Tiny home resort opens in idyllic forest setting in Wisconsin

June 15, 2018 by  
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Tucked into over 100 acres of lush forestscape, a tiny home village is making a name for itself as the first large-scale tiny home vacation resort in the Midwest. The Canoe Bay Escape Village , which is the brainchild of prolific tiny house builder ESCAPE , is comprised of various tiny homes nestled into a stunning natural backdrop of forest, lakes and wetlands. A popular vacation spot for decades, the Canoe Bay area is a no-brainer location for a resort village. Although the village will eventually include larger homes for rent, the tiny houses in the first phase of the village are located near Mallard and Lost Lakes. Visitors can explore the many hiking and biking trails that weave around the lakes and wetlands, spread out over 100 acres of beautiful forest. Related: Try out tiny house living in Oregon’s new micro-home resort in Mt. Hood The one- and two-bedroom tiny homes at the village are from the company’s popular Traveler series . Each house offers a spacious open floor plan with large windows that let in an abundance of natural light . Sleeping lofts have either a queen- or king-size bed, a bathroom, and a luxury kitchen installed with full-size appliances. Additionally, as with all of the company’s designs, the tiny houses are constructed with a number of sustainable features , such as high-quality insulation made out of recycled products, LED lighting and low-E windows. Solar power and off-grid features are also available to potential home buyers. According to the owner of Canoe Bay and ESCAPE Homes, Dan Dobrowolski, the inspiration behind the innovative resort village stems from giving people the option of trying out tiny home living in an idyllic setting on a short-term basis. Alternatively, the tiny houses are also available for long-term rental or purchase. + Canoe Bay ESCAPE Village Via Dwell Photography by ESCAPE RV/Steve Niedorf

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Tiny home resort opens in idyllic forest setting in Wisconsin

An innovative forever house renovation features a pocket park for the community

June 15, 2018 by  
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Mention the word ‘ renovation ’ and thoughts of expansion immediately spring to mind — especially in the expensive suburb Fitzroy of  Melbourne . So when the owners of a two-story terrace house in the neighborhood decided against creating a large home and instead sought to turn part of their unused site into a pocket park, they smartly tapped Austin Maynard Architects to lead the project. The local Australian architecture firm — known for its creative and anti-McMansion designs — created the King Bill “forever home” for a family of four that includes a revamped garden space and curved extensions, one of which is housed in an overhauled horse stable. Instead of building out the entire vacant lot east of the main house, Austin Maynard Architects selectively added a couple structures to the site. Contemporary additions include a new pavilion housing the kitchen, living and dining spaces, as well as a glazed corridor that connects the main house to the old horse stable that’s been converted into the garage and parents’ retreat. Corrugated colorbond steel metal clads the curvaceous extensions to provide a playful and striking contrast to the original brick left intact on the 19th-century terrace house. “Long time Fitzroy locals, the clients chose not to capitalise on their block by exploiting the vacant site,” the architects explained. “They wanted more living space but they had no intention of maximising the economic yields by creating a huge home. Instead, they sought to give something back to the suburb they love through a rich and generous garden .” Related: Energy-efficient Cut Paw Paw house is “ridiculously inside-out” in Australia The team refreshed the garden with new plants while preserving the existing pear and silver birch trees. The concrete slab of the new living space pavilion was carefully cantilevered so as not to disturb the tree root zones. The architects included minimal paving in the garden to maximize site permeability; the plantings also help to reduce the area’s heat island effect. The home also features  passive solar principles and rooftop solar panels. Rainwater is harvested and reused for irrigation and to flush toilets. Thanks to double-glazed windows, natural light fills the home. + Austin Maynard Architects Images by Derek Swalwell

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An innovative forever house renovation features a pocket park for the community

This custom tiny home features a surprisingly spacious interior

June 13, 2018 by  
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Creating a comfortable living space is the always first challenge of tiny home design . Although many people decide to forgo a spacious sleeping area for a larger living room, the savvy tiny home builders from Alabama Tiny Homes have created the ultra-sophisticated Journey tiny house, which includes a gorgeous loft space with high ceilings guaranteed to not bump heads. The Journey was specifically crafted for a client who was looking for a micro-dwelling on wheels with a relatively spacious interior. The result is a beautiful tiny home with an interior that rivals any contemporary home twice its size. Related: These solar-powered tiny homes are designed just for millennials Clad in 6-inch cedar planks with aqua blue accents, the exterior of the structure is rustic, but sophisticated. This luxury cabin feel continues into the 324-square-foot interior, which is strategically comfortable, functional and stylish. The kitchen is large, with plenty of counter space. Along with a stainless steel fridge, stove top oven and dishwasher, the kitchen offers a six-bottle wine stand. The living area, designed in a parlor layout, is extremely inviting. Well lit with an abundance of natural light , this space is a homey lounge with various seats configured to encourage conversation. When guests stay, the room can be easily cleared out for a trundle bed, which is stored in the bathroom when not in use. Although the first floor’s design is stunning to say the least, at the very core of the Journey’s design is its ultra-high ceiling. This enabled the designers to go vertical and add a second level. Starting at the kitchen, a stairwell with built-in drawers leads up to the sleeping loft , which is big enough for a queen-sized bed. The tiny home includes several energy-efficient features in order to withstand various climates. A closed cell spray foam insulation and double-pane windows help the residents save money on utilities.  LED lighting throughout the home, along with an electric hot water heater, also reduces energy usage. + Alabama Tiny Homes Via New Atlas Images via Alabama Tiny Homes

