Inhabitat has featured lots of tiny home designs over the years. Many are breathtakingly gorgeous, with sleek exteriors and energy-efficient furnishings. In fact, they look a lot like miniature versions of the McMansions we see crowded into every subdivision from California to Charleston. But if you're willing to live in less than 400 sq. feet of space, chances are you're looking for a dwelling that stands out from the crowd, rather than blending in. That's why this Portland micro house, part of a tiny home village built by Jeffrey Gantert and Brad Bloom, caught our eye. Built largely from reclaimed materials, both the interior and exterior are hardly what one could call ordinary.
“This whole [tiny home] movement is about originality and creativity,” says Phoenix, who lives in the upcycled cottage, in the Fair Companies video above. She believes that while builders might be tempted to create cookie cutter houses that are ready for re-sale, those looking to live in a micro-home should strive to use unique features and materials that make it possible to reduce impact while honoring the character that sets them apart.
Many tiny homes are so eager to appear spacious they forget that there are a lot of unique things you can do with 364 square feet. Phoenix, who left her 3,500 square foot home in Maryland for life in a mini-cottage, enjoys features like a porch swing made from a salvaged Dairy Queen bench, flower boxes made from old stove hoods, metal siding made from tomato sauce cans hammered flat, folding/modular furniture, wall paper made from Trader Joe’s shopping bags, dry wall made from used Pinto Bean sacks, and (get this) a wine and champagne caddy that pops out of the floor!
Both Phoenix and her son, who lives in the tiny house as well, say they have no desire to move back into a cavernous McMansion any time soon.
Special thanks to Kirsten Dirksen of Fair Companies for providing still images.