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!