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Take a Tiny Houses Tour

It really is possible to live large in small spaces

  • Photo by Jeremy Todd for SustainaFest

    How Small Could You Go?

    En español | To educate people about the community, environmental and lifestyle benefits of smaller (okay, tiny) homes, the Maryland-based nonprofit SustainaFest worked with volunteers to build this 210-square-foot showhouse.

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  • Photo by Jeremy Todd for SustainaFest

    The Kitchen

    The tiny house was built using plans called the "Minim House" (more about that later). The 10-foot-wide galley kitchen contains a refrigerator, sink, microwave/convection oven and varied storage. A cooktop can be added.

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  • Photo by Jeremy Todd for SustainaFest

    Dining and Reclining

    An 8.5-foot cushioned bench serves as a couch, dining area seating and guest bed. The silver circles on the floor are spots where the single-post table can be inserted and secured for use. Storage and a water filtering system is located beneath the bench.

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  • Photo by Jeremy Todd for SustainaFest

    Resting and Relaxing

    The same bench serves as seating for watching  TV. (The white wall to the far left is the retractable projection screen seen covering the front windows.) Also shown: The home office, rollaway bed and a door that opens to the bathroom.

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  • Photos by Jeremy Todd for SustainaFest

    Bed, Bath and Beyond

    In this home, the bed slides in and out from beneath the raised desk area (far left). The bathroom is very small, but it contains a toilet and sink, and the entire room becomes a shower. (Not all tiny home bathrooms are this small.)

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  • Photo by Jeremy Todd for SustainaFest

    Personal Power

    Tiny homes can be off-grid and self-sustaining. This one has solar energy panels. Many homes have composting toilets and capture, filter and store rainwater. Like most tiny homes, the SustainaFest house sits on a flatbed trailer.

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  • Photos by Christopher Tack for Tiny House Conference

    Tiny But Tall

    This cottage by Wishbone Tiny Homes is based on The Weller, a design by tiny house pioneer Jay Shafer. The rear of the first floor has an L-shaped kitchen and a bathroom. This sleep loft is reached by a ladder. Some homes have real stairs.

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  • Photos by Christopher Tack for Tiny House Conference

    A Traveling Home Office

    Traveling carpenter Frank Belo built this 10-foot-long home as an alternative to staying in hotels when he's on the road. He constructed his home away from home with sustainable, non-chemically treated materials and reclaimed wood.

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  • Photo by Christopher Tack for Tiny House Conference

    Room and Board

    A closet beneath the bed contains drawers for clothing and supplies. Since the house doesn't have a bathroom, living in it is similar to high-end camping. A tiny house like this can be useful as a home office or room for overnight guests.

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  • Photo by Christopher Tack for Tiny House Conference

    Road Food

    Eating out all the time gets pricey, so it's handy to be able to cook while traveling. Tiny house kitchens vary from bare bones (a toaster oven and dormitory-style refrigerator) to gourmet.

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  • Photo by Christopher Tack for Tiny House Conference

    Upstairs/Downstairs

    This shiny, tiny white house shows a living and dining area, a workspace, a galley kitchen and (in the back) the bathroom. The skylight-lit sleep loft is reached by a ladder (not shown) that attaches to the black pipe on the loft's facade.

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  • Photo by Christopher Tack for Tiny House Conference

    A Lofty Nest

    Most tiny homes have a bed loft to maximize space. Lofts are typically 4½ feet tall, just enough space for sitting up in bed. Tiny house residents who aren't game for so much climbing and crawling can opt for a first floor bed.

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  • Photo by Melissa Stanton

    City Living

    This is the Minim House on which the SustainaFest house (think back to the opening slide) is based. Located in Washington, D.C., the home sits on an enclosed lot that contains other tiny houses that share a lawn, vegetable garden and outdoor patio.

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  • Photo by Melissa Stanton

    A Room With a View

    The Minim House kitchen looks out upon a dining patio. The rectangular shape on the counter is a cutting surface and, beneath it, a two-burner marine-grade cooktop. The foot pedal-controlled faucet is more sanitary and helps conserve water.

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  • Photo by Melissa Stanton

    Indoor/Outdoor Cooking

    When living in a tiny home, some living occurs outside the home. (The Minim House has an outdoor oven.) "Tiny house owners tend to be more engaged in their surroundings," says Ryan Mitchell, a tiny house owner and editor of TheTinyLife.com.

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  • Photo by Melissa Stanton

    Tiny Neighbors

    At less than 150 square feet, each of these tiny homes is best suited to a single resident or very cozy couple. Since many tiny house owners do all or some of their own construction, they can customize and get creative.

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  • Photo by Melissa Stanton

    Ready to Roll

    Since tiny houses are portable, they typically don't require building permits and zoning-wise are treated more like an RV home than a permanant home. Learn more by reading "Tiny Houses are Becoming a Big Deal."

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Published January 2015


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