Laird's Yukon Modern Tiny Home - Tiny House Blog

Laird’s Yukon Modern Tiny Home

modern tiny house

by Laird Herbert

Hi my name is Laird Herbert and I thought you might be interested in the tiny house I just completed.

This is my second tiny home that I have built. I lived in one full-time for a year over the winter and sold it last spring. I’m 28 years old and have lived in the Yukon for the past five. I am pretty happy puttering away building things. I’d much rather do this then sit in a cubicle! My passion is actually the design, that’s what I enjoy the most. So I’m diving into it full-time (hopefully) and will be building two more this summer (one for myself and another to sell), under Leaf House, which is my new company named after the famed Leaf House on Hornby Island which is where I spent my summers as a kid.

modern tiny house

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this northern rendition of a tiny house! It is much more challenging build tiny houses in an extreme winter climate. I’ve learned quite a bit about what you need to do when it’s -40 outside and your space is 160 ft2. I’ve also learned that it is a lot more expensive to build things in the North!

modern tiny house living area

This house features:

  • FSC cedar and metal siding
  • Heavy gauge steel stud construction with spray foam insulation
  • 1″-2″ Energy Shield wrap
  • Triple pane Northerm Windows
  • FSC hardwood oak flooring, 12? granite tiles in the entrance way and
  • ceramic tiles in the bathroom
  • Ultralight drywall, clear grain cedar, and birch plywood interior finishing
  • 24 inch GE propane range
  • Propane instant tank-less hot water heater
  • Half size stainless steel fridge
  • Full size bathroom with compact bathtub/shower, Kohler bathroom sink
  • and Sun Mar Compact Composting toilet
  • Recessed cedar slat bathroom door
  • LED and dimmable CFL and halogen lighting
  • Low and zero VOC wood finishes and paint
  • Living area with a pullout sofa, storage, and recessed book shelving
  • Loft with queen size memory foam mattress
  • Broan high efficiency bathroom fan and kitchen exhaust hood
  • 35 Gallon Water tank with outside water hookup or blue water tank
  • drain and a RV shurflo water pump
Please check out my website for more information and pictures:
[nggallery id=49]

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dingo208 - May 16, 2012 Reply

By far, my favorite tiny house ever posted here, I absolutely love it!!!…..1st!!!!

    Steve - May 16, 2012 Reply

    agree! love the design!

    tempka - May 16, 2012 Reply

    Ditto! By far the most beautiful truly tiny house on this site, and one of the few to honestly grapple with cold weather climates (say what they like, most of the houses here simply aren’t properly designed for a Canadian or een a northern US winter). So beautiful! Please keep designing, so that when I’m ready to buy a tiny house, I can buy one of yours!!!

    Bronwen - May 17, 2012 Reply

    I agree! AND it can actually handle WEATHER! :O)

    Miss Marla - May 19, 2012 Reply

    Ditto! My favorite tiny house ever!

Bob Bernstein - May 16, 2012 Reply

This wonderfully designed. I’ve also been working on the design of a modern wedge shaped tiny house. I’d be interested in seeing more pictures of the half level used to gain access to the loft.

    carrie adams - May 19, 2012 Reply

    I agree with Bob and all…It’s so nice o see modern!
    I want to see the bathroom and I am sill not getting where the stairs are for loft??!!

    Laird, could you help me out on that?
    Thanks tons, Carrie

Emily - May 16, 2012 Reply

Wow. This is a fresh look at how to design space within the tiny trailer envelope. Very nicely done!

Pascale blue - May 16, 2012 Reply

My all time favorite! Sleek, modern, beautiful and luxurious all in one! Definitively the best! Congratulations and good luck with your business venture, should be a success!

Ryan - May 16, 2012 Reply

This is the best designed interior for a house on a trailer that I’ve yet seen. Bravo, I applaud this truly unique design. It’s nice not to see just another “Tumbleweed.”

MBee - May 16, 2012 Reply

OMG I love this. Wonderful configuration and beautiful colors/materials. The other commenters took the words right out of my mouth, this is a fave! Show us more!

