This amazing light-filled tiny house packs big style for just $35k

April 20, 2017 by  
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You don’t have to sacrifice style to live a minimal lifestyle. Case in point: this Tiny home may be ultra-compact at just 176-square-feet, but the interior is so sophisticated that its small size goes virtually unnoticed. The best part? It can be yours for just $35,000 This tiny home’s layout and design were optimized to create a comfortable living area. Space-saving features like hidden storage and custom cabinets keep the interior clutter-free. The large sliding glass door, along with plenty of windows, flood the interior with ample natural light . Related: Architecture graduate celebrates her first year living in a tiny home she built herself The compact home, which was designed and built by the owners, has almost everything found in a conventional home minus the extra space. A sleeping loft with enough room to accommodate a full size mattress is reached by a narrow staircase. The living area is spacious thanks to the high ceilings and minimal furniture. Even the kitchen’s small size is hardly noticeable thanks to custom-made cabinets and shelving. Via Tiny House Listings Photos via Tiny House Listings

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This amazing light-filled tiny house packs big style for just $35k

Living out of a van has never looked this good

April 20, 2017 by  
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For those who daydream of living the nomadic life, but are afraid of taking the leap, a new company is offering a taste of van life on a temporary basis. Colorado-based Native Campervans rents out converted vans that come with all of the essentials needed for living off-grid and on the road. Founders of the company, college friends Jonathan Moran and Dillon Hansen, say that it was a personal road trip that inspired them to create the business, “A few years ago, we took a trip to New Zealand in a campervan. The trip was amazing. It forced us to observe nature, be present and adventure. A few years later we decided to invest ourselves into that passion and began the business of purchasing, renovating and renting out campervans . The goal has been to give others the same experiences we had that’s both affordable and accessible.” Related: Amazing DIY van conversion boasts a wood-burning stove and chimney Renters have their choice of two sizes, “Smalls” and “Biggies.” The latter are converted 136″ Ram ProMasters , which offer ample interior space. All of the vans were designed to provide comfortable living space as well as optimal maneuverability. The vans come with a queen-size bed, kitchen and seating area, with plenty of storage compartments throughout the van. The Biggies are prewired for solar, and acccording to Hansen, the next step will be installing solar panels on the vans. “[Right now] the vehicles run off an ancillary battery that is charged when the van is moving. One hour of driving charges the vehicle for one day. This supports the lights, refrigerator and inverter so individuals can charge their electronics. No plug-ins at campgrounds necessary.” + Native Campervans Via Treehugger Images via Native Campervans 

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Living out of a van has never looked this good

This 74K tiny home has an incredible interior that’s larger than life

April 4, 2017 by  
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You can still live large in a tiny house – just check out the Earth and Sky Palace, an incredible little home with all the trappings of luxury. The unique 200-square-foot home, which is currently for sale for $74,000 , has a sophisticated interior design that quickly makes one forget all about its compact size. The exterior of the home offers the first clue that this is more than just a tiny space put together on a whim. The attractive facade is a blend of reclaimed pine heart and cedar with a beautiful weathered, blue stain finish that gives the structure a shabby chic cabin feel. The home’s gabled roof is topped with Onduvilla tiles, which are made with recycled materials. Related: Genius elevator bed slides vertically on rails to maximize space in Alaskan tiny home The interior is as comfortable as it is attractive. Like most tiny homes , the “palace” has a creative layout that maximizes space for the master bedroom, dining room, kitchen, and bathroom. The bedroom has a queen-sized bed with plenty of room to walk around it. The bed converts into two lounge chairs when not in use, and there is a hidden “loft” that can be used as a second bedroom. The entrance leads straight into an open kitchen with a refrigerator that runs on solar energy . A butcher block countertop doubles as a dining space. And if the living space wasn’t as impressive enough, the bathroom is big enough for a walk-in shower (with a $1,000 shower head) – something rarely seen in a tiny home. Along with the strategic layout, the interior design is what makes this compact space such a unique find. Replica embossed alligator-skin wallpaper, along with other unique touches like an 1800’s tin from a Nebraska prison, gives the space a strong personality. LED track-lighting and dimmers are installed throughout the home, and there are plenty of luxury amenities such as a surround-sound theater system and even an iPhone-controlled air conditioner. + Earth and Sky Palace Via Curbed Images via Tiny House Listings

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This 74K tiny home has an incredible interior that’s larger than life

