These ultra-cool, vintage-style travel trailers can go off the grid for a week

November 27, 2019 by  
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Handcrafted in California by Bowlus Road Chief , these aluminum-clad travel trailers offer race car-inspired aerodynamics that provide the smoothest ride possible. Additionally, the incredible campers can even go off the grid for various periods of time before needing recharged. The beautiful, vintage-style campers are available in two models. The smallest of the two, the On The Road model starts at $137,000. It is 24′ long and can sleep up to four people. At 2,500 lbs, it can be easily hitched and towed, and this model takes up minimal space for parking. The camper features a bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette and a dining space that can seat two. Related: Hit the road in style this summer in this ship-inspired travel trailer The larger model, the Endless Highways , is 26′ long and weighs 3,200 lbs. Starting at $185,000, this model has a larger, more comfortable living space than its counterpart, and it offers some additional flexible design features. The spacious bedroom, for example, converts from two twin beds to a larger king-sized bed, adding extra space to accommodate all types of travel companions. There is also a kitchen and enough dining space for four people. In addition to their versatile sizes and features, the Bowlus campers also offer high-quality homes on wheels that cater to the adventurer in all of us. The campers are four-season capable with heated floors and tight insulation that keeps the interior temperatures constant year-round. For those rugged adventures, the incredible campers come equipped with powerful lithium iron phosphate power systems that allow these travel trailers to go off the grid for varying periods of time. The On The Road model can operate off the grid for a long weekend, while the Endless Highways model can go a full week without charging. + Bowlus Road Chief Via Tiny House Talk Images via Bowlus Road Chief

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These ultra-cool, vintage-style travel trailers can go off the grid for a week

Old van converted into solar-powered bohemian beach hut on wheels

October 28, 2019 by  
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British designers Supertramped Co. have converted an old Mercedes-Benz T2 van into an incredible bohemian-inspired home on wheels. Ernie is a bright blue and white van that has been completely renovated with a fun, shabby chic interior design that  not only includes some whimsical beachy decor, but also an array of 400-watt solar panels that allow the beautiful camper to go off grid virtually anywhere. The Mercedes-Benz T2 vans were produced by Daimler-Benz from 1967 to 1996, and the boxy, durable vehicles were often used as ambulances or delivery trucks.  The vans were also known for their smooth maneuverability, something that, along with its compact shape, makes them the perfect type of van to convert into a vibrant home on wheels. Related: Amazing camper van maximizes space with clever boat design tricks According to the Somerset-based designers, the clients approached them with the idea of a surf-inspired mobile beach hut that would serve as their tiny home on wheels while exploring the world. Inspired by the sea and trajectory of the van, designers went to work and created Ernie— a beautiful camper van that runs on solar power. The exterior of the van is a bright blue and white, paying homage to the typical large striped umbrellas found on the sea side. The beachy theme continues throughout the interior with a fun, shabby-chic interior design . The walls are clad in rustic wooden panels punctuated with plenty of large windows, giving the space a warm atmosphere . The main living area is a compact, but cozy space with bench seating and dining table that sits across from the kitchen. Throughout the tiny space, fun decor made up of seashells and starfish trinkets add a bit of whimsy to the design. Like most camper van conversions, the design for the kitchen space has to be functional and space-efficient, and Ernie delivers in spades. The main area is  equipped with a fridge/freezer combo, stove top and oven. comprised of whitewashed cabinetry with a vibrant blue and white backsplash. A farmhouse sink adds a nice country style touch to the seaside vibe. Further past the kitchen is a small bathroom with full shower and marine toilet. However, the shower stall is incredibly original, featuring exposed pipes, subway tiled-inspired wooden wallboards, a giant skylight above that lets in tons of natural light . The sleeping space is located in the very back of the camper. A bed platform is set up with plenty of storage for sporting equipment, clothing, etc. underneath. A pair of dual doors open outward to take in the unobstructed views. In contrast to its warm, laid-back interior, Ernie also boasts a very hightech system. The van was installed with several modern features such as Alexa-controlled lighting, a surround sound system, WiFi, UV water sterilizer, led lights and a 400-watt solar array . + Supertramped Co. Via Curbed Photography by Simon and Kiana Photography

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Old van converted into solar-powered bohemian beach hut on wheels

Two beautiful, self-sustaining tiny cabins rest on a remote island off the coast of Finland

