides duct work. We’ve woodburned our homemade light fixtures, mantle, mirrors, frames, and boards above the doors and windows to add character.

    The cabin only has one official bedroom, but it also has a loft space. We thought about enclosing part of the back porch to make a second bedroom, but our daughter wanted to sleep in the loft. We’ve installed a window, flooring, lighting and shelving for her. She loves it and tells us so often.

    Photographs by/courtesy of the owner.
    https://smallhousebliss.com/
     
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    Craftsman Style Portage Bay Float House | Small House Design
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on Jun 8, 2017
    This floating home is moored in Portage Bay, one of Seattle’s many floating home communities. It is one of eight float homes that share a cooperatively-owned dock along with a parcel of land for parking. It was built about ten years ago with a design loosely based on the American Craftsman style.


    The front door opens to a small entry foyer. From there, you pass through the kitchen to reach the living room with its vaulted ceiling, fireplace and window seat. The dining area is off to the side and sliding patio doors open to the deck.

    The many windows offer the expected water views. With the homes moored closely together and neighbors passing by on the adjacent dock, float home living generally isn’t suited for people who desire a lot of privacy. However all the windows are equipped with blinds for when you do, or just for keeping out the sunlight reflecting off the water.

    The 960 ft2 (89.2 m2) float home has two bedrooms. The upper-level master bedroom suite, accessed by stairs leading up from the entry, has its own roof deck. If you prefer not to deal with stairs, there is a second bedroom (set up as a den / home office in these photos) which opens off the living room. It also has its own attached bathroom, although with a shower instead of a bathtub.

    Photographs courtesy of Coldwell Banker Danforth.
    http://www.cbdanforth.com/
    http://www.coldwellbanker.com/propert...
     
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    This is Small Beach House of The Taieri River on New Zealand’s South Island | Mason and Wales
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on Jun 8, 2017
    This small beach house, or bach, sits on a sand dune near a fishing village at the mouth of the Taieri River on New Zealand’s South Island. “Bach” is a Kiwi term for a small vacation cottage of simple design and often handbuilt by the owner using inexpensive materials. When designing this modern version for his own family, architect Regan Johnston of Mason & Wales Architects took inspiration from the area’s original fishing huts and baches, giving the structure a straightforward gabled shape that would be quick and economical to build.

    Updating the bach concept, Johnston included a fully-glazed end wall, which required a bit of slightly more complex engineering. Steel tension rods arranged in an X pattern keep the gable end from racking sideways when hit by high winds or an earthquake. The steel rods were chosen over other options so as to minimally obstruct the view.

    Most of the 55 m2 (592 ft2) ground floor is taken up by an open-plan living area, part of which vaults all the way up to the roof ridge. Another wall is also mostly glass in the form of large sliding doors that open the living space to a wood patio and lawn on the sunny north side. At the back, behind the kitchen, are the bathroom, laundry and storage areas. There are two bedrooms upstairs in the mezzanine loft, one of which overlooks the living room and shares its view through the gable wall.

    Like many of its predecessors, the interior of the Taieri Mouth Bach is finished using simple plywood paneling. The exterior is clad with lapped cedar boards, also a fairly traditional material choice. However the ends of the boards were aligned and covered with vertical trim pieces for a modern appearance.

    If you’d like to vacation in a relatively undeveloped part of New Zealand, the Taieri Mouth Bach is available for rent.

    Photographs by Ewen Livingstone, courtesy of Mason & Wales Architects.

    http://www.masonandwales.com/
     
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    This is Distinctive Cottage Located Oceanfront on Lummi Island in Washington | Small House Design
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on Jun 3, 2017
    This distinctive cottage sits in the west coast rainforest facing the waters of the Salish Sea. It is located on Lummi Island in Washington, a short ferry ride from the mainland and a couple hours drive north of Seattle. The tiny cottage recently came on the market with an asking price of $395,000. Although it is being marketed as a vacation cabin, it is on the electric grid and equipped for full-time living.

    One catch is that while the cottage does have a bathroom, it is located in a separate outbuilding up the hill. Reaching it at night requires navigating not only a loft ladder but also over thirty exterior steps. On the plus side, at least it isn’t a rustic outhouse; the washhouse is finished just as nicely as the cottage itself. Besides the bathroom with large shower, the washhouse also has a compact stacked washer/dryer.

