Terrifying cliffside ‘nests’ let you live on the edge in style

May 19, 2017 by  
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A new type of cliffside dwelling, Nestinbox , is taking the vertical housing trend to new and terrifying heights. The tiny cliffside homes – inspired by birds nests – are efficient wooden “nesting boxes” that can be mounted on cliff walls as a way to bring more affordable housing into crowded areas. But the question is: would you be brave enough to live in one? The Nestinbox design was created by architects from the Swedish firm Manofactory as a solution to the skyrocketing cost of real estate around the world. Additionally, the design offers an affordable, viable alternative for growing cities that lack buildable land. According to the team of architects behind the design, Michel Silverstorm, Elisabetta Gabrielli, and Pontus Öhman, the “hanging” home design works around dwindling land issues by doing what the birds have always done since the beginning of time – live above ground. Related: These 6 jaw-dropping cliff homes will take your breath away The Nextinbox design is not only practical, but offers a sophisticated living space with all of the comforts of a traditional “ground-based” home. Steel frames are mounted into the cliff side for optimal stability, but the exterior is clad in an attractive mix of light and dark wood paneling. A simple sloping roof juts out from the cliff wall and a footbridge walkway between the structure and the cliff leads to the entrance of the home. The interior space, although compact, offers a smart floor plan that spans three floors. The living area is less than 50 square meters, but sufficient for 1 or 2 people. Along with the living space, the homes come with a kitchen and dining area, a large bedroom with adjacent studio or office space, which also could be used as a child’s room. A spiral staircase leads to the upper floors, which are flooded with natural light thanks to various windows. One side of the structure is intentionally windowless because multiple boxes can be attached to create a larger home. + Nestinbox Via Archdaily Images via Nestinbox

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Terrifying cliffside ‘nests’ let you live on the edge in style

These gorgeous glass homes can pop up in 8 hours for under $50k

May 10, 2017 by  
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Meet ÖÖD , a gorgeous prefab abode that doesn’t compromise privacy for stellar views. Clad in mirrored glass, this sleek tiny home blends into its surroundings and offers all the living essentials built into a compact 18-square-meter footprint. Designed primarily for use as pop-up hotel rooms, the moveable and modular ÖÖD has far-reaching applications and is even under development for off-grid solutions. Designed and manufactured in Estonia, the ÖÖD houses were specifically developed for hotel usage and holiday housing. Its small footprint allows for easy installation anywhere in Estonia without the need for a building permit. Each unit accommodates two to three people and can be slotted seamlessly into urban and rural landscapes. Built primarily from steel, insulated glass , and thermally treated wood, the ÖÖD home features a studio layout with a large custom-made bed, kitchenette, living area, and bathroom. Home automation is built in as is adjustable floor heating and LED lighting. Homeowners would only need to hook the unit up to an Internet cable, water, sewage, and an electricity supply though off-grid solutions are currently being developed. An LG heat pump with moisture separator provides heating and cooling. Related: Prefab and low-budget CabinCube Hotels can pop up almost anywhere Installation of the ÖÖD only takes eight hours to complete. According to Nordica Flight Magazine, each unit costs 33,000 euros (VAT excluded) and includes custom-built Estonian furniture. ÖÖD homes have only been installed in Estonia thus far—the first unit debuted last fall—but the company plans to expand to international markets. + ÖÖD Images by Maris Tomba and Anton Toomere

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These gorgeous glass homes can pop up in 8 hours for under $50k

