Smaller homes need not feel like coffin boxes -- that's what the purveyors of "big is always better" want you to think. We've seen numerous times how small spaces can be made to feel larger, with the use of efficient space-saving concepts for furniture and spaces, changing the roof line, or just simply having big windows that open up to the outside, letting light in and letting you feel like you're a part of the greater outdoors.
Based out of Yakima, Washington, Samantha and Robert recently finished building their own 204-square-foot tiny home. Both are familiar with plunging into the unknown, backpacking through Europe and South America, and road-tripping through the United States with only their car and a tent. Both Samantha, a pediatric nurse and Robert, an architectural designer, work full time jobs, so they completed their tiny home project over the weekends and whenever they had spare time, taking them 14 months in all to get the job done. It's a surprisingly spacious home, with a lot of modern touches that makes the space feel uncluttered and open.
Ultimately, we wanted the aesthetic of our home to represent the lifestyle it afforded: simplicity. We were drawn to the nickname ‘SHED’ because it spoke to the simple form and a utilitarian design that we sought (noun) while simultaneously speaking to the process of downsizing and simplifying (verb).
The couple designed their home within the maximum dimensions of 8’-6” wide and 13’-6” tall that are allowed without having to apply for a special permit. They divided up the space according to their needs, habits and time spent using certain spaces. Under the highest part of the sloping, shed-style roof is the sleeping loft, directly placed above the kitchen. There are decent-sized stairs leading up, and of course, in true tiny house style, they have storage hidden underneath them.
In contrast, the bathroom and storage space have the lowest ceiling heights, but enough to get everything in.
Instead of tucking the bathroom under the bedroom, as some tiny houses might, this space configuration of prioritizing volume to spaces that are most used works well. The kitchen ends up feeling enormous, and there's a clear view from one end of the house to the other, making it seem that much bigger. The smaller dining counter helps too.
There are other quirks in the design, Robert says:
We employed some unique construction techniques including the use of 2×3 framing with continuous exterior insulation that results in a lighter wall with superior thermal performance. There are some great moments in our project that incorporate reclaimed materials like our wedge entry alcove and corrugated metal siding that spent over 50 years as a barn roof in its previous life. You may be surprised to hear that our design gives up 24 square feet (of our 204 sf total) for a special, externally accessible “gear room” to hold all of our outdoor gear, which we consider essential tools to our health and happiness.
As this well-designed small home shows, here's no one formula to lay out a space -- often, it depends on what you need, what you want to achieve, and what makes a space 'home' for you. Robert and Samantha have intelligently arranged the spaces here to give importance to what matters most to them, creating a place they can feel at home in. They've published an e-book documenting their journey and tips, and you can see more over at Shedsistence.
[Via: Tiny House Talk]