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Living Large in a Micro House

May 18, 2010
By: Dahlia Rideout

It’s no secret that Americans like big things, especially when it comes to their homes. In 1950, the average size American home was 983 square feet. Today, the average has more than doubled to a whopping 2,349 square feet. This begs the question: how much home do you really need?

The micro-home is a concept growing in popularity. Not only are they more energy efficient than average homes, they also enable residents to live off the grid more easily. Often connected to trailers and delivered pre-fabricated, these homes make up for what they lack in size with convenience and price.

The XS-House from Tumbleweed
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The XS-House from Tumbleweed measures only 65 square feet and is built entirely on a 7′ x 10′ utility trailer. Company founder Jay Shafer lived in one for an entire year, proving it’s practical down to the last inch. It includes a bathroom, kitchen, main room, and loft.

The BOXHOME by Rintala Eggertsson Architects
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As a conceptual project by Rintala Eggertsson Architects, the BOXHOME is a mini minimalist creation that covers the basics, but not much more. Built to be ultra-energy efficient, the BOXHOME is a 19-square-meter home with four rooms covering the basics of most homes: dining room, living room, bathroom and bedroom.

Weebee house by Tumbleweed
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Measuring in at a massive 102 square feet, the cozy Weebee house by Tumbleweed will easily qualify as the smallest house on your block. Amenities include a desk, fireplace, bathroom, kitchen, and loft upstairs.


The Micro Dwelling
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If you’ve always fancied living in a octahedron, the Micro Dwelling might be just the right move for you. You can build your dwelling in stages, adding more octahedrons as you grow upwards and outwards, plus you can downsize very easily if the in-laws are visiting.

Small House by Reclaimed Space
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Small-house builder Reclaimed Space specializes in pre-built homes using materials selected from deconstruction projects. Once a simple foundation is prepared, the complete home is simply plopped down and ready to go. Ready for off-the-grid applications, the homes offer a nice weathered look and feel.

The Paco House by Jo Nagasaka
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If the typical micro-house isn’t micro enough for your needs, consider the Paco House from Jo Nagasaka. The Japanese concept house measures 3 meters square with a single window in the roof. Need more light? Pop the hood and let the breeze flow through. The cube is like a puzzle you can live in. The toilet is beneath a hidden door in the floor and the same space doubles as a shower. The dining room table pulls up from the floor while the bed is hidden behind a door in the wall.

First published May 2010

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