Design Architecture

The Best Tiny Homes of 2016

Bigger isn’t always better. For proof, look no further than these 23 tiny homes, situated all around the country, that serve as evidence that sometimes the most memorable—and comfortable—accommodations come in pint-size packages.

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Wood on Wheels

Occupying scarcely 200 square feet, this postage-stamp-size wooden shack on wheels manages to squeeze in a comfortable ground floor and stylish sleeping loft. Thanks to the gabled roof, the loft offers Seattle-based builders and homeowners Chris and Malissa Tack ample room to stretch out, and the home’s 11 windows and skylights flood the interior with sunshine and warmth.

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Tea Time

Step inside this quaint cabin from the Oregon Cottage Company, and you’ll find yourself immersed in a Japanese teahouse. The 170-square-foot natural wood structure, complete with authentic shoji screens, tatami mats, and a tea warming hearth, gets a pinch of Western flair from a galvanized roof and clerestory windows framed with ultramodern white trim.

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Fairy Tale with Two Stories

Who would guess that this small storybook guesthouse from Homeland Design fits not one but two floors inside its diminutive dimensions. The flagstone pathway leading up to the stucco-covered abode looks like it came straight out of a fairy tale. Plus, the ample windows, set aglow by the interior lights, make this home look absolutely magical.

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Farmhouse Fresh

If you can’t buy the farm, you can at least get the farmhouse—or at least this wee little elfin version from Timbercraft Tiny Homes that you can take with you wherever you go. Boasting a cozy kitchen, bedroom, and loft as well as a porch with a rustic cedar awning, this customizable one-story on wheels packs all the hallmarks of bona fide country living into less than 335 square feet.

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Spare Sophistication

This one-story wonder by San Francisco-based firm AVAVA Systems embraces laid-back living with its clean lines, neutral colors, and wide-open windows that turn the spare interior into a sun-soaked sanctuary. Eschewing extravagant decor, the designers enhanced the exterior with elegant sconces and a warm wooden deck outfitted with geometric-inspired patio furniture.

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Craftsman's Cottage

Designed by Wind River Tiny Homes, this blissful bungalow has its Tennessee roots to thank for its Southern charm. Within the walls of the 115-square-foot residence, there’s space for a dual-burner cooktop, a 32-inch shower stall, and a 10-foot sleeping loft, which can be accessed quickly and easily via an integrated ladder.

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A-Frame to Adore

Go off the grid in this tiny triangular cabin, a restful retreat in Six Rivers National Forest in northwestern California. Reachable only by a remote forest road, the A-frame abode is a true hidden gem among sustainable accommodations. The space-efficient interior sleeps one comfortably, while a shared outdoor kitchen and organic garden make cooking a fun, communal experience.

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Home Sweet Dome

The geodesic dome atop this California cabin makes the lodging look almost like an ornate birdhouse, which could be what earned it the name “Hummingbird Haven.” Beneath the dome lie a spacious loft and bath, and a kitchenette filled with modern amenities. The scenic deck is surrounded by 10 acres of lush forest rife with hummingbirds and other wildlife.

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Hand-built Half Moon

Dubbed the “Half Moon” for its semicircular ceiling, this hand-crafted cabin lets you turn the Northern California woods into your personal playground without having to skimp on modern comforts. The roomy retreat is decked out with a lofted double bed, wood stove, and a wood-fired sauna that makes for cozy quarters even on cold winter nights.

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Outbound Surround

This Boise-based abode marries a Japanese teahouse with cottage living to achieve a distraction-free dwelling that delights rustic and modern sensibilities alike. The stand-alone studio offers much that traditional small spaces cannot, including a generous redwood deck and pergola that provide space to spread out and enjoy the view.

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Roundabout Manor

Formerly the summer home of famed sculptor Henry Hudson, this rustic retreat on the Santarella Estate in Massachusetts is an architectural masterpiece on its own. The two-story circular cottage, accented with a 35-foot conical roof, boasts a luxurious canopy bed, multi-paned windows, and a sitting room with spectacular views of the Berkshires.