    The cottage is listed as being 458 ft2 (42.5 m2), which likely includes the washhouse. We estimate the main cottage to be about 14′ by 18′. The lower floor is one open room with the kitchen and storage closets along the back wall. There may be a wood stove in the one corner that can’t be seen in the photos as the exterior shots do show a chimney in that corner. Otherwise there are electric baseboard heaters.

    The outside of the cottage is distinguished by a (relatively) large roof lantern, an architectural feature more commonly associated with large barns and older factory buildings. Raising the center of the roof provided the necessary headroom for the loft bedroom. A skylight strategically positioned above the access hatch saves you from bumping your head on the way up, while a matching skylight on the other side provides a view of the night sky from bed.

    If the bathroom situation and the price tag don’t deter you, you can get more information through the listing agent [Update: It has been sold]. Enjoy the photos!

    Photographs courtesy of Northwest MLS / Windermere Real Estate/Whatcom, Inc.. Via Curbed Seattle.
    http://www.windermere.com/listing/WA/...
    http://seattle.curbed.com/
     
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    A Tiny Cottage in a Rural Area Utrecht, The Netherlands | Zecc and Roel van Norel|Small House Design
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on Jun 12, 2017
    A remarkable vacation cottage sits at the edge of a clearing in a rural area outside Utrecht, the Netherlands. It was created by a partnership between Utrecht-based studio Zecc and Roel van Norel. At first glance the cottage appears to be an ordinary gable-roofed house, and from some angles it might even be mistaken for a garden shed. Even the fully-glazed end wall isn’t all that unusual. But look closer and it becomes apparent that the archetypal house has been refined with a few unique twists.

    For one thing, the cottage has an asymmetric profile — the front side has a generous roof overhang while the back side has none. Instead, the slate roofing wraps over the edge and runs down the wall to ground level. On the opposite side, what looks from a distance like a windowless wall turns out to be a series of louvered shutters that extends the full length of the façade. When the shutters are opened, they reveal that this wall too is all glass.

    French doors in the gable end lead into the living/dining/kitchen area, which takes up about two-thirds of the cottage’s 30 m2 (323 ft2) floor plan. The far end is allocated to sleeping, with a bedroom area below and a loft above. The bedroom area can be kept open to the living area or closed off with a retracting wall of sliding panels. The shutters regulate the amount of afternoon sunlight entering the cottage. With the shutters closed, the spaced cedar slats still allow plenty of light in, along with a filtered view of the garden.

    The entire back wall of the cottage is lined with oak cabinetry designed and built by van Norel. These highly crafted built-ins house all the service functions, seamlessly integrating the kitchen, bathroom facilities, clothes storage and even a wood-burning fireplace. To fit within the narrow width of the built-ins, the normal three-piece bathroom is split in three. There is a compartment for the shower, a compartment for the toilet and a small handbasin, and a larger sink open to the bedroom. Having a shower directly off a bedroom seems like a great idea, giving a lot more room to dry off and dress than a cramped bathroom, provided the flooring is water-resistant.

    Photographs by/courtesy of Roel van Norel, and by StijnStijl, courtesy of Zecc. Via Inhabitat.
    http://www.roelvannorel.nl/
    http://www.stijnstijl.nl/
    http://inhabitat.com/zecc-and-roel-va...
    http://www.zecc.nl/
     
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    Three Victorian Era Railcars Restored as Vacation Suites | Small House Design
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on Jun 12, 2017
    Ever thought about converting an old railway coach or caboose into a tiny house? The folks at Railholiday have done just that, rescuing and restoring several Victorian-era railcar bodies, then outfitting them as self-contained vacation rental suites.

    Railholiday now has four cars available for visitors. Three are in St Germans, a picturesque village in southeast Cornwall, and one is in Hayle, a seaside town at the western end of Cornwall. The three St Germans cars are shown in these photos. They were all fairly derelict when purchased, with wood bodies that were rotting away and missing various trim and window pieces, as well as being covered in layers of peeling paint and grime.

    Restoring them took months and months of laborious effort for each car. As the bodies had been removed from their chassis when taken out of service, new reproduction steel frames were built based on the original drawings. Each car was then provided with a fully-equipped kitchen and bathroom, a lounge area and one or two bedrooms.