Ella - May 16, 2012 Reply

Absolutely beautiful but I wonder why he didn’t maximize ceiling height in the front of the house. Excellent craftsmanship. Well done!!

    tempka - May 16, 2012 Reply

    I would like to hear Laird’s explanation as well, but my guess is that the wedge shape a) makes the design more aerodynamic for travel and b) prevents heat loss. While a high ceiling in the entryway might be aesthetically pleasing, heat would settle in that unoccupied area, rather than in the sleeping area, where Laird’s design forces it. Ingenious!

    cj - May 17, 2012 Reply

    The slant will certainly help keep the snow off the roof.

Liz - May 16, 2012 Reply

All this, and a good photographer as well. Some people are just too talented for one body!

holly - May 16, 2012 Reply

lower ceiling at front makes for less air-drag when towing. great idea. beautiful interior – love that you actually have STEPS to the bed, not a ladder (major downfall of most tiny house designers). congrats and best wishes for your new company, laird.

    Alfredo - May 17, 2012 Reply

    I agree. I have a min pin and with just a slight modification to this design he could hop into and out of the loft area by himself.

Elektra - May 16, 2012 Reply

Laird, a job well done. As an urbanite, I find it has some modern details that other models don’t….the kitchen table is so quaint, and the set-in shelving is very sleek. Love, the skylight, too. I guess my only concern would be that the exterior wood siding will eventually age and require replacing…

frank - May 16, 2012 Reply

It’s a beautiful house! Nice to see a tiny house builder who recognizes that there is more to modern design than just slapping metal siding on a shed-roofed structure.

dan - May 16, 2012 Reply

that is really a fresh new look, now my mind is spinning…

Catoctin Mountain Mama - May 16, 2012 Reply

Gorgeous! It reminds me of a tiny, sleek New York City loft. I really love how there are three different levels…a very interesting and novel (at least for me) idea. The stairs are a nice feature and it looks like there is a TON of storage.

The only thing I wasn’t super crazy about is the railing for the stairs leading downstairs to the dining area. But, that’s a very minor detail. Overall, a brilliant job!

I didn’t see any photos of the bathroom. Did I miss it?

kotobide - May 16, 2012 Reply

Nice looking house though its another example of beyond whats affordable to people trying to escape a mortgage at 52 thousand.

    ldt - May 16, 2012 Reply

    Perhaps he also sells plans with materials list, so that owner/builder could find affordability? Though I would imagine that such a project would require a certain skill level

Ben - May 16, 2012 Reply

beautiful! how much does it weigh?

liz goertz - May 16, 2012 Reply

Could we see drawings of the lay out? its hard to get where every thing is.

Laird Herbert - May 16, 2012 Reply

Thanks for the great comments – very kind! Here’s more pictures, including the floor plan.

    Matt Scott - May 19, 2012 Reply

    How is this particular house heated? I think the design is awesome…great job.

Debra - 320 square feet - May 16, 2012 Reply

Wow! I love it! This is the best I have ever seen – and I adore my small house – 320 sq ft does not qualify as tiny 🙂

PLEASE do not waste your talents sitting in a cubicle! There is so much more to life!

Mark Frost - May 16, 2012 Reply

Laird, when are you going to start selling plans or kits for this house? I think we all want one.

Being a Canadian , I can appreciate the effort that went into this project to keep it comfortable for all seasons. Well done!

Mark Frost.

Inuvikphil - May 16, 2012 Reply

I might be moving to Whitehorse soon…

Is one still for sale?

Inuvikphil - May 16, 2012 Reply

I think Laird just solved the NWT and Yukon’s housing crisis.

Can someone start a business making these, and shipping them by barge up the river to small communities?

alice h - May 16, 2012 Reply

Sure wish I’d had one of these back in the wall tent days. Also beats the classic Yukon camper/trailer with a feeble shack falling off the side. Plenty of open space and enough light to keep you sane in winter. Love the stairs too. The only cabin fever here is feverishly wishing I had one!

Steve - May 16, 2012 Reply

Amazing design. I love that it doesn’t have that “old timey” feel. It feels modern and I love the multiple levels and use of space. The steps is nice instead of a ladder. I would just get rid of the railing myself. Please sell plans! A lot of us in warmer climates could probably build it cheaper not needing so much insulation.

