Tiny Vastu Cabin

by Christian Hoffmann

In my gap year between high school and college, my father and I built a 520 square ft cottage for me to live in. Although I loved the cottage, it didn’t take long for me to discover that 520 sq ft was far too much space for one person! I spent 90 percent of my time in one corner of my house. I was immediately inspired to build a new, more efficient space.

My new design has been long in the works. I kept refining and simplifying the space until it contained all the essential parts of a home in their most efficient form. The space is small but the lofted ceilings and carefully laid out floor plan make this cabin feel grand!

Vastu Cabins are designed to feel cozy and nourishing. Living in a tiny house allows one the freedom to grow in all areas of life. The ancient Indian principles of Vastu are utilized in our cabins to support the growth of peace and happiness in the residents. To learn more please visit www.VastuCabin.com

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31 thoughts on “Tiny Vastu Cabin”

    • Ruth you are correct. This cabin is just under 10 ft wide.. It’s not meant to be used as an RV. It’s just on a trailer temporarily.

  1. I have long loved the concept of the tiny house, but it seems they all have sleeping lofts. I’m too old for a loft. Is there a particular reason why a murphy bed is not used, possibly incorporating something like tables and benches on the underside?

  2. I suspect that many of these lofted sleeping areas become lofted storage areas after a few hundred times up and down.

  3. EXACTLY (what Bryan and Sanpeter said).
    I’m in love with all of these ‘tinies’, but with so many of us BabyBoomers aging (the back, joint problems, etc.) AND with so many people downsizing or empty-nesting, the only thing that keeps this little home from being perfect – for US – is that additional 80 to 100 sq. ft of ‘bedroom’, either off the main living area, or through the other side of the kitchenette. And although, as others remark, a Murphy Bed is a nice idea, it is not practical for many of us, either – age and medical conditions would make it easier for many of us to just give up and sleep on the couch than have to move things around to pull a Murphy up and down every night and morning (I have had experience with a real 60’s Murphy Bed – they SOUND nice, but really are a PAIN unless you’re young and fit, and even at twenty-something, I was HATING it by the time I’d had to live with one for a couple months! It was far easier to just leave it down and throw a coverlet and cushions on it, call it a ‘seating’ area (which is what I did), but the room it took up, then, resulted in my having a lot of stubbed toes and scraped shins.
    I KNOW there are many ‘tiny house’ fans who feel it HAS to be TINY (200 sq ft or less) or, somehow, it won’t ‘count’, but I wish there were more of a ‘ballpark’ of 300 sq ft., because that’s the ONLY chunk of space tht’s missing (for many other of us) to make a small home perfect. That’s about the size of a tiny bedroom and nightstand. All I need is that, added to one of ANY of the ‘tinies’ already shared here.
    Maybe what’s needed is someone who can figure out a way to build on the necessary (for many of us) 9.5 X 8 ‘add-on’ bedroom.
    If the current tiny-home builders could offer this as an ‘option’, at LEAST, available to most of the existing plans, it would clearly make it an easier jump for many of us (aged, disabled, etc.)…
    Just a thought.
    But THIS little house is the BEES’ KNEES, as far as I’m concerned, for many details: I loe it!
    And it would fit right in, on any little plot and neighbrhood. I can see it with windowboxes, filled with bright red geraniums, and a stone patio outside the front door, with a DIY cedar pergola overhead, soon to be luxuriant with vining and fragrant Clematis…
    Just wish I didn’t have to ‘add on’ the place (room) I need to ‘rest my head’, in my dreams, that’s all… 😉

    • I understand about the mobility issues, especially for the elderly or those nearing the golden years. There are a few murphy beds that look like they *may* be easier to maneuver. (I say may as it’s based on appearances, not my experience.) Check out Flying Beds, but specifically the European models available.

      As for that 300-400 sq ft niche you were seeking, Tumbleweed has 4-5 plans available that may suit your needs.

      Happy house hunting!

