Tiny Houses

Salsa Box adds a little flavor to the tiny house movement

Salsa Box adds a little flavor...
The Salsa Box tiny house, by Portland, Oregon-based Shelter Wise (Photo: Shelter Wise)
The Salsa Box tiny house, by Portland, Oregon-based Shelter Wise (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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Salsa Box sports "Low-E" efficient windows, which are more reflective, but also offer more insulation (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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Salsa Box sports "Low-E" efficient windows, which are more reflective, but also offer more insulation (Photo: Shelter Wise)
Salsa Box features a small porch with green roof that can be pulled down (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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Salsa Box features a small porch with green roof that can be pulled down (Photo: Shelter Wise)
Judging from the photos, the Salsa Box looks to be finished to a high standard (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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Judging from the photos, the Salsa Box looks to be finished to a high standard (Photo: Shelter Wise)
Salsa Box doesn't fall into the familiar trap of looking like an overpriced shed on wheels (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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Salsa Box doesn't fall into the familiar trap of looking like an overpriced shed on wheels (Photo: Shelter Wise)
Salsa Box doesn't require a towing permit to tow and can fit on a standard trailer (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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Salsa Box doesn't require a towing permit to tow and can fit on a standard trailer (Photo: Shelter Wise)
As standard, Salsa Box measures 3.5 m x 2.4 (12 x 8 ft) (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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As standard, Salsa Box measures 3.5 m x 2.4 (12 x 8 ft) (Photo: Shelter Wise)
The unit has a total floorspace of just 9 sq m (96 sq ft) (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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The unit has a total floorspace of just 9 sq m (96 sq ft) (Photo: Shelter Wise)
The Salsa Box was first conceived as an instructional model to give students an idea of what's involved in building a tiny house, and from there grew into an actual product (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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The Salsa Box was first conceived as an instructional model to give students an idea of what's involved in building a tiny house, and from there grew into an actual product (Photo: Shelter Wise)
Flexibility is the watchword and the Salsa Box is available in 4.8 m (16 ft) 5.4 m (18 ft), and 6 m (20 ft) iteration (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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Flexibility is the watchword and the Salsa Box is available in 4.8 m (16 ft) 5.4 m (18 ft), and 6 m (20 ft) iteration (Photo: Shelter Wise)
The tiny home can be put on a standard trailer and pulled by a car (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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The tiny home can be put on a standard trailer and pulled by a car (Photo: Shelter Wise)
Salsa Box is built from FSC certified sustainably-sourced wood and sports a metal roof (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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Salsa Box is built from FSC certified sustainably-sourced wood and sports a metal roof (Photo: Shelter Wise)
The model pictured is equipped with an electrical hookup, but an off-grid version is also available (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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The model pictured is equipped with an electrical hookup, but an off-grid version is also available (Photo: Shelter Wise)
The Salsa Box tiny house, by Portland, Oregon-based Shelter Wise (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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The Salsa Box tiny house, by Portland, Oregon-based Shelter Wise (Photo: Shelter Wise)
Salsa Box is built from FSC certified sustainably-sourced wood (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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Salsa Box is built from FSC certified sustainably-sourced wood (Photo: Shelter Wise)
There's a skylight which lets in natural daylight (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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There's a skylight which lets in natural daylight (Photo: Shelter Wise)
There's about as much shelving and storage as one could reasonably expect in such a tiny space (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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There's about as much shelving and storage as one could reasonably expect in such a tiny space (Photo: Shelter Wise)
Usable floorspace is reduced to an absolute minimum and it's a very tight squeeze (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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Usable floorspace is reduced to an absolute minimum and it's a very tight squeeze (Photo: Shelter Wise)
Salsa Box features a snug kitchenette (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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Salsa Box features a snug kitchenette (Photo: Shelter Wise)
There's about as much shelving and storage as one could reasonably expect in such a tiny space (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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There's about as much shelving and storage as one could reasonably expect in such a tiny space (Photo: Shelter Wise)
The interior sports an electric hot water heater and shower and tub (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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The interior sports an electric hot water heater and shower and tub (Photo: Shelter Wise)
There's very little space but quite a lot of amenities inside (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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There's very little space but quite a lot of amenities inside (Photo: Shelter Wise)
Salsa Box was completed earlier this year (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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Salsa Box was completed earlier this year (Photo: Shelter Wise)
The well thought-out interior layout that manages to make living in a space measuring 9 sq m (96 sq ft) seem not just possible, but perhaps even appealing (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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The well thought-out interior layout that manages to make living in a space measuring 9 sq m (96 sq ft) seem not just possible, but perhaps even appealing (Photo: Shelter Wise)
The interior features all the basics required for life (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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The interior features all the basics required for life (Photo: Shelter Wise)
Usable floorspace is at a premium (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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Usable floorspace is at a premium (Photo: Shelter Wise)
The interior can be configured to suit (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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The interior can be configured to suit (Photo: Shelter Wise)
Shelter Wise informed Gizmag that the Salsa Box can optionally be rigged to go fully off-grid (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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Shelter Wise informed Gizmag that the Salsa Box can optionally be rigged to go fully off-grid (Photo: Shelter Wise)
The model featured is equipped with a queen-sized bed that sleeps two (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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The model featured is equipped with a queen-sized bed that sleeps two (Photo: Shelter Wise)
Salsa Box was completed earlier this year (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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Salsa Box was completed earlier this year (Photo: Shelter Wise)
The flushing toilet can be swapped out for a composting toilet (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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The flushing toilet can be swapped out for a composting toilet (Photo: Shelter Wise)
The well thought-out interior layout that manages to make living in a space measuring 9 sq m (96 sq ft) seem not just possible, but perhaps even appealing (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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The well thought-out interior layout that manages to make living in a space measuring 9 sq m (96 sq ft) seem not just possible, but perhaps even appealing (Photo: Shelter Wise)
The model featured is equipped with a queen-sized bed that sleeps two (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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The model featured is equipped with a queen-sized bed that sleeps two (Photo: Shelter Wise)
The interior sports an electric hot water heater and shower and tub (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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The interior sports an electric hot water heater and shower and tub (Photo: Shelter Wise)
There's plenty of shelving considering the space (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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There's plenty of shelving considering the space (Photo: Shelter Wise)
Alongside the kitchenette is a small wardrobe (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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Alongside the kitchenette is a small wardrobe (Photo: Shelter Wise)
The model featured is equipped with a queen-sized bed that sleeps two (Photo: Shelter Wise)
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The model featured is equipped with a queen-sized bed that sleeps two (Photo: Shelter Wise)

