Tiny Houses

A big year for small living: The best tiny houses of 2018

A big year for small living: T...
The Orchid Tiny House, by New Frontier Tiny Homes, features in our coverage of this year's best tiny houses
The Orchid Tiny House, by New Frontier Tiny Homes, features in our coverage of this year's best tiny houses
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The Orchid Tiny House's trailer wheels are hidden behind a cover
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The Orchid Tiny House's trailer wheels are hidden behind a cover
The Orchid Tiny House, by New Frontier Tiny Homes, features in our coverage of this year's best tiny houses
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The Orchid Tiny House, by New Frontier Tiny Homes, features in our coverage of this year's best tiny houses
The Orchid Tiny House can run on or off-the-grid
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The Orchid Tiny House can run on or off-the-grid
The Orchid Tiny House measures 32 ft (9.7 m)-long
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The Orchid Tiny House measures 32 ft (9.7 m)-long
The Orchid Tiny House has a total floorspace of 310 sq ft (28.7 sq m)
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The Orchid Tiny House has a total floorspace of 310 sq ft (28.7 sq m)
The Orchid Tiny House has one upstairs bedroom loft
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The Orchid Tiny House has one upstairs bedroom loft
The Orchid Tiny House's roof has three skylights
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The Orchid Tiny House's roof has three skylights
The Orchid Tiny House features a sofa bed
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The Orchid Tiny House features a sofa bed
The Orchid Tiny House's sofa bed, shown in the pulled-out position
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The Orchid Tiny House's sofa bed, shown in the pulled-out position
The Orchid Tiny House features a large garage-style lifting door
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The Orchid Tiny House features a large garage-style lifting door
La Tête dans les étoiles measures 7.2 m (23.6 ft)-long
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La Tête dans les étoiles measures 7.2 m (23.6 ft)-long
La Tête dans les étoiles runs off-the-grid with a roof-based solar power array
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La Tête dans les étoiles runs off-the-grid with a roof-based solar power array
La Tête dans les étoiles is based on a double-axle trailer
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La Tête dans les étoiles is based on a double-axle trailer
La Tête dans les étoiles includes a small terrace area at the front
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La Tête dans les étoiles includes a small terrace area at the front
La Tête dans les étoiles' loft bedroom, shown with the roof in the closed position
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La Tête dans les étoiles' loft bedroom, shown with the roof in the closed position
La Tête dans les étoiles' loft bedroom, shown with the roof in the open position
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La Tête dans les étoiles' loft bedroom, shown with the roof in the open position
La Tête dans les étoiles' loft bedroom is a typical tiny house style but with one exception: the roof slides open
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La Tête dans les étoiles' loft bedroom is a typical tiny house style but with one exception: the roof slides open
La Tête dans les étoiles' roof is secured with clasps, which are unlocked to allow the owner to slide the roof open
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La Tête dans les étoiles' roof is secured with clasps, which are unlocked to allow the owner to slide the roof open
Visitors to La Tête dans les étoiles are greeted with a living area that contains a folding office desk and a daybed
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Visitors to La Tête dans les étoiles are greeted with a living area that contains a folding office desk and a daybed
La Tête dans les étoiles interior finish is basic but clean
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La Tête dans les étoiles interior finish is basic but clean
The Devasa has around 300 sq ft (28 sq m) of floorspace
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The Devasa has around 300 sq ft (28 sq m) of floorspace
The Devasa's interior includes a snug living room area, a kitchen and a bathroom
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The Devasa's interior includes a snug living room area, a kitchen and a bathroom
The Devasa gets power and water from standard RV-style hookups
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The Devasa gets power and water from standard RV-style hookups
One of the Devasa's bedrooms, with the roof shown in the raised position
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One of the Devasa's bedrooms, with the roof shown in the raised position
The Devasa's kitchen has no appliances installed as standard but does have the cabinets
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The Devasa's kitchen has no appliances installed as standard but does have the cabinets
The Devasa's bathroom includes a composting toilet and sink
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The Devasa's bathroom includes a composting toilet and sink
The Devasa has around 300 sq ft (28 sq m) of floorspace
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The Devasa has around 300 sq ft (28 sq m) of floorspace
The Devasa's interior includes a snug living room area a kitchen, and a bathroom
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The Devasa's interior includes a snug living room area a kitchen, and a bathroom
The big idea behind the Devasa is that it's easy to tow in the lowered position, but when parked, it can expand upward and offer additional headroom
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The big idea behind the Devasa is that it's easy to tow in the lowered position, but when parked, it can expand upward and offer additional headroom
