Australian tiny house builders Designer Eco Tiny Homes has recently finished a stunning tiny house on wheels that boasts a unique window feature wall. Dubbed The Lazy Duck, the 7.2 meter (23 ft) long home is based on the company's Lifestyle Series 7200DL model and has been commissioned to be used as a weekend retreat within the Southern Highlands, located 110 km (68 mi) south-west of Sydney.
"We have four sizes essentially and every house is built to suit a particular client and their needs," Grant Emans, Director of Designer Eco Tiny Homes tells New Atlas. "The Lazy Duck was built for a client who has a two-acre property in the Southern Highlands and she wanted to showcase the views across a vineyard, thus the feature window. As a result, I think this is one of the nicest home's we've ever made."
The entire house was specifically created and customized around the large feature window wall, which is positioned to capitalize on the views. The window wall is made up of a large square window with a smaller triangular window on top. Although double glazed glass was used, the design is probably not ideal for long term living due to the potential for the window to draw in a lot of heat. To counter this, the architects included a series of cross flow ventilation windows with louvers, allowing good airflow throughout the entire home during the warmer months.
"You're going to get a lot of heat gain or heat loss, especially in something this size," says Emans. "It can work well, but in a lot of cases it is too much heat loss and heat gain. If you're looking for a weekend escape its quite a dramatic feature, it's got a beautiful view and it's completely private. Most people stay in The Lazy Duck for two days only, so they can get away with it here."
The Lazy Duck tiny house measures 7.2 m (23 ft) long by 2.4 m (7.87 ft) in width, there is an additional 5 sq m (53.8 sq ft) in the elevated loft bedroom, giving the home a total of 22 sq m (236.8 sq ft) of interior living. The dwelling is clad with two types of locally-sourced cedar timbers to create its dramatic look. The design was inspired by a bushfire that recently took place next door to the Designer Eco Tiny Homes workshop. Emans thought it would be nice to create a home that reflected that iconic burnt Australian landscape.
"My favorite feature is probably the use of the two types of cedar on the external cladding," says Emans. "It's very dramatic it and reminded me of that really iconic Australian bush with the black burnt stumps and the trees in the background. We chose to use a rough horizontal cedar, with the smooth black Japan stained vertical cedar cladding on the back half, just to really make the back window with the triangle window at the top standout even more."
The interior of the tiny house features a cute compact kitchen, full bathroom, loads of storage, elevated loft bedroom, dining area for two and lounge area located beneath the large window feature. The lounge is equipped with a custom-built L-shaped sofa that can be turned into a double bed for an additional two guests. This inclusion allows the home to sleep up to four adults, while also providing alternate sleeping quarters for people who are not physically able to access the loft bed. As is, the sofa acts as a daybed, creating a cozy spot to read or relax while enjoying the views across the stunning landscape.
The Lazy Duck boasts a bunch of additional bespoke features, including double French doors that swing outward; a built-in two-seater dining table nestled under another large window; and a one-of-a kind bathroom vanity. The two-seater dining table is incorporated into the structure of the staircase, a feature not often seen in tiny homes. The staircase flows up into the loft, while also providing storage underneath for a fridge, pantry and clothes. The kitchen is complete with a two-burner gas cooktop, electric oven, basin and stunning hardwood benchtop.
The bathroom features a large shower, composting toilet that has been built into a seat and one-of-a-kind vanity. The vanity, which is unusually located behind two windows, is made with floating timber and a sit-on-top bowl. The actual plumbing had to be incorporated into the window frames, which according to Emans wasn't an easy job.
"This particular bathroom was very unique because the vanity is a one-of-a-kind," says Emans. "I've never done it before and probably will never do it again. Well, we'll do it, we can make anything you want but it was a nightmare to build because we had to incorporate the plumbing into the window frame, which was very difficult. But don't get me wrong, it looks great with strong black features and black pipe work, it was just very time consuming and expensive to make. Most of our clients are looking for sustainable living and a more economical approach to building their home."
In addition, the home's walls and ceiling are fully insulated with Earth Wool, made from recycled glass bottles, and all interior cabinetry and furnishings were made using Australian hardwood sourced from Victoria.
The total cost to build The Lazy Duck was AUD 115,000 (about US$80,850), with the more traditional Lifestyle Series 7200DL tiny homes starting from AUD 86,750.
Source: Designer Eco Tiny Homes
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