About Alison LaPaglia
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Sustainability is a concept that we are seeing regularly in new architecture. It is not a gimmick or ploy to get buyers to spend more money. It is a project to create healthy living environments for years to come. Arcgency is one of the companies that is striving for sustainability. This Danish company looks to reuse and recycle materials to create less wasteful architecture that will last longer. Their mission can be seen through the work on the WFH House.
The WFH House is made from three old shipping containers. Simply put, one container placed on top of another while the third is placed parallel to the bottom container. Large holes were cut out of the containers to create space for windows and doors, and construction of a new floor and ceiling were used to join them all together. The end product resulted in a uniquely shaped home with a cool interior that meets the needs of sustainable living. What does this mean? In short it means that this home has a interior climate with low energy consumption. It is built so that you may take it apart and relocate, or reuse the materials for something else….again! Plus, the roof is built to optimize rainwater harvesting which could be used to flush your toilets or wash your dishes. Remember, less waste!
Now, let’s look at the design. The design on the home is inspired by Nordic values. These are defined as flexibility, playfulness, a minimalistic look, and an access to nature among other things. They are easily seen throughout the home. The exterior of the home embodies the playfulness with its quirky shape. A square frame complimented by a dramatically angled roof. The square and rectangular shaped windows bring in plenty of natural light and are minimalistic in nature. The front and back entrances to the home are very large with glass doors that peel back to allow residents the access to nature that is prioritized in Nordic values. Entering in the home, you will find a high ceiling with large sun roofs flooding the open floor plan. The walls are kept white with white or black furniture, and accents of blonde wood. This keeps the miminalistic look going inside of the home. Color is brought into the interior through pieces of abstract art or large patterned carpets which all keep a very playful look. Upstairs you will come upon a balcony that looks over the floor plan below and has access to the bedrooms and home office.
The rooms upstairs have large exterior and interior windows which allows for natural night to move through the home. Overall this sustainable home is made even better by its fresh and modern design!
For more information on Arcgency or the WFH House find them in our shipping container homes directory
By Alison LaPaglia
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Homes can be made from a variety of materials. They can be small or large, and can even be placed on water! So why do we still build traditional housing? The simple answer is, there is still a demand for this market. Though, I wonder if some home owners are not aware of other housing options. Unique spaces that could provide healthy, sustainable living without a high cost. Luckily for you, this blog will help keep you informed. Today’s housing market is not just for the suburban “cookie cutter” houses, or modern city lofts. We can find housing in all forms. Here, we will highlight the shipping container home.
That’s right, shipping container! You may have seen this on HGTV , or maybe this is new. Either way, do not be scared off by this out of the box concept. Tim Steele Structures took three old shipping containers and turned them into a large home. Although this is a site specific build, meaning they utilized the land provided to situate the home, we can still look at the interior from a stylistic stand point. Initially, when hearing “shipping container home”, you may picture a dark, cold, industrial space; however, this manifests very differently. Two containers are placed parallel to each other to create the first floor of the home. During the build they are connected through the construction of a roof and floor. The third container is used to create the level below. The removal of large sections from the exterior walls allows for windows. This means that the shipping containers that were once dark are now filled with natural light. Inside the containers interior walls were removed and adjusted to create generous passage ways through the home. An open floor plan is used to provide a large space that can be manipulated by design. This floor plan gives the resident freedom to place their furniture and other items where they see fit.
The exterior walls, with the exception of the newly built windows, are left in the original container structure. This particular home was left with an orange color. If this were a problem to a different home owner, new paint would make it an easy fix! The best part of using a basic structure, such as a shipping container, for a home is that it allows for a variety of designs. There is no specific style that works best with this interior which means there is a lot you could do. You could create a contemporary space using glass table tops, ghost chairs, clean lines, modern furniture, and accenting with a geometric pattern or a bright color. For a more rustic space, paint the walls, distress the furniture, and accent with textured pieces (knit blankets, wooden decor ect.). An industrial space would compliment the original usage and be easily achieved with dramatic drapes, tufted furniture, and steal accents. Of course, it would also be fun to combine complimentary styles too!
