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Posts Tagged Tiny House

Studio Apartment

whole apartment

Great little apartment that maximizes space, with has rooms which feel seperated, yet open, the light floods through this place and its light pallet!living room

What the apartment lacks in space (it is 400 square feet), it more than makes up for in efficiency, smarts, style and personality. Jay’s affair with the apartment has been a long one: he rented the space for nearly eight years before the opportunity to purchase arose in 2005. When it did, he jumped on it. Although a ground floor apartment in an 1860 brownstone without much natural light or space, Jay loves the neighborhood and saw the possibilities that a thoughtful renovation would provide.

Over many years, he conjured how to make the most of every nook and cranny . . . all the more important for a man who works from home with a rather large husky for a roommate.

Jay hired New York architect Steve Blatz to help think through the options and spearhead the project. It was the smallest space Steve had worked on (and one of the smaller budgets he had worked within) and provided a true challenge. Jay’s goals were to maximize living space and storagebed area, lighten the overall feel and open up the closed kitchen, providing the ability to cook for and entertain guests. He also wanted access to the bathroom to be more concealed and a more logical closet / dressing area.

Steve agreed to remove the wall separating the kitchen from the living area and in its place put a 72-foot peninsula capable of seating 3-4 comfortably. He turned the area outside of the bathroom into a dressing room with large closets on two sides. To brighten up the apartment, Steve recommended painting everything, including the brick wall and floor, white. Initially wary of this suggestion, Jay ultimately saw this as one of the most transformative changes to the apartment. Recessed lighting increased the sense of airiness.

Jay displayed amazing creativity in marrying his objectives with his budget. Where he truly cared about quality, such as kitchen appliances, he splurged. Where creative shortcuts could reduce cost, he took advantage.enterance storage For example: a wall of “built-in” cabinets divides the space that separates the sleeping area from the entryway. The cabinets are, in reality, three $89 EXPEDIT storage units, stacked and framed by millwork to look like custom built-ins. The customized EXPEDITS, which form the other wall of the entryway, are backed with panels that Jay plans to upholster for a more customized look. And bright, white gloss cabinets in the kitchen were also sourced from IKEA.

However, in other areas, Jay splurged. The kitchen appliances are compact, stainless steel units from Bertazzoni (restaurant quality range manufacturer), Miele (dishwasher) and U-Line (under the counter refrigerator and freezer drawers with an ice maker). He squeezed in a nifty LG washer/dryer combination unit into the kitchen. The bathroom was outfitted with crisp Nemo tile, and the marble in the kitchen (island, countertop and backsplash) came from Stone Source.

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Similar to a ship’s cabin, no space in the apartment is overlooked. A recessed area in the kitchen is now home to a shelving unit for wine and kitchen items as well as dog Theo’s raised feeder. Jay outfitted his bed with a hydraulic lift system he found at a hardware store for easy access to the area under the mattress for storing blankets, luggage, games and other out of site but easily reached items.

living room

Thoughtful choices were made regarding furniture and décor — a well-considered mix of “high” and “low” is implemented throughout the home. The desk has ample storage, a great find from Williams-Sonoma Home. It is paired with an Eames chair. Rugs are from IKEA but the chandelier in the kitchen was a $3,000 splurge from Jayson Home and Garden. This item alone adds sophistication and a touch of glamour to the abode.

Throughout, art and personal effects reflect Jay’s style and bring the space to life. His favorite resources are Nest: “the owners have a great eye”; Apartment 48 and Elizabeth Bower Design on Greenwich Street. Framed nude sketches from the Housing Works Thrift Store appoint one wall.

The wonderful result of all of this meticulous design is a functional, cozy, highly personal space that seems much bigger than its 400 square feet.

wine and washer

bed storage

Source: here

Artic Pod

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This concept is from 2 B 2 Architecture, a pod that expands to house people in the arctic zone.   The pod is designed for researchers who are working in frigid climates, pulling solar power from an array on the roof.

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The unit is made up of modular pieces and includes a washroom, work/rest area and kitchen. The structure is made up of a steel frame, and clad with carbon panels and polyethylene, thermo-insulating membranes.The mobile unit can fold up into an extremely compact form that measures just 2000 x 1600 x 2300 mm (about 78 x 63 x 91 in) for transport. The unit has pieces that can be pulled out later to provide more space

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One feature I like is the bed to table transformation (on right of the photo below), while this is common in motor homes, they usually have a center pole to support it, while this one is mounted via the wall.

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bathroomSource: here

New York Revisited

They say that their people in New Yorkfliving live like no one else; this is certainly the case for two residents who have taken up the task of living in apartments the size of a walk in closet.  I had the great fortune to get to sit down with two women, Felice and Genevieve, who live in a 90 square feet and 105 square feet.