Pavel Gourkaloff - May 16, 2012 Reply

Wow… I am from Russia and this post totally made my day. Would love to be able to buy plans!

Elisabeth roberts - May 16, 2012 Reply

Elegant! Seconding the requests for Laird to sell plans. I have been playing with designs for the desert southwest climate, also an extreme. Curious to know the r-value on insulation. Also, why no windows in the rear? Structural or energy decision?

Simply mahvelous. Thanks!

Z00 Brown - May 16, 2012 Reply

This house makes me foam at the mouth in a good way. I usually don’t comment, but I really like this house. Please continue to spread your great ideas.

Roy - May 16, 2012 Reply

Very cool design. Reminds me of this stationary small cabin -

alice h - May 16, 2012 Reply

Oh yeah, the other bonus about this, no need to worry about your place freezing up when you go to town, just take it with you!

Katherine - May 16, 2012 Reply

This is awesome design and perfectly suited to a colder Canadian climate.

Donatella - May 16, 2012 Reply

Gorgeous! Love the staircase; my ONLY complaint or change I would want is a bigger kitchen sink in trade for fewer burners; it’s hard to wash big pots in those pretty little sinks.

jeff - May 16, 2012 Reply

This design and craftsmanship with all the details has set a new standard in the Tiny House arena. Great work! Very creative. Even the light fixtures are hand made. Unbelievable…


Michael - May 17, 2012 Reply


Courtney K. - May 17, 2012 Reply

Great design, Laird! It’s SO nice to see one built for a cold climate. I live in northern MN where temps around -30F usually happen every winter (used to get down to -40F occasionally, but I think those days might be over). A lot of tiny houses are designed for mild climates like the Pacific Northwest, and they would not work here at all.

David O - May 17, 2012 Reply

What a beautiful design and execution in a tiny home! This is a truly unique design. I love it! The split level separates the rooms while still giving an open large feeling inside!!

et - May 17, 2012 Reply

Did you mention how it’s heated?

Great to see original design thought.
Beautiful house, the different levels make it more interesting.

cj - May 17, 2012 Reply

I agree. Start ferrying these up to SE Alaska. It’s amazing to see so many builds that aren’t geared for the climate…this is nice.

Maxine - May 17, 2012 Reply

I bought and live in Laird’s first tiny house. Quite different from V.2 but it too is a work of shelter art with beautiful custom details and a light, spacious feel. Photos coming soon. I’m thrilled to see this young man’s talents recognized on this blog!

    Hazel - May 18, 2012 Reply

    Maxine, I for one am looking forward to seeing photos of your tiny house built by Laird. He is very talented and artistic!

Hazel - May 17, 2012 Reply

Laird, you have real talent in design and construction! There is so much about this unique tiny house that’s right: steeply sloping roof to decrease snow load and increase ceiling height; super-insulation; multiple levels to create ‘rooms’ to facilitate the comfortable sharing of a tiny space; modern design with so many fabulous details (I really like the ‘framed’ or ‘boxed-in’ look around windows); a full bathroom; a real stove and oven; clever storage…and on and on.

Being from a northern climate the only thing I struggle with in any tiny house is a lack of a mudroom. Coming in from outdoors with snowy/wet boots, heavy coat, mitts, hat, etc, there really needs to be a separate, tiled space with hooks, boot tray, and so on to contain the mess. I just don’t know how that could be incorporated though.

Excellent work! All the best for a successful business.

unexpectedcontractor - May 17, 2012 Reply

Beautiful and modern. Wow.

TinyHouseFamilyYUKON - May 18, 2012 Reply

I have been inside Laird’s tiny house and it is amazing! Pictures cannot do it justice and the feeling of space is awesome. Lots of natural light and a flare for decor. I am a father with a family of four and we will be building our first tiny house here in Yukon starting now! Just took the first load of insulation to the build site. Our tiny house will be on a 24ft trailer with two lofts… We have fulled time before for two years in a 29ft fifth wheel. Going to be exciting!