The point is that a shipping container home is not only a environmentally friendly build (recycling materials), but it is also a great opportunity for you to get exactly what you want in your home! With the market being as expensive as it is, why should anyone settle for anything less?
For more of Tim Steele’s work, find them in our shipping container homes direcWFH shipping container house by Esbentory.
By Alison LaPaglia
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Are you on a DIY high and ready for your next challenge? Forget the crafts, furniture, or decorative figurines. Its time to challenge yourself with a tiny house project! Pin Up Houses is a company that provides you with step by step directions to build your very own tiny home! So, if you don’t know where to start or what to buy, you’re covered! There are several plans for you to choose from that can reflect your personal style. I have chosen 5 plans to fit five different uses to show you that tiny homes are not just for downsizing.
Plan 1: The Lookout.
For the little minions in your life. Video games, television, and technology seem to be taking over many childhoods these days. Many parents or relatives are finding it difficult to get their kids outside for playtime. The Lookout is a great solution to this problem, and a wonderful fit for a curious child. At $690.00 it’s designed to be a tree-house without the tree. The difficulty of the build is 2 out of 5 which is good news for any beginners out there! Six feet off the ground with a stair case. No need to worry about kids falling from a flimsy ladder. From top to bottom it stands 15 feet tall and has two windows for a nice view. Inside you will find a 48 sqft open area, perfect for a table and a few chairs, or maybe a cool rug and a some bean bags. The house will be supported by four beams and a roof that provides over hang, so there is a good amount of covered space for all the outdoor toys currently taking up your garage. Keep the wood exposed and embrace the tree-house style, or paint and provide a personalized hideaway for your little one! Once you are done it will definitely be a ‘brag-worthy’ piece for your kids!
Plan 2: Irish
Give him the man cave of his dreams and take back your living room! This tiny home is 55 sqft of potential freedom. Let’s be honest, you can’t make his xbox look stylish and one television is not going to play both your shows. So, here is the space he can have to hang all the mismatched decorations and catch his favorite games. The Irish is styled to mimic the design of an Irish pub, hence the name. He can build it himself regardless of his talents because it’s difficulty is only 1 out 5. At $770.00 it’s a good choice for a duel gift (worth two occasions), or you can simply remember that you have probably spent more money on the furniture in your home. The structure stands 11ft tall from top to bottom and has a window on each of the four walls to bring in natural light. Inside you could furnish with a small couch or two recliners. If the man who is getting a cave is not interested in electronics, you could use the space as a mini bar with seating, or a small library with all his favorite books!
Plan 3: Alexis
This tiny home is the perfect getaway spot! It is a great choice for a summer home, lake house, or weekend getaway in mountains. This build is more expensive at $9,500.00 , but it is also larger with 394 sqft and a 54 sqft loft. Its a more difficult build with a 3 out of 5 rating, but with your step by step instructions from Pin Up Houses it can still be done! The A-frame structure creates a unique space with an eye catching exterior. Inside you will find a large open space filled with natural light from the large front window. Towards the back of the home there is a small kitchen, bathroom, and a ladder that accesses the loft upstairs. The low ceiling on the sides due to the A-frame design are a great opportunity for extra storage. This means all your vacation accessories such as kayaks, dirt bikes, or outdoor gear can be safely stored away. The front and back porch both have coverage from the roof which can provide outdoor seating or more storage. The home stands tall at 15 feet and 9 inches with a front window to match. This gives a great view from the loft as well as the downstairs. Place this tiny home a top a mountain or on a waterfront property, and you will have a view that makes it hard to go back home!
