June 11, 2015 weblog
Cubes, LED lighting and more spin magic into tiny house
Tiny house on wheels...what a concept. Some may scoff and say, "oh, you mean a mobile home in a trailer park." In 2015, when more than one tree hugger exists to say that we need to conduct a more eco-efficient, minimalist way of life, there is still more room to imagine what could be an ideal tiny house on wheels. Frank Henderson and Paul Schultz have had their say in creating a tiny house with distinction, appropriately called the Toybox Tiny Home, a 140-square-foot dwelling.
Curbed listed its eco-friendly features, including white, energy-efficient thermoplastic roofing, a large sliding glass door and ample windows that enhance daylighting and natural ventilation, and planter that can be irrigated by gray water from interior sinks.
In an interview elsewhere last month, they talked about bridging the exterior and interior with paint choices and material. Outside—fiberglass panels juxtaposed with traditional wood. Basically you're looking at three colorful corrugated fiberglass cubes and natural cedar siding. Writing in Earthy Robot, Keith Line described his visit to the house.
There was no sheetrock, he said, and some panels were painted while others were stained, showing the grain. Painting structural elements black, he added, helped to tie the natural materials in with the appliances. He said there was "a lot of light coming in the house – a surprising amount actually." (There is a large sliding glass door and an assortment of square awning windows.)
He noticed that, even with the windows open, the house was extremely quiet, credited to an eco-friendly insulation product. "The sound dampening is superior and changes fixes in the future are much easier than if the whole wall is glued together with foam."
The largest area (7'x9'), aka living area, makes efficient use of space with eight storage cubes that can be variously configured to accommodate sofa seating, table and individual seat or entire bed.
For kitchen area, a stainless steel counter (2'x7') and painted base cabinet maximize space. The sink is stainless steel (18"dia.) with a low-flow marine faucet. An under-counter 3.2 cf. refrigerator, 2.5 cf. freezer, toaster oven or convection microwave plug into outlets on the backside of the base cabinet. A hidden pantry wall provides more kitchen storage; the wall also houses the electrical panel and thermostat for radiant floor heating.
The area allocated as bathroom (4'x5') was designed to make room for a sink, shower and toilet. An LED strip downlights a 28" square mirror. To shower, you pull out the low-flow marine faucet, which then clips on the wall, transforming into a shower head. A closet (2x4) behind the shower wall holds a 20-gallon water heater.
What is more, there is a sleeping loft (6'x7') which you climb up to by ship's ladder, said the house site, with three loft awning windows. "A duplex convenience outlet provides power to the loft and the light switch allows inhabitants to turn off the house lights while in the loft."
The home is in Lake Forest, Illinois and is listed at a price of $48,000.
Attempts to create tiny dwellings for the self-sufficient minded often draw amused comments, noting the ideas are creative but critics have their say too, noting they look hardly practical. This design is attracting a lot of favorable buzz. One reader's reaction in a comments section at one site was, "the best-looking house I've ever seen."
Adam Williams in Gizmag wrote on Thursday that the house, though little, has a large amount of thinking behind it. "A lot of time went into the design and construction of this miniature dwelling – and it shows – with almost every inch of the 140 sq ft (13 sq m) of floorspace used to its full potential."
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