Tiny Houses

Thinking small: Celebrating the very best in tiny houses

Thinking small: Celebrating th...
Gizmag highlights the 10 best tiny houses we've come across in the past 12 months
Gizmag highlights the 10 best tiny houses we've come across in the past 12 months
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Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses is relatively new to the tiny house scene
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Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses is relatively new to the tiny house scene
The Custom 30 Foot House takes a tiny house and makes it bigger – a lot bigger!
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The Custom 30 Foot House takes a tiny house and makes it bigger – a lot bigger!
The Custom 30 Foot House features 18 sq m (197 sq ft) of usable floorspace on the ground floor and around 9.2 s q m (100 sq ft) of loft space
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The Custom 30 Foot House features 18 sq m (197 sq ft) of usable floorspace on the ground floor and around 9.2 s q m (100 sq ft) of loft space
The Custom 30 Foot House boasts the kind of amenities you'd usually expect to see in a brick-and-mortar house
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The Custom 30 Foot House boasts the kind of amenities you'd usually expect to see in a brick-and-mortar house
The Custom 30 Foot House is not for everyone though, and you'd certainly need to be confident towing such a large trailer-based structure
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The Custom 30 Foot House is not for everyone though, and you'd certainly need to be confident towing such a large trailer-based structure
The Ecocapsule, by Bratislava, Slovakia-based Nice Architects, recently moved from whimsical render into real-life prototype
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The Ecocapsule, by Bratislava, Slovakia-based Nice Architects, recently moved from whimsical render into real-life prototype
The Ecocapsule is expected to ship sometime in 2016
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The Ecocapsule is expected to ship sometime in 2016
The egg-shaped abode comprises a total floorspace of just 10 sq m (107 sq ft)
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The egg-shaped abode comprises a total floorspace of just 10 sq m (107 sq ft)
The interior of Ecocapsule includes a small seating area and workspace, a bed, toilet and shower area, and a kitchenette
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The interior of Ecocapsule includes a small seating area and workspace, a bed, toilet and shower area, and a kitchenette
Sustainable technology earmarked for the Ecocapsule includes a 9,744 Wh battery array, a roof-based 600 W solar array, and even a 750 W portable wind turbine
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Sustainable technology earmarked for the Ecocapsule includes a 9,744 Wh battery array, a roof-based 600 W solar array, and even a 750 W portable wind turbine
Canadian small living firm Leaf House takes a rather more hardy approach to tiny living compared to most
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Canadian small living firm Leaf House takes a rather more hardy approach to tiny living compared to most
Now in its third iteration, the firm's eponymous tiny home can take sub-zero temperatures in its stride
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Now in its third iteration, the firm's eponymous tiny home can take sub-zero temperatures in its stride
Leaf House Version.3 was built using sustainably-sourced wood, the interior of the home measures just 9 sq m (97 sq ft)
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Leaf House Version.3 was built using sustainably-sourced wood, the interior of the home measures just 9 sq m (97 sq ft)
Herbert managed to fit a custom Murphy Bed, a kitchen area, and a small shower and composting toilet inside Leaf House Version.3
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Herbert managed to fit a custom Murphy Bed, a kitchen area, and a small shower and composting toilet inside Leaf House Version.3
Thanks to excellent insulation and efficient electric radiators, Leaf House Version.3 can take temperatures of -50 °C (-58 °F) in its stride
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Thanks to excellent insulation and efficient electric radiators, Leaf House Version.3 can take temperatures of -50 °C (-58 °F) in its stride
The Victorian Prepper tiny house, by Utah's Maximus Extreme Living Solutions, was designed for someone who'd like to be ready in an apocalyptic scenario
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The Victorian Prepper tiny house, by Utah's Maximus Extreme Living Solutions, was designed for someone who'd like to be ready in an apocalyptic scenario
Victorian Prepper measures 8.6 ft x 21 ft (2.62 x 6 m)
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Victorian Prepper measures 8.6 ft x 21 ft (2.62 x 6 m)
Victorian Prepper's interior comprises a large living space with sofa bed, a kitchen, bathroom, and two lofts
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Victorian Prepper's interior comprises a large living space with sofa bed, a kitchen, bathroom, and two lofts
Inside one of Victorian Prepper's lofts there's enough dried food to last 18 months. The other packs a large quantity of firearms
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Inside one of Victorian Prepper's lofts there's enough dried food to last 18 months. The other packs a large quantity of firearms
Its understated Victorian-era inspired styling not withstanding, Victorian Prepper packs plenty of sensible additions in case the worst should indeed happen
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Its understated Victorian-era inspired styling not withstanding, Victorian Prepper packs plenty of sensible additions in case the worst should indeed happen
Oregon City-based small home firm Heirloom launched its small living business with the Tiny Heirloom
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Oregon City-based small home firm Heirloom launched its small living business with the Tiny Heirloom
Tiny Heirloom is a luxurious take on the tiny house
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Tiny Heirloom is a luxurious take on the tiny house
Tiny Heirloom boasts off-grid capabilities and a great layout that packs in plenty of amenities
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Tiny Heirloom boasts off-grid capabilities and a great layout that packs in plenty of amenities
The firm also offers a home automation system for Tiny Heirloom that enables control over lights and other amenities with an iOS or Android device
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The firm also offers a home automation system for Tiny Heirloom that enables control over lights and other amenities with an iOS or Android device
Inside, Tiny Heirloom comprises a total floorspace of around 11.8 sq m (128 sq ft)
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Inside, Tiny Heirloom comprises a total floorspace of around 11.8 sq m (128 sq ft)