Henning Larsen Architects unveils zero energy-targeted civic center for Toronto

May 10, 2017 by  
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Henning Larsen Architects has won a competition for Toronto’s new 500,000-square-foot Etobicoke Civic Centre. Designed in collaboration with Adamson Associates Architects and PMA Landscape Architects , the winning proposal will have a focus on sustainability and feature municipal offices, public gathering spaces, a library branch, recreation center, and a child care center. Build Toronto and the City of Toronto hosted the design competition and evaluated proposals on their environmental sustainability, flexibility, community identity, and pedestrian scale. The competition jury commended the winning team’s proposal for its “flexibility and an iconic design well suited for the community.” The winning design also demonstrates an ability to achieve a net zero target and builds on the context and history of the Etobicoke community. Related: Designers float plan to cover Toronto’s CN Tower with clip-on condos The proposed Etobicoke Civic Centre will break down the development’s large scale using different sized building volumes that help preserve a comfortable pedestrian-friendly scale. Site analysis and local thermal studies also informed building placement to protect against the summer solar heat gain and winter winds. Comfortable microclimates are improved further with green roofs and landscaping, and the total effect will prolong the comfortable outdoor season by up to five weeks, said Henning Larsen Architects. Via ArchDaily Images via Henning Larsen Architects

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Henning Larsen Architects unveils zero energy-targeted civic center for Toronto

These 8 amazing van conversions will inspire you to ditch the grid for the nomadic life

May 8, 2017 by  
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Perhaps it’s the spring weather, but hitting the open road and exploring suddenly seems like a more appealing idea than ever. These 8 van conversions , many of which were crafted by DIYers with little experience yet lots of creativity, persistence, and wanderlust, will motivate you to give the mobile life a try. Images via This Moving House Weekend getaway van for four When Jack Richens and his girlfriend converted a Mercedes Benz Sprinter in 2012, they used boat bunk designs and stacked beds to transform the camper into a weekender on wheels. Complete with storage under stairs and beneath the floor, the space features 4 captains chairs , several of which turn so that his crew can gather around for a meal. A group meal ? In a camper? But of course: the camper includes a sink, two-stove burner, and (more recently) a mini fridge. Little details such as a tiled backsplash and a cheerful curtain with birds to separate the sleeping spaces makes the camper stylish and cozy instead of cramped. Images via The Vanual Traveling filmmaker’s adventure-ready home/office on-the-go Zach Both left a desk job and became a traveling filmmaker; along the way he converted a cargo van that now serves as a dream living space that doubles as a mobile office. A man on the move, Both uses his freedom to travel far and wide and bring everything he needs…except perhaps a shower and toilet. The interior incorporates crisp white bedding, wood-paneled ceiling and cabinet space and even a mini cooking space that becomes concealed by a desktop. The top of the van is outfitted with solar panels. To inspire and inform others, Both created “ The Vanual ”, a DIY guide that covers everything you’d need to convert a camper van . Related| Man quits his job to transform his van into an off grid mobile home Images via Van Dog Traveler Solar-powered DIY van currently touring Europe Another young gent who quit his job for the open road, Mike Hudson converted a van in 2014 and has been on the go ever since; he spent the winter in Sardinia and has traveled throughout Europe and to Morocco. Although previously a novice at camper conversions, Hudson handcrafted the van of his dreams, complete with a water pump, water heater, graywater tank, toilet and shower, solar panels, a burner, and a fridge/freezer. There’s even a fold-down workspace and a few happy plants to make it feel like home. Images via Norbert Juhász Creative couple’s custom-crafted home on wheels Freelance photographer and writer are ideal professions for those with a penchant for wanderlust, and Norbert Juhász and Dora created their home on wheels with the plan to drive from Budapest to Morocco (they are currently in Spain). Breathing life and style into a 16-year-old van, the couple’s space now includes custom-built wood furniture (with green borders), a seat that converts into a bed for two, and a 12-volt electrical system that can be powered via the engine’s generator or roof-mounted solar panels. Small details like a mini bookshelf and a spice rack bring the creature comforts of home into their road-ready version. Images via Pam the Van Dog-friendly and lovingly restored van conversion by a novice DIYer Marina Piro may have been a novice at DIY van conversions, but this hands-on, ambitious traveler ultimately created a homey, comfy dwelling for herself and her rescue pup Odie. Piro restored the van entirely by herself (although we’re sure Odie was there for moral support), laying floor, building a kitchenette and a bed, and finding clever spaces for kitchen utensils and storage.  Her website also includes useful tips and posts on traveling with pets as well as camper van maintenance. Images by Jo Wickham Photography for Studio 106 A minimalist mobile office  A change of scenery will work wonders for your mindset, and the architects at Studio 106 downsized their office and made it mobile to take advantage of the New Zealand weather and scenery. By collaborating with partners including a company that makes foldable cardboard work stations and another that owns semi-converted caravans to rent for events and parties, the Studio 106 crew temporarily set up shop at picturesque stops including beside the harbor. Outdoor tables expanded their possible work space and allowed them to take advantage of the fresh air. After their caravan stint, the architects found that the smaller space had unexpected benefits such as reduction of waste and an atmosphere that promoted idea-sharing more easily. A woodworker’s artfully crafted and surprisingly spacious van Dipa Vasudeva Das took DIY van conversion to a whole different level with his woodworking skills. What started out as a typical van is now a treasure trove of secret compartments, handcrafted storage, and clever multilevel living solutions that makes the space welcoming for Vasudeva Das, his dog, and guests. The van (dubbed the “Earthship”) functions as a living, working, sleeping, entertaining, meditating space. A skylight and wood-burning fireplace (along with a chimney) allow Vasudeva Das to make the most of every weather situation; he also crafted a fold-down outdoor deck that also serves as bike storage. Electric camper van  from Volkswagen Still a little nervous about your own DIY camper conversion capabilities? Get a step ahead when (or maybe if) the Volkswagen Westfalia gets revived as a battery-electric vehicle. The much beloved camper hasn’t been made since 2003, but in 2015, news hit that a new camper  using a small electric motor to power the front wheels was in the concept phase. More recently, VW unveiled an electric-powered microbus named the I.D. Buzz  that has the potential to be fully autonomous , but we’re still crossing our fingers for a version that captures the hippie soul and simplicity of the Westfalia. Lead image via Zach Both

