We’ve featured a few small homes before, but with the exception of The Truffle, most of these seem downright spacious compared to some of the truly tiny houses out there. While these matchbox homes might not be for everyone, the cozy spaces certainly prove that bigger isn’t always better.
Ragged Island Retreat
A lot of people want to get away from it all when they retire, but few have the luxury of having talented architect Alex Scott Porter as a daughter. Since retired journalist and professor of Columbia University Bruce Porter was so fortunate, he was able to work with his daughter to build this incredible 550 square foot cabin in Ragged Island, Maine.
The cabin not only looks great, but it’s also totally off-the-grid and eco-friendly with a roof designed to feed in a rainwater collection tank, solar power, passive solar heating, gray-water recycling and a small propane tank for when the sun isn’t out.
96 square feet doesn’t sound like much, but when you see the photos of Robin Falck’s lakeside cabin, you quickly realize that’s all you need to feel at home in a stunning forest setting –especially one with such an incredible view. The two-story home in Finland took only two weeks to complete, required no permits and cost about $10,500.
The One Tree House
The house essentially uses a studio layout, but having the bed tucked away in its own nook makes it feel more spacious. And the fact that the full bathroom and laundry room are included in the small design makes it that much more appealing.
Following the Rules
Where you live can play a major role in how you can design your home, based on local building ordinances. Marcus Barksdale is lucky enough to live in Asheville, North Carolina, which allows for houses as small as 150 square feet as long as they meet certain requirements –for example, every home must have a sink in the kitchen and the bathroom and each kitchen must be at least 50 square feet in size. Marcus’ house ended up measuring 240 square feet, plus a loft area of 100 feet and the exterior and interior are equally cozy and charming.
River Side House
Of course, sometimes you find yourself restricted based not on building codes, but on the actual land available. Mizuishi Architect Atelier was faced with such a challenge when it came to constructing the River Side House in Tokyo, Japan.
The end result is this delightfully clever design that takes up only 300 square feet. The lower story of the home features the dining and kitchen area, while the upper area contains two bedrooms, a living area and the loft at the peak of the roof even offers a small play space for children.
Taking up under 100 square feet of space, Mudgee’s Permanent Camping structure by Casey Brown Architecture is one of the tiniest homes we could find. Even so, with a wood stove, small kitchen, sleeping loft and a nearby outhouse all located in the striking Australian wilderness, it’s easy to imagine living in the tiny space. The copper-clad box features fold-up sides that can be lifted to create shade and closed up when you leave for maximum privacy.
Anthony and Gillian Blee purchased a decrepit old mill in southwestern France in 1981. While the property was stunning, the mill itself was pretty useless. But the couple chose to keep the striking stone walls from the mill and incorporate them into their new home. It took years to convert the structure, but by 2010, the last of the crumbling structures had been renovated into a 215 square foot cabin (seen here).
Tiny in Toronto
This single-story residence in Toronto provides 300 square feet, most of which is in length. In fact, the Murphy bed near the back of the home has to be raised in order to walk past. Narrow or not, the space is charming, but it also proves that small doesn’t always mean cheap –this tiny abode is on the market for $179,000. But if you love small homes and happen to live in Toronto, it’s a great option!
When you live somewhere cold, like Moscow, Russia, small houses can be a huge advantage because they are easier to heat and keep warm. This 194 square foot home features two four large closets, a bathroom, a small kitchen, a lofted bedroom and more. With temperatures reaching -31° F, the small space is quite nice when the fireplace can heat up the whole home to 68° F in only half an hour.
The problem with guesthouses is that, unless you constantly have company, they’re pretty pointless when they aren’t being used. Jeff found a novel solution to this dilemma by creating a combination guesthouse/greenhouse with a mini-garage for his mower and an outside storage space for his tools so the interior presents a lovely, window-filled space complete with cabinets, a sink, a refrigerator, a loft bed and, of course, lots of plants. Visitors have to head to the main house when they need to use the restroom, but everything else they need is easily found in this cozy cottage.
Naturally, a smaller house means space is even more precious commodity, so if you ever consider going down this path, be sure to take advantage of these space-saving ideas.