Lisa - May 19, 2012 Reply

I love this tiny home! great design! I hope you sell many of them and that your designs continue to evolve.
all the best,

2leftsocks - May 19, 2012 Reply

What a marvelous home! I love the modern, but warm, aesthetics of it, inside & out. Wonderful job. (A wide angle photo or two of the interior would be very helpful, visualizing the floorplan.)

Mel - May 20, 2012 Reply

I love this home, I hope you build more, sell plans and continue to be creative. I’ve been looking for a house plan that fits me, and this is pretty darn close.

Mark - May 20, 2012 Reply

Brilliant – Has some great lines!

Miguel Marcos - May 21, 2012 Reply

Spectacular design.

Mark Frost - May 21, 2012 Reply

Laird, you got to sell plans for your version 2. I see a lot of requests for plans. Count me in ! let us know what your intentions are because I want to build version 2 and use it as my residence when I retire.

Your design has some similarities to the 12cubed home design out of Vancouver. They used the vertical space to their advantage also.

Let us know when plans become available.

Mark Frost.

Susan - May 29, 2012 Reply

Impressive! Very clean, contemporary aesthetic that is still warm-looking and livable. Bookshelves too! I love this great house.

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[…] granite tiles Laird Herbert’s Leafhouse has so far been featured on Gizmag, Tiny House Blog, Jets on Green, and many other popular websites on sustainable architecture. He also has his own […]

Brandon - July 25, 2012 Reply

Do you have any plans for this design?

Kimmy - August 5, 2012 Reply

Hi Mr. Herbert! I love, love this little house! I tried going to your website but it seems it isn’t there any longer. 🙁 Hopefully you see this and can put your website on here again! 🙂

MsDawn Burton - August 12, 2012 Reply

Where can we see more pics or updates?

The Leaf House is an Energy-Efficient Tiny Home Built for the Cold | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building - August 29, 2012 Reply

[…]    Modernist, minimal, and able to withstand the biting cold of the Yukon, Laird Herbert's Leaf House is built with energy efficiency and conservation in mind. With just 215 square feet of functional […]

The Leaf House is an Energy-Efficient Tiny Home Built for the Cold | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building - August 29, 2012 Reply

[…]    Modernist, minimal, and able to withstand the biting cold of the Yukon, Laird Herbert's Leaf House is built with energy efficiency and conservation in mind. With just 215 square feet of functional […]

Aja - August 30, 2012 Reply

Hi there!

I’m in love with this and would like to know how I can comission you to build one for us just like it. We would love to see more photos or gather more information. We would like to start building a home like this in 2013, so any information you can give us would be helpful since the link to your website appears to not be working. You’ve done amazing work on this, and we can imagine ourselves in one! Thanks for sharing your amazing talents!

Alek - September 1, 2012 Reply

I really want one too!

Tiny House with your Family of 4? - October 4, 2012 Reply

[…] granite tiles Laird Herbert’s Leafhouse has so far been featured on Gizmag, Tiny House Blog, Jets on Green, and many other popular websites on sustainable architecture. He also has his own […]

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[…] by Laird Herbert, the structure has an aesthetic that matches its season-sensitive goals, looking rather like a […]

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Chad Filipski - February 8, 2013 Reply

Dear Laird,
I am considering a tiny house on wheels using steel studs. Have you published any information about your experience building with them? I’m curious about the weight of this tiny house. Did you rivet or weld the steels studs? Is the frame racking at all after traveling many miles?
Thank you for sharing your experience.
Chad 🙂

Monica - July 19, 2013 Reply

Hey Laird – what an awesome design, very inspiring!

It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but is the living room floor lower then the kitchen/rest of the floor of the tiny house?

Thanks – keep up the good work!

Monica Maggio
Fruit Growing Expert
Teacher, Consultant, Garden Coach

Core Home Fruit Services

Frank B - September 11, 2013 Reply

Hi Laird,

I’m in upstate NY; betwn Albany, NY and Saratoga NY…..when/if your ever ready….say mid 2014…let’s talk about building me a similar unit..and then making plans to build for others too. Goal by 2018; find land for a sustainable small community of these.


Nova - September 16, 2013 Reply

Marry me.

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