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These 8 amazing van conversions will inspire you to ditch the grid for the nomadic life

Artist builds incredible stained-glass cabin in the middle of the woods

April 25, 2017 by  
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Those who live in glass houses… probably wish they had held out for this gorgeous, hand-crafted stained glass sanctuary. Built by artist and jeweler Neile Cooper, the dreamy Glass Cabin is located in the middle of a lush green forest. The tiny retreat is made almost entirely from repurposed window frames and lumber, and its handcrafted stained glass panels depict flowers, birds, butterflies, and other nature-inspired scenes. Cooper built the glass sanctuary behind her home in Mohawk, New Jersey to use as a reading space and art studio. Using repurposed window frames and lumber for the frame, she clad the tiny structure with her own colorful designs. The idyllic setting gave her the ideal place to showcase her nature-inspired artwork. Related: Wim Delvoye’s Creepy Stained Glass Windows Are Made From Recycled X-Rays Cooper’s work includes beautiful hand-crafted jewelry made from real butterfly wings . She drew upon these pieces as inspiration for the dreamy glass structure. The large panel over the door has a large amber butterfly, and the rest of the panels feature detailed, colorful renderings of nature and wildlife. + Neile Cooper Images via Neile Cooper Instagram

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MUJI to sell eagerly awaited $27k minimalist tiny homes this fall

April 25, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever walked into a MUJI store and wished you could spend the night, here’s the next best thing. The minimalist Japanese home goods store just announced plans to sell a lovely line tiny homes later this year. The first model available for purchase will be a tiny timber cabin wrapped in “shou sugi ban” charred timber – and it’ll cost just $27,500. Muji’s tiny timber huts measure just under 100 square feet. Thanks to a clever layout, they offer tons of natural light and a simple interior ideal for a quiet weekend escape or a permanent home in the countryside. The cabins also come with an extended porch that creates a seamless connection between the exterior and interior. Related: MUJI unveils trio of tiny prefab homes that can pop up almost anywhere The good news is that beautiful cabins will hit the market for just ¥3,000,000 (approx. $27,500 USD) starting this fall. The price includes the costs of materials needed for construction as well as contractor fees. The bad news? The MUJI Huts will only be available for purchase in Japan for the time being. + MUJI