Sun Commune pavilion teaches urban kids about sustainable farming in China

April 4, 2017 by  
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For a country like China , where one-fifth of the farmland is contaminated, raising awareness about sustainable farming is more important than ever. That’s why design studio Superimpose teamed up with the local farming community in rural Hangzhou’s Tai Yang Valley to build an educational pavilion about organic food production. Created for the local initiative Sun Commune, the ring-shaped MICR-O pavilion serves as an educational platform to teach children from Hangzhou and Shanghai about nature and sustainable practices. Elevated on stilts and located between rice fields and bamboo forests, the MICR-O pavilion was built with a repetitive structural A-frame made of locally reclaimed pine. The low-cost yet elegant pavilion sits lightly on the land and is wrapped in white canvas, giving it a modern and simple appearance. The circular structure wraps around an open-air deck, accessible via three access points and used for group activities and events. Related: Smog-filled Beijing is building a ‘green necklace’ around the city to curb pollution Throughout the year, children from Hangzhou and Shanghai are invited to camp at MICR-O and learn about sustainable farming. Camp attendees can sleep overnight at the pavilion on mats laid overtop the pine floor. The architects write: “The structural A frame, a ninety-degree angled triangle, gives the design an externally pure shape, while internally the patio opens towards the sky and surroundings.” + Superimpose Via ArchDaily Images by Marc Goodwin

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Sun Commune pavilion teaches urban kids about sustainable farming in China

Genius elevator bed slides vertically on rails to maximize space in Alaskan tiny home

February 24, 2017 by  
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Ana White , a self-taught carpenter in Alaska, has built a number of impressive tiny homes . But her latest project literally takes her craft to a new level. In keeping with her client’s request for an open and airy space, Ana built an ‘elevator bed’ that slides vertically on rails with just a touch of a button. White’s client for the tiny home design requested that interior of the compact 24-foot-long, 8-foot-wide space be as open as possible. This challenged her to find space for the bed when not in use. As a stroke of space-saving genius, for just $500, she installed the bed on vertical rails using hardware from a garage door system. At the touch of a button, the bed slides up and down on the rails and is held in place by pins drilled into the wall. When not in use, the bed is lifted to almost ceiling height, and the sofa underneath, which also opens up into a guest bed, becomes a comfortable lounge space. Related: Missouri community is building 50 tiny homes for homeless veterans https://youtu.be/lHjJd4tkvSU Additional space-saving techniques are installed throughout the home. Storage nooks were custom created in virtually every corner, leaving no space unused. Almost all of the furniture has been created to be multi-use, including wooden box footrests that can be used as coffee tables, guest seating, and storage bins. Even the lids pull double duty as lap desks for laptops or serving trays. Additional features include a lateral shelving unit that runs the length of the large window, which provides optimal natural light . The storage shelves underneath are covered custom-made sliding barn doors that can be propped up to use as work space or dining area. In the kitchen, more sliding features include a cereal cabinet, and a beautiful barn door that separates the kitchen from the bathroom, which has a composting toilet . The closet space is also built on rails, and slides into the shower stall when not in use. + Ana White Via Treehugger Images via Ana White

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Genius elevator bed slides vertically on rails to maximize space in Alaskan tiny home

Germany’s environmental ministry nixes meat, fish at official functions

February 24, 2017 by  
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The German equivalent of the Environmental Protection Agency is saying yes to sauerkraut, no to bratwurst—officially, at least. Barbara Hendricks, minister for the environment, announced last week that the Umweltbundesamt , Germany’s federal environmental arm, will serve neither meat nor fish at state events. She cited as a reason the inordinate environmental burden they pose on the environment, especially in the case of livestock farming, which studies show generate more greenhouse-gas emissions than transportation. This isn’t a novel stance for the ministry. In 2009, the Umweltbundesamt counseled Germans to return to the prewar tradition of eating meat only on special occasions, if not for their health, then for the sake of the planet. “We must rethink our high meat consumption,” said then–environment minister Andreas Troge. “I recommend people return to the Sunday roast and to an orientation of their eating habits around those of Mediterranean countries.” A nation that offers hundreds of varieties of sausage may not be so easily swayed, however. Germans consume a lot of meat—about 60 kilograms (132 pounds) per capita per year, according to some estimates . Unsurprisingly, Henrick’s pronouncement has already drawn criticism, with one political rival accusing the minister of “nanny-statism” and forcing vegetarianism on people. “I’m not having this Veggie Day through the back door,” said Christian Schmidt, minister of food and agriculture. “I believe in diversity and freedom of choice, not nanny-statism and ideology. Instead of paternalism and ideology. Meat and fish are also part of a balanced diet.” A member of Bavaria’s conservative Christian Social Union party, Schmidt previously called for a ban on giving meat substitutes names like “vegetarian schnitzel” and “vegetarian sausage” because they are “completely misleading and unsettle consumers.” Infographic: The true environmental cost of eating meat He also censured German schools for eliminating pork from the menu out of consideration for Muslim students. “We should not restrict the choice for the majority of society for reasons of ease or cost,” he said. Meanwhile, Hendricks’s detractors have dismissed her a hypocrite, since meat and fish will still be offered in the staff cafeteria. “The ban only applies to a handful of guests, not to 1,200 employees,” said Gitta Conneman, a senior minister from the Christian Democratic Union. “This is pure ideology, a ‘people’s education’ for the diet.” But, at least for now, the environment ministry isn’t budging. “We’re not telling anyone what they should eat,” it said in a statement. “But we want to set a good example for climate protection, because vegetarian food is more climate-friendly than meat and fish.” Via ThinkProgress Photos by Marco Verch and Oliver Hallmann

