How one couple adapted a 204-square-foot tiny house for their new baby

February 7, 2018 by  
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What’s it like to live in a 204-square-foot space with a baby? Samantha and Robert Garlow of SHEDsistence know, and they’re sharing their story. After designing and constructing their SHED tiny house in Yakima, Washington , the couple moved into it with their cat in early 2016. Then they welcomed their first baby, Aubrin, last year. Sounds pretty tight, right? We checked in with Robert to get the low-down on their experience living with a tiny baby in a tiny home. Over 14 months, the Garlows designed and built their tiny house , working mostly during weekends. They moved in on January 31, 2016. Robert told Inhabitat, “We were tired of throwing money away in the form of rent and we had no interest in taking on a 30-year mortgage in addition to our six-figure student loan debt. A tiny house was mentioned as a joke until we began to realize it would help us achieve many of our goals and we liked the challenging idea of designing, building, and living in a tiny space. At the end of the day we knew it would be a memorable experience that we would learn a lot from and those are the best projects to take on.” Related: Meet the Tiny House Family Who Built an Amazing Mini Home for Just $12,000 Their 24-foot long, eight-foot-six-inch-wide, 13-foot-five-inch-tall tiny home includes a bathroom, living area, and kitchen, with a loft above. The stairs to reach the loft include storage , and they also dedicated 24 square feet for a storage room for their outdoor gear. They spent around $30,000 on materials. “Our mindset as to what is possible has changed,” Robert told Inhabitat. “What we expected to be a challenge has been effortless and rather than ‘surviving’ this experiment we are thriving. The biggest takeaway has been that good design makes all the difference. Careful, custom design based on the inhabitants’ ergonomics, needs, and aesthetics is paramount to making a space the size of many peoples’ master bathrooms a fully functioning home for a family. Everything has a place and a purpose (or two). We have everything we need and nothing that we don’t, which has led to an incredible liberating experience we hadn’t know beforehand.” But what happens when you have a baby in said tiny home? The Garlows made a few changes to welcome baby Aubrin, such as a loft net and door – with space for their cat to travel in and out. For sleeping, they started with a bedside bassinet and have since created a loft crib . Aubrin is now over eight months old. On their blog , the Garlows pointed out they’ve only ever raised a baby in a tiny house – “and without anything to compare it to, we have nothing but positive things to report. There is great peace of mind in knowing that we are raising our daughter in the cleanest, most healthy house we have ever lived in and the ability to always keep an eye on her is an added bonus.” The Garlows have used the tiny house to “ design the life we wanted ” – living in their tiny space enabled them to take extended parental leave, and Robert has been able to work from home and raise their baby. What about when Aubrin gets a little bigger? In a blog post , the couple said they’d utilize the tiny house for as long as it works for them, and then perhaps repurpose it as necessary. If they decide to move out of SHED tiny house, they said they could use it as studio or guesthouse, to name a few options. When asked what advice he’d give to people considering switching to a tiny home, Garlow told Inhabitat, “Commit to it. Tiny houses are an amazing life hack; a tool that can unlock incredible opportunities that would otherwise not be possible for many people, family or not.” He also recommended people custom design their homes to work for them – and construct them if possible, saying, “Not only do you save a lot of money but you gain an incredible experience and wealth of new knowledge throughout the process.” You can learn more about the Garlows’ journey here . They recently released the second edition of their book, Built With Our Hands , with a long appendix about their two years of calling the tiny house home, and the small things they’d change. You can order it here to read more and see their floor plans. + SHEDsistence + SHEDsistence Book: Built With Our Hands + SHEDsistence Facebook + SHEDsistence Instagram Images courtesy of Samantha and Robert Garlow/SHED tiny house ( 1 , 2 )

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How one couple adapted a 204-square-foot tiny house for their new baby

Build you own terrarium with Tom Dixons gorgeous glass vessels

February 7, 2018 by  
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Tom Dixon keeps on delighting us with his brilliant designs – from renovations of historic buildings to amazing lamps and even a brilliant IKEA collab . Now, Dixon is unveiling his PLANT collection, comprised of beautiful terrarium vessels which you can customize with your own floral arrangements. Each of the mouth-blown vessels has a distinct double-headed form that allows you to create beautiful micro- ecosystems . No two pieces are the same. Variations in the glass, from thickness to shape, contribute a truly unique vessel made to showcase the qualities of contemporary craftsmanship and freedom of form. Related: Tom Dixon’s Converted Water Tower in London is a Modernist Home in the Sky—and it’s Up for Rent! The designer’s website also features a visual “how-to” guide for people to create their own terrariums by using a combination of small rocks that collect water drainage, soil made for succulents and a variety of smaller plants. The PLANT collection is already available online and starts at $165. + Tom Dixon Via Cool Hunting

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Build you own terrarium with Tom Dixons gorgeous glass vessels

