This tiny home is the perfect space for artists

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This eclectic tiny home in Claremont, New Hampshire is fit for an artist. Inspired by gypsy caravans, train cars and old ships, this small home looks like it is straight out of a movie set.

“This provides us a way a to travel to the job, still stay in our home and then pack up and leave when the gig is over,” says the owner

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How Temporary Tiny Homes Could Solve Dutch Cities’ Housing Crises

A temporary housing prototype

There’s a distinctive twist in Rotterdam’s latest push to build more public housing: most of the units constructed shouldn’t be around for very long.

The Netherlands’ second largest city is going big on temporary homes with a new promise to start construction and installation of up to 3,000 mobile housing units. They’re designed to help manage emergency needs while the city continues to build more permanent public housing.

The idea of shoving low income residents into makeshift homes built to last no more than a decade or so might sound dystopian, but Rotterdam is merely following a national trend. As the country struggles to keep up with the pace of delivery it needs for new housing, many cities have sprouted temporary micro-neighborhoods of mobile prefabricated housing, normally located on brownfield sites that are often vacant and on the far edges of city limits.

To meet demand, the Netherlands will need to construct an estimated extra one million homes by 2030. Dutch cities are trying to ease matters by reducing the size requirements for future public housing units and trying to flush unused units onto the market.

Currently, they’re still 200,000 units short of their target for rental housing. While the country waits for these units to be completed, their future tenants need somewhere to live.

The short-term solution being adopted is constructing what are referred to locally (somewhat exaggeratedly) as “tiny houses.”  These prefabricated units, normally designed for single or two person occupancy, are cheap to construct and install, and can be located on sites that haven’t yet been prepared for heavier construction or which are available only for short-term use. They’ve achieve

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Tiny houses ‘the next big thing’ in Sussex? Entrepreneur thinks there’s a market

If it is any indication of popularity, there are now at least nine television shows devoted to tiny houses.

Indeed, going tiny, in the words of John Weisbarth, one of the show hosts, “is the next big thing.”

The reason for growing popularity?

“Drawn to the prospect of financial freedom, a simpler lifestyle, and limiting one’s environmental footprint, more buyers are opting to downsize,” said the introduction to HGTV’s popular show, “Tiny House Hunters.”

Initially, most tiny houses, generally under 500 square feet in size, were designed for a permanent location.

But the desire for mobility — not unlike a travel trailer — led to the construction of tiny homes on wheels, which could be easily moved to different sites.

While most of those moveable houses feature typical construction atop a two-axle trailer frame, creative designers have found other possibilities.

And those alternatives include the conversion of commercial steel shipping containers, which are commonly used in intermodal transportation.

Roger Brul, a Delmarva tiny house entrepreneur, was attracted to the shipping container approach. His company, Tiny House Container, is now converting shipping units into small dwellings, mostly for seasonal use.

The intent is to offer low-cost seasonal dwellings that could be used throughout the region.

“It certainly is a different concept,” Brul said.

Brul, a former helicopter pilot, wanted an inexpensive place to live between helicopter flights out of an airport in Savannah, Georgia.

After buying some land, Brul said “I wanted to put a small structure on it” to live in.

Ultimately, after rejecting the notion of building a small house, he acquired a new shipping container and began the process of converting it into a home.

“I really compared it to a RV (recreational vehicle),” he said.

Though the container — 20 feet long, 8 feet wide — has double doors at one end, Brul wanted more access — and more light — so he cut holes in the side and back for additional points of entry.

The French doors on one side of the container are the primary source of natural light for the interior living space. The double doors also allow access to a deck, which is included.

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Not-So-Lonely Wanderer is a charming 202 sq. ft. tiny house (Video)

Teacup Tiny Homes
© Teacup Tiny Homes

Featuring a tall living room and a big kitchen, this tiny dwelling from Canada packs a big personality.

Looks can be deceiving when it comes to designing a small living space, as there is actually an abundance of configurations that are possible in a tiny dwelling. By moving elements around, adding in a sleeping loft and incorporating storage into unexpected places, it’s feasible to have a compact but fully functional home with all the amenities, without the big mortgage attached.

For Lethbridge, Alberta’s Teacup Tiny Homes, their 24-foot-long Not-So-Lonely Wanderer tiny house manages to pack a big living room, kitchen, bathroom, sleeping loft and a set of stairs into a comfortable 202-square-foot package. Clad with three different kinds of siding on its exterior, the Not-So-Lonely Wanderer boasts a bright yellow door as its main entrance on the side.

