This 196-square-foot house near Boise, Idaho, is home to Macy Miller, her partner James, their daughter Hazel, and their Great Dane, Denver. A 27-year-old architect, Macy designed the home from scratch and built it on a 24-foot flatbed with help from friends and family. Clad in siding made of recycled pallet wood, the minimalist home is flooded with light and feels spacious despite its size. Hidden storage under the bed, above the pantry, and behind the fridge are contrasted with open shelving in the kitchen to make the space feel bigger. In total, Macy spent about $11,000 on her tiny house and is now able to live rent- and mortgage-free.
Inspired by and built by the team responsible for the gorgeous cottages at the Canoe Bay resortin the woods of Wisconsin, the 392-square-foot Escape looks like a high-end cabin but is actually a 28- by 14-foot Park Model RV on wheels. Vaulted ceilings and a large window wall give an airy feel to the cottage, which includes a living room with fireplace and kitchen wall and a separate bedroom and bath. Large French doors open to a screened porch that can be used as an extended living room, sleeping porch, or a dining area. The red-striped chaise lounge doubles as a bed with heated coils, perfect for naps on chilly days. Escape is available to rent at Canoe Bay, or can be custom-built for buyers and delivered ready to live-in. Prices start at $79,900.
Designed by Derek “Deek” Diedricksen of Relax
Shacks.com and built by Joe Everson of Tennessee Tiny Homes, this transforming micro A-frame cost only $1,200 to construct. One roof/wall is made of Tuftex polycarbonate roofing: Not only is it translucent to allow in natural light, the lightweight material is attached to the structure with hinges so it easily can be raised and propped on legs to expand the space from 80 square feet to 110. On the other side of the A, the purlins supporting the roof sheathing are placed horizontally to serve double duty as shelves. Two daybeds offer additional storage, a kitchen wall features a sink and space for a mini fridge, and a micro loft has a hinged “sunroof” for ventilation. Architect duo David and Jeanie Stiles drafted the plans for this A-frame, which are on sale for $30.
Little House on the Prairie
This 336-square-foot original WeeHouse from Alchemy Architects was built in 2003 to house a family off the grid on the Minnesota prairie near Lake Pepin. With floor-to-ceiling windows on both sides, the modern micro home is flooded with light. The interior is completely wrapped in douglas fir and features Ikea built-in cabinetry and kitchen elements.
Set in a wooded area, this 300-square-foot studio retreat in Chappaqua, New York, is nestled between two rock outcroppings—one is used as a backdrop and the other as a bookend to the deck. The design team at Workshop/apd chose Dark Ipe siding and decking and walnut interiors for a natural mid-century modern look that connects the structure to its wooded surroundings. Windows wrapping the western facade frame the scenery and visually enlarge the intimate space.
One of 14 tiny cabins at the Blue Moon Rising ecotourism retreat in McHenry, Maryland, the 250-square foot Kaya has a rustic reclaimed metal and wood exterior. Built by the folks atHobbitat, the quaint interior features a living space, queen-bed nook, bathroom, and kitchen with a view of nature, all under a curved, corrugated metal ceiling. Rental rates per night range from $249 to $349.
This serene tiny house in rural California is home to web designer Alek Lisefski, his girlfriend, Anjali, and their dog, Anya. Built on an 8- by 20-foot trailer, with three feet added for the back porch, the house features 10 windows and an all-glass door to opening up the small interior space to the outdoors to feel less claustrophobic and more connected to the surroundings. Designed and built by Alek himself for about $30,000, he is now selling construction plans so others can can build a house of their own to the same specs.
RELATED: 11 Small-Space Decorating Ideas
Modern Corn Crib
Designed by Broadhurst Architects, The Crib at Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland, takes its basic form from traditional American corn cribs, which were common farm buildings that served to store and dry corn. The chic, modern 250-square-foot interior includes a sleeping loft, an expandable kitchen wall, a bathroom, and living room. An insulated glass garage door opens to a small deck, connecting the interior space to the landscape beyond. Made of sustainable and recyclable materials, the structure can be dismantled and relocated to another site.
Cheery Beach Cottage
This tiny beach cottage on Florida’s St. George Island is called “Our Little Secret” by its owners. Small in size, it’s mighty in design: Its coastal-cracker exterior is made of a Structured Insulated Paneling System built to withstand hurricane-force winds, while its cheery interior features beadboard walls and ceilings and bamboo floors. Including the loft space, the 325-square-foot cottage sleeps two to four people, while a generous deck expands the living space into the outdoors for a perfect vacation retreat.
Refined Woodland Cabin
This 400-square-foot cabin with a refined decor sits nestled among fir, cedar, and madrone trees on the East Sound of Washington state’s Orcas Island. Designed by architect David Vandervort, the cross-shaped floorplan creates distinct alcoves for the kitchen, dining room, and bathroom, while a ladder provides access to the loft bedroom above the central living room. French doors lead out to a patio of flagstone, which is also used at the cabin’s entrance. (Building plans of a prototype of this cabin are available for purchase from Vandervort.)
Painted with six colors, The Painted Lady is an intricately designed micro farmhouse in Round Top, Texas, from Tiny Texas Houses. With a Victorian style exterior, the interior measures 12- by 26-feet and features a built-in couch, full kitchen, Murphy bed, sleeping loft, and bathroom with a glassed-in shower with a river rock floor. The home is 99 percent pure salvage, including the beams, floor joists, studs, windows, doors, and interior and exterior skins.
The 204-square-foot “Wind River Bungalow” is the Chattanooga, Tennessee, home of tiny house enthusiasts Travis and Brittany Pyke, who started Wind River Custom Homes to help others fulfill their dreams of living simply in mini dream homes. Constructed of rain-screen cedar and hardy siding for extreme durability, the bungalow is full of custom features, including a pine and cedar interior, polymer concrete counters, and a loft ladder integrated into the shelving system.