Plan 4: Mae
Here’s one for the workaholics out there! A tiny home office to get you a little closer to your own front door. For $1,400.00 you can put this 10 ft tall tiny home in your backyard to avoid your office on the weekends and get home in time for dinner. If the house is noisy and unproductive, and the office is chilly and suffocating, why stay? Make a warm and productive work environment for yourself. This house has plenty of windows so you won’t have to feel like an office shut in. There is 102 sq ft of space for you to spread out with a large desk and organize all of your important paperwork. A one room house to keep you focused on your work. If you are not an office body and more on the creative side consider this as studio space. The difficulty level on this project is only a 1 out of 5 so anyone regardless of occupation can get this job done! Get creative and get work done in your own private backyard office!
Plan 5: Joi
Get that extra storage space without paying monthly for it. Storage units these days can costs upwards of $100.00 a month, but building a Joi in your backyard will be one payment of $280.00. This unique shaped shed will give you the storage you need without a high demand of backyard space. It is very small at only 20 sq ft. You can lock up your bike, garden tools, plastic bins filled with items that no longer fit in your house, or anything else in this tiny shed! Standing over six feet tall and a little more than 3 feet wide, you will have just enough space to put things away. Shelving on the exterior can provide more space or an opportunity to create a decorative element to the shed. It is an easy build at 1 out 5 rating for difficulty. Just paint this project to match your home and you’re done! Say goodbye to clutter and hello to your new tiny shed!
By Alison LaPaglia
For more information on Pin Up Houses plans, find them in our tiny home directory
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Barns are becoming increasingly popular. They are no longer just used for housing farm animals. It is not uncommon to see renovated barns used as event venues or gallery space. What is it about barns that has everyone raving? The rustic charm of a country barn is undeniable. To many it may feel a lot like home. Others may see it as a unique space that provides a warm atmosphere, perfect for nights spent at home or family gatherings. Either way, the country barn has been so popular that Sand Creek Post & Beam has manufactured a home kit with this style in mind.
The Ponderosa Country Barn Home has the style and warmth of a traditional barn structure without the smell or mess! It is a total of 2,376 sq.ft. with three bedrooms and two and half bathrooms. This home’s open floor plan allows you to host your family and friends without being divided up into separate rooms. The interior beams, columns, and exposed wood provide an authenticity to structure. If you would like to create a more stylish space you could accent your home with white wash or a dark stain.
Paint is always an option as well, but it will cover the grain of the wood which would result in a less rustic look. The front of the home is complimented by a 600 sq.ft. porch complete with wooden columns. This is a great opportunity for some rocking chairs or outdoor seating.
This home kit could be used as a primary residence or a vacation home. Upon purchase, Sand Creek Post & Beam will ship a per-manufactured home kit to the customer. For those of us who feel building your own home sounds like a tedious process just remember that this home will be unlike any other in sentimental value. Plus, the home kit will provide you with the materials you need and a nice base line to start off on the right foot! This project is not impossible and when it is finished it will be well worth the work!
Stats: 24×50, 2,376 sq. ft. total living space, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, living room, dinning room, open porch (600 sq.ft.)
By Alison LaPaglia
For more information on Sand Creek Post & Beam or the Ponderosa Country Home find them in our barn homes directory.
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Who needs a waterfront property when you can have a house on the water! Bluefield Houseboats has created the perfect abode for those of us who don’t always want to be anchored down. Updated technology and a chic design have resulted in a houseboat free of interior columns and tight spaces. This space is open, filled with natural light, and not to mention complimented by the views surrounding it!
Bluefield offers houseboats ranging in sizes from 500 sqft to 2,000 sqft, so you don’t have to go tiny if you don’t want to. You can even get a second story out of your houseboat! Apart from the style and luxury of living on the water these houseboats also are built specifically to accommodate the few who may change their mind. If the day comes that a houseboat no longer suits your situation or desires, you can place it on land! This is because the company builds to a classification that meets land or water.
Whether you choose land or water, your Bluefield home will be equipped with SMART technology. This controls the amount of energy you use, and you can monitor it yourself with your smartphone!