The Salsa Box, by Portland, Oregon-based Shelter Wise, offers yet another take on very small-scale living. Completed earlier this year, and available to purchase from US$22,500, this particular tiny house stands out from the growing crowd with a build quality and interior layout that makes living in a 9 sq m (96 sq ft) space seem not only technically possible, but perhaps even appealing.

The Salsa Box was first conceived as a demonstration model to show workshop students what's involved in building a tiny house, and from there evolved into a purchasable product. As standard, the dwelling measures 3.5 x 2.4 m (12 x 8 ft), but there are also larger 4.8 m (16 ft), 5.4 m (18 ft), and 6 m (20 ft) long versions available.

It's built using FSC (or Forest Stewardship Council – an international non-profit organization that promotes responsible forest management) certified wood and sports a metal roof, along with efficient low-emissivity (Low-E) windows, which offer more insulation than standard windows.

Alongside the kitchenette is a small wardrobe (Photo: Shelter Wise)
Alongside the kitchenette is a small wardrobe (Photo: Shelter Wise)

Judging from the photos available, the Salsa Box looks finished to a high standard and comes equipped with a queen-sized bed that sleeps two, plus amenities such as an electrical hookup, a flushing toilet, an electric hot water heater, a combined shower and mini-tub, and a kitchenette.

There's a fair amount of storage too – though this has subsequently reduced usable floorspace to an absolute minimum and it's a very tight squeeze. Indeed, as is the case with all similarly-sized homes, living in the Salsa Box full time would require some pretty big lifestyle changes.