    • I’ve been “sleeping on the couch” for years now and it’s been no problem at all. I’m 58 and use canes or rollators for general mobility due to osteoarthritis in the knees. If you live alone there’s not necessarily a need for a large bed and one room living is pretty easy. You use the bathroom area as private dressing space, usually easier than a loft anyway. You can have a couch that works as both a sitting space and sleeping space for one as is or converts if more space is needed. On some of them (like mine)the seat slopes downwards at the back but that’s easily fixed by raising the back legs on blocks. If the mattress that comes with it isn’t comfortable you can add a better one or use a foam topper. You can also build something exactly suited to your needs. If more privacy around the sleeping area is required you can use a folding screen or curtains at night. You can make the couch area a kind of sitting/sleeping berth and even have doors to close it off like a traditional European sleeping cupboard. My goal is to have nothing in my tiny house requiring complicated conversions from one purpose to another as a daily activity.

    • EXACTLY my sentiments! Even tho I am in my 50s I cant do the ladder thing in the middle of the night, I’d end up on the floor with injuries for sure. So a nice plan with a downstairs bedroom would be PERFECT! Great suggestion.

    • I’ve found several similar ideas of counterweighted pull-down beds that seem to be easy to use and less of a hassle than Murphy beds (you don’t even have to make them before hiding them away!)… I can’t find the one I liked best (forgot to save the name!) but you can search on Youtube for these similar bed ideas: Bedaway, Double Space Bed, Libao, Spacedormer.

      • I think the issue I’m trying to stress, on the Murphy beds (and yes, even the other kinds of foldaway, pull down, pull outs, etc) is that for some of us, with our mobility and/or arthritis, it’s NOT the function of the bed’s position, per se, it’s that in a tiny space, so many little things must be moved around and rearranged in order for the ‘magic’ of bedtime to happen! This is why I remarked, it’d be easier (and most likely) such a person would simply surrender to sleeping on the couch, rather than go through the virtual Rubik’s Cube of bedtime!
        The very point of such a bed is to regain use of that space, during waking hours, perhaps making it do double duty as dining space by day, sleeping/bed space by night. Things will be placed INTO THAT space (where the bed was/will be). Hence, those very things will need to be moved around someplace ELSE when the bed needs to come out/down/whatever.
        It’s so hard to explain, to those not similarily afflicted, that picking up/sliding/pushing a number of items/pieces of furniture etc. is NOT an easy thing for a disabled (or aged) person to do, every day, every night, for years, and made more difficult as the tenant ages/health declines. I have recently been dx’d with multiple sclerosis (they scuttled the prior dx of fibromyalgia and RSD when optic neuritis showed up to rob me of vision in my right eye, when my ‘occasional’ dysphagia (trouble swallowing) became so bad I cannot even swallow liquids easily, et al), and, with this new finding, my strength and mobility/dexterity WILL decline. I know I speak for others who are ‘into’ the tiny house movement for more than just the novelty: we NEED a smaller but well-defined space to live in, but not so extreme as to be the teeny-tiny closet and ladder kind… with our downsizing, we also need doorway openings to be wider, floorspace that’s uncluttered and easy to clean (preferably smooth surface, as it requires LESS cleaning – and harbors less dust, mites, other pathogens not good for our health and (potentially) struggling respiratory systems – than carpet), CONVENIENTLY placed storage cubbies (not the clever shelving that’s utilizing wasted space near the ceiling (smart, but NOT suitable for those of us who can’t climb/reach up there to use it!) and everything ground level. MOST of the offerings I’ve seen here are charming, and, for the most part, something we can ALL enjoy and hope to live in… with a FEW caveats, however. And those are the things I – and several others – do bring up, often.
        Not to demean ANYTHING or ANYONE, but to inquire of, and/or remind, the designer/writer/others that there ARE ‘tweaks’ – for us disabled/seniors – that CAN be addressed, perhaps in an alternate model.
        SOme things CAN be ‘fixed’ by use of clever furniture, or repurposing (as alice h. stated – to which I will add, I, too, sleep on my couch, a LOT… however, my condition’s advancement has increasingly REQUIRED me to sleep semi-upright in a hospital bed, so as to keep my spine in the best position possible AND to help prevent DVT. AS I can no longer sleep in a ‘flat’ bed, for ME the Murphy beds/pulldowns, etc. are a no-go.
        But I have addressed this topic not just for myself, but others, who just cannot do the repeat bending/pulling/twisting/straightening up, to then just do it all over again X however many items need to be picked up/slid/folded/unfolded, etc., all in order to ‘make the magic’ of tiny, compartmental living happen. All of this effort with the mechanicals would make ‘living small’ grow really old, really fast, for many of us.
        Do you see what I’m trying to say? It’s not that we haven’t heard of all these ‘adaptive’ pieces of furniture, or haven’t already figured out how to cleverly beat it or surrender…
        It’s that, while we’re looking at houseplans and ideas, we’d like to see some of the things that would make our difficult lives EASIER and more PLEASANT, built in.
        We ALREADY live in apartments/dwellings that we’ve jury-rigged, to some extant, in order to facilitate our aging/medical condition/disability.
        I, for one, would LOVE to see and buy a ‘tiny’ or ‘small’ home that already has these ‘fixes’ worked in.
        A living area/couch cannot ‘double’ as a private little bedroom would, and the even tinier bathroom would be impossible – if I were to have a friend or two over enjoying a cup of tea with me, and I needed to reapply/readjust/fuss with my medtronic/tens unit/catheter/ostomy bag (trying to represent as many disableds/ageds here as I can), I wouldn’t want to have to tell my company they needed to ‘get outside’ so I could do so in privacy… having that tiny extra room called a ‘bedroom’ means so much MORE, to many of us, than it does for most.
        Again, I suffer a condition that frustrates me to no end, as I feel I’m unable to explain things well enough, so I wind up going on and on, to infinity. That’s MS. But I HOPE I was able to explain the ‘why’ of a murphy bed/pulldown/etc. NOT being the answer… for those of us who NEED that shred of ‘extra room’.
        As I stated, earlier, if someone wants to come up with little ready-made add-on rooms (7X7 to 8X8 to 9X10, etc.) that could be purchased and ‘built onto’ any of the tiny-house plans out there, then that might be the best solution, I guess…;-)
        I’m not complaining: I just speak up when I see areas this could be addressed, as a compliment AND suggestion.
        It’s just that I tend to get ‘lost’ in the explaining that my comments wind up looking more like speeches, and for that, I’m so sorry to all here.
        It’s ALSO one of the ‘symptoms’, I mentioned earlier, that set my docs on to pinpointing the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.
        And I’m going to fight THAT one screaming and kicking, all the way, as I love conversation, discussion, debate, writing in general.
        Just bear with me as I stumble through it…