The Ecocapsule measures 4.67 x 2.2 m (15 x 7.2 ft) and reaches a height of 2.5 m (8.2 ft)
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The Ecocapsule measures 4.67 x 2.2 m (15 x 7.2 ft) and reaches a height of 2.5 m (8.2 ft)
Access to the Ecocapsule is gained by sliding door
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Access to the Ecocapsule is gained by sliding door
The Ecocapsule's interior includes a bed
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The Ecocapsule's interior includes a bed
The Ecocapsule has 8.2 sq m (88 sq ft) of floorspace
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The Ecocapsule has 8.2 sq m (88 sq ft) of floorspace
A45 was designed by BIG for a new tiny house company called Klein
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A45 was designed by BIG for a new tiny house company called Klein
Klein is planning to offer tiny house designs by the world's leading architects
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Klein is planning to offer tiny house designs by the world's leading architects
A45's interior includes a wood-burning fireplace, kitchenette, and a dining area
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A45's interior includes a wood-burning fireplace, kitchenette, and a dining area
If you'd like to live in your own BIG-designed home, the A45 will eventually be available to purchase, though we've no word on price
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If you'd like to live in your own BIG-designed home, the A45 will eventually be available to purchase, though we've no word on price
A45's wood-burning fireplace is designed by Morsø
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A45's wood-burning fireplace is designed by Morsø
"A45 is the first prototype constructed in upstate New York and will be customizable inside and out for future home-owners to purchase, tailor and have the tiny house built within 4-6 months in any location, for any purpose," says BIG
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"A45 is the first prototype constructed in upstate New York and will be customizable inside and out for future home-owners to purchase, tailor and have the tiny house built within 4-6 months in any location, for any purpose," says BIG
A45 is slightly raised on small concrete stilts
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A45 is slightly raised on small concrete stilts
The prototype A45 model pictured is currently installed in Upstate New York and measures 183 sq ft (17 sq m)
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The prototype A45 model pictured is currently installed in Upstate New York and measures 183 sq ft (17 sq m)
A45's bathroom
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A45's bathroom
A45 has an interesting triangular form inspired by the classic A-frame that offers a maximum ceiling height of 13 ft (4 m)
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A45 has an interesting triangular form inspired by the classic A-frame that offers a maximum ceiling height of 13 ft (4 m)
One of the best luxury tiny houses on the market, the Denali, has been made bigger and quite possibly better with the release of the Denali XL
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One of the best luxury tiny houses on the market, the Denali, has been made bigger and quite possibly better with the release of the Denali XL
The Denali XL measures 42 ft (12.8 m)-long
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The Denali XL measures 42 ft (12.8 m)-long
The Denali XL has a total floorspace of roughly 400 sq ft (37 sq m)
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The Denali XL has a total floorspace of roughly 400 sq ft (37 sq m)
The Denali XL retains the Denali's attractive cottage-like styling
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The Denali XL retains the Denali's attractive cottage-like styling
The Denali XL is finished in shiplap walls, stained wood ceilings and hardwood floors inside
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The Denali XL is finished in shiplap walls, stained wood ceilings and hardwood floors inside
View towards the Denali XL's kitchen
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View towards the Denali XL's kitchen
The Denali XL's bathroom includes an incinerating toilet
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The Denali XL's bathroom includes an incinerating toilet
The Denali XL's bathroom includes a steam shower
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The Denali XL's bathroom includes a steam shower
Despite its huge proportions, the Denali XL includes just one bedroom
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Despite its huge proportions, the Denali XL includes just one bedroom
The Denali XL's bedroom has enough headroom to stand up 
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The Denali XL's bedroom has enough headroom to stand up 
The Draper runs from a standard RV-style hookup
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The Draper runs from a standard RV-style hookup
The Draper is heated and cooled with an air-conditioning unit
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The Draper is heated and cooled with an air-conditioning unit
The Draper is finished in black corrugated metal siding with wood accenting
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The Draper is finished in black corrugated metal siding with wood accenting
The Draper's mud room includes a large 7 ft (2 m)-wide closet, bench, storage for shoes and the like, as well as a washer/dryer combo unit
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The Draper's mud room includes a large 7 ft (2 m)-wide closet, bench, storage for shoes and the like, as well as a washer/dryer combo unit
The Draper's interior is finished in whitewashed pine
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The Draper's interior is finished in whitewashed pine
The Draper measures 30 ft (9.1 m)-long
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The Draper measures 30 ft (9.1 m)-long
The Draper's living room includes a U-shaped sofa bed
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The Draper's living room includes a U-shaped sofa bed