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This custom tiny home features a surprisingly spacious interior

Ryuji Kajino converts an 80-year-old barn into a gorgeous atelier

June 12, 2018 by  
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Architect Ryuji Kajino from Malubishi Architects has just unveiled the Tiny Atelier — a one-room work studio crafted with the remnants of an 80-year-old timber barn that previously stood on the same site. The minimalist work space, which was created for a designer who makes accessories from dried flowers, was built with timber, old beams and roof tiles repurposed from the existing barn. Located in Kurashiki, Japan, the work space was built for a designer who lives on a hilltop lot that overlooks the Seto Inland Sea in the distance. A covered porch leads from her home to the new studio, which is surrounded by greenery. In fact, the artist grows the flowers for her accessories in the onsite garden. Related: The Cornelia tiny house is a peaceful writer’s studio built with reclaimed wood The architect wanted to retain as many of the materials from the old barn as possible. The structure includes a new pitched roof topped with tiles from the existing barn. Inside, exposed log beams on the timber-lined ceiling pay homage to the former building. Vertical wooden boards  clad the petite studio, except for the front door, which has a diagonal pattern and custom-made chestnut handle. Large windows provide an abundance of natural light as well as beautiful views of the valley below. The room’s biggest window sits in a timber frame constructed with both old and new wooden pillars, again marking the transition from past to present. The office design embraces minimalism with sparse furniture and a wraparound white shelf built high up on the wall to provide space for drying flowers. According to the architect, re-using the barn’s old materials enabled him to create the atelier space as a nod to the local history. “Utilizing the materials that can be used by existing barns, we inherited the history that this site had been walking on,” explained Kajino, “but also aimed at a new architecture mixed old and new materials as a future architectural building.” + Ryuji Kajino Via Dezeen Images via Ryuji Kajino

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Ryuji Kajino converts an 80-year-old barn into a gorgeous atelier

20-foot shipping container converted into off-grid oasis deep in the Catskills

June 7, 2018 by  
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The beautiful Contanium shipping container cabin , just a two-hour drive from NYC, is proving that going off-grid doesn’t have to mean going bare bones. Available for rent on Airbnb, the solar-powered container cabin offers peaceful solitude with all of the comforts of a luxury cabin, including a comfy sofa bed, kitchenette, writing desk, wood-burning stove, and outdoor hot tub. The 20-foot shipping container is perfect for a summer weekend away or even a winter wonderland experience. The container is highly insulated for the cold New York winters, and a wood-burning stove helps the interior stay warm and cozy at all hours of the day and night. The solar-powered cabin comes installed with a composting toilet and a gravity-feed water system. Low-energy windows also provide natural light while reducing heat loss in the wintertime. Large sliding glass doors open onto the patio in the warmer months, letting guests enjoy nature right outside their living space. Related: This amazing shipping container hotel can pop up anywhere in the world Inside the cabin’s beautiful woodsy interior, guests can enjoy the comforts of home. The lights are controlled by a touch-activated LED lighting system . A small but sufficient sofa bed can be folded up for seating space. The kitchenette, although compact, is fully stocked with top-of-the-line appliances. The bathroom is just 40 feet away and is a modern, sophisticated take on the traditional outhouse, with lots of natural light, pine paneling and an open shower stall. The outdoor patio has a large seating area positioned around a fire ring. Additionally, a yoga platform and hammock all but guarantee a rejuvenation of mind, body and spirit. Outside, guests will enjoy a wood-fired hot tub made out of a 120-gallon galvanized metal tub, which can be filled up with stream water. Besides staying in a beautiful eco-friendly cabin , guests will have a breathtaking natural forest to explore. The cabin sits on 20 acres of woodland with various trails to choose from, including one that leads to a 30-foot waterfall just 100 yards north. + Contanium Cabin Via 6 Sq Ft Photographs via Airbnb

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20-foot shipping container converted into off-grid oasis deep in the Catskills

