The Modern Tiny

There are many, many examples of tiny houses if you look online. Curated below are a couple of examples of modern style tiny houses. There are some interesting and unique design features of these, including: lightweight and inexpensive materials, industrial fixtures, and sometimes minimalist furnishings. These are inspiring to me. I hope you find them fun and interesting idea generators, regardless of the style you want for your own space.

As I am compiling my list of inspiring designs, there’s something I notice; many of tiny homes don’t have names. I’m not sure why not, or why I felt compelled to name my design before it’s even built. I’m calling out three specific examples, and will try to describe them as best I can.

Miller House, near Boise, Idaho


Macy Miller, perhaps one of the more well-known and well published tiny house owners, has created an inspiring project. I’m surprised I haven’t written about it before now.

Macy is an architectural designer, and was able to build this fantastic project for only $11,000 USD. The gooseneck trailer provides a nice sleeping platform, adding to the living space significantly over the more typical designs. The exterior is clad in repurposed shipping pallet slats, and adds a very pleasant texture. I like that the whole trailer bed wasn’t used for living space, and a cozy porch on the tail provides a place of transition before entering the house.

The interior is decidedly modern and the lines are kept clean. There’s some great use of color for accent pieces, like the hand-blown glass lampshades. Many folks I’ve talked to about tiny houses have made comments about the appropriateness for families. Here, a family of three, plus a Great Dane, shows that it can and does work.

Here’s a great interview with Macy on NPR from December of 2013. There’s a great amount of info on her site: 

220 SF Tiny House, Western Massachusetts

selman-tiny-house-2011-croppedThis house, build by students from the Warren, Vermont based Yestermorrow Design/Build School, is ground bound—sitting on foundation piers and not wheels. At 3650mm (12′-0″) x 5790mm (19′-0″), it’s still pretty tiny. The polycarbonate cabinet doors look great, and would help reduce weight, important in a wheeled design. As you might be starting to notice, I really like shed roofs. The straw bale hot water heater, feature in the video, is brilliant and another great way to save money and reduce carbon footprint. I also like that it has the same vanity sink I purchased for my project earlier this year.

Minim House

Minim House - 03

The Minim House, designed by Foundry Architects in Washington, DC, is a bit wider than typical trailer homes, meaning a permit and most likely a professional crew would be needed to move  it. However, as I’ve described tiny homes to many new to the idea: they are moveable, however aren’t necessary meant for moving often like a travel trailer. This balance between fixed and wheeled, allows for a well-cared for and high-quality tiny house to become a family heirloom and can help its owners respond to changing jobs and the desire to live in new places without giving up a home. More info available at Minim Micro Homes.