Austin architect gets small living just right
There's a definite sweet spot in size when designing a tiny house. Too small and you'll feel like you're living in an oversized closet, but too large and you risk losing the benefits of an easily portable home. Austin, Texas-based artist and architect Ann Armstrong recently designed and built her own towable tiny house that gets the balance just right, and looks a genuinely appealing place to live.
Measuring 20 x 8.6 ft (6 x 2.6 m), the Start Small tiny house doesn't look like a shed on wheels like some tiny houses, but it does somewhat resemble a large camping trailer. The home is clad in cedar and aluminum siding, with a metal roof. Insulation comes in the form of polyiso rigid foam insulation in the floor and 3.5-inch (8.89 cm) closed-cell spray foam insulation in the walls.
The tiny home boasts 10 windows, so should be filled with plenty of natural light, and is entered via two doors – unusual in a tiny house, but potentially useful for access or in case of an emergency (a third door at the rear provides access to additional storage space).
The interior includes a living area with couch, shelving and lots of little storage nooks. This connects onto a kitchenette featuring a two-burner stove, fridge and sink. The far end of the home, meanwhile, includes a small utility space and bathroom with composting toilet, sink and shower.
The upstairs sleeping area is accessed via the now obligatory (and very useful) tiny house feature of stairs that double-up as storage space. It's very snug up there, but boasts plenty of windows and a double bed. The home also features a secondary guest sleeping area that can be used as additional storage and is accessed via ladder.
The interior temperature is regulated by a wall heater/air-conditioning unit and hot water is produced by an on-demand hot water heater.
Armstrong put the finishing touches on her tiny house a few months ago and is currently living in it full time. Check out her blog for more information on the construction process, in addition to some insight into what it's like to actually live in a tiny house.