October 22, 2019 by  
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Finnish designers Aleksi Hautamäki and Milla Selkimaki have done what many only dream of — they have bought an entire island to construct a gorgeous off-grid retreat. Located on 5 acres of rugged landscape, at the edge of the Archipelago National Park in Southwest Finland, Project Ö includes two self-sustaining, solar-powered cabins that include chic living spaces as well as a sauna and a workshop. The ambitious designers purchased the remote island two years ago with plans to built a set of off-grid cabins . According to Hautamäki, their vision was “to build all things necessary in as little space as possible.” The result is two compact structures that offer optimal functionality and comfort without harming the existing landscape. Related: These tiny steel cabins in Joshua Tree epitomize off-grid design Since the designers bought the island, they have constructed two narrow gabled cabins , which house the living spaces, a sauna and a workshop. The cabins sit elevated off of the rocky landscape by an expansive wooden deck. The cabins are long and narrow, with ultra-large windows that, in addition to flooding the interior with natural light , provide stunning views of the island’s coast. Additionally, there are a number of outdoor lounge areas that let the designers and visitors enjoy spending time in the outdoors. The main cabin is comprised of an open-plan living room with a kitchen and dining area. A sleeping loft on the second floor is accessible by a ladder. The bedrooms and bathrooms are located in the second cabin, which is accessible through a central, covered outdoor area. All in all, the cabins can sleep up to 10 people. Due to the remote location, the cabins were also built to be completely self-sufficient. Rooftop solar panels generate energy, and there is an integrated water system that filters seawater. Two wood-burning stoves provide hot water for the cabins and create the ultimate cozy atmosphere. + Project Archipelago + Project Ö Via Dezeen Photography by Archmosphere via Project Ö

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Two beautiful, self-sustaining tiny cabins rest on a remote island off the coast of Finland

Biomaterials Archive debuts at Dutch Design Week 2019

October 22, 2019 by  
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Dutch Design Week , the largest design event in Northern Europe, is back once again this October to show how pioneering designers around the globe are changing the world for the better. Spread out across nine days with over a hundred locations in Eindhoven, the annual event will host a wide array of exhibitions, lectures, festivities and more — including the first-ever public presentation of a Biomaterials Archive , where attendees can see, touch, smell and even taste innovative materials made by students from organic and recycled materials. Held this year from October 19 to 27, Dutch Design Week is an annual showcase of futuristic design that covers a wide breadth of topics from sustainable farming to artificial intelligence and robotics. Every year, more than 2,600 designers are invited to present their pioneering work — with a focus given to young and upcoming talent — and more than 350,000 visitors from the area and abroad flock to Eindhoven to see how design has the potential to improve the world. Creative proposals for reducing waste and addressing other timely environmental topics, such as climate and biodiversity crises, have also been increasingly highlighted in recent years.  One such example of forward-thinking design by young designers can be found at the Biomaterials Archive, a multi-sensory exhibit open to the public all week at Molenveld 42 | Downtown. Hosted by Ana Lisa, the tutor for Design Academy Eindhoven’s Make Material Sense class, the exhibition will feature #ZeroWaste and #ZeroBudget material samples created by second-year BA students. Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with proposed alternatives to materials such as leather, plastic, marble, cotton and MDF. Related: Colorful People’s Pavilion in Eindhoven is made from 100% borrowed materials “It unveils how these young designers are taking matter into their own hands by farming organisms on the Academy’s shelves or recycling what’s being trashed at home, school’s canteen, city or farms,” reads a statement on the DDW website, which references biomaterials made from old bread, lichen, acorn-MDF, coffee grounds, kombucha , cow manure and even vacuum dust. “While they close some loops and make new, shorter life-span materials that forge new paths into design and architecture.” + Biomaterials Archive Images via DDW

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Biomaterials Archive debuts at Dutch Design Week 2019

Sail your cares away in this incredible floating villa near Sydney

October 8, 2019 by  
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Nothing says romance like floating down a calm waterway while taking in the sound of bird calls from the shores. If you’re in the mood for a romantic getaway near Sydney , this incredible floating villa is the perfect choice. The tiny retreat features enough space for two lovebirds, who can spend their days watching the world go by from a glorious open-air deck. Ready to set sail along the pristine coastline of Palm Beach, New South Wales, this beautiful, two-story floating villa makes for a dream glamping retreat. The structure is compact but comes with a stunning, modern design that makes the space seem much bigger. Related: Sail away from it all in this gorgeous floating tiny home The interior of the floating home features a large living area on the first floor that opens up to the structure’s most impressive space, the outdoor deck. From here, guests can enjoy stunning views of the cliffs and wild landscapes found along the coast of Palm Beach. The deck comes with plenty of seating space and a barbecue, where you can cook shrimp on the, well, you know. Throughout the interior, guests will feel right at home thanks to contemporary furnishings and amenities. The living space welcomes in plenty of natural light through various windows and the folding glass doors that open up to the deck . The living area even comes with a nice fireplace for those chilly nights. A compact bathroom nearby includes a full-sized shower and toiletries. Additionally, the home comes with a kitchenette, which comes with all of the basics to whip up a tasty meal: an oven, a stove, a microwave and a fridge. The master bedroom is located on the sleeping loft, accessible via a narrow staircase. The pitched roof adds extra vertical space for the bedroom, which comes with a plush, king-sized bed and quality linens. Guests to the tiny villa will enjoy a healthy breakfast each morning as well as a 24-hour concierge service. For active travelers, the accommodation also comes with the use of the stand-up paddleboards and fishing gear. + Glamping Hub Images via Glamping Hub