    The Old Luggage Van entered service in 1898 and carried passenger luggage until its retirement in 1932. At 24′ by 8′ it is small for a railcar, so has just one comfortable bedroom. At the other end is a sitting room with a pair of fireside chairs facing a woodburning stove. The connecting corridor has a galley kitchen on one side and the bathroom on the other, split into separate toilet and shower compartments. The original wood interior was stripped of paint and now has a Danish oil finish.

    “Mevy” as it is now named started life as a Victorian passenger coach. It is about 38′ by 8′ and accommodates families, having two bedrooms. The master bedroom, located in what was the first class compartment, has been finished in an appropriately opulent fashion with Italian velvet upholstery, maple and mahogany paneling and gilted gold detailing. At the other end of the carriage, the guard’s room was equipped with three children’s bunks. Clerestory roof windows run the length of the car.

    The Travelling Post Office, built in 1889, is the largest of the three at 48′ by 8′. It can sleep up to six with a bedroom, a double bunkroom, and a pull-out couch in the sitting area. The kitchen was built in the style of the original post office work counter and mail-sorting cubbyholes. It also has a three-piece bathroom with a shower.

    To book your own railcar vacation, please visit Railholiday. Have a great weekend!

    Photographs by Ross Haxton and Kernow Dream Photography, courtesy of Railholiday.
    http://www.railholiday.co.uk/
    http://www.kernowdreamphotography.com/
    http://www.railholiday.co.uk/
     
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    A Tiny Icelandic Cabin Under the Northern Lights | Maja Siska | Small House Design
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on Jun 12, 2017
    Nordurnes is a vacation rental cabin located on a 130 hectare farm in the south of Iceland, 80 km from Reykjavik. An older tiny house, it was renovated by owner and architect Maja Siska to open up the 32 m2 (344 ft2) floor plan. Aside from the bathroom and a small mudroom entry to the side, the small cabin consists of a single room with an open bedroom loft over the kitchen area.

    French doors open up the living area in warmer weather, inviting occupants to step out onto the wood terrace and take in the views of the pastoral landscape and Hekla, one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes. The exterior is clad in traditional Nordic style with black vertical board siding accented by white window trim and red doors.

    With no nearby development, Nordurnes is an ideal spot for taking in the Aurora Borealis. The night sky is pitch black, providing optimum viewing of the aurora and the stars. You can enjoy the aurora from the wood terrace or through the loft window while snug in bed.

    While the Northern Lights are most likely to be seen in winter, the area offers many different attractions and activities throughout the year, including hot springs and geysers, waterfalls, bicycling, horseback riding, wildlife viewing and hiking on the volcano. Nordurnes can be rented through Homeaway.

    Have a great weekend!

    Photographs courtesy of Maja Siska.
    http://wordpress.redirectingat.com/?i...
    http://www.skinnhufa.is/
     
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    This is Rustic off Grid Woodsman’s Cabin by the Dordogne Region, France | Small House Design
    Tiny House Lover



    Published on Jun 12, 2017
    Surrounded by birch, ash and oak trees, this tiny owner-built cabin sits on the shore of a small lake in the Dordogne region of France. Despite initial appearances, the Woodsman’s Cabin is a recent build given an old-time rustic look with naturally wavy live-edge wood siding.

    The French doors take you directly into the living space, which consists of a tiny kitchenette, dining and sitting areas. Most of the walls have a lime plaster finish, accented by some dark wood paneling and window trim.

    In one corner is a highly-crafted winding stair with a branch for a handrail. It leads up to the cozy attic bedroom with exposed log beams. The bathroom, accessed by a handmade door next to the kitchen, is housed in a small lean-to-style extension attached to the side of the cabin. There you will find a composting toilet and a stone basin sink.

    The Woodsman’s Cabin is off-grid but it does have basic modern conveniences. The kitchen stove and fridge are both run off propane. Water from the lake is pumped into storage containers in the attic, where it can gravity-feed the sinks. It is filtered and purified to be safe for drinking. If you want a hot shower, the water can be heated by a coil in the woodstove, which is also the cabin’s only source of space heating. A couple of solar panels generate electricity for the water pump and the 12-volt LED light fixtures, handcrafted by the owners from tin cans mounted on pieces of branch.

    The Woodsman’s Cabin is available for vacation rentals through Covert Cabin. Enjoy the photos!