This home is perfect for individuals or couples with the “travel bug” or “sea legs”. Depending on the area you live in, this housing option may even be more affordable than a traditional home. When you are done exploring, or if you find yourself in need of a yard without a current, you have the option of placing this home on land. The Bluefield houseboat combines style, comfort, affordability, and practicality in one living space. That makes this not only a great home but also a great investment!
By Alison LaPaglia
For more information on Bluefield Houseboats find them in our houseboats directory.
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Imagine looking out your bedroom window at a different view every month, week, or if you want, every day, from a tiny house like this. Imagine being able to travel to, and live in any place with room to park. A large suburban home is a huge commitment, a luxury city loft is a huge cost, and a summer home is a seasonal enjoyment that comes at an extra expense. So save your money and don’t feel pressured to choose one. Pick them all by getting the perfect tiny home!
The Vintage by Escape Homes is a farmhouse — or farm-tiny-house — on wheels. It is 315 sq ft of all your at home comforts with the obvious bonus that other homes can not offer. It can take you anywhere. It is built to withstand extreme weather conditions.
So it will not be a problem if you don’t plan on moving south for the winter, or if you stay south for the summer. In the Vintage tiny house, you do not need to give up your full size fridge, queen bed, or storage space, as all of these luxuries are provided. No space is wasted, and with twelve windows there is plenty of natural light to make your home feel larger.
The style of this tiny house build allows you to customize your space. So for the individuals who wish to go green, you can choose solar power! All in all, you can get exactly what you want, and go exactly where you want for an introductory cost of $59,800.00. A much lower cost than a home. So to summarize, the tiny home will meet your needs, take you to new places, and not bust your bank account!
For more information on Escape Homes and the Vintage tiny home find them in our tiny home directory.
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Technology never ceases to amaze us, but you may still find yourself surprised when you learn of this chic tiny home. It is the perfect combination of technology, style, and architecture. It is so clean and efficient you will find it hard to believe it’s ready for you to move in right now! The Koda is a home that can move where you move. It is built to protect its inhabitants from the elements and bacteria outdoors. It has style that is versatile enough to meet a variety of uses, and the size of the windows alone are a reason to fall in love.
Tiny homes have huge potential and typically they come with some really unique features. So what makes the Koda stand out among the rest? The health benefits seem to be the most unique feature of this tiny home. No need to carry those over priced seasonal allergy medications. The Koda has been built with a sturdy door and vacuum-insulated concrete walls to keep noise, dirt, bacteria, and environmental factors outside. Inside you will be able to control the strength and tone of your lighting. Also the Koda will keep the humidity in your home at the correct levels. Like many tiny homes, the Koda also utilizes eco-friendly technology such as LED lights and solar panels. It is a good choice for those of us looking to leave in a clean, comfortable, with a small carbon footprint.
The design mission by the makers of Koda was to provide a home in which residents could move wherever they pleased. This means that the assembly and disassembly is made simple, and only estimated to take four to seven hours.
If you wanted to rotate your Koda for a better view the process would be even faster. My personal favorite element of this tiny home is the ability to make it whatever you want. The design build was anticipating several uses for the structure. Office space, vacation spot, primary residence, gallery, or studio could all be possible uses of this tiny eco-friendly space. This tiny home is a fresh, clean space that will provide the worry free environment you need to focus on the things you love.
By Alison LaPaglia
For more information on the Koda, find them in our tiny home directory.
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How to Start Your Own 1-Acre, Self-Sufficient Homestead!
Anyone can start their own homestead. If you choose to do so, your operation will be dependent upon acreage. For example, a small backyard would not be able to house large animals. For the purpose of this article we will be working off of a 1 acre plot of land. First, you will need to decide which animals you can manage and commit time to. Then decide what you would like to achieve on your land. It all can seem a bit overwhelming so let’s break it down.