When it comes to living in a tiny space Genevieve told me you need “a place for everything and everything in its place” to make it work.  Organization was something that she felt was really important for living in such a confined space.  In the 4 years she has spent living in her 105 square foot apartment she has become quite masterful at maximizing space.  Tiny House folks often talk about the “100 thing challenge” a method where-by we reduce our belongings to just 100 things.

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There are, however, those things we simply can’t part from, for Genevieve it was shoes….62 of them to be exact!  With no closet she uses a bookshelf and baskets to store all her clothes and shoes.  From looking at all the clothes, it’s obvious that everything is kept “in it’s place”.

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Felice put it well when she said “if something doesn’t have a place, do you really need it?”  I couldn’t agree more and from talking to these two it was obvious that they were very conscious about what was in the space.fdesk Every item was intentional, thought out and agonized over out of sheer necessity.   As a professional home organization expert, Felice spends allot of time in other spaces with people who have allot of stuff.   She often starts out with clients by asking not what do you want to keep, but “What are the things you really want?”  To select these items as if your house was burning down, which would you try to save first?  By this method Felice is able to reduce her items to the things she loves most; In the case of her closet, when she opens it, she loves every piece of clothing there, if she doesn’t absolutely love it, it gets donated.

After talking to lots of people about living in their Tiny Houses, I have noticed that people stress the need to go vertical, in the case of Felice and Genevieve, this was the case as well.  Even in apartments with 9 foot ceilings, they stacked to the ceiling, in the case of their beds, they were lofted.

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Sleeping in such a small place seems to be across the board be approached by the use of lofting the sleeping area.  With only 23″ of space between mattress and ceiling, Felice felt closed in when she first moved in, leaving her wondering if she had made the right move.  Nowadays, she loves the coziness of the bed.

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That feeling of coziness is something that translates to the whole apartment.  “It feels cozy, I have a friend who lives in a big one bed room 2 blocks away, and we hang out at my place.”  It is similar to living in a dorm room, where you have to fit all your worldly processions in a tiny space, but still make it livable, if not loveable.g kitchen

Many of you know that I love to cook, so I had to ask about cooking in these places.  Both apartments don’t have real kitchens.  They instead have a cooking section where they can throw together food, I was impressed to hear that Genevieve is able to pull of eggplant parmesan in here “kitchen”.  Living in New York does mean that they have access to great restaurants and stores, but when it comes to cooking at home, meal planning ahead of time is key.  Genevieve is really big on meal planning and planning ahead.  She makes meals that serves easily and can be eaten for several meals.  “Planning helps keep costs and makes cooking easier.”

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Doing dishes is an interesting affair, without a sink in the “kitchen” they end up in the bathroom, even having to wash dishes in the bathtub and air drying them on a wire corner rack (check out the photo, you can see dish soap in the tub lol).

In such a small space I have always wondered how much you can really get done, but talking with these two it seems that you can pull quite a bit off.  From making fancy meals, to having 3 guests spend the night, or in the case of Genevieve, running a blog about beer (check it out at thehopshoney.wordpress.com) .  Felice did talk about how sometimes she felt that getting out of the space to do work was necessary to focus, but at the same time she does cherish free time at home.  With being in such a great location, she has her pick of great places to go to.  From parks, restaurants, cafes they are all right outside her door.

To read more about these two check out my two blog posts about Tiny NYC Apartments:

Small Apartments in NYC

Small Apartments in NYC

Cozy Couple in NYC

Cozy Couple in NYC

Many thanks to Felice and Genevieve for such great info

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Tiny Container Houses

lots of containers
Container homes aren’t anything new by a long shot, but I hadn’t looked at them in a while because they are so widely covered. After coming across one as of late I decided to take another look.  What I found?  Some really interesting stuff has been done, there is of course a lot of really big homes, this method allows you to make really large spaces cheaply.  But single units that can be transported are of interest to me; with economies swaying this was and that way, jobs about as stable as a mental patient and loyalty having a dollar price I need flexibility to move with my house.
contain house
I don’t want to have to worry about if my house will sell or if I can find a new house in time.  Instead, I simply buy a plot of unimproved land, pay a hundred or so dollars a year in taxes on it and just keep it.  If I own 20 of these I instantly have a 20 vacation spots ( for $2000 in taxes a year, less than what normal folks pay on their homes annually) and potentially one of them might end up being desirable and I can sell it at a premium.
I was really impressed with how nice some of these look in the below videos, so check them out.  I also found this great website all about this stuff, he runs a blog too, but doesn’t update it very often unfortunately.  containerist.com

Tiny House – Art Studio

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I found this great art studio that could easily be a tiny house, with most amenities – sans a kitchen – this house has great wood tones, a very organic feel, yet is offset with the large amount of cement walls around the base.  What I really love is the outdoor shower!!!  What a great implementation of design when it comes to defining the spaces and functions.

The other thing I like about this is how much glass there is integrated, it floods the dark wood grains with natural light, bringing the outside in.  I bet meditating or curling up with a book would be amazing in this place!

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Source: here