A historic Shanghai mansion hides a spectacular modern bookstore

June 7, 2018 by  
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Although Shanghai doesn’t have the historic cachet that Beijing does, the ultra-modern Pearl of the Orient has its fair share of adaptive reuse projects. Case in point is the recent transformation of an old mansion into a modern bookstore in the city’s Huangpu District. The multi-story Sinan Bookshop, designed by local architecture firm WUtopia Lab , combines multiple functions with an artistic and contemporary design that’s rich in a variety of hues and textures. Commissioned by the Shanghai Century Publishing Group and the Yongye Group, the new Sinan Bookshop is housed in Building 25, one of the Sinan Mansions built in the 1920s and 1930s for the city’s elite. Today, the Sinan Mansions are undergoing massive redevelopment in a somewhat controversial process. Many of the historic buildings will be knocked down and rebuilt with faux-renovations for high-end retail or apartments that cater almost exclusively to the rich. However, the Sinan Bookshop — which the architects say is housed in the original building — is thankfully accessible to all and will offer educational spaces for the general public. “The goal was to provide a space for learning and thinking for the general public living in the city,” the architecture firm wrote. “Considering one’s mind, thoughts, perception and sub-consciousness, Sinan books is seen as a person with a system of acquiring knowledge while discovering oneself and the surrounding.” Related: Architects squeeze an ethereal art gallery into a narrow Shanghai alleyway The bookshop is entered through the second floor, which also houses a cafe, cashier and books on literature and Shanghai. The first floor contains books on history and philosophy, as well as an outpost of the London Review Bookshop. An exhibition hall and books on art can be found on the third floor. A multipurpose events space is located on the fourth floor and is designed to host cultural saloons or debates. A rich mixture of colors and textures — from herringbone parquet floors to forest-green hues to shades of salmon — is woven throughout each floor. + WUtopia Lab Images by CreatAR Images

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Dutch town helps out rare bat species by installing "bat-friendly" streetlights

June 7, 2018 by  
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Street lighting can impact bats’ feeding patterns and internal compasses, as well as the activity of their insect prey, but a town in the Netherlands is taking steps to help the bats out. Zuidhoek Nieuwkoop , a housing development of around 90 sustainable homes near the Nieuwkoopse Plassen nature reserve, has installed what are thought to be the world’s first bat-friendly streetlights. The red LED  lights from Signify , formerly Philips Lighting, brighten the road for humans, but the the bats still perceive the light as darkness. The town and surrounding area are part of the Natura 2000 , a network of nesting and breeding sites for rare and threatened species across the European Union. These sites don’t all exclude human activities; in fact, most of the land is privately owned. The approach to conservation on these sites revolves around “people working with nature rather than against it,” according to the European Commission. Related: Bat bridge provides shelter for our winged friends in the Dutch town of Monster Bat-friendly lighting could fit that bill. Zuidhoek Nieuwkoop , according to Signify, is a key feeding ground “for some rare bat species.” The energy-efficient streetlights emit red with a wavelength that won’t interfere with the flying mammals’ internal compasses. The lighting is based on 2017 research from Wageningen University , the Netherlands Institute of Ecology , and Philips Lighting. Nieuwkoop city council member Guus Elkhuizen said, “Nieuwkoop is the first town in the world to use smart LED street lights that are designed to be friendly to bats. When developing our unique housing program, our goal was to make the project as sustainable as possible, while preserving our local bat species with minimal impact to their habitat and activities. We’ve managed to do this and also keep our carbon footprint and energy consumption to a minimum.” + Signify + Zuidhoek Nieuwkoop Images courtesy of Signify

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Dutch town helps out rare bat species by installing "bat-friendly" streetlights

These stunning student housing apartments are inspired by tiny homes

June 4, 2018 by  
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Student housing has come a long way since the days of crowding two roommates into a confined space with a couple of beds and a single desk. Case in point: this impressive student housing complex designed by Amsterdam-based firm Standard Studio  that uses the principles of tiny home living . Located in Rotterdam, the Hermes City Plaza apartments offer 218 beautiful 200-square-feet units incorporated with various multi-functional and ultra-efficient features. The purpose of the project was to create housing for first year Erasmus students who are new to the city. Looking to go beyond the usual cramped and cold student housing , the architects decided to create a series of independently functioning units, which are all less than 200 square feet. Inspired by the  tiny home movement , these apartments feature space efficiency, natural light and smart storage. Related: Why these floating dorms made from shipping containers are the future of cheap student housing Each unit comes with a fully equipped living space, meaning there is a full kitchen and bathroom. No more flip-flopping it to the typical shared community bathrooms! The apartments have an open layout that connects the living room to a small kitchenette and dining area. Space efficiency was essential at every step and forced the designers to get creative. There wasn’t enough room to put a full sink in the kitchen, so the team installed one large sink that straddles the kitchen and the bathroom. A half-partition that separates the two spaces pulls double duty as a mirror for the bathroom and a chalkboard for the kitchen. All the cabinetry was custom-built out of renewable bamboo , and LED strips light up the space when natural light isn’t available. The design takes advantage of vertical space with high ceilings and a sleeping loft . The loft is reached by stairs and has built-in closets and shelving. In fact, most of the apartments’ furnishings provide dual functionalities. The living room, for example, has one large multipurpose unit that incorporates a sofa, a desk and storage. The space offers students a feel of independent living, but there are some shared amenities meant to foster a strong sense of community. Residents can enjoy a rooftop terrace , music room, TV rooms, a laundry area and a communal study area. + Standard Studio Via Treehugger Images via Standard Studio

