Some tiny houses are wonderful works of art. Now you can interact with some of these art pieces at Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa. The park is displaying eight “Intriguing Treehouses” created by local artists until October 2015. While you can’t live in these intricate structures, the ingenuity that goes into them can spark a few creative ideas. Continue reading
MINI has a diehard fan base and is teasing them with several new concept cars that may or may not come to fruition. The problem with concepts is that anyone wanting the item aches for it to be available On the other hand, it gives those with imagination and tools the fodder to run with the idea and ask “how small can you go?”
The Clubvan Camper is being called the world’s smallest luxury camper van and the basic Clubman has been adapted to provide sleeping for one person by removing all the other seats besides the driver’s. The bed (with storage underneath) extends from front to back on the passenger side of the vehicle and the space behind the driver’s side becomes a kitchenette which extends on rollers out the pair of rear doors. The kitchenette includes a two burner stove with slide out counter space, storage and a chest refrigerator. The Clubvan also has an auxiliary heater, a small flatscreen TV and a handheld shower designed to be used outside the vehicle. Continue reading
While walking through the traffic and noise of San Francisco last weekend, I found an oasis of peace inside the International Art Museum of America. In their main lobby, a small stream flowed past a whimsical tiny treehouse. Granted, the house would only be perfect for fantasy creatures like gnomes or fairies, but the design captured my heart. The treehouse, sculpted out of a redwood stump, was made by chainsaw artist Steve Blanchard and is just one of his many fairytale structures.
Blanchard began chainsaw carving about 28 years ago in Monterey, California. He uses the chainsaw and various other power tools to carve large stumps into benches, furniture, large Native American figures and animals. His charming fairy homes contain faces of wood spirits, gnarled porches, curved staircases and even working windows and doors. Blanchard has made about 30 of these tiny houses, but only makes about two unique houses every year for sale and they sell for around $25,000 each. The homes make their way into woodland gardens and yards in the Sierra and Lake Tahoe, as well as museums on Market Street in San Francisco.
“I don’t like to have any straight lines in my houses,” Steve said. “There are very few straight lines in nature and I like my houses to blend in with nature and tell a story, but it has to be believable.”
Photos by Steve Blanchard Wood Sculpture and the International Art Museum of America
The theme for this year’s Burning Man, Caravansary, might be one of the most perfect for how the event works. The Persian word means either an Asian or North African inn for desert travelers or a group of people traveling together in a caravan. Both describe Black Rock City and its tiny houses to a “T”. For the people “living” in Black Rock City for the week of Burning Man, their caravan shelters include tents, wooden structures made from pallets, colorful trailers, domes and wagons. This year, we were stunned to realize we were camped right next to Philippe Glade of the This is Black Rock City blog. The Tiny House Blog featured his book, Black Rock City, NV: The Ephemeral Architecture of Black Rock City last year and his new book is now in the works.
Many structures at Burning Man are elaborate and take hours or days to erect. Sometimes the most beautiful are the most simple. This tent was located way beyond the city near the “trash fence” that surrounds the event.
Other tents are still built from simple materials, but have more exotic shapes.
Just a step up from tents are Costco carports and other prefabricated shelters. This is the Museum of Cultural Appropriation and Dead Things and the Museum’s bar — not open at this time.
It’s always nice to get a little elevated above the desert. These structures are build with wood and wooden pallets and some are placed on top of truck beds or on top of RVs.
Trailers are sometimes unrecognizable in Black Rock City. A cargo trailer becomes a conestoga wagon, a canned ham becomes part of the Nakked Zebra boutique camp and Jay’s eclectic Scamp sits in the middle of Kidsville.
Domes are very popular and quick to erect. This one is a bar and nightclub reminiscent of the Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars.
This interesting structure has windows to let in the fresh air.
This patchwork yurt offers the gift of storytelling.
The beautiful bunk tents at the Ashram Galactica camp can be won during a nightly lottery.
The Hardly Hotel offers rooms for rent, a bar and a “Thriller” Flash Mob.
This beautifully painted tiny house is located in the Department of Public Works neighborhood. The DPW are the people who build Black Rock City and live in the desert for sometimes eight to ten weeks.
The Burner Ready, Burner Born group from Reno, Nevada decided to tow their entire sailboat out to the desert.
Both of these camps brought the tropics to the desert.
Two of the most beautiful structures in the City this year reflect the craftsmanship of many of the people who come to live here.
While the steampunk house on stilts from the Lost Nomads of Vulcania was not a camp, it could be lived in.
Welcome to Black Rock City. Wish you were here.
Photos by Christina Nellemann
For anyone dreaming of their own vardo wagon to sleep in or rent out, this sweet, little red wagon was built by J.M. Labrosse and featured by Instructables. J.M.’s step-by-step guide breaks this project down into manageable parts and a PDF of the project can be downloaded from the Instructables website.
The insulated vardo features a classic shape with a Dutch door, stained glass windows, decorative trim and an unusually shaped deck. It contains a full bed with storage underneath, bench seating, a heater and a fan as well as 110 power and plugs. The 4×8 foot vardo was built on a 48×96 inch Harbor Freight trailer with a 1,720 lb load capacity. The trailer weighs under 1,200 lbs and was framed with both 2×4 inch and 2×2 inch boards.
The wagon is currently available as an Airbnb rental in Seattle, Washington along with an additional vardo J.M. built.
Photos by J.M. Labrosse