Stepping inside, the home features a full-height living room that can hold a regular-sized couch — no teeny upholstered bench here (which will no doubt please some tiny house fans). The television seems to be placed in an odd spot that would render it watchable from the kitchen and the sleeping loft, but a little less so from the couch itself.

Teacup Tiny Homes© Teacup Tiny Homes
Teacup Tiny Homes© Teacup Tiny Homes

The kitchen runs along both sides of the house’s middle zone, and can accommodate a full-size cooking range, and refrigerator. There is a sink, plenty of cabinets, and an interesting eating nook made with a live-edge piece of wood.

Teacup Tiny Homes
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Prefab tiny houses installed into old dilapidated homes

The Shangwei Village Plugin Houses cost around 85,000 YUAN (US$12,200) for the smaller model and 130,000...

The Shangwei Village Plugin House project came about because the local government is legally required to renovate homes with collapsed roofs, rather than just knock them down. PAO prefabricated two Plugin Houses to fit within a like number of ruined homes then shipped them in parts to the site and assembled them in a day.

The smaller of the two homes has a total floorspace of just 15 sq m (161 sq ft) and was built inside a ruined house that has most of its roof missing. The larger prefab is in a similarly ruined structure but is a little more spacious at 20 sq m (215 sq ft). It boasts a walled-in garden and generous glazing.

Both homes look modern and light-filled inside. They include living rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms on the ground floor, with bedrooms upstairs. Efficient mini-split units maintain a comfortable temperature inside and, according to PAO, the electricity bills of the homes cost a quarter of those of their neighbors.

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The modern farmhouse goes tiny

New Frontier Tiny Homes

The “modern farmhouse” style is a bona fide phenomenon. Mixing barn-worthy bones and polished finishes, the genre is all about well-calculated balance of rustic comfort.

The ultimate modern farmhouse doesn’t come cheap. But for people who can’t or (don’t want to) buy a full-sized home, there’s good news. Now you can get a tiny house that has all the benefits of the modern farmhouse style, only, you know, much smaller.

Living room with elevated kitchen New Frontier Tiny Homes

New Frontier Tiny Homes, which creates some of the most swoonworthy tiny homes around, designed its new Orchid tiny house with an intense attention to detail. Narrow cedar planks line the exterior and gabled roof to create an almost unibody appearance.

The planks were also spaced and raised off the walls and roof to “give each piece the appearance of floating,” the designers say of the (leak-proof) siding treatment.

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Leo Morris served in the Air Force. Karen Carter patrolled with the Coast Guard. Henry Owens enlisted in the Navy.

These veterans all served their country. They’ve also shared another experience: homelessness.

“You feel a sense of desperation, loneliness,” said Owens, who was homeless for eight years. “I had no hope.”

Today, they have another common bond: They are neighbors. Each one lives in a tiny home in the Veterans’ Village in Kansas City, Missouri — run by the Veterans Community Project.

The nonprofit is the vision of a group of young veterans led by former US Army Corporal Chris Stout.

After being wounded in Afghanistan in 2005 and returning home, Stout struggled with his injury and PTSD. He enjoyed being around veterans and got a job connecting vets to services they needed. But he was frustrated by the gaps and inefficiencies he saw. At times, Stout used his own money to put homeless veterans up in hotel rooms.

Related: Hampton Roads nonprofit marks milestone in ending veteran homelessness 

In 2015, he and a few buddies quit their jobs and started their organization.

“We are the place that says ‘yes’ first and figures everything else out later,” Stout said. “We serve anybody who’s ever raised their hand to defend our Constitution.”

Stout found that many homeless veterans didn’t like traditional shelters because they were unsafe or lacked privacy. When he learned about tiny homes, he quickly realized that a cluster of them made a lot of sense.

“It provides everything these guys need to live with dignity, safely, and then fix what got them there in the first place,” he said.

The first 13 homes opened in January, and 13 more will be finished this November. The houses come complete with furniture, kitchen supplies, linens, toiletries, food and even gift baskets of coffee and cookies.

The group’s outreach center assists residents as well as any local veteran with a variety of issues.

“Tiny houses are the sexy piece,” Stout said. “But the meat and potatoes of what we do is connecting them to the services. … We’re a one-stop shop for all things veteran.”

The Veterans Village itself provides valuable support: camaraderie.

“It’s very much like the barracks lifestyle,” Stout said. “They’re taking care of each other.”

Related: Young Virginia Beach girl collects more than 1,000 socks for the homeless 

Since he moved in this summer, Owens has gone back to school and has started a lawn care business. He says the support has changed his life.

“Now I have hope,” he said. “It makes me love my country again.”

CNN’s Kathleen Toner spoke with Stout about his work. Below is an edited version of their conversation.