Cinder Cone is based on a rural plot in Skamania County, Washington
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Cinder Cone is based on a rural plot in Skamania County, Washington
Foster Huntington built Cinder Cone with the help of a group of friends on land owned by his family
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Foster Huntington built Cinder Cone with the help of a group of friends on land owned by his family
Cinder Cone's treehouses are between 30 to 40 ft (9 to 12 m) off the ground
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Cinder Cone's treehouses are between 30 to 40 ft (9 to 12 m) off the ground
Construction work on Cinder Cone was started in 2014 and was completed within a year
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Construction work on Cinder Cone was started in 2014 and was completed within a year
Cinder Cone's skatebowl is full-size and constructed from concrete, while the hot tub is fired by wood
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Cinder Cone's skatebowl is full-size and constructed from concrete, while the hot tub is fired by wood
The Escape Traveler offers an appealing looking vision of small living with its just-right size, either 269 sq ft (24 sq m) or 344 sq ft (32 sq m)
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The Escape Traveler offers an appealing looking vision of small living with its just-right size, either 269 sq ft (24 sq m) or 344 sq ft (32 sq m)
The interior of the Escape Traveler comprises dining area and a kitchen in the center, with a lounge located to one side and a bathroom to the other
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The interior of the Escape Traveler comprises dining area and a kitchen in the center, with a lounge located to one side and a bathroom to the other
The Escape Traveler also sports a couple of loft bedrooms accessed by ladder, and options include a washer/dryer spa tub, and air-conditioning
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The Escape Traveler also sports a couple of loft bedrooms accessed by ladder, and options include a washer/dryer spa tub, and air-conditioning
The Escape Traveler also sports a couple of loft bedrooms accessed by ladder
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The Escape Traveler also sports a couple of loft bedrooms accessed by ladder
Juice for the Escape Traveler comes from a standard hookup and low-energy windows and closed cell foam insulation is installed throughout
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Juice for the Escape Traveler comes from a standard hookup and low-energy windows and closed cell foam insulation is installed throughout
Maximus Extreme Living Solutions makes our list again with the Steampunk Adventure Home
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Maximus Extreme Living Solutions makes our list again with the Steampunk Adventure Home
Steampunk Adventure Home was designed for a Utah resident and her young son
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Steampunk Adventure Home was designed for a Utah resident and her young son
The Steampunk Adventure Home's interior features a total floorspace of 31 sq m (340 sq ft), and includes a galley kitchen, lounge area, bathroom, and and two loft-based sleeping areas accessed via stairs
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The Steampunk Adventure Home's interior features a total floorspace of 31 sq m (340 sq ft), and includes a galley kitchen, lounge area, bathroom, and and two loft-based sleeping areas accessed via stairs
Steampunk Adventure Home's interesting decor includes valves, exposed metal pipework, vintage light fittings, and custom metalwork
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Steampunk Adventure Home's interesting decor includes valves, exposed metal pipework, vintage light fittings, and custom metalwork
On the exterior, Steampunk Adventure Home features porthole windows and cold-rolled steel cladding treated with salt water and hydrogen peroxide to bring on rapid rusting
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On the exterior, Steampunk Adventure Home features porthole windows and cold-rolled steel cladding treated with salt water and hydrogen peroxide to bring on rapid rusting
London-based artist and designer, Daniel Durnin created a nomadic floating shelter dubbed WaterBed that can also be towed by a bicycle
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London-based artist and designer, Daniel Durnin created a nomadic floating shelter dubbed WaterBed that can also be towed by a bicycle
The WaterBed was part inspired by the canal network that surrounds London
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The WaterBed was part inspired by the canal network that surrounds London
The prototype floating home is built primarily from wood and can be towed with a bicycle using a clip-on attachment
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The prototype floating home is built primarily from wood and can be towed with a bicycle using a clip-on attachment
Once you find a suitable canal, one person can easily slide WaterBed into the water, and a couple of ropes prevent it from floating away
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Once you find a suitable canal, one person can easily slide WaterBed into the water, and a couple of ropes prevent it from floating away
WaterBed's interior includes cushioned seating which transforms into a bed, and a fold-down table
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WaterBed's interior includes cushioned seating which transforms into a bed, and a fold-down table
Tiny houses offer a break from the norm pretty much by definition, but Antoine, by Swiss architecture firm Bureau A, takes this further
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Tiny houses offer a break from the norm pretty much by definition, but Antoine, by Swiss architecture firm Bureau A, takes this further
Antoine is inspired by Swiss writer Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz's novel Derborence
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Antoine is inspired by Swiss writer Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz's novel Derborence
Antoine is based in a rural area in the Swiss Alps
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Antoine is based in a rural area in the Swiss Alps
It would be easy to lose Antoine amongst the mountainous terrain
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It would be easy to lose Antoine amongst the mountainous terrain
Antoine's interior is kitted out with a wood burner, plus some basic fold-down furniture, including table, bed, and seating
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Antoine's interior is kitted out with a wood burner, plus some basic fold-down furniture, including table, bed, and seating
Gizmag highlights the 10 best tiny houses we've come across in the past 12 months
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Gizmag highlights the 10 best tiny houses we've come across in the past 12 months

