Bend me, shape me: Space saving furniture

Tiny houses usually necessitate thinking out of the box when it comes to furniture. Standard furniture for “regular” homes may not fit into a tiny house, so several designers have come up with some interesting and innovative designs for space saving furniture. Interestingly enough, while most of these designers think out of the box, their designs fold up into boxes!


Trick is the name of this multifunctional furniture that can be used as a bookshelf, a chair, and a dining set. The minimalist multifunction furniture is made from Milan based industrial designer Sakura Adachi.

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LEAP Adaptive Hummingbird

LEAP Adaptive sells modern, green home plans online and they have recently designed their smallest home plan and are making it available to owners, contractors and architects. The Hummingbird is a 480-square-foot home that is energy efficient and utilizes a passive photovoltaic framework, low-VOC materials and the latest in green technology.

Mini House ONE+

Described as a lego set for adults, the Mini House ONE+ was designed and built by the Swedish company Add a Room. The ONE+ houses are designed to start out as a basic 15 square meter (approximately 161 square feet) module which can be added on to as needed in many different configurations. Add a Room will design the ONE+ to an individual’s needs, build it within a controlled, covered environment and deliver it to your site.

This concept is based on a cooperation between Denmark and Sweden and choosing high quality materials from both countries. The system includes decks and deck covers as well as an indoor or outdoor kitchen, a mini bathroom, beds, wardrobes, full insulation, plumbing and electrical fittings.

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Shobac Cottages

I saw these interesting cottages on Boutique Homes and thought that together they made a beautiful, little vernacular village. Individually, they would make a great tiny house. The Shobac Cottages of Nova Scotia were designed and built by Brian MacKay-Lyons on historic land settled by the Acadians during the 1600’s. The four identical cottages, large studio and octagonal barn are used for rentals, private events and a design/build internship program called the GHOST lab.

Each 800 square foot cottage has 7-foot tall windows that frame the ocean view of the Atlantic. They each contain two bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, one bathroom, two decks, a wood stove, dining area, living bay and custom tile and maple floors. They rent for between CAN$1,500-$1,995 a week. The entire site, along with the studio and the historic octagonal barn can also be rented for events and are ideal for art workshops, weddings, equestrian vacations, family reunions or corporate retreats.

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The E-den and the Hut

The E-den and the Hut are two new outdoor living/tiny house designs by the UK company Timber Tradesmen. Timber Tradesmen are selling these tiny buildings as alternative options to camping in a tent or trailer, or as a tiny office, but I think they would each make a great tiny house. Both of these buildings have a unique, organic design that fit comfortably in any surrounding, while providing an uncluttered, spacious interior – complete with a large bunk bed, full insulation and storage space. They also include an optional deck and and a canvas canopy for additional luxury and privacy.

The E-den is hand built by skilled craftsmen in Somerset using a combination of timber and steel framework, locally sourced materials and incorporating modern timber frame construction techniques. They each include a wide door for people with mobility problems, a large roof window for natural light, and electricity can be added into each E-den. They are each constructed in a workshop and delivered as a complete unit on a trailer. To launch the project the company has decided to sell the first 10 E-dens at cost to establish them in the marketplace, therefore the prices below are a genuine special offer and will be offered on a first come first served basis.

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False Bay Cabin

This little, modern cabin – located in the San Juan Islands in Washington – is  a private retreat for the owners and their guests. I think it would make a great tiny house that can be battened down from the elements and when you are gone for a few days.

The cabin was designed and built by Olson Kundig Architects, the designers of the Rolling Huts. Three sides of the cabin have custom-designed Shutter-Decks, designed in collaboration with Turner Exhibits. The Shutter-Decks lower to become an outdoor living space and rise to provide privacy for the occupants and to secure the cabin when it is unoccupied. The south Shutter-Deck can be opened independently of the other two, while an interior fireplace can be rotated 180 degrees to be enjoyed from the exterior.

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The E.D.G.E

This tiny prefab home is an experiment in all things efficient. The E.D.G.E., designed and built by by Bill Yudchitz and Revelations Architects/Builders Corp. in Wisconsin, stands for an Experimental Dwelling for a Greener Environment, and recently won  a design award from the American Institute of Architects-Wisconsin.

Several details of this design make it unique to other prefab designs. The “kinetic facade” rain screen, which consists of tall louvered panels, can be closed over the passive solar windows to insulate the interior and protect the E.D.G.E. when unoccupied. It contains two lofts with full staircases, and the furniture is custom made for the house and is multi-functional. In fact, the dining room furniture transforms into a bed.

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Backyard Box

These small, well-designed little backyard houses are actually much better looking and more detail oriented than a basic box, without forsaking the modern, prefab style. Backyard Box, a company based in Seattle, designs and builds small prefab houses that can be used in many ways: as a rental income property, guest house, home office, mother-in-law apartment or a tiny house.

The smallest design is the MatchBox, a studio that packs a kitchen, living room and bath into 400 square feet. It can fit into a lot that is 17 by 27 feet and starts at $79,500. A larger design is the SandBox, a one story backyard cottage with kitchen, living room, bathroom and one bedroom. It is 600 square feet and is designed for simple and minimalist living on one level, and will fit on most city lots at just 17 by 37 feet. The SandBox starts at $86,500. Each of these houses are custom architect-designed and you can choose from three finish levels.

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Burlington Microhome

Moonlight in Vermont? Sunlight might be better for this tiny solar powered home built by Alex Carver and Christopher North of Northern Timbers in Vermont. The Burlington Microhome is a 100 square-foot modular house that is off-grid and ready for additional modules to be added to it if needed.

Northern Timbers built the microhome with design help from landscape architect and metal artist H. Keith Wagner.


Much of Northern Timbers’ work reinterprets the traditional Vermont vernacular by introducing new applications of diverse materials into the residential setting, resulting in homes with a practical yet creative aesthetic.

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Rolling Huts

When I first saw these huts on wheels, they looked a bit like an alien vehicle from Star Wars. The more I looked at them though, the more I fell in love with these sleek little houses. Designed as a modern alternative to camping by Tom Kundig of Olson Sundberg Kundig … Read more


The Studio Shed by Modern-Shed was recently featured in Dwell magazine and I was impressed that these stylish dwellings with their clean lines and Japanese design do not look like your typical backyard shed. Modern-Shed is simply about storage, fun, space, architecture in your backyard. It gives you the chance … Read more