The Henry Project philosophy is built on the idea that we can live better with less. It challenges societal norms about how big our homes should be, in particular when we consider the cost that large and excessive amounts of built form have on our lives. Certainly there is a financial cost, and this impacts on the quality of our lives. As we take on the burden of large housing debt to live in the popular and accepted way, many of our life decisions come to revolve around how to meet the burden of that debt.
So it was a particular joy to work on a project where the question: 'What kind of spaces do we need to live well?' was key. This project was a collaboration with builder Brendan Kelly from New Earth Living, developing three Tiny Houses which he will use as base models for his Tiny House building arm.
Some of the approaches employed in these Tiny Houses to make the most out of the space are:
use of a 'standing loft' area adjacent to the bed lofts, so that you can stand when getting in and out of bed. This simple gesture adds a great deal to the comfort and usability of a loft space;
the space under this standing loft can be used for a laundry, robe or storage. Similarly, the spaces under the bedroom lofts can be used for a bathroom, where reduced height does not impact on the usability of the space;
incorporating useful storage and desk space as part of the stair. An elongated landing as part of the stair, at the right height to sit or eat at, can become a beautiful and interesting design feature as well as save space. Placing this stair adjacent to the kitchen also means the storage or desk space can be incorporated into the kitchen, again increasing usability;
use of a bed platform which can slide under a seating area, meaning that the space taken up by a bed can have another purpose when the bed is not in use;
opening up living areas to an outdoor deck, effectively expanding the space and allowing connection with the surroundings;
opening up the kitchen through the use of a servery window, so food can be prepared inside but eaten and shared outside;
use of a roof deck for a vegetable garden; access to this roof deck doesn't have to be laboured, and can be via a simple internal and/or external ladder, with a roof hatch.
As a sustainable builder, Brendan is committed to building healthy homes. He advocates for the use of low toxicity, natural and breathable materials; incorporates services that allow off-grid living; and empowers people to participate in the construction of their own homes, to achieve a lifestyle that will improve their wellbeing. If you are interested in these designs, and this approach to Tiny House building, email Brendan, or visit the New Earth Living website.
I also welcome your enquiries if you have would like to make the most out of a small portion of land, or part of your home. With careful design and an open mind to alternative and multiple uses of space, much can be made out of a little! Please feel free to drop me an email with your enquiry.