by Jim Russell
Hope all is good with you! Seems the last time we talked we were talking about the “AKTIV” house…. a simple cottage that kind of took on a life of its own. The waters have calmed since then, which is nice. The AKTIV is a great house, in fact there is one on a vineyard near here. We’ve mostly been doing houses that range from 500 square feet up to 1200 square feet, but continue to have a lot of interest in smaller spaces.
I don’t know if you remember, but we also introduced “minibox” with you guys in 2012…. It garnered a lot of interesting comments. Many were interested in something more than drawings and concepts. Since that time we’ve built several small houses for clients, but those are private so we thought it would be fun to build something we could show people.
We introduced a slightly larger (360 square feet) minibox at the recent 2014 Portland Home & Garden Show. Fully landscaped outside, fully furnished inside, the small modern cottage enjoyed a terrific response from the thousands who toured the house. The show house was furnished by La-Z-Boy, who is about to introduce a new line of small scale furniture. IKEA was used in the kitchen and bath. Exteriors are board & batten with corrugated metal siding. Exteriors were designed by Schultz & Long of Portland.
The real emphasis of the little modern cottage was livability and maximizing the flexibility of spaces. We’re really interested in contributory spaces, eliminating hallways, and instead of rooms we divided spaces by a pair of barn doors. In this way each area borrows from the other. Further we used a transom above the barn doors allowing the fir ceiling to float above and truly utilize the benefits of ductless heat pump heating and cooling. By turning the shed roof to follow the length rather than the width of the building the ceiling is aways moving up. True to all ideabox houses, the tall volumes allows small spaces to feel big.
ideabox is building to all codes – from RV & RV/Park Models to IRC modulars – so that even our tiny house (200 square feet) minibox is inspected during construction. And the Portland event was a further demonstration on the popularity of smaller living.
I hope you and your readers liked seeing a real minibox! The show cottage is here in Salem for any who would like to see it!
I have covered the Wheelhaus a couple times over the years. They have been busy designing new plans for new models that are coming out now and in the near future. These are Park Model size homes for the most part and at least 400 square feet in size. They have some very interesting designs and I wanted to share them with you. To learn more about them visit the WheelHaus.com website.
The original Wheelhaus, the Wedge, is the base model for our rolling cabins, all of which are designed to offer a combination of a rustic and modern aesthetic. The Wedge features an angled roof, which starts low above the bedroom and builds to 17 feet in the living room. Trapezoidal windows grow similarly from back to front, offering natural light while maintaining privacy. The front of the cabin is almost entirely glass. A large sliding glass door opens to a private deck.
A few years ago, Kent covered the Pod, an innovative and mobile tiny house designed primarily for camping. Another company in the United Kingdom has upped the ante on this type of building with the Log Pod, a portable wooden structure that comes in two beautiful designs. The Log Pod can be used as an office, mediation or retreat space, in a campsite or as a tiny house.
The company designs and sells two different designs: the Log Pod and the Gothic Pod. The Log Pod has an angular roof and is 11 feet by 7.6 feet, and because of its raised foundation can be placed on slopes, uneven ground or even in flood prone areas. It has a 4 foot deep covered porch with a glass door in the front and a rear fire escape rear window. Lights and electricity come standard. The Gothic Pod has an arched roof and curved interior lines. It’s the same size and has the same amenities as the Log Pod, and it is wheelchair accessible. Continue Reading »
Guest Post by Rebecca Knabe
March 2010 was a bad month for me. My husband was unemployed. It had been exactly 20 years since my beloved mother’s death. My house had been broken into. They stole my money and my car. And to top it all off, my husband and I abruptly and unexpectedly separated. I was physically, emotionally, and economically spent. Yes, that month was a stinker!
I was working full time, but still could not afford to stay where I was living. I have a big dog, Cassi, and the thought of moving into an apartment with her made me want to stick my head in the sand. What was I going to do?
My good friends, James and Tanille had recently downsized into a small trailer that they had beautifully renovated from the ground up. Tanille’s parents had done the same thing a year or two before them. I loved both their homes, and knew that this was my answer.