Whether for financial or ethical reasons, or in pursuit of a better way of life, increasing numbers of people are joining the burgeoning small living movement. Join Gizmag as we give a big thumbs up to 10 of the most attractive, innovative, and downright interesting tiny houses we've come across in the past 12 months.

The following 10 projects mostly consist of smaller wooden dwellings that sit on wheels and can be towed with a normal car. However, we haven't been too strict with the definition of a tiny house here, providing we feel the example in question embodies the spirit of the movement.

In no particular order then, let's get started with Gizmag's picks of the very best tiny houses of 2015:

Custom 30 Foot House

The Custom 30 Foot House boasts the kind of amenities you'd usually expect to see in a brick-and-mortar house
The Custom 30 Foot House boasts the kind of amenities you'd usually expect to see in a brick-and-mortar house

Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses is relatively new to the tiny house scene but has already made a big splash. The Custom 30 Foot House takes a tiny house and makes it bigger – a lot bigger – but it remains portable nonetheless.

It's certainly not for everyone and you'd need plenty of confidence to tow such a large trailer-based home, but the additional space means that the off-grid home boasts the kind of amenities you'd usually expect to see in a bricks-and-mortar house.

The 18 sq m (197 sq ft) of usable floorspace on the ground floor, and around 9.2 s q m (100 sq ft) of loft space means a full-sized cooker, large fridge, washer/dryer, and even a small dishwasher all fit inside.