San Jose city council approves tiny home village for homeless

December 13, 2017 by  
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San Jose has been struggling with homelessness , and think they have an answer: tiny homes . The City Council recently voted nine to two approving a pilot program to construct a 40-unit tiny house village . Architecture firm Gensler unveiled two design concepts created pro-bono for the city earlier this month, with houses designed to be both aesthetically attractive and efficient. San Jose’s city council just approved a year-long tiny home village program. Elected officials must now determine three potential sites for the pilot. The idea was suggested around a year ago, and would offer 80- to 140-square foot shelters in what are called Bridge Housing Communities. San Jose seems to view the housing as an interim solution, referring to the shelters as emergency sleeping cabins . Around 25 people could dwell in each community, and The Mercury News said the city aims to have a village in each of the 10 city council districts. Related: Dutch studio unveils colorful solar-powered village for area homeless Gensler offered two designs, one called Folding Home and the other Better Together. A small bed, locking door, and windows could be features of the tiny homes. The city also said each site could have community bathrooms and showers, a cooking facility, common areas, and case management onsite to help residents. Some elected leaders have criticized the city’s plan for its cost: $73,125 per tiny house for 40 units. Some people have suggested sanctioned encampments as an alternative, but others argued against legal tent cities in Silicon Valley. Nonprofit Destination: Home executive director Jennifer Loving told The Mercury News, “Sleeping in a tent outside is not the best we can do. We have to start somewhere and a home, even temporary, is better than a tent on the ground.” + Gensler Via The Mercury News ( 1 , 2 ) and the City of San Jose ( 1 , 2 ) Images via Gensler/City of San Jose

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San Jose city council approves tiny home village for homeless

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

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

Charming off-grid Scandinavian-inspired tiny home is passive and energy efficient

December 9, 2016 by  
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Vivid colors and a light-filled interior beckon tiny house aficionados to NestHouse , designed by Jonathan Avery of Tiny House Scotland . Avery’s goal was to create a super sustainable, super efficient tiny home, and he succeeded with the gorgeous NestHouse. Blending retro and Scandinavian aesthetics, the tiny home boasts an off-grid option, creative storage, and even a wee bathtub. © Jonathan Avery Tiny House Scotland NestHouse has it all: Passive design. Sustainability. Energy efficiency. At 3.4 meters, or a little over 11 feet, wide, and with three options for varying lengths, the house can be 107 to 320 square feet. Starting prices are very reasonable: 17,000 to 38,000 pounds, or almost $21,400 to nearly $48,000, with the goal that the final build will be under 50,000 pounds, or close to $63,000. The home can be hooked up to the grid, fully off-grid, or run on hybrid power. Related: Tiny new flat-packed off-grid homes offer affordable housing breakthrough © Jonathan Avery Tiny House Scotland Inspired by bird nesting boxes, NestHouse offers snug accommodations. The attractive tiny home is highly insulated, according to Avery, and is built with sustainable wood and minimal waste. In his Tiny House Scotland Manifesto , Avery mentions passive ventilation and passive solar orientation as features that help ensure the home uses power efficiently. © Jonathan Avery Tiny House Scotland Like many tiny home designs, NestHouse takes every opportunity to maximize space, but frequently does so in creative, unique ways. For example, the sleeping loft ladder twists around a wood stove, saving space, and pull-out storage beneath the winding staircase ensures dwellers can make the most of the tiny house. Details like a drying rack suspended from the ceiling and an actual – albeit small – bathtub add livability to the space. © Jonathan Avery Tiny House Scotland Avery says on his website Scandinavian design influenced cozy NestHouse, from physical elements like brightly painted wood to an ethos of simplicity and contentment. © Jonathan Avery Tiny House Scotland Not only does NestHouse offer a quaint, eco-friendly option for everyone from first time homeowners to empty nesters seeking to downsize, now Avery’s homes will help house the homeless too. Social Bite , an Edingburgh-based charity combating homelessness – and supported by Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney – is building a Tiny House Village that will be populated with ten of Avery’s homes. You can check out Avery’s website and get in touch if you’re interested in your own charming NestHouse. + Tiny House Scotland Via Treehugger Images © Jonathan Avery Tiny House Scotland

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Charming off-grid Scandinavian-inspired tiny home is passive and energy efficient

These incredible doghouses are funky palaces for your four-legged friends

February 4, 2016 by  
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Officials accused of criminal cover-up over Flint water crisis in Wednesday House hearing

February 4, 2016 by  
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The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a heated hearing yesterday that grilled officials on their lack of response to the Flint drinking water crisis —with Governor Snyder notably absent. Not surprisingly, testifying officials tossed blamed back and forth during the hours-long hearing in attempt to evade attempts to pin down responsibility. Despite the ricocheting blame, critics were steadfast in their accusation of a criminal cover-up. Read the rest of Officials accused of criminal cover-up over Flint water crisis in Wednesday House hearing

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Officials accused of criminal cover-up over Flint water crisis in Wednesday House hearing

Esk’et: a tiny house that stands apart with an extraordinary curved roof

January 25, 2016 by  
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