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These stunning student housing apartments are inspired by tiny homes

The pre-fab tiny Skyview Cabin is crafted from all-natural and low-impact materials

June 1, 2018 by  
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The modular Skyview Cabin is a rustic, yet sophisticated tiny cabin made out of all-natural and low-maintenance materials. Designed by Arno Schuurs and Paulien van Noort of the Netherlands-based Qoncepts Agency , the structure is clad in untreated Oregon Pine panels and features a glass wall that seamlessly connects the interior to the exterior. The construction of the wooden cabin , which is just 452 square feet, began with two prefabricated sections. The modules and additional fixtures were then transported to the building site, a beautiful meadow covered in wild flowers just outside of Apeldoorn in the Netherlands. Related: This Puget Sound eco cabin is made almost entirely from reclaimed materials The frame of the tiny cabin is constructed from concrete and raw steel. The builders installed steel pillars with an innovative screw foundation technique that lifts the structure off the ground for minimal impact on the landscape. After the frame was constructed, the architects began to put all of the pieces together, so to speak. The construction plan focused on using all-natural materials, such as local pine planks for the exterior and oak fishbone panels for the flooring. However, the main focus of the cabin was to create a strong connection to its idyllic surroundings. The tiny home has several large windows to let in light and provide stellar views from nearly every room. The large deck, which is partially enclosed, leads to the entrance. A large glass facade surrounds a pleasant seating area that is the heart of the home, perfect for entertaining or just sitting and enjoying a good book. Inside, the home is clad in pine and includes a compact living space and open kitchen and dining area. The sleeping loft, accessible by ladder, is referred to as the cabin’s “bird’s nest” and offers guests a king-sized bed surrounded by windows. + Qoncepts Agency + Getaway Deluxe Via Dwell Photography by Annelore van Herwijnen

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The pre-fab tiny Skyview Cabin is crafted from all-natural and low-impact materials

Vegan diets deliver more environmental benefits than sustainable dairy or meat

June 1, 2018 by  
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Want to lower your environmental impact? Go vegan . That’s one idea researchers uncovered in what The Guardian described as the most comprehensive analysis thus far of farming’s impact on Earth. University of Oxford scientist Joseph Poore, who led the study, told The Guardian, “A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases , but global acidification, eutrophication, land use, and water use. It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car .” “Animal product-free diets…deliver greater environmental benefits than purchasing sustainable meat or dairy ,” according to Oxford’s statement on the study published today in the journal Science . Scientist Thomas Nemecek of Swiss agricultural research group Agroscope joined Poore to create a database of close to 40,000 farms in 119 countries to assess environmental impacts of 40 major foods representing 90 percent of what we eat. Related: Here’s what could happen if America went 100% vegan They discovered that meat and dairy generate 60 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and use up 83 percent of farmland — but offer just 37 percent of protein and 18 percent of calories, The Guardian reported. Without dairy and meat consumption, global farmland use could be slashed by over 75 percent. The scientists also uncovered variability in producing the same food: for example, high-impact beef producers raising beef cattle on deforested land use 50 times more land and create 12 times more greenhouse gases than low-impact beef producers raising cows on natural pastures. But there’s still a sharp comparison between beef and plant protein like peas: even low-impact beef generates six times more greenhouse gases and uses 36 times more land. You might think grass-fed beef has a low environmental impact, but the researchers discovered the product’s impact was still higher than that of plant-based foods. Poore told The Guardian, “Converting grass into [meat] is like converting coal to energy. It comes with an immense cost in emissions.” Many food experts praised the study. The University of Edinburgh’s Peter Alexander told the Guardian he was impressed but said, “There may be environmental benefits, e.g. for biodiversity, from sustainably managed grazing and increasing animal product consumption may improve nutrition for some of the poorest globally. My personal opinion is we should interpret these results not as the need to become vegan overnight, but rather to moderate our [meat] consumption.” + University of Oxford + Science Via The Guardian Images via Depositphotos

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Vegan diets deliver more environmental benefits than sustainable dairy or meat

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