the tv quandary

Here are two things I love about William Charnock's 1,000 sq ft mini- apartment: the tv swivels and the bedroom wall of closet and storage. The tv is great in that he can swivel the tv so it can be watched in all the spaces of his open apartment, from bedroom, kitchen, to living room.


the skinny and the short: refrigerator roundup

More small, cool appliances for small houses... here's a look at  some of the best in tall and slim or ultra-compact refrigerators.

If you are looking for a compact fridge, the Sanyo SR-3720M Counter-High Refrigerator, which features a stainless-steel door and a black worktop, is a great and affordable option. Measurements: 18-5/8 by 33-1/2 by 19-7/8 inches. Only $199.99 at Amazonvia

LG Electronics LRBP1031W. At $629.00 on Amazon. It's only 23.6" inches across too! Measurements: 24.6 x 23.5 x 67.6 inches; 152 pounds.

Northland 24" Fridge, $4600 at AJ Madison. 15 cubic feet, 24" inches, 84" tall.

Liebherr Freestanding 24", CS 1311 - About $2200, from various dealers. 13 cubic feet, 24" wide, 80" tall.

Summit Commercial Series CP171SS - $1016 at AJ Madison. 12 cubic feet, 24" wide, 80" tall.

 Fagor, $2000 at AJ Madison. 13 cubic feet. 24" wide, 79" tall.

 Whirlpool Top-Freezer Refrigerator - $459 at AJ Madison. 10 cubic feet, 24" wide, 60" tall.

KitchenAid Stainless Steel Double-Drawer Refrigerator - $1890 at Sears. 5.1 cubic feet, 24" wide, 34" tall.

 Danby Under-Counter Fridge - $268 at Compact Appliance. 3.1 cubic feet, 18" wide, 34" tall.

RA752PST - Avanti Apartment Sized Refrigerator - $332 at Compact Appliance. 7.6 cubic feet, 22" wide, 57" tall.

I personally like the narrow, taller ones. As you can see they fit very stylishly built-in to kitchens like these...

thinking about openin' up!

I've been putting a lot of thought into how my small house will work in terms of light and openings, and most importantly how it will relate to its surroundings since I feel that tiny homes work by having a strong relationship to the outdoors, letting the outside in, and also in concert with other tiny homes. They have so much potential in generating community. Here are some of my fave ideas.

I think that what I'm drawn to in most of them is a large opening on one side that creates a type of porch-like community. I can immediately envision four of these together over a common courtyard, with great parties and gatherings. Right now I'm feeling a industrial garage type opening or large sliding barn door, just because I think it may be the cheapest, and I like that look.  I'll have to explore it further. 

small house design: going curbless

I've always been a fan of going curbless, a.k.a. zero-threshold showers. I've especially thought about this style when it comes to the design of small homes. You immediately eliminate the bulk and make the bathroom more streamlined, accessible and just safer in general without that 6" step. Here are some examples.

From top: modern bathroom by Hammer And Hand, modern powder room by ZeroEnergy Design, Contemporary bathroom by Ziger/Snead Architects


creative cost-cutting: materials


I've been thinking of creative ways to cut costs in my small house designs. At home depot I saw a lot of backyard sheds made out of plywood and I have liked the look in the past. I'm thinking Zumthor's tarred plywood sheets in his Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. Here are a few projects that I've been looking at that seem to capture the look, and I'm hoping, the cost of my small house design.

Starting at the top: This Washington cabin uses fir plywood sheets both inside and out to maximize material efficiency. (I would love this stained black!)

This exterior looks like traditional 2 by 4's but is inventive in its positioning and connection to the substrate — countersunk screws. Also note the care in angling the top of the projecting pieces, to allow for water to shed off of the siding.

I'm loving this cottage in Sweden! The exteriors has a twist as the siding boards are installed on edge over black roofing felt. It creates a different effect depending on where you stand and also seems to save a lot on materials since you can eliminate a lot of the boards.

And here is Zumthor's tarred plywood garden oasis.


small appliances: sinks

The Ikea ANN sink. As seen in Door Sixteen's bathroom.

hot pink tuesday!

I was taking a quick morning walk and saw this cute hot pink installation on the front porch of one of my neighbor's houses. Love!

Around the corner is this old historical house with great period details. I think they're fixing it up so I'll be posting updates.