CNN: How long are veterans able to stay in the tiny homes?

Chris Stout: Our anticipated length of stay is six months, but as long as they’re working towards their goals, they’re welcome to stay. We see these tiny homes as an educational tool to teach them how to maintain a home, cook for themselves and live next to neighbors. So far, eight of the original 13 residents have moved into permanent housing. They take their furniture with them, so it takes about 72 hours to prepare a home for the next resident.

In addition to the 13 homes that will open in November, another 23 are set to be finished after the first of the year, so that’ll be 49 houses all together. We’ll also have a community center providing medical, dental, barbershop, veterinarian care, as well as a fellowship hall, so we can have group events.

CNN: The tiny homes are for homeless veterans. What assistance does your group offer other veterans?

Stout: One of our flagship programs is our free bus passes for all veterans. We partnered with the local transit authority and they’ve given out more than a million rides in less than a year.

When any veteran walks in the door they can get their bus pass, housing placement, job placement, legal services, food pantry, clothing closet and emergency financial assistance. We like to have them say, “What do you provide?” That way we can ask them “What do you need?” And then we can start being the connectors. So far, we have helped more than 8,000 veterans.

CNN: What role does the community play in your work?

Stout: We’re called the Veterans Community Project because we are the community’s project. We want people to feel like they have ownership in this, and we want everybody to pitch in. When the veterans see all these volunteers show up, they’ll say, “Why are they here?” And we explain, “They’re grateful.”

The really cool part is that we’ve been reached out to by more than 650-plus communities. We’re working in Denver, Nashville and St. Louis. Our goal is to be in every major city moving forward.

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Silicon Valley’s favorite designer created a line of tiny homes that cost just $280,000. Take a look inside.

yves behar
  • Designer Yves Béhar has created a new line of prefabricated tiny homes that range from 250 to 1,200 square feet.
  • The designs are being touted as a possible solution to the affordable housing crisis in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco.
  • The “backyard units” cost around $280,000, but Béhar plan to develop a similar, more affordable model.

Designer Yves Béhar has shepherded along countless products, from laptops and bluetooth headsets to juicers and soda machines. His San Francisco-based design firm, fuseproject, is known for items like SNOO, a robotic bassinet, and Jambox, a speaker that was once seen as America’s favorite.

Throughout his extensive career, Béhar has worked with companies like Prada and befriended celebrities like Kanye West. He’s co-founded a smart-lock company, August, and a co-working space called Canopy in San Francisco. He even has his own permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art.

When Béhar attaches himself to a project, it’s safe to assume that it represents the future of design in one form or another.

It comes as no surprise, then, that his latest venture is a line of prefabricated tiny homes that range from 250 to 1,200 square feet.

The idea was inspired by new laws in California that promote the development of accessory dwelling units (ADUs), or small, secondary units located on a residential property. The most recent legislation, which went into effect in January, reduces parking requirements and allows ADUs to be built in single-family zoning districts.

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A tiny house festival is coming to Slidell

Getty Images

Around 30 microdwellings—including school bus conversions, yurts, vintage campers, caravan wagons, and tiny homes—will descend on Slidell next month for the Louisiana Tiny House Festival. The three-day fest is the first of its kind in Louisiana, according to co-founder John Kernohan, who has produced 10 tiny home festivals nationwide.

“It’s a hodgepodge collection of designs, modalities, and individuals that will be hitting the New Orleans area in two weeks,” Kernohan said in a phone interview.

Attendees can tour the structures and get a tangible sense of just what a 150-square-foot home feels like—which is useful for those who are in the early planning stages of a tiny house build. Perhaps more importantly, attendees can question tiny homeowners about their unique living situations.

People line up to tour tiny houses at one of Kernohan’s tiny house festivals.

“You can talk to the people who live in and built these structures,” said Kernohan, who lives in a 304-square-foot DIY home. “At an RV show, you interact with dealers, but here you can talk to people who live in these structures.”

Luminaries of the tiny house world, including vlogger Yvette Stokes and blogger Jenna Spesard, will present workshops and lectures on topics that range from off-grid living to disaster preparedness. Bucktown Allstars, Circus with a Purpose, and Florida-based fusion rock-reggae band Root of All perform.

“If you’re going to say you’re a festival, you need to be a festival,” Kernohan said.

There will be food and beer for sale, a children’s area, giveaways, and fire performances. The event is a collaboration between nonprofit Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation and the United Tiny House Association. Proceeds benefit Tiny House Festivals, a for-charity organization that has donated $500,000 to more than 60 nonprofits. Admission is $20, but the fee is waived from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, December 7. A complete schedule can be found here.

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