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Sail your cares away in this incredible floating villa near Sydney

A converted school bus is now a glamping retreat in California

October 2, 2019 by  
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Converting an old school bus into a permanent tiny home on wheels is an overwhelming task, but for those who’d like to get a taste of skoolie living on a temporary basis, this Calabasas Glamping Bus is just the ticket. Located in Monte Nido, near Malibu Creek State Park, this amazing glamping retreat can accommodate up to four guests who are looking to immerse themselves in nature. Surrounded by a lush forest and breathtaking mountain views, the converted bus is the perfect spot for nature-lovers. While the location of the bus is spectacular, the interior of the glamping bus offers everything one needs for a luxurious and comfortable stay. Related: This gorgeous converted bus hotel in Scotland pulls out all the stops The living space is impressively spacious for its compact size. This area has quite a bit of room for seating, including a sofa that folds out to a comfortable double bed. Guests will enjoy a kitchen that comes equipped with a refrigerator, stove, oven and plenty of counter space. Opposite from the sofa is a small dinette for two, the perfect spot for early morning coffee. The interior bathroom includes a full shower and a composting toilet , which according to reviewers, can be a little “tricky.” Thankfully, there is also an adjacent outhouse just for those moments. At the back of the converted bus is the master bedroom, which features a queen-sized bed decked in high-quality linens. A flat-screen television rests on the wall, and there is plentiful closet space here as well. Although the sophisticated interior design makes this skoolie luxurious, it is the outdoor space that really shines. An open-air deck has ample seating space, including a futon couch. The outdoor dining area has a table that seats up to six. Of course, it wouldn’t be glamping if there wasn’t a hammock, which is hung from two nearby trees. If the Calabasas bus looks a tad little familiar, that is because it was featured in the Netflix movie Expedition Happiness . The bus is actually part of a larger retreat, which includes a guesthouse and main house spread out over three acres of land. Guests of the glamping bus will have full access to the natural pool and hot tub found onsite, as well as the many hiking and biking trails available in the area. + Calabasas Glamping Bus Via Apartment Therapy Images via Glamping Hub

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A converted school bus is now a glamping retreat in California

Yosemite camping site unveils series of ADA-compliant tiny cabins

September 20, 2019 by  
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Taking a vacation in a tiny cabin in a remote area of the world appeals to all sorts of people, but there’s one group who has been largely left out of the movement — people with disabilities. Thankfully, one forward-thinking firm is changing that with their sleek tiny cabin design that is accessible for all. Los Angeles-based firm, M-Rad has unveiled their new X-suite cabin, an accessible tiny retreat that combines universal design with sophisticated aesthetic. Built specifically for Autocamp Yosemite, a 35-acre glamping site in northern California, the firm installed five X- suite cabins on the edge of a small lake, surrounded by the breathtaking Yosemite landscape. The cabins are all designed to comply with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Related: Wheelchair-friendly tiny house proves universal design can be cool The 270-square-foot prefabricated cabins have wooden frames wrapped in  dark-hued metal rainscreens topped with metal roofs. Designed to be transportable, the cabins sit on top of steel chassis with wheels. This enables the cabins to not only be moved easier to another location, but also reduces impact on the landscape. The entrance to each cabin is through a wooden open-air deck that doubles as a ramp. Double-entry French doors that are wide enough for large wheelchairs lead into the interior living space. The interior of the cabins feature rectangular layouts, with a large open-plan living area and a kitchen. Ultra-large glazed walls flood the interior with natural light.  The bedroom, which has enough space for a queen-sized bed, not only has a massive floor-to-ceiling window, but an oversized skylight that allows for stargazing while drifting off to sleep. The kitchens offer all of the necessary amenities that are on a reachable level, as well as a small dining area on the interior. The open-air decks also feature enough space for dining al fresco while enjoying the incredible views. Although the cabins may seem to be a minimalist design, in reality, the cabins were purpose-built to be accessible for everyone without sacrificing on design. Large, spacious thresholds, as well as wide rooms, allow enough space for wheelchairs to turn around in. Additionally, the bathroom was built to adhere to ADA standards such as a shower with a handlebar and seat. Throughout the home, windows, doors, knobs, etc. are also ADA compliant. + M-Rad Via Dezeen Images via M-Rad