        • My partner and I are pursuing this dream of a tiny house. We love these houses and the craftsmanship ..I could go on…and on…
          If you are looking for bedroom space on the main level check out the floor plans on rich’s portable cabins, also the Tumblweed homes have the Lusby design with bedroom space. Just keep looking, what you want is out there!

        • THANK YOU!!!

          You have done a wonderful job addressing the concerns of those who have been ‘betrayed’ by our bodies.

          We want to pare down to the least and best amenities so we might live independently and travel while we still can.

          We desire to live simply and frugally but we are past the point of living without comfort,efficiency,beauty and dignity.

          We do not require a great deal of space or conspicuous consumption of material goods.

          We do insist that our homes belong to us and that we not have to endure deprivation and discomfort to adapt to a house meant to adapt to our needs and preferences.

          A tiny place could,in theory,accommodate wheelchairs,a wet room or bathing area that could accommodate independent bathing and/or an attendant,a place to prepare meals independently,a comfortable,accessible place to sleep and easily reached storage for every need in every area.

          With modern electronics,most appliances and devices for entertainment and edification are smaller and less expensive than what they have replaced.

          With fewer chatchkes and more built-ins,it is easier to have our dwellings simplify lives that have grown too complicated in other ways.

          Again,I say thank you to Jipsi and others who have spoken concisely and eloquently about the needs of those who are not physically perfect.

          (Some of us may be “old and stove-up” but we aren’t dead or past redemption.

