Besides the radically downsizing part, most tiny housers are normal people who like to raise families, cohabit with furry friends and of course, entertain. It may seem well nigh impossible in a small space, but we've seen it done, with the help of a few creative modifications.
Being able to invite people over for a gathering, without feeling boxed in, was one of the motivations behind the design of the Atlas House by designers Blake Dinkins, Lance Cayko, Alex Gore, and Sarah Schulz, who all met at North Dakota State University in Fargo. The big design idea here involves a fold-down patio deck that opens up the small interior to the outdoors, bringing in light and a convenient sit-down patio bar space.
While on vacation, alongside a beautiful stream just outside of Glacier National Park, we were enjoying the scenery when the rain rolled in. A group of us went inside the RV and began to play cards. It quickly dawned on me that we were trapped inside a box with no real view to the outside while at the same time being in of the most beautiful places in the world.
Coming in at a snug 196 square feet, the Atlas is powered by solar, collects rainwater, and instead of the ubiquitous dimensional lumber, it's one of the few tiny houses we've seen that uses steel framing throughout to lighten its overall weight, while conferring a strong, underlying structure. It is also built on top of a double-axle utility trailer base.
The interior is ultra-modern with a touch of industrial, all warmed up by plenty of wooden surfaces. The kitchen has a lot of counter to show off, and the sleeping loft looks more like an open bunk, accessible by a generous swath of storage-stairs.
The sitting area looks decently sized and well-fitted out with a regular, full-size futon sofa-bed. The whole space is flooded with light thanks to one full wall being completely glazed with windows and a patio door. The opposite side also has a patio door -- always a good idea to have an extra egress.
This is a lovely, modern tiny home that is really geared for inviting people to hang out on the deck. It may be reminiscent of a food truck, but it does the job of entertaining well, something that other tiny houses aren't really designed to do. According to Tiny House Talk, the Atlas does not come cheap at a base price of $75,000, though Sketchup models are available for free. You can see a video tour of it on Amazon ($2.99) as part of Season One, Episode 13 of HGTV’s Tiny House, Big Living. More over at F9 Productions.