The Draper's only bedroom is located upstairs
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The Draper's only bedroom is located upstairs
The Draper's living room converts into a guest bedroom
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The Draper's living room converts into a guest bedroom
The Draper's living room can be partitioned with a curtain 
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The Draper's living room can be partitioned with a curtain 
The ground floor of the Ébène measures 360 sq ft (33 sq m)
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The ground floor of the Ébène measures 360 sq ft (33 sq m)
The Ébène's bathroom includes a bath/shower and composting toilet
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The Ébène's bathroom includes a bath/shower and composting toilet
The ground floor of the Ébène measures 360 sq ft (33 sq m)
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The ground floor of the Ébène measures 360 sq ft (33 sq m)
The Ébène's kitchen includes two freezers, a fridge, stainless steel sink, induction stove, and a microwave/oven
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The Ébène's kitchen includes two freezers, a fridge, stainless steel sink, induction stove, and a microwave/oven
The Ébène's master bedroom
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The Ébène's master bedroom
Another view of the Ébène's master bedroom
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Another view of the Ébène's master bedroom
Top-down view of the Ébène's main living area
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Top-down view of the Ébène's main living area
The Ébène's living room includes a large storage-integrated sofa
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The Ébène's living room includes a large storage-integrated sofa
The Ébène's features underfloor heating 
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The Ébène's features underfloor heating 
The Ébène measures 36 ft (11 m)-long
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The Ébène measures 36 ft (11 m)-long
The True Studio measures 160 sq ft (14.8 sq m)
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The True Studio measures 160 sq ft (14.8 sq m)
The True Studio runs from an RV-style hookup as standard but can be outfitted to run off-the-grid
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The True Studio runs from an RV-style hookup as standard but can be outfitted to run off-the-grid
True Studio's kitchen includes an oven with propane-powered four-burner stove, a sink, and a fridge
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True Studio's kitchen includes an oven with propane-powered four-burner stove, a sink, and a fridge
Most of the True Studio's interior is taken up by a main living/sleeping area 
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Most of the True Studio's interior is taken up by a main living/sleeping area 
The True Studio's bathroom includes an incinerator toilet
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The True Studio's bathroom includes an incinerator toilet
The True Studio model shown is rented out on Airbnb 
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The True Studio model shown is rented out on Airbnb 
The True Studio measures 160 sq ft (14.8 sq m)
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The True Studio measures 160 sq ft (14.8 sq m)
The True Studio includes a dining table with two seats
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The True Studio includes a dining table with two seats
Optional extras for the True Studio include off-grid functionality, a rainwater collection system and a radiant underfloor heating system
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Optional extras for the True Studio include off-grid functionality, a rainwater collection system and a radiant underfloor heating system
The Urban Payette with Elevator Bed has a total floorspace of 344 sq ft (32 sq m)
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The Urban Payette with Elevator Bed has a total floorspace of 344 sq ft (32 sq m)
The bed in the Urban Payette with Elevator Bed is motorized, though can be operated by hand crank if the electricity fails
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The bed in the Urban Payette with Elevator Bed is motorized, though can be operated by hand crank if the electricity fails
The Urban Payette with Elevator Bed includes a small dining area
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The Urban Payette with Elevator Bed includes a small dining area
The Urban Payette with Elevator Bed, with the bed in the down position
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The Urban Payette with Elevator Bed, with the bed in the down position
Another shot of the Urban Payette with Elevator Bed, with the bed in the down position
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Another shot of the Urban Payette with Elevator Bed, with the bed in the down position
The Urban Payette with Elevator Bed is based on a triple-axle trailer measuring 28 ft (8.5 m)-long
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The Urban Payette with Elevator Bed is based on a triple-axle trailer measuring 28 ft (8.5 m)-long
The Urban Payette with Elevator Bed shown with the bed in the raised position
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The Urban Payette with Elevator Bed shown with the bed in the raised position
Elsewhere in the Urban Payette with Elevator Bed is a kitchen, bathroom, and a sleeping loft accessed by storage-integrated staircase
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Elsewhere in the Urban Payette with Elevator Bed is a kitchen, bathroom, and a sleeping loft accessed by storage-integrated staircase
The Urban Payette with Elevator Bed's bathroom
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The Urban Payette with Elevator Bed's bathroom
Top-down view of the Urban Payette with Elevator Bed's kitchen area
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Top-down view of the Urban Payette with Elevator Bed's kitchen area