    Photographs courtesy of Covert Cabin.
    http://www.covertcabin.com/
     
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    The Baumgeflüster Treehouse Resort in Lower Saxony | Germany | Baumraum | Small House Design
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    Published on Jun 13, 2017
    A child’s dream of living in a treehouse endures into adulthood, as evidenced by the popularity of treehouse hotels. These one-of-a-kind accommodations allow grownups to make the dream come true, even if just for a night or two. A recent addition to these boutique accommodations is Resort Baumgeflüster (“rustling trees”) in Lower Saxony, Germany.

    The owners wanted to turn their defunct farm into a tourist resort where guests could enjoy the natural surroundings. Treehouse architect baumraum developed a plan that would see some of the unused farm buildings restored for use as activity centers. Guests would stay in treehouses in the woods on a secluded part of the farm. Four treehouses have been built so far with more planned.

    The treehouses are supported about 3.5 m (12′) in the air by fourteen slender steel posts. Each post is set at a slightly different angle, much like the surrounding trees. The outboard ends of the decks are hung from the trees by stainless steel cables. Untreated larch cladding helps the treehouses visually recede into the forest.

    Each treehouse has an efficient linear floor plan with 35.6 m2 (383 ft2) of interior space. The living area and bedroom are at either end with a luxurious bathroom in the middle. The living area has a compact kitchenette and couches that can sleep two additional guests. The walls, floor and ceiling are all finished with the same larch used on the outside. Large windows allow for viewing the forest and bird watching from inside.

    These treehouses aren’t just for summer; they are insulated and heated for year-round use, with in-floor heat in the bathrooms and radiators elsewhere. There is a certain appeal to holing up in a cozy treehouse while the snow flies outside! You can book a stay or learn more through the Resort Baumgeflüster website.

    Photographs by Alasdair Jardine, Philipp Herrnberger and Toma Babovic, courtesy of Resort Baumgeflüster and baumraum.
    http://www.jardinephoto.de/
    http://www.babovic.de/
    http://www.baumgefluester.de/en/
    http://www.baumgefluester.de/en/
    http://www.baumraum.de/
     
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    Poacher’s Cabin, Located in the Dordogne area of Southwestern France | Small House Design
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    Published on Jun 14, 2017
    What could be more romantic than a secluded cabin in the woods built for two? What if that little cabin was on its own lake, with a raft for paddling around? And what if it was within bicycling distance of picturesque stone villages and market towns? That describes Poacher’s Cabin, located in the Dordogne area of southwestern France. Poacher’s Cabin was until recently just a dilapidated old shack. A few years ago it came into the possession of a new owner who had it rebuilt into a comfortable off-grid vacation retreat.

    Wood from the surrounding forest was used along with recycled materials to give Poacher’s Cabin an artfully rustic interior. On entering the small cabin from the front porch, the first thing likely to catch your eye is the sculptural staircase, fashioned from oak slabs fixed to twisting tree branches. The stairs lead up to a cozy attic bedroom with exposed beams and a skylight.

    Across from the stairs is a small kitchen whose countertop was made from a thick slab of ash planed smooth. There is a gas stove for cooking plus an old wood cookstove for heating the cabin. A propane fridge was cleverly concealed within a glass-fronted cabinet. Hanging over the dining table is a tea light chandelier, handmade from repurposed yogurt jars, that casts a romantic glow over the room. There is also electric lighting throughout the cabin, powered by several solar panels on the porch roof. The walls are finished in a combination of beadboard paneling and lime plaster.

    More large branches frame the doorway to the small bathroom at the back of the cabin, containing a shower and a composting toilet. Water for the shower is heated in a coil over the woodstove.

    Lovebirds or singles wanting time to themselves can rent Poacher’s Cabin through Covert Cabin. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Photographs courtesy of Covert Cabin.
    http://www.covertcabin.com/




     
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    A Monochromatic Cottage in the Countryside | Small House Design
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    Published on Jun 14, 2017
    Applying a monochromatic color scheme is an easy way to give your home a harmonious look. It involves choosing a single base color and then decorating predominantly with various shades and tones of that one color. For small houses especially, using a monochromatic design has another advantage. Keeping everything in the same hue tends to make small spaces appear bigger.

    The owners of this appealing little cottage chose white and shades of gray almost exclusively for the finishes and furniture. There is a little bit of color contrast in the natural wood tones of the deck and a few accent pieces. Variety was also added by including textures ranging from grooved wood paneling and glossy tile to coarse sisal.

