News Home & Design Elegant Sycamore Tiny House Has an Ingenious Space-Saving Stair Understated but elegant, this affordable tiny house comes with a stair that does double duty. 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 9, 2020 03:44PM 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 Anna Christensen Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive Tiny houses have captured the imagination of many people over the last several years, thanks to a perfect storm of rising house prices, a growing disillusion with wasteful consumerism, and a desire for unconventional ways to achieve financial freedom. Not only do tiny houses come in different sizes to suit single people living alone, couples living together, as well as whole families, but they can also be made in different styles – from tastefully rustic to ultra-modern – and according to different budgets too. Because they come in a smaller size, tiny houses can either be a do-it-yourself proposition, or one can hire one of the many tiny house builders that have now opened up for business. Alternatively, one could also purchase a ready-made structure, like this one created by Kansas-based company Made Relative. Founded by two cousins, Reid and Kale, the duo has gained plenty of sustainable design and construction experience from working in family businesses, as well as in far-flung locales in Nicaragua, Africa, and Australia. As Reid tells Treehugger: "With the design and creation of Sycamore, we basically did what we have always strived to do in all our tiny homes: make a practical, very usable area with the smallest amount of wasted space possible. We design our houses down to the inch. Our thinking is that you already are sacrificing a lot of space by living in a tiny house, so making sure that your space is very intentional is key to a good design." The Sycamore tiny house measures 30 feet, and offers a bright, open atmosphere, thanks to its minimalist palette that's balanced with touches of natural materials like wood. Anna Christensen The Sycamore's simple but tastefully done exterior is covered with tongue-and-groove cedar siding, which contrasts nicely with the bit of white metal siding and roof. Anna Christensen The 320-square-foot tiny home is built on top of a sturdy, triple-axle PAD tiny house trailer base – which is critical for a structure that is meant to move. Anna Christensen Stepping inside, we're greeted with a serene and uplifting interior, generously filled with natural light streaming in the many windows. The walls are overlaid with white shiplap and punctuated with a variety of wooden accents, including some well-placed floating birch wall shelves, which help to lend a feeling of expansion to the overall space. Anna Christensen Much of this wood is locally sourced and milled near Wichita, Kansas. Anna Christensen The living room area, situated directly to the right of the main door, sits atop of a chiseled platform that helps to save space but also defines it spatially. Anna Christensen To add that oh-so-necessary unique touch, there is even a custom-made peach-colored velvet couch that not only has integrated storage underneath but can also double as an extra sleeping space. Anna Christensen In addition, there's an adjacent elm-wood desk that functions as a mini-workspace. Anna Christensen Above the living room area is the secondary loft, which can be reached via a detachable ladder that's usually stored away under the dining counter. Anna Christensen Looking toward the other side of the house, we see a small kitchen situated to one side, across from the live-edge wood dining counter. An enormous window helps to let lots of sunlight in, and gives a broad view out, helping to open up the space. Anna Christensen Coming in for a closer look, we see that the kitchen features a modern-styled farmhouse sink, a full-sized stove, and a compact refrigerator. There's plenty of blue-gray cabinets in the kitchen proper, as well as open shelving on the wall, allowing one to display and store crockery, small kitchen appliances and the like. Anna Christensen Directly across from the refrigerator are the stairs leading up to the 80-square-foot master loft – and what an interesting stair design it is! We've seen a multitude of innovative stair ideas in tiny houses, and this one is no exception. Instead of a long flight of stairs eating up precious space, or a precarious ladder, we have a set of switchback stairs that also double as storage. Anna Christensen As Reid tells us, it's one of the company's signature details, and it can be used in a variety of ways (apparently, one client adapted theirs into a cat nook). Anna Christensen Going up to the master bedroom, there's plenty of space to move around, even with a queen-sized mattress. Anna Christensen The bronzed railing here offers a bit of an industrial-but-rustic touch. Anna Christensen The bathroom below the main loft is pretty sizeable for a tiny house, and features the same aesthetic of blue-gray cabinets, raw-edged wood counter and shelving, and a custom-made herringbone wood door – creating a tranquil space to bathe, but also to do some more practical things like laundry. Anna Christensen Currently priced at USD $90,000, the Sycamore is a gorgeous example of how tiny homes continue to evolve, making them a versatile choice for people looking to "right-size" into something smaller, more efficient, and better for the planet. For more information, visit Made Relative, or check out their Facebook and Instagram.