The 10 Most Inspiring Tiny Home Ideas
With housing costs across America on the rise, especially in big cities, many people are turning toward tiny homes to make life simpler, less expensive, and a lot more fun. While there are a lot of tiny home concepts and categories out there, these are some of the ones that really caught our eye.
#1: Mushroom Dome
A small, five-sided dome cabin, the top of this tiny home concept is adorned with a beautiful and functional geodesic dome. Fantastic triangular windows let in lots of natural light, and the entire structure can be built on piers or boulders in order to circumvent any state building laws.
The Mushroom Dome tiny home concept is becoming more popular and better known each year; for example “The Mushroom Dome Cabin”, a tiny-home bed and breakfast in Aptos, California, was the world’s number one Airbnb rental in 2016.
#2: Converted Bus
One of the most interesting tiny house concepts to hit the scene is the converted bus. While some people choose to purchase a running bus and keep it running (i.e., more of an RV conversion), others take an older vehicle, often a retired school bus, and make it into a stationary tiny home. Many of these homes are quite well appointed-- with full kitchens, beds, bathrooms, couches, and even a complete solar power setup.
#3: Cabins on High Stilts
Making a cabin on stilts has a variety of benefits. First, your tiny house will have a great view -- especially if you’re located in nature or somewhere near the water. Second, putting your home on stilts gives you a lot of space underneath -- just the kind of place you’d want to store kayaks or bikes -- or have a small, covered porch to appreciate the great outdoors.
#4: Micro A-Frame
The micro A-frame is an incredibly small tiny house concept -- and unlike its larger A-frame tiny house counterpart, is more of a shelter/camping space than a full-blown home. Despite that, creating a micro-A frame can be inexpensive (many DIY plans are budgeted for around $700 - $1200), super fun, and a great way to see if it could be time to build a larger tiny home.
#5: Luxury Tree House
Treehouses are an American classic. And while they might seem like just a thing for kids, innovative treehouse builders and designers have created a variety of new possibilities for the treehouse, including rustic aerial cabins and large, luxurious tree homes.
For some tiny house builders, the tree house doesn’t even necessarily have to be elevated (or very elevated) -- as long as the house is built around trees, it still counts!
#6: Wheelchair Accessible Tiny Homes
Just because someone uses a wheelchair doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to enjoy the magic of a tiny house! To help, many tiny home designers have created wheelchair friendly tiny home plans, including a popular design known as The Wheel Pad, an “eco-friendly 200 square-foot universally accessible bedroom and bathroom module that can be temporarily or permanently attached to an existing home.”
#7: Garage Conversion
While it might sound like cheating since the structure already exists, converting a garage (especially a freestanding one) to a tiny house can have some incredible results. Adding new flooring, furnishings, additional windows, A/C or heating, and a bathroom and small kitchen can truly transform an old dump into a tiny home fit for royalty. Plus, a renting out a converted garage is a great way for homeowners to get a little bit of extra monthly income.
#8: Skinny Tiny House
In some of America’s biggest cities, space is at an all-time premium -- and one of the most inventive solutions involves creating houses that are narrower than ever, allowing them to fit between two buildings, like abandoned alleyways and other unconventional spaces. Despite the fact that they’re usually used as a way to conserve space, some still choose to build skinny houses on abundant land, since they can provide a lot of natural light and have a creative, unique appearance.
#9: The POD House
Created by ROB GmbH (Robust Outdoor Brands), a Swedish design company, this pod-shaped home is designed as a pre-fabricated module. That means all you need to do is purchase it and build it; no supply shopping required. The POD House, which has a rounded roof and walls, is great for a backyard office, a guest house, or even a tiny vacation home. Plus, there are three models, each a different size, so you can design just how big (or tiny) you want your tiny house to be.
#10: Glass Tiny House
A fully glass tiny house isn’t for the faint of heart -- but it sure is inspiring. What it inspires, we’re not quite sure, but we know that you’ll have some great views if you spend much time in one. Of course, there is a spectrum of glass tiny homes; for example, the “Snow House”, designed by Italian company Santambrogio, is made entirely of blue glass, with no other walls. In comparison, the vast majority of other “glass” tiny houses feature traditional walls with floor-to-ceiling windows.