    The cottage has two bedrooms in its single-level floor plan of 57 m2 (614 ft2). The floor plan is L-shaped with an inset porch at the inside corner. Keeping the porch under the main roof, rather than tacking it on the side, tends to reduce the cost a bit by simplifying the roof construction.

    The living room looks spacious while the eat-in kitchen is quite compact. Many people might choose to move the dining area into the living room and then add more kitchen storage and counter space. The bathroom features a shower with folding walls, a space-saving idea that we haven’t yet seen outside Scandinavia. The shower walls are hinged to the bathroom walls and fold flat when not in use, freeing up floor space for drying off and dressing. There is also a composting toilet, suggesting that the cottage may be off-grid.

    Photographs courtesy of Mäklarringen. Via Forfur.
    http://www.maklarringen.se/
    http://www.forfur.com/%E0%B9%81%E0%B8...
     
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    A Compact Stone and Concrete Cottage in Slovenia, Dekleva Gregorič Arhitekti | Small House Design
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    Published on Jun 17, 2017
    For our first house of 2015, we visit the Karst Plateau straddling the border of Slovenia and Italy. This stone and concrete cottage updates the vernacular houses found in the region, where plentiful limestone was traditionally used to construct houses and farm buildings.

    In designing a contemporary new home for a young family of four, Dekleva Gregorič Arhitekti started with the compact gabled form of those old stone houses. But rather than stacking stones, the walls were instead built by pouring concrete into forms lined with stones. Once the concrete had set up sufficiently, the forms were taken down and excess concrete was removed to reveal the colored stone. The roof is also concrete, cast in a stepped design meant to mimic traditional Karst construction.

    The architects defined the home’s internal spaces by inserting two wooden “mini-houses” within the stone volume, one at each end. At the ground level, the two wood structures contain the bathroom and an eat-in kitchen while the space between is used as the living room. Unlike the stone houses from the past with their tiny windows, this one has large openings on three sides, opening the living spaces to scenic views of the countryside and a church on a nearby hill.

    The private upper level is reached by an alternating tread staircase that was designed as a stack of wooden storage boxes. The stairs take you up to a bridge-like loft that joins the upper floors of the two mini-houses, each of which contains one of the home’s two compact bedrooms. Skylights in both bedrooms offer views of the night sky. The bridge itself is used as the children’s playroom, which was kept open to the living room below by using rope netting in place of solid railings. The concrete ceilings were given character by the use of rough form boards, the wood grain of which was clearly transferred to the finished ceiling. The cottage has a total 92 m2 (990 ft2) of floor space.

    Photographs by Janez Marolt, courtesy of Dekleva Gregorič Arhitekti. Via ArchDaily.
    http://marolt-photography.com/
    http://www.dekleva-gregoric.com/
    http://www.archdaily.com/582888/compa...
     
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    A Gingerbread House in the Forest South of Berlin | Atelier ST |Small House Design
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    Published on Jun 17, 2017
    With its gingerbread appearance and woodsy setting, this cottage brings to mind the edible houses favored by the forest-dwelling cannibalistic witches of children’s fables. Architects Silvia Schellenberg-Thaut and Sebastian Thaut of Atelier ST designed the small house south of Berlin as a weekend retreat for their own family. It replaced an old summer house from the 1920’s that, while charming, was too damaged to save. However the architects did use it as inspiration for the new structure, keeping the proportions and simple construction along with details like the flared roof eaves and mixed siding.

    Approached from the front, the new cottage initially looks like a traditional dark house in the forest. A few details are a bit off though. The openings are either larger or smaller than expected, much like a child’s drawing of a house. The windows and doors are also emphasized by bright white trim that is extra wide and has rounded corners, contributing to the gingerbread house look.

    The house has 62 m2 (667 ft2) of floor space. Contrasting with the dark, reserved exterior, the interior is bright and open. The front door leads to an entry hall lined with pine cabinets and shelves. From the entry, you can see through the small house to the forest beyond. Move down the short hallway and you suddenly find yourself in a bright two-storey space painted entirely white. The all-glass rear wall ensures that the living/dining room receives plenty of light, even with the surrounding trees. An oversized sliding glass door opens the room to a narrow covered porch, also finished in all-white.