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Germany’s environmental ministry nixes meat, fish at official functions

Duke University researchers use light to convert carbon dioxide to fuel

February 24, 2017 by  
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What if the carbon dioxide building up in our atmosphere could be put to good use as fuel ? For years chemists have chased a catalyst that could aid the reaction converting carbon dioxide to methane , a building block for many fuels – and now Duke University scientists have found just such a catalyst in tiny rhodium nanoparticles . Duke University researchers converted carbon dioxide into methane with the help of rhodium nanoparticles, which harness ultraviolet light’s energy to catalyze carbon dioxide’s conversion into methane. Rhodium is one of Earth’s rarest elements, but according to Duke University it plays a key role in our daily lives by speeding up reactions in industrial processes like making detergent or drugs. Rhodium also helps break down toxic pollutants in our cars’ catalytic converters. Related: Scientists create a new kind of matter called time crystals The fact that the scientists employed light to power the reaction is important. When graduate student Xiao Zhang tried heating up the nanoparticles to 300 degrees Celsius, the reaction did produce methane but also produced an equal amount of poisonous carbon monoxide . But when he instead used a high-powered ultraviolet LED lamp, the reaction yielded almost entirely methane. Jie Liu, chemistry professor and paper co-author, said in a statement, “The fact that you can use light to influence a specific reaction pathway is very exciting. This discovery will really advance the understanding of catalysis.” The scientists now hope to find a way to employ natural sunlight in the reaction, which Duke University says would be “a potential boon to alternative energy .” The journal Nature Communications published the research of seven scientists from Duke University’s chemistry and physics departments online this week. Via Duke University Images via Chad Scales/Duke University and Xiao Zhang/Duke University

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London’s ‘smallest house’ uses flexible plywood furniture to maximize space

February 23, 2017 by  
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Danish design firm Studiomama is known for their talent of creating comfy living space out of virtually nothing. However, designers Nina Tolstrup and Jack Mama recently put their skills to the test by buying a vacant 140-square-foot structure in Northern London just to convert the tiny space into “London’s smallest house”. Taking a cue from space-efficient interiors of caravans and boats, the designers focused on making use out of every corner of the compact space by creating flexible furniture . “A tiny space like this has to be designed like one would design the interior of a caravan or boat,” Studiomama co-founder Nina Tolstrup explained, “Everything has to be custom designed as there is not room for any off the shelf furniture, which was a great challenge.” Related: Space-saving furniture transforms to make the most of a Hong Kong micro-apartment https://youtu.be/gIfNhakS_PY Using plywood as the main material, they equipped the home with custom-made, adjustable furniture to divide it into distinct functions. The foldout bed , standing desk, and extendable dining benches add utility without occupying permanent space. Mirrors placed on either side of the home were create a feeling of amplitude, and two large windows allow for optimal natural light . To create a nice lounge area, a medium-size bench and a foldout footrest were installed into the main wall, which is covered in sliding pastel-hued panels. These panels cover use-specific storage cabinets such as a designated office space with a foldout desk, a sewing machine table, shelving for books, and even a wine rack. The designers used plywood for the furniture, as well as the ceilings and flooring, because of its versatility. “The use of one dominant material has made the space seamless – where floor, walls and ceiling comes together as one,” they said. “It is also a very warm material that makes the space feel cosy and cabin like.” The design layout for the tiny home was originally an installation for the 2016 London Design festival. The designers wanted to show how compact living can be comfortable. “We see the issues of how to live in a compact living space to be of growing importance, especially given the trends towards urbanisation and rise of megacities,” they said. “We wanted to use the project to pose a question about what are the things that we really need to live comfortably.” + Studiomama Via Dezeen Photography by Rei Moon, Director/Photographer MOON RAY Studio. Video by Suzie Joyce.

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London’s ‘smallest house’ uses flexible plywood furniture to maximize space

Watch this desk transform seamlessly into a bed

March 24, 2016 by  
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We’ve featured murphy beds and space-saving furniture before, but this new ingenious creation maximizes space unlike any we’ve ever seen. The Hiddenbed is a murphy-style bed that transforms so easily, you don’t even need to remove anything from the desk it sits behind. We could definitely see this working very well in a tiny home or micro apartment. Watch the video below to see this unique piece of transforming furniture in action.

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Smart space-saving bed hides a walk-in closet underneath

October 23, 2015 by  
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