News Home & Design This Self-Sufficient Tiny House is Home to Family of Three Constructed out of eco-friendly materials, this solar-powered tiny house is home for a small family in Spain. By Kimberley Mok Kimberley Mok Twitter Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who has been covering architecture and the arts for Treehugger since 2007. Learn about our editorial process Updated December 22, 2020 04:06PM EST Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checked by Haley Mast LinkedIn Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a freelance writer, fact-checker, and small organic farmer in the Columbia River Gorge. She enjoys gardening, reporting on environmental topics, and spending her time outside snowboarding or foraging. Topics of expertise and interest include agriculture, conservation, ecology, and climate science. Learn about our fact checking process Share Twitter Pinterest Email Serena.House News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive Many people are under the impression that tiny houses are only for younger people either living alone, or as a couple living together. It's an understandable misconception, due to the smaller size of tiny homes. After all, in a society that's used to being bombarded by images of bloated McMansions and cheesy McModerns, who wouldn't be inclined to think that anything less than 2,000 square feet would be impossible to live in? But that's definitely not the case, as we've seen older folks – as well as families of three or four – consciously choose to downsize and live quite happily in smaller, mortgage-free spaces. Over in Spain, tiny house builder Serena.House is helping to break some of these preconceived notions about micro-homes. One of the first builders in Spain to specialize in tiny houses, the company was co-founded and is currently run by Antoine Grillon, who joined forces with Nicolas Vaquier back in 2017 over their mutual interest in ecological living and sustainable building. One of the company's latest designs, the Idle Tiny House, was built for a family with a seven-year-old child, who has his very own room in this 19-foot-long (6 meters) house. Serena.House Based on their three-person "Penates" model, one of three that the company offers in varying price brackets (depending on the options selected), the Idle is a lovely little house with touches of modern simplicity, which Grillon says in this TVE2 interview, follows the company's low-impact design philosophy, inspired by the "autonomy of boats," and the idea that "less is more" in an overly consumerist society: "[The tiny house] is something that could be applied in many ways: emergency housing, housing for immigrants, housing for families that want to reduce their impact and living expenses. Really, the only limitation is your spirit, your mentality, and what you want to achieve. I think we live with too many physical things. What we need would be more experiences and less physical things. I think we try to compensate the lack of humanity or contact with people, with material things. We are in a competition to have bigger cars, bigger houses, when we know that the planet cannot continue like this." The Idle tiny house is located in an orchard, where the family currently lives full-time. Seen here fresh out of the warehouse where Serena.House constructs their design, the exterior of the Idle features wood siding, adding a warm texture that plays up nicely with the darker metal window frames. Serena.House The home's layout is divided into four distinct spaces. Here we get a look at one end of the house, with one mezzanine that functions as the living room, and the child's bedroom beneath. A number of large windows are incorporated into the walls and the main door to expand the space and to let air and light in. Notably, the stair is an intriguing split design, with floating treads on one side (it's a less cluttered look, but looks like it requires some daring to walk up) and built-in storage on the other. Serena.House Here's a view of the young boy's room, which includes a bed with integrated storage, and a small desk in one corner. Serena.House At the other end of the house, the kitchen is laid out with two counters facing one another – one side with the stove and compact oven, and the other side with the sink. The bright orange accents help to create some visual interest amidst the pale, pine-covered walls and dark-colored floors. Serena.House There is an extra hidden counter that pulls out to conveniently create more prep space. Serena.House Taking a closer view of the opposite side, we see a lovely two-burner stove, and more shelving in the corner. Serena.House Here is another view of the sink area – there's a dish drying rack that doubles as storage (a great space-saving idea that we've seen before) and a cutting board that fits perfectly over the sink, just in case more counter space is needed. Serena.House Beyond the kitchen is the bathroom, which features a composting toilet, shower and mini-sink with open storage. Serena.House Above the kitchen is the master bed mezzanine, which can fit a queen-sized bed, as well as easy-access storage shelves on both sides. Serena.House The house uses low-VOC paints, as well as insulation made of natural materials like hemp or wood wool. It's energy-efficient, and self-sufficient, as it's powered by solar panels, heated by a super-efficient woodstove, and uses a minimal amount of water, thanks to its efficient fixtures and composting toilet. The base model for this line of tiny houses begins at USD $34,700 and tops out at USD $58,995 for a fully equipped turnkey version. To see more, visit Serena.House.