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Yosemite camping site unveils series of ADA-compliant tiny cabins

Prefab houseboat in Prague features a spacious rooftop lounge

September 9, 2019 by  
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Normally, Czech Republic-based firm Freedomky stays busy building charming, energy-efficient, tiny cabins. But when the team was approached by a client looking to “live freely” on the water, the designers used the same space- and energy-saving techniques they use frequently to build Freedomky No. 59, a prefab houseboat with a flexible interior design that can be used as a work space or vacation home. Designed in collaboration with architectural studio Atelier Št?pán , the Freedomky houseboat was directly created with the client’s love of adventure in mind. As a fan of the company’s cabin designs, the client, who spent time in various glamping locations across Europe, wanted the architects to design something that would allow him to set up a home in Prague. The man wanted to be close to the center of the city without feeling the congestion of the highly trafficked area. Hence, the design team and the client decided to take it to the water. Related: A solar-powered houseboat designed for the water-loving adventurer The houseboat is a prefabricated structure comprised of two modules placed on a custom steel pontoon. The two separate units were joined together at a shipyard 25 miles north of Prague . Once the prefab construction was complete, the individual pieces were towed by boat to the home’s final installation site in the district of Smíchov in Prague. The journey took 18 hours, with the housing components passing under 14 bridges, including the famous Charles Bridge. Made with the same materials as Freedomky’s cabins, the boat’s exterior walls are crafted from eco-friendly wood or wooden components. Because of the humid environment, the designers replaced the larch facade normally used on their cabins with durable cement fiber boards. Working within the company motto of “free art of living everywhere,” the Freedomky team went to work designing a floating home with a breathtaking interior customized to the owner’s needs. The main objective was to create a flexible space, where the houseboat could be used as an office, an upscale living area or a weekend stay for guests. The interior of the houseboat is bright and airy, with modern furnishings that are flexible in their uses. The dining table can also be used as a work center, for example. The walls throughout the boat are painted a bright white, and the interior benefits from the natural light that pours in from the sliding glass doors and plentiful windows. At the owner’s request, there is a large rooftop terrace , which can be planted with vegetation. + Freedomky Via Dwell Photography by Lukas Pelech via Freedomky

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Prefab houseboat in Prague features a spacious rooftop lounge

Couple’s tiny home ‘Ohana’ overlooks picturesque Vancouver

August 28, 2019 by  
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Clearly, good things do come in small packages. At just 100 square feet, the Galiano 100 is a tiny home affectionately dubbed “Ohana,” meaning family in Hawaiian, by its owners. The compact house overlooks the Strait of Georgia and the lights of downtown Vancouver. Situated on Galiano Island, British Columbia, the tiny home was completed in 2018 by Vancouver-based design firm Trim Studio. The lucky couple, Alicia and Kris Alexander, planned to get married on the Ohana property and live in the tiny cabin after tying the knot. Related: Solar-powered seaside cabin blends prefab design with traditional building techniques During the initial planning stages, the couple shared with Trim Studio’s principal Rodrigo Munguia that they also wanted Ohana to be a vacation home , where they could spend time with family and friends. While Ohana may certainly seem simple to some, the tiny cabin does have everything the couple requested and more: a kitchenette, bathroom and bedroom, patio, log storage, living area, an outdoor shower and even an outdoor hot tub. Not only can the residents gaze through the tiny home’s floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors and enjoy the cozy, wood-burning stove , but they also reap the rewards of the rustic cabin’s setting. The spacious deck, where the hot tub is located, is ideal for relaxing and taking in many a starry night without interruptions. With the tiny cabin’s minimalist design , beautiful forest views, outdoor entertaining area and other innovative amenities, it’s easy to see why Alicia and Kris wanted to settle here. Ohana not only packs a sleek architectural punch, but the tiny house meets the couple’s needs from top to bottom, inside and out. Magical yet practical, Ohana is a place that Alicia and Kris will undoubtedly call home-sweet-tiny-home for years to come. + Trim Studio Via Dwell Photography by Jarusha Brown via Trim Studio

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Couple’s tiny home ‘Ohana’ overlooks picturesque Vancouver

Do people in tiny houses live more sustainably?