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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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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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The Farallon is a tiny farmhouse-style home you can take wherever you go

April 3, 2017 by  
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We’ve written before about Tumbleweed Tiny House Company , which handcrafts tiny dwellings for people interested in exploring low-impact living. One of our favorite designs is the new Farallon RV with a classic farmhouse aesthetic. Not only is this tiny home a beauty to behold, but it can also connect to standard RV water and electric hookups, making it a breeze to set up. The Farallon comes in several different styles with multiple floor plans, ranging from 218 to 292 square feet of usable space. Up to six people can sleep comfortably in the home, depending on the options a customer selects—most floor plans include a loft large enough for a queen-sized bed and an option to include an additional bedroom or second loft. All of the designs include the standard appliances you’d expect in a home, like a fridge, stove, heater and air conditioner, washer and dryer, water heater and shower. The RV can be set up to function off the grid or to use propane, while the bathroom can be equipped with a composting toilet or low-flush toilet to reduce waste. Related: 7 Teensy Tiny Tumbleweed Homes for Small-Space Living But perhaps the best part of the Farallon is how it’s modeled after standard RVs, allowing it to be towed by most trucks. Tumbleweed is making it easier than ever for tiny home lovers to easily pick up and move anywhere recreational vehicles are allowed. If you’ve ever taken a long-distance road trip and found yourself pining for your own bed, you can now take your home with you. The Farallon starts at $62,950 for the 20-foot floor plan or $72,950 for the 26-foot plan (and yes, Tumbleweed does offer payment plans). For an additional fee, you can customize it with added skylights, a sliding screen, and a variety of interior finishes. Additional lighting, ceiling fans, a media center, or built-in desk can all be customized when you place your order, among many other options. If you’re the work at home type, you can even set up a room to use as an office . No matter what design you choose, everything is beautifully finished in the hardwood. + Farallon Tiny Home

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The Farallon is a tiny farmhouse-style home you can take wherever you go

How high-tech Kasita microhomes could revolutionize homeownership

March 17, 2017 by  
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America’s affordable housing crisis is squeezing people out of cities, but one Harvard researcher believes he’s developed a beautiful and high-tech solution to the problem. In 2015, Jeff Wilson—also known as “Professor Dumpster” after his year-long dumpster living experiment—unveiled Kasita , a smart microhousing startup that aims at disrupting the housing market with prefabricated tiny homes that can pop up just about anywhere. After a couple years in development, Wilson just debuted the Kasita microhouse at SXSW this week with the announcement that the tiny stackable homes will be ready for nationwide delivery in June. Stylish, smart, and space-saving, the 352-square-foot (33 square meter) Kasita mobile home offers a beautiful split-level living space that uses transforming furniture , white walls, and ten-foot-high ceilings to make its small footprint feel airy and spacious. Most impressively, the home is outfitted with ultra-modern amenities and home automation such as the dynamic curtain-less windows that can be turned opaque with a smartphone app to the Amazon Alexa-powered lighting modes. The high-tech stackable homes can be moved around with a crane, placed virtually anywhere, and can be prefabricated in as little as three weeks. https://vimeo.com/207700762 Envisioned for installation in unused areas of land like vacant parking lots, the Kasita aims to keep land lease costs low by taking advantage of undevelopable real estate in prime urban areas. The flexibility and modularity of the Kasitas lend themselves for use as apartments, multi-family homes, student housing, workforce housing, and more. Related: Meet the Texas Professor Who Lives in a Dumpster The Kasita comes fully equipped with all the traditional home amenities—including a walk-in shower, fridge, convection oven, washer/dryer, cooktop, and queen-sized bed—as well as lots of space-saving storage and access to natural light. Each unit costs $139,000, which according to Wilson’s calculations comes out to an estimated $800 monthly mortgage not including land lease costs. Interested customers can pay $1,000 to hold a spot on the waitlist for preorders. + Kasita

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