There's about as much shelving and storage as one could reasonably expect in such a tiny space (Photo: Shelter Wise)
There's about as much shelving and storage as one could reasonably expect in such a tiny space (Photo: Shelter Wise)

Shelter Wise informed Gizmag that the Salsa Box can optionally be rigged to go fully off-grid. The flushing toilet can be swapped out for a composting toilet, solar power can be added, and a water catchment system can be affixed to the roof.

The Salsa Box doesn't need a permit to tow as it can fit on a standard trailer, and if required, it can also be modified to rest on foundations.

Source: Shelter Wise via Treehugger

12 comments
equator180
Looks great, how much does it weigh?
Daishi
96 sq ft wow. That's treehouse material. What would the incentive be to pay $22k for something like this vs some of the travel trailers for about the same price range? Northwood makes an Arctic Fox travel trailer that is insulated/all weather and the 23' version (184 sq ft) isn't that much more money than this and is much nicer inside: http://i.imgur.com/Wq73Tgk.jpg That one has an enclosed/heated underneath so you don't have to add an aftermarket pipe heating system like Ultra Heat. A travel trailer would come with a lot of other things like clear, grey, and black water holding tanks, battery backup, TV, entertainment system, propane tanks, heating/cooling, a kitchen etc. that one is also solar panel and satellite ready. Compared to some of the travel trailers out there this thing seems like an expensive shoe box. They did put vegetables on the metal roof though which is nice.
Michael Z. Williamson
No, I have no desire to live in a hamster cage. It does not appeal.
Griffin
I'm guessing this is not for travel. That much weight on a long single-axle trailer is not going to be safe or pleasant. Not to mention the wind on the road. It's a somewhat mobile cabin- not really a "travel trailer".
RH Bob
Nifty but not practical. Trailer homes on the market now cost less, have more amenities, are infinitely lighter/easier to tow* and probably much higher resale with better durability and these ARE very appealing. *towing this would be like towing the least air resistant brick one could design. Your fuel costs would be massive. Put it in one place permanently and your paying triple per square foot what a conventional home same size would be. Conventional homes cost approx. $70sf to build. (this is around $210sf) So for same $22k one could get a nice two or three room house of 310sf that would have appeal as a summer or vacation home. Do a conventional home from a build it yourself kit and do same 310sf house for under $10k. In other words.....nifty but not practical. (or appealing as the article suggests)
Derin Williams
It weighs 3800 lbs with living roof and tows great, 5000 ib rated axle with 10 ply tires. Yes, there is some wind resistance. The model will out last any Artic fox or for that matter any mass produced RV that is lived in permanently 10 times over. It's main use could be as get away cabin for that family property, a full time resident in a back yard, an AirBnB, or it could be towed to your favorite camp spot. feel free to contact us at www.shelterwise.com, we love your feed back!
Jim Sadler
The first thing about hand built vs. commercial products is that owners usually build tiny homes that are easy to repair.
Len Simpson
ditto----all of the above. Something my 9th grade shop class might have done , 60 odd - years ago.
Dr.Veritas
I'm glad there are people out there who are crazy enough to build things like this. It makes my life better just knowing they are out there. I have to agree with several comments regarding the availability of commercial towable so that offer lots for the money. Probably not built as well as this but then again neither is my home probably. I would put in a curved shower rod and make the curtain do double duty, offer a little privacy fir the toilet and retain water in the shower. Who says a queen sleeps two? It will sleep as many as the owner wants unless there's a weight maximum for structural reasons. Personally if it's my queen I will sleep alone...I like my space. "...an electric hot water heater." ??? Hot water doesn't need heating unless it's not hot enough. It may be electric but it's just a water heater. Cheers
The Skud
I agree with most of the posters above. Virtually all these 'tiny' houses look not streamlined at all as though they would be a task to tow. I note this one can be built "off grid" but a lot are not. Did people start building these to get around 'caravan living' regulations in suburbia? Otherwise it seems pointless as compared to a good van or even a motorhome with a couple of bikes hanging at the rear.