While this strange, tiny house is far from a cozy Hobbit home, it is intriguing. The experimental Truffle, by the Spanish architecture firm, Ensamble Studio, was built on the Costa da Morte over the course of several years using an interesting mix of local soil, hay bales, concrete and a calf named Paulina.
The Truffle started out as a hole in the ground and the interior was created with straw bales that were covered with a concrete shell and soil. The mound was then left to cure for several years as essentially a large boulder. Over that time the land and weather provided the concrete with its texture, color and form and the concrete and snugly wrapped hay bales created what would become a future room.
When the architecture firm came to unwrap their experiment, they used a quarry machine to chop off the front and back of the mound. A small calf, Paulina, was brought in to chomp away at the compressed hay bales. She fed on the bales for a year and walked away a fat and happy 661 lb. cow.
With the new, bovine-assisted interior, the group designed a clean, minimalist getaway with a sink, a fireplace, lighting and a bed with a view of the ocean. You can see the building process in the YouTube video below.
Photos by Ensamble Studio
The Tiny House Blog has profiled Dayton Taylor and his vintage trailer builds and restorations before, but Dayton also constructs small structures and introduced me to a tiny tea house he recently built for his decorator wife, Pam. After working on vintage trailers and “Man Caves” for himself, he promised his wife that her tea house would be a place just for the ladies.
The house, which sits in a tea garden in the couple’s Temecula, Calif. backyard, took three months to build and Dayton made up the design as he went along. The house is five-sided and 14 feet by 14 feet. Dayton said he built it as a pentagon shape for good luck and Pam has decorated it with soft colors, chandeliers, vintage hardware, a Dutch door and bead board on the walls. The house has air conditioning and a small sink.
“The women love it,” Dayton said. “Surprisingly, the men love it too. This was my first attempt at building anything “estrogen injected” so it was a challenge. For a while the pendulum swung WAY too far to the “girlie” side of the equation so then I had to reel myself back in and find that middle ground.”
The next issue of the Tiny House Magazine will be featuring Dayton’s Woodie Love Bug and you can view more of his trailer restorations at Vintage Trailer Crazy.
Photos by Dayton Taylor
The Yellowstone River Lodge is a beautiful bed and breakfast located near the town of Billings, Montana. While the lodge itself is a larger home, tucked behind it are three small guest cabins designed by Josh Sayer, the son of lodge owners Jan and Dan Sayer. The small modern and stylish cabins were inspired by the simple agrarian structures found around the area near Billings and make their own statement in the Montana landscape.
The larger cabin contains a full bedroom and the two smaller cabins have a studio space. All of the cabins were built by Dan Sayer with help from a local contractor. They are just over 400 square feet each and include a covered deck, Jacuzzi tubs, kitchenettes, wood-burning stoves and air conditioning. They were completed for around $25,000 each, but Josh said that if a client were to have them built, they would cost closer to $40,000 to $50,000.
Josh and his wife, both graduates of Montana State’s architecture program, recently started their own design company, Response Design, and the cabins were one of their projects. Josh has long been interested in small homes, prefab architecture and sustainability and made sure to take the surrounding land into account when he designed the Yellowstone River Lodge cabins. The cabins sit up off the ground on piers since the area is prone to flooding. Each cabin is oriented to the south with overhangs over the windows to protect them the interior from the hot summer sun.
Photos by Response Design
Many portable building manufacturers are extending their services by designing and building tiny affordable houses with their current equipment and experienced carpenters. One such company is actually a broker and dealer of the largest selection of portable buildings in the NW Arkansas, SW Missouri and NE Oklahoma area. Showcase Sheds & More sells portable storage buildings, portable storage sheds, cabins, greenhouses and now tiny houses like the Irish inspired Dara.
The Dara is a 200 square foot, plus sleeping loft, tiny house on skids. It comes with a full size bathroom, an on-demand water heater and a full kitchen with built in storage, aluminum brushed counters, microwave and stainless steel appliances. There is room for a two burner gas stove/oven that is not included with the house. The living room has a wall of windows, pine tongue and groove flooring and painted bead board. The exterior of the house is sided in western cedar with a galvanized metal roof, and the entire house is wired and plumbed with Pex tubing. Each Dara can be customized per the customer’s requests. Prices range from $16,000 to $26,950 and the company offers a few rent-to-own options. Each of their tiny homes can be build on-site, on a trailer or prebuilt and delivered to its final location.
Showcase also has a few cabin models and a darling Story Book Chalet which can be used as an office or a tiny house. The Story Book includes a 4 foot detachable deck and a custom storybook door. The cabins are also affordable like the 12×24 foot Lakeside Cabin that retails for just under $5,000 for the basic model.
Photos by Showcase Sheds & More