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Ecocapsule

The egg-shaped abode comprises a total floorspace of just 10 sq m (107 sq ft)
The egg-shaped abode comprises a total floorspace of just 10 sq m (107 sq ft)

Moving from one extreme in the tiny house movement to the other, the small Ecocapsule recently made the difficult jump from render into real-life prototype product and, according to its creators, is expected to ship sometime in 2016.

Designed by Bratislava, Slovakia-based Nice Architects, the egg-shaped abode comprises a total floorspace of just 10 sq m (107 sq ft). Usable floorspace will be even less thanks to the furniture installed, but it still looks relatively workable for a single person or close-knit couple. The interior includes a small seating area and workspace, a bed, toilet and shower area, and a kitchenette.

There's some impressive sustainable technology earmarked for the Ecocapsule, too. This includes a 9,744 Wh battery array, a roof-based 600 W solar array, and even a 750 W portable wind turbine. A composting toilet and a rainwater collection and filtration system are also proposed.

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Leaf House Version.3

Now in its third iteration, the firm's eponymous tiny home can take sub-zero temperatures in its stride
Now in its third iteration, the firm's eponymous tiny home can take sub-zero temperatures in its stride

Canadian small living firm Leaf House takes a more extreme approach to tiny living than most. Now in its third iteration, the firm's eponymous tiny home is tougher than it looks and can take temperatures of -50° C (-58° F) in its stride. Leaf House owner Laird Herbert is using the home as a case study for tiny living in cold climates.

Built using sustainably-sourced wood, the interior of the home measures just 9 sq m (97 sq ft), but Herbert used a smart interior layout to make the most of this (including a mirrored wall to give the illusion of space). Amenities include a Murphy Bed, a kitchen area, and a small shower and composting toilet.

While this version requires a grid-based hookup to function, Herbert reports that its successor will operate totally off-grid.

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Victorian Prepper

Its understated Victorian-era inspired styling not withstanding, Victorian Prepper packs plenty of sensible additions in case the worst should indeed happen
Its understated Victorian-era inspired styling not withstanding, Victorian Prepper packs plenty of sensible additions in case the worst should indeed happen

The Victorian Prepper tiny house, by Utah's Maximus Extreme Living Solutions, was designed a client who'd like to be ready should an apocalyptic-type situation befall humanity. Its understated Victorian-era inspired styling not withstanding, the home hides plenty of survivalist-themed additions.

The home measures 8.6 ft x 21 ft (2.62 x 6 m), and its interior comprises a relatively large living space with sofa bed, kitchen, bathroom, and two lofts. One of the lofts is packed with enough dried food to last 18 months, while the other features a significant quantity of firearms.

Victorian Prepper also sports a rainwater collection system, is outfitted to receive a solar panel system, and is also packed with excellent insulation to ensure it can handle extremes in both hot and cold weather.

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Tiny Heirloom

Inside, Tiny Heirloom comprises a total floorspace of around 11.8 sq m (128 sq ft)
Inside, Tiny Heirloom comprises a total floorspace of around 11.8 sq m (128 sq ft)

Oregon City-based small home firm Heirloom launched its small living business with the Tiny Heirloom: a luxurious take on the tiny house. It boasts off-grid capabilities and a layout that shoehorns plenty of home comforts into a total floorspace of just 11.8 sq m (128 sq ft).

Inside, Tiny Heirloom comprises a loft, kitchen area, bedroom, lounge, and toilet. Amenities that come as standard include a propane boat heater, stainless steel appliances, washer and dryer, and rainwater collection. Additional options include a composting toilet, incinerating toilet, hydro-electric power, and rainwater storage.

Interestingly, last time we spoke to Heirloom, the firm told us it was planning an automation system that offers control over lights, security, and other functions using an iOS or Android device.

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Cinder Cone

Cinder Cone is based on a rural plot in Skamania County, Washington
Cinder Cone is based on a rural plot in Skamania County, Washington

Most people who take up living in a tiny house are required to make some hard sacrifices, but writer and photographer Foster Huntington shows this isn't always the case. Based on a rural plot in Skamania County, Washington, his enviable Cinder Cone project comprises two treehouse structures linked by a suspension footbridge, and boasts a private skatebowl and hot tub.