    The kitchen and bathroom are at the front of the house, on either side of the entrance hall. They share the white paint scheme but introduce naturally-finished pine as well, reflecting the pine forest. The kitchen is equipped with pine plywood cabinets topped by a solid pine work surface. A large east-facing window on one side brings in morning light, while an equally-sized pass-through opening on the other side keeps the kitchen open to the living area.

    The bathroom holds some surprises as well. The bright red mosaic-tiled shower is an unexpected pop of color, like a maraschino cherry on a Black Forest cake. And instead of the usual mirror, the minimalist pine vanity is paired with a window giving a view of the forest.

    A concealed door in the living area opens to reveal the steep flight of stairs to the sleeping quarters in the loft over the front half of the house. The loft is divided into two sleeping spaces, both provided with skylights and one of which has an internal window overlooking the living space. There is also a small loft over the porch that is used as a study. The cottage is well-insulated and is heated by the small cast iron woodstove in the living room. The stair opening and internal window allow the heat to circulate up to the loft.

    Photographs by Werner Huthmacher, courtesy of Atelier ST. Via Humble Homes.
    http://www.werner-huthmacher.de/
    http://atelier-st.de/
    http://humble-homes.com/small-weekend...
     
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    Magnolia Tree Lane House in Vancouver |Lanefab | Small House Design
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    Published on Jun 16, 2017
    Magnolia Tree Lane House is a stylish new laneway house in Vancouver, built in the backyard of an existing house. It is named for the beautiful mature magnolia tree that was the centerpiece of the yard. However the tree was located right where a laneway house would normally go, posing a design challenge for architect Bryn Davidson of Lanefab Design/Build. Given the required setbacks as well as restrictions on the overall width and height of the house, there just wasn’t room for both the tree and a laneway house.

    Since the owner wasn’t willing to sacrifice the tree, Lanefab had to go through the process of applying to the city for a variance from the regulations. Their approved design removed the required enclosed parking space from the laneway house itself and put it in a detached garage. The small house has an L-shaped floor plan, with the entry sticking out from the main body of the house. Together with the garage, it forms a small courtyard around the magnolia tree, giving the home’s occupant a small private outdoor space

    The small house has 670 ft2 (62.2 m2) over two floors. It is a split-entry design, with the front door opening to a stair landing halfway between the floors. Because the lower level is sunk into the ground, Lanefab opted for a reverse floor plan, putting the main living spaces upstairs and the private spaces down.

    The laneway house is oriented toward the courtyard, featuring a nice big picture window that gives a view of the magnolia tree as well as glimpses of downtown Vancouver. The window actually spans the two floors, with the top two-thirds for the living space and the bottom third bringing light into the bedroom.

    The house and garage were both clad in wood with a black and white color scheme. The house has whitewashed pine siding with charred cedar soffits, while the garage is the reverse.

    Lanefab builds all their houses with a highly insulated building envelope. This one got their standard “hybrid wall” consisting of structural insulated panels paired with an inner wall of standard 2×4 framing. The inner wall makes it easier to run electrical and plumbing, as well as giving space for a few more inches of insulation.

    Have a great weekend!

    Photographs by Marina Dodis, courtesy of Lanefab Design/Build.
    http://www.marinadodis.com/
    http://www.lanefab.com/
     
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    A Charming Laneway Cottage in Vancouver | Smallworks | Small House Design
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    Published on Jun 19, 2017
    Like a growing number of cities across North America, Vancouver allows homeowners to build an accessory dwelling unit behind the existing house provided there is a back alley. This laneway house, as they are called in Vancouver, was designed and built by Smallworks Studios/Laneway Housing, a firm that specializes in these small houses.

    Because this cottage is built on a corner lot, the front entrance was placed facing the flanking street. The roof overhang extends a bit to form a canopy over the bright red entrance door, which opens to a small entry area with a coat closet to one side and a staircase starting up on the other. The living room is straight ahead while the eat-in kitchen is to the right, facing the alley.

    The living room and kitchen are open to each other but subtly separated by the upper part of the stairs. A bathroom is located in a shed-roofed ell opposite the entry. Rounding out the ground floor is a laundry closet in the kitchen area and some storage space accessed from outside.