2018 has been a big year for small living and we've seen some firms trying to stand out in a crowded market by fitting their models with clever space-saving ideas and novel technology. Featuring raising roofs, motorized beds, and larger models that offer as much living space as a city apartment but on wheels, here's our pick of the best tiny houses of the year.

In no particular order, let's dive straight in. More information, and more photos, on each project can be seen in our gallery.

La Tête dans les étoiles

La Tête dans les étoiles' loft bedroom is a typical tiny house style but with one exception: the roof slides open
La Tête dans les étoiles' loft bedroom is a typical tiny house style but with one exception: the roof slides open

La Tête dans les étoiles (or Head in the stars) is an unusual tiny house topped by a roof that can be manually slid open when the weather is nice to open up the bedroom to the elements.

The home is designed by French firm Optinid and measures 7.2 m (23.6 ft)-long. It has a small terrace and its interior is split into a living area with daybed and office desk, dining area, kitchenette, and bathroom. The home gets power from a roof-based solar panel array and a rainwater capture system is installed too.

Devasa

The big idea behind the Devasa is that it's easy to tow in the lowered position, but when parked, it can expand upward and offer additional headroom
The big idea behind the Devasa is that it's easy to tow in the lowered position, but when parked, it can expand upward and offer additional headroom

This model from Tiny Houses NYC has a roof that slides upwards at the push of a button. The idea is that the Devasa is easy and legal to tow when its roof is lowered, but when parked up, the additional ceiling height offers lots of headroom.

The Devasa measures 23.5 ft (7.16 m)-long and has an interior comprising roughly 300 sq ft (28 sq m) of floorspace. This is divided into a snug living room area near the entrance, a kitchen, and a bathroom. The upstairs hosts two bedrooms.

Ecocapsule

Access to the Ecocapsule is gained by sliding door
Access to the Ecocapsule is gained by sliding door

Ecocapsule's eponymous tiny house is an unusual egg-shaped micro-dwelling that measures 4.67 x 2.2 m (15 x 7.2 ft), with an interior floorspace that's just 8.2 sq m (88 sq ft).

Inside, the pod looks better suited as a weekend getaway rather than a full-time home. It has a bed and a cramped camper van-style bathroom, kitchenette, a seating area, desk, and storage space. The Ecocapsule gets power either from a standard grid hookup or can run off-the-grid with a combination of solar panels and wind turbines. An integrated rainwater collection system is also installed.

Orchid Tiny House

The Orchid Tiny House can run on or off-the-grid
The Orchid Tiny House can run on or off-the-grid

New Frontier Tiny Homes' Orchid Tiny House is the luxury tiny house firm's take on a contemporary farmhouse. It measures 32 ft (9.7 m)-long and has a total floorspace of 310 sq ft (28.7 sq m).

The home's interior opens up to the outside with a garage-style lifting door and the area also has a particularly nice solid walnut sofa that pulls out into a bed. Elsewhere is a raised dining and kitchen area, a spacious bathroom, and a sleeping loft reached by ladder. The home can be optionally upgraded to run off-the-grid with a composting toilet and solar panel setup.

The Urban Payette with Elevator Bed

Another shot of the Urban Payette with Elevator Bed, with the bed in the down position
Another shot of the Urban Payette with Elevator Bed, with the bed in the down position

No prizes for guessing the standout feature in the Urban Payette with Elevator Bed. The home saves space with a bed that moves up and down on a motorized platform, turning a living room space into a bedroom at the flick of a switch.