          We want homes that reflect who we are and what we seek to accomplish.

          We want to have LIFE and have it more abundantly-and we want a decent place to put it.

  4. I agree with the other posts about the problems with using a loft as a bedroom. While I think they look so snug and cozy, it just isn’t realistic for my husband and I. We are hoping to start our tiny house build within the next couple of months and have designed our own plan with a downstairs bed. The plan is 28 feet long and 8 and a 1/2 feet wide. We tried to keep it shorter in length, but think we have found a plan we can live with. We are beginning to source materials and a trailer now. I will try to send photos to the Tiny House Blog as we progress.

  5. Is there a shower? I assume the kitchen sink is also the bathroom sink? More bathroom info please. Thanks in advance.

    • I can’t answer as to the bathroom sink, but there is definitely a shower included. Even though there are no pictures, you can see the space for it. Also, I doubt it would be listed as a home without decent bathroom facilities.

      If you look at the bathroom photo, you can see where the toilet is placed, and then from the view at the end of the living area towards the kitchen, you can see where the shower must be.

  6. I am 58 and agree about the lofts. Even my son’s futon sofa is a pain to move. Also, the bulk of a lot of things is too much for my tiny house. I ended up with a twin mattress and box springs sitting on a 6″ high plywood platform on good rollers. I can easily pull the bed out of its niche to change the sheets. It has wedges and pillows and makes comfortable seating during the day. I only leave the fitted sheet on during the day. I have handmade quilts hanging on wall mounted rods at each end, with the top sheet folded underneath that I use on cold nights (not many here in the south).

  7. I find it surprising with the lead in description about all the thought which went in to this design and what is the result? The same design as we have seen here over and over! ie: kitchen/bath under a loft, open ceiling living area. Does this mean we can’t improve on this design or that everyone is getting their influence from the same place?

    • I think it has a lot to do with the kitchen and bath being areas where a lowered ceiling height would be least disruptive while adding more height to the loft. It’s more important to have open space overhead in the main room area to feel less cramped in what is, after all, a very tiny space compared to what most of us are used to. There are other designs that don’t use that approach, like the Leaf house in the Yukon.

  8. I’ve lived in a regular suburban ranch house, a yurt, a tepee, and a 500 SF cottage along with the usual mix of apartments, etc and the best was the 500 SF cottage. There was room for a true living room (with fireplace!), an alcove for a queen size bed, a large closet, a decent kitchen, a serviceable bathroom with tub, and about a 60 SF area off the back of the house that was combination pantry and laundry area. The fact that it had a large 11000 SF yard, fully fenced in and private, really made it liveable even in a central city type location. All the rest had their charms and debits (tepees are wonderfully elegant housing in lots of ways but pollen season, or if it’s raining a lot, not so much…great at 22, dunno about at age 52)

    I’d like to see some designs like at ‘Little House on a Trailer’, the bigger ones, but still somewhat moveable; he’s made a good combination of design elegance and utility without the need (most of the time) for ladders, which in my opinion are just a horrible accident waiting to happen sooner or later. No only are they not safe for elders, they’re not safe for visiting grandchildren, either. Maybe all our design mavens could take a look over at the Little House on a Trailer website and using his designs as inspiration, and come up with something besides the Tumbleweed model?

  9. Any pics of the 520 sq. ft. house? That might be the perfect size for some of us who can’t climb loft ladders and who don’t want to haul their house around on wheels. I have a 225 pound dog who needs a little room to walk around in on occasion.

  10. First, and foremost, this site is terrific!! Small and tiny, unique and fun … it’s the way to go. I am pleased to see the number of comments about lofts and Murphy Beds, etc. I would love to have someone answer a question for me about size. When someone asks me how big my current home is, I tell them it’s 1250 square ft. That includes two floors and a screened porch. When a ”Tiny House’ says that it has 230 sq ft does that include the floor of the loft or just the perimeter of the first floor? Keep up the great work!!

    • I have been taught that square footage is measured from the exterior of the house and counts all areas with full standing head room. This building has a 200 sq ft foot print… that does not include the sleeping loft space.


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