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Hobbit’s Hole

The Baggins family would no doubt approve of this hillside home in the Columbia River Gorge in Washington. The picture-perfect dwelling features a circular doorway, queen-size bed, and scenic mountain views. Though it would make an ideal home for a hobbit, even Tolkien lovers of standard height would be delighted with these snug quarters.

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Little Italy

Converted from an abandoned stable, this tower for two in scenic Umbria has been updated with modern amenities, such as electricity and central heating. The accommodations include a bedroom, bath, and kitchen, while outdoors a pool, private garden, and pergola immerse guests in the simple beauty of the Italian countryside.

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Traveling Wagon

This modern-day covered wagon in the Australian hinterland is the ideal accommodation for anyone eager to try out a nomadic lifestyle. The homey hut on wheels, set on the grounds of a former church, features a modest sink and a bar fridge. When guests step out the door, they’re greeted by scenic views of a macadamia plantation.

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Leafy Lodging

Situated 30 feet above a dense thicket of ferns, this little New England treehouse reaches new heights in lofty living. A long, gradually inclined ramp leads to the cabin, where a queen-size futon and hot tub await, ready to offer a restorative experience filled with peace, quiet, and comfort.

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Bold in Blue

This tiny home for two makes a big statement with its appealing colors and clean lines. A stellar example of studio living for the minimalist-minded, the interior squeezes in an efficiency kitchen with fridge, cooktop, and microwave, while outside, a sunny yellow door, industrial-style awning, and raised porch are just perfect for sunbathing on balmy Austin afternoons.

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Solar Empowered

When the Texas sun beats down on this solar-powered adobe dome, guests can recharge their phones and laptops, and even enjoy a warm outdoor shower. The remote desert retreat, situated in the mining town of Terlingua, is a wonderful place to relax after an invigorating hike on the trails of nearby Big Bend National Park.

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Countryside Comforts

Nestled in the picturesque town of Rosendale in Upstate New York, this countryside cottage takes guests off the grid and into a setting of pastoral splendor. With a double bed and twin sleeping loft, the rustic retreat can sleep three, and indoor heating lets weary travelers hunker down for a warm and comfy night’s rest.

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Sweet Retreat

Hansel and Gretel would no doubt be tempted by this short and sweet little nest north of San Francisco, packed with enough amenities to entice any small-space enthusiast. The real-life gingerbread house’s deliciously earthy exterior and stunning gumdrop-like stained-glass windows conceal surprisingly spacious sleeping quarters—one in the upstairs loft and two downstairs.

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Reimagined Greenhouse

This tiny house isn’t much bigger than a backyard tool shed, but it’s infinitely more stylish. Cherrywood floors topped with an oak bed frame and nightstand lend warmth and comfort to the cabin even on cool Seattle nights. The backyard site, a haven for frolicking rabbits and chickens, offers both privacy and diversion.

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Mellow Personality

Honey-toned paint, maroon shutters, and a gabled roof with an industrial vibe make this 20-foot bungalow into a dream home for tiny-house lovers. Situated in Olympia, Washington, the sunny waterfront property boasts a well-stocked kitchen, sleeping loft, and outdoor fire pits for the ultimate glamping experience.

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Beach Beauty

Zillow Digs home in Clinton, WA

Life is a beach at this waterfront cabin situated in the scenic Pacific Northwest. The chic little shack’s deck puts guest just steps away from the beach, where they can stock up on shellfish or cruise the coast of Whidbey Island by boat.

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Desert Escape

Zillow Digs home in Castle Valley, UT

If you can’t take the desert heat, seek shelter in this inviting, asymmetrical sanctuary in Castle Valley, Utah. Situated against a dramatic mountain backdrop, the one-room studio offers an escape from the harsh elements and the rugged terrain. The property includes a nearby solar-powered well and is surrounded by shrubs and trees for added shade.

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