    The owners chose exterior finishes and colors to match the main house. On the inside, Craftsman-style window and door casings relate back to the traditional exterior. Aside from that, the interior leans more towards the contemporary with polished concrete floors, glossy cabinetry, the subway tile kitchen backsplash and a cool shade of gray paint.

    The L-shaped stair lands in the center of the upper floor, providing efficient access to two bedrooms and a second bathroom. Altogether the cottage has 675 ft2 (62.7 m2) of living space plus 40 ft2 (3.7 m2) of additional storage.

    Have a great weekend!
    Photographs courtesy of Smallworks Studios/Laneway Housing.
    http://smallworks.ca/
     
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    The DOGBOX Is a Rectangular Small house With Two Simple Floors, Patch Work Architecture, Small House
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    Published on Jun 19, 2017
    Three recent New Zealand architecture graduates decided to get hands-on building experience and to jump-start their careers by designing and building a small house. It certainly helped their careers when the house, dubbed the DOGBOX, was recognized with an award from the Auckland Architecture Association.

    Having a limited budget to work with, Ben Mitchell-Anyon, Sally Ogle and Tim Gittos spent months searching property listings before finding an affordable section in Wanganui on the North Island.

    The property was cheap because it was quite steep, requiring that the building materials be hand-carried up to the small buildable area at the top. Because the architects and their friends did most of the carrying themselves, the extra effort to move materials lengthened the project’s timeline but did not add much to the cost.

    The three also searched for low-cost and recycled building materials. They designed the house around their finds, starting with several rusty iron trusses (now painted blue) and a stack of pine poles.

    The house appears complex but at its core it is just a straightforward two-storey rectangular box. Half the roof covers the 88 m2 (947 ft2) interior of the house while the other half extends forward to shelter a series of decks and verandahs that jog in and out from under the roofline.

    A daring design decision was to not have any inside hallway upstairs, so the only circulation path from the top of the stairs to the two bedrooms and bathroom is via the verandah.

    Twinwall polycarbonate panels screening the upper verandah add a layer of semi-transparency, hinting at the structure behind and glowing like a lantern at night. The polycarbonate panels screen off outdoor rooms on the verandah, including an outdoor bathing area (there is an inside bathroom too). Some of the panels slide or flip open, allowing for adjustment based on desired levels of sunlight, shade and breeze.

    To keep finishing costs down, some materials were left in their raw state with no or minimal finishing. In other cases, cheap materials were used but were detailed well and carefully combined with other materials for an overall appearance that is greater than the sum of the parts. The concrete retaining wall along the back of the lower level was left exposed, while the floor is polished concrete. Most of the other walls and ceilings were finished with sanded construction-grade plywood, and the deck railing is ordinary chain-link fencing.

    Photographs by Paul McCredie, courtesy of Patch Work Architecture.
    http://patchworkarchitecture.co.nz/
    http://patchworkarchitecture.co.nz/
    http://patchworkarchitecture.co.nz/
     
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    The Black Shed is a small cottagel on Scotland’s | Rural Design Architects | Small House Design
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    Published on Jun 19, 2017
    The Black Shed sits low and hunkered against the wind on Scotland’s Isle of Skye. The small cottage replaced a dilapidated storage shed on a working croft (small farm). Rural Design Architects designed the new cottage to fit in with the collection of small outbuildings on the croft.

    The basic structure could hardly be simpler, a low-pitched gable roof protecting a rectangular building with one corner removed for a covered entry porch. The cottage is clad in black corrugated roofing and black-stained spruce, except for the natural wood that marks the entry.

    The fuss-free look carries into the interior with exposed structural members, surface-mounted electrical boxes, a polished concrete floor and minimal trim. The 75 m2 (807 ft2) floor plan puts the bathroom and bedroom at the entrance end, while the main part of the cottage consists of an L-shaped living/dining room wrapped around a semi-enclosed stainless steel kitchen. Heavy drapes can be drawn across the far end of the living room if you want to use that space as a private study or a guest bedroom.

    Large windows provide magnificent views of the pastoral landscape and the ever-changing weather. On blustery days, the cottage is kept comfortable by a wood stove, heated floor and sheep’s wool insulation.

    The Black Shed is available for vacation rentals through Canopy and Stars.

    Photographs courtesy of Rural Design Architects and Canopy and Stars.
    http://www.ruraldesign.co.uk/
    http://www.canopyandstars.co.uk/brita...
     

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