The Urban Payette with Elevator Bed measures 28 ft (8.5 m)-long, with a total floorspace of 344 sq ft (32 sq m). Elsewhere in the tiny house lies a kitchen, bathroom, and another sleeping area accessed by storage-integrated staircase. It can also run off-the-grid with optional solar panels and composting toilet.

A45

A45 is slightly raised on small concrete stilts
A45 is slightly raised on small concrete stilts

As its name suggests, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) is usually associated with large-scale projects but the firm dipped a toe into the small living movement with the A45 cabin.

A45's triangular form is inspired by the classic A-frame cabin and offers a maximum ceiling height of 13 ft (4 m) and a total interior floorspace of 183 sq ft (17 sq m). Inside it includes a kitchenette, dining area, downstairs bed and upstairs bedroom. The home also has a bathroom with shower, sink and toilet. This one can run on or off-the-grid.

Denali XL

One of the best luxury tiny houses on the market, the Denali, has been made bigger and quite possibly better with the release of the Denali XL
One of the best luxury tiny houses on the market, the Denali, has been made bigger and quite possibly better with the release of the Denali XL

The Denali XL supersizes what is already one of the larger tiny homes on the market. Designed by Timbercraft Tiny Homes, the home measures a massive 42 ft (12.8 m)-long, with a total floorspace of roughly 400 sq ft (37 sq m).

The Denali XL retains the attractive cottage-like styling of its smaller namesake and is clad in board and batten siding. The interior is very spacious, with a relatively large living room, kitchen with two breakfast bars, and bathroom with steam shower. Surprisingly, the Denali XL has just one bedroom, but it's large and has headroom to stand up straight in. The home gets power from a standard RV-style hookup.

Draper

The Draper is finished in black corrugated metal siding with wood accenting
The Draper is finished in black corrugated metal siding with wood accenting

Two major challenges of downsizing are storage space and entertaining guests. Land Ark RV's new model, the Draper, is well designed for both. The home measures 30 ft (9.1 m)-long and has a total floorspace of 300 sq ft (28 sq m).

The Draper's exterior sports a hardwood deck that's lowered and raised with a hand-operated winch. Inside, it has a mud room, kitchen, living/guest room that can be partitioned with a curtain, bathroom, and sleeping loft. There's lots of storage in this model, with many little nooks and cubbies hidden around the home. It runs from a standard hookup.

Ébène

The Ébène measures 36 ft (11 m)-long
The Ébène measures 36 ft (11 m)-long

Quebec's Minimaliste produces tiny houses that can withstand Canada's brutal winter weather, including the Ébène. Measuring 36 ft (11 m)-long, it has a floorspace of 360 sq ft (33 sq m), which is split between a living room/dining area dominated by a large L-shaped modular sofa, dining area that seats six, bathroom, and two bedroom lofts.

Interestingly, the Ébène keeps toes toasty with a hydronic underfloor heating system that's powered by electricity and controlled by thermostat. Minimaliste also added efficient heat exchangers and an electric fire. Though we've no word on this particular model's insulation, Minimaliste's homes are typically rated to handle temperatures as low as minus 40° C (- 40° F).

True Studio

Optional extras for the True Studio include off-grid functionality, a rainwater collection system and a radiant underfloor heating system
Optional extras for the True Studio include off-grid functionality, a rainwater collection system and a radiant underfloor heating system

This attractive shipping container-based tiny house named True Studio can be outfitted with optional extras, including full off-grid functionality and smart home tech.

The True Studio is designed by Modern Dwellings and is based on a standard shipping container. Its exterior is enlivened with a slatted metal facade and the interior measures 160 sq ft (14.8 sq m), with a living/sleeping area, kitchenette, dining area, and bathroom. One side of the container home opens up to the outside and it runs on or off-the-grid. Optional upgrades include a voice-controlled smart home system, rainwater collection, and radiant underfloor heating.

2 comments
McGannSaphir
I guess they are so expensive, they don't even want to talk about the price.
haydentech
Over and over, these tiny house stories emphasize high-end builds in the $60 to 100-thousand range. Who is buying these? And what problem are they solving? Where are the $10- to $20-thousand tiny houses? That's where I've always believed the market is.