Grand 280 Sq. Ft. Oregon Tiny Home Is Influenced by Japanese Design

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For many, tiny homes can represent more financial freedom and a smaller environmental footprint, due to their smaller size, lower maintenance costs and the possibility of towing it onto cheap land (though any kind of mobile living can potentially have some or all of these benefits). While one can build a great tiny home for a few thousand dollars, there will always tiny homes on the other end of the scale, such as this well-appointed and pretty luxurious tiny house measuring 280 square feet in Aurora, Oregon.

Constructed by builder Chris Heininge, a former Christian missionary, this tiny home was inspired by Heininge's time spent in small but well-designed Japanese dwellings. Heininge's skills are drawn from his family; he and his father and his two brother all built dozens of homes in Oregon and Arizona, many of which his mother had designed.

Heininge's 10-foot by 20-foot, 15-foot tall tiny home does sport some Japanese influences, like a sliding entry door. We love the spacious living room, which has a large window right above the seating, which can also turn into a guest bed.

The kitchen has a small eat-in dining area, and is outfitted with a small refrigerator and a convection oven that doubles as a microwave. There is a 1,500-watt electrical fireplace too, tucked under the stairs.

For those who have bad knees and hate climbing ladders in the dark, this house has the best tiny set of stairs we've seen yet, plus the requisite in-stair storage drawers.

The bathroom is generous, and comes equipped with a water-saving toilet (and has been pre-wired for an incinerating toilet), and a Jacuzzi bathtub (ok, that's not exactly green, but definitely luxurious).

The upstairs loft is 7 feet tall -- enough for someone to stand up in, and to make it look like a real bedroom, and the finishes also give the appearance of a refined and peaceful space.

Heininge's design has another interesting feature: to facilitate transporting the house, the loft's walls and ceiling panels can be folded down, so that structure can fit on a 20-foot flatbed trailer.

The house is currently on sale for a pretty pricey USD $70,000, which includes all the appliances and delivery within 50 miles of Portland, Oregon. Its 'green' factor is up for debate since the point of a tiny home is to reduce one's ecological footprint, but there will always be a market for upscale homes, even ones as small as this. In any case, it's one of the better-built and more spacious microhomes we've seen, thanks to a few intelligent re-configurations of the tiny house formula that we've seen so many times. To find out more specs and info, head on over to Chris Heininge's site.