August 2, 2019 by  
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Minimalist living is as old as time, but the tiny house trend sweeping across North America and Europe has influenced many people to downsize, declutter and live simply. A new investigation into the habits of tiny house residents reveals that living in smaller houses encourages people to adopt more sustainable habits across the board. What are tiny houses? The unofficial definition of a tiny house is typically any single housing unit under 500 square feet. Many tiny houses are on wheels to get around state and federal government laws that limit the minimum habitable dwelling size. Because of this restriction, tiny house owners often own the transportable housing unit but not necessarily the land that it is on. Related: Is a tiny home right for you? The media and tiny house designers market the micro-dwellings as environmentally friendly alternatives to large family homes. Sellers encourage prospective buyers to downsize their possessions and kiss their mortgages goodbye in exchange for experiential riches like travel and financial freedom. Though they take up less space and store less junk, few studies exist that actually prove that living in tiny houses is more sustainable. Little house habits Maria Saxton, an environmental design and planning PhD candidate, studied the impact that downsizing into a tiny house had on inhabitants’ sustainable behaviors. She conducted surveys and in-depth interviews of 80 downsizers who had been living in their new tiny homes for at least a year. She calculated their individual ecological footprints before and after the move and examined which behaviors changed for the better and which changed for the worse. Her research discovered that on average, residents reduced their individual footprints by 45 percent after they settled into a tiny home, which is a huge reduction. She also found that the move and new lifestyle impacted other aspects and behaviors even without the inhabitants realizing it. Ecological footprint is usually calculated by determining the amount of land that it would take every year to support an individual’s consumption. The average American’s footprint is 8.4 hectares per person per year. That’s about the equivalent of eight football fields per person. Among those who downsized to tiny houses, the average footprint was approximately 3.87 hectares per person compared to a per-person average of 7 hectares before the move. How tiny houses encourage sustainable living Remarkably, housing-related behaviors and consumption patterns weren’t the only changes that the residents experienced. Of more than 100 individual behaviors examined, about 86 percent changed to become more environmentally friendly. For example, tiny house residents tended to shop and buy significantly less than the average American and less than they themselves did previously. Without room to store additional items, tiny house inhabitants simply could not support their old consumption habits. While 86 percent of behaviors changed for the better, about 13 percent changed for the worse. For example, tiny house residents tended to eat out more to avoid the frustration of cooking in a cramped kitchen. These residents recycled less because they had limited space for sorting and storing recyclable materials. They also tended to travel more, including both adventure trips and traveling further for basic items, likely because many tiny houses are located in more rural areas than where the owners previously lived. According to a separate investigation into the habits and motivations of tiny house dwellers, the majority of downsizers simply kept a storage unit. So, while they had fewer items within an arm’s reach, they hadn’t really committed to a minimalist lifestyle, and they could still support the overflow of their overconsumption. Smarter designs to support sustainability According to Saxton, the results of this study are critical for tiny house designers as well as to influence archaic laws that restrict tiny houses. If tiny house inhabitants truly do live more sustainably, towns and cities should be encouraging residents to make the move. Related: 7 tips for decorating a tiny home Architects and designers of the little abodes can also use the results of the research to integrate designs that address the prohibitive factors causing that 13 percent shift to less sustainable behaviors. For example — how can the kitchens be larger and more functional? How can trash and recycling storage be expanded to accommodate proper sorting of recyclable materials? Despite the tiny trend, housing is growing in size and destruction In 1973, the average house was 1,660 square feet, but by 2017, the average house sold was 2,631 square feet . This represents a 63 percent increase in the average size of a house in just 45 years. Although the tiny house trend skyrocketed among a niche corner of the population in over-industrialized countries, the majority of people still think bigger is better, which comes at a cost to the environment . The construction of oversized houses means loss of natural habitat and biodiversity , including the fragmentation of ecosystems to clear the way for new housing developments. In addition, the carbon footprint of the materials and construction industry is enormous. Commercial and residential buildings together contribute 39 percent of the U.S.’s total carbon emissions. This includes the transportation and sourcing of the building materials, the energy needed for construction and the environmental cost of maintenance. Maybe they are just another trend, but maybe tiny houses can be a small solution to global warming on an individual and community level. At the very least, the research concludes that cities and towns should re-examine existing laws that discourage tiny house dwellers from owning land or remove the wheels to at least allow residents to feel a sense of permanence. One town, Spur, Texas, adjusted its laws and sells itself as the first tiny home town in America. As the trend continues, other towns and cities would be wise to follow suit. Via The Conversation Images via Paul VanDerWerf , Christoph Scholz and Nicolás Boullosa ( 1 , 2 )

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