As consumers become more enamored with super-sized food, homes and vehicles, it is refreshing to see the simple and efficient structures of Jay Shafer’s Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. Founded on his personal philosophy and desire for low-impact living, Jay has committed himself to the idea of “subtractive design,” rejecting typical spatial assumptions and opting for clarity through conscientious use of space.

Jay’s little handcrafted dwellings range from 40 to 500-sq-ft and have been designed to accommodate a multitude of needs, whether a home office, vacation home, or full-time residence. The varied models can be customized, made road-ready for portability, even connected together to form cluster communities. Like a rustic version of the Micro-Mini home that we profiled earlier, the quaint cabin-like designs of the Tumbleweed house are markedly efficient in plan and section; they cleverly utilize lofts for sleeping areas, wall and overhead spaces are used for storage, and retractable furnishings fulfill multiple functions.

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Jay was profiled on HGTV earlier this year and gave an on-camera tour of his own 70-sq-ft private residence. While Jay seemed well acclimated to his diminutive domicile, these houses are clearly not the solution for everyone; manually emptying your toilet is a pretty big sacrifice for the average camper – not to mention the everyday homeowner. However, Jay’s goal of “saving the world from oversized, consumptive houses” is not only admirable, but these adorable houses make it hard to resist.

+ Tumbleweed Tiny House Company