Huntington built Cinder Cone over the space of a year with the help of a large group of good friends on land already owned by his family. The treehouses are between 30 to 40 ft (9 to 12 m) off the ground and supported by a Garnier limb (a high-strength steel bolt) driven into Douglas Fir trees. The skatebowl, meanwhile, is constructed from concrete, and the hot tub is fired by wood.

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Antoine

Antoine's interior is kitted out with a wood burner, plus some basic fold-down furniture, including table, bed, and seating
Antoine's interior is kitted out with a wood burner, plus some basic fold-down furniture, including table, bed, and seating

Tiny houses offer a break from the norm pretty much by definition, but Antoine, by Swiss architecture firm Bureau A, takes it further than most with a unique boulder-like structure.

The cabin is inspired by Swiss writer Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz's novel Derborence, which features a man named Antoine who lives for seven weeks beneath a rockfall before ultimately escaping. It's based in a rural area in the Swiss Alps.

Looks notwithstanding, Antoine is actually set up pretty well as a basic tiny cabin suitable for an overnight stay or two. Its interior is kitted out with a wood burner, plus some basic fold-down furniture, including table, bed, and seating. There's no toilet inside though, and it might be easy to forget which rock is home should you go wandering off to answer nature's call.

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Escape Traveler

The Escape Traveler also sports a couple of loft bedrooms accessed by ladder, and options include a washer/dryer spa tub, and air-conditioning
The Escape Traveler also sports a couple of loft bedrooms accessed by ladder, and options include a washer/dryer spa tub, and air-conditioning

The Escape Traveler, by Escape, offers an appealing slice of small living in a choice of sizes – either 269 sq ft (24 sq m) or 344 sq ft (32 sq m) – and an atypical layout that has more living space than you might expect.

The interior features a dining area and a kitchen in the center, with a lounge located to one side and a bathroom off to the other. The lounge features a large sofa bed, and the bathroom includes both a shower and a bath – something of a luxury in a towable tiny home.

The Escape Traveler also sports a couple of loft bedrooms accessed by ladder, and optional extras include a washer/dryer spa tub and air-conditioning. Electricity comes from a standard hookup, and low-energy windows and closed cell foam insulation is installed throughout.

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Steampunk Adventure Home

Maximus Extreme Living Solutions makes our list again with the Steampunk Adventure Home
Maximus Extreme Living Solutions makes our list again with the Steampunk Adventure Home

Maximus Extreme Living Solutions makes our list for a second time with the Steampunk Adventure Home. It was designed for a Utah resident and her young son and, while it looks like some kind of prop from an apocalyptic movie, serves as a practical dwelling.

The interior comprises a total floorspace of 31 sq m (340 sq ft), and includes a galley kitchen, lounge area, bathroom, and two loft-based sleeping areas accessed via stairs.

But it's the interior and exterior finish that sets the Steampunk Adventure Home apart from other tiny houses. The bespoke additions include industrial-looking valves, exposed metal pipework, vintage light fittings, and custom metalwork. On the exterior, the steampunk theme continues with porthole windows and cold-rolled steel cladding treated to bring on rapid rusting.

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WaterBed

The WaterBed was part inspired by the canal network that surrounds London
The WaterBed was part inspired by the canal network that surrounds London

London-based artist and designer Daniel Durnin recently designed and built a nomadic floating shelter that can be towed by bicycle. The WaterBed was partially inspired by the canal network that surrounds London, and it offers a floating abode comparable in size to a small trailer.

It's built primarily from wood and can be towed with a bicycle using a clip-on attachment, though it weighs in at 75 kg (165 lb), so is perhaps better suited to those in very good shape, or at least who live in flat areas. Once the user finds a canal, one person can slide the shell into the water with ease, and a couple of ropes prevent it from floating away.

The interior includes cushioned seating that transforms into a bed, and its fold-down table has enough room for a couple of hot drinks or a snack.

View the full gallery

That completes our look at the best tiny houses of the year but you can check out more images and details on each one in the image gallery. If this article has whetted your appetite for more, be sure to read or selections from last year and the year before.

1 comment
DaviRodrigues
I like the waterbed except for not having a place to stow the bike