Animals are an important part of having a self sufficient homestead. They are also a lot of work. You should only choose the ones you are able and willing to provide for. One acre could allow for one dairy cow, chickens, rabbits, pigs, or goats. The obvious benefit to a dairy cow or dairy goats would be milk, and the production of cheese and butter. These animals require a little more work then the rest. You would need to be willing to milk your dairy animals and commit a half of your acre for them to graze. Also they would need a small barn to stay in during winter months. A dairy cow will result in more milk than dairy goats, but you will also spend more money on feed. Make sure to keep the manure for fertilizing your garden!
Once you have chosen which dairy option you will be working with you can move on to the other animals. Pigs would allow you to provide meat for your family as well as as extra income with the sale of piglets. They should be kept in a movable house with a permanent pen inside. This provides the necessary shelter they need for part of the year, and gives you the opportunity to move them around your land. They should not be kept inside the grazing area for your dairy animals, so pick an eighth of an acre and call that your pig pen area! In between crop cycles, you should allow your pigs to run on your harvested land to help cultivate. Chickens are a more manageable animal as they will be kept inside their chicken coop. You could create a permanent coop in a moveable fenced area so that they can fertilize the land. This structure is called a chicken tractor, and is best placed near your garden. You can collect eggs for your family and sell the extras!
When it comes to crops, its important to remember that you need provide for your family and your animals. This means that planting fodder crops is just as important as planting fruits and vegetables. It increases your self sufficiency and decreases your feed expenses. A crop rotation is the best option for a limited amount of land. The more land that can be used for gardening, the more you will be able to harvest. Having a small home comes at a low cost and allows you to utilize more of your land for your own benefit!
For more information on maintaining a 1 acre self-sufficient farm, Weed ‘Em & Reap, and Mother Earth News, which inspired this post, find them in our bloggers’ directory.
By Alison LaPaglia
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Tiny houses, because living large is hard. It is expensive and a lot to maintain. Is your search for the right home coming up empty because the cost of living is too high? Maybe your price point is not the issue. Thinking small may be your answer.
“The 50,000.00 San Francisco Home” by Nathan Lewis, discusses a budget model that would allow high cost areas to house more people at an affordable rate. A renters rate of a $50,000.00 home would only be $400.00 to $500.00 a month. The catch? We need to give up on “keeping up with the Jones'” and embrace a smaller lifestyle. Spaces range from 120- 500sq ft depending on location. After all, the supply is determined by the demand. The more demand you have in your local real estate market, the more the supply will cost you in the end. If you go small you can get the perfect location for an affordable cost.
For some of us, small spaces may not be a desirable concept but there big benefits to living small. For example, costs go down when you downsize. In Lewis’s article he references a family who once occupied a 1,500 sq ft home and are now debt free with almost no living expenses in their 165 sq ft space.
Another benefit to living in a smaller space is free time. If you were to spend less time cleaning you would have more time for the things you enjoy. If you are a big spender a smaller space might be even more beneficial to your savings account considering you will not have excess space for excess items. Individuals with an environmental interest should appreciate the small living option as it leaves a much smaller environmental footprint.
Last but not least, a smaller tiny home living space could provide the quality time many families yearn for, or just the right amount of bonding a couple needs. All in all, there are many reasons for us to step out of the “living large” culture and into something a bit more cozy and affordable! Think small to win big!
By Alison LaPaglia
For more information about Nathan Lewis and Strong Town’s tiny homes, find them in our tiny home directory.
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As the leaves change their color and the wind whips through our hair we are reminded that a new season has arrived. Fall is special as it is nature’s final farewell before beginning its renewal. There is a beauty outside that can easily be brought indoors without the mess. Warm colors of fall create an inviting atmosphere perfect for the upcoming holiday season. Red, yellow, and orange based colors are all on this seasons color palette.
Burgundy is a great color for your fall palette. This is a red based color that has a rich, warm feel to perfectly fit the season. Other colors to use, similar in shade, would be maroon or rust.
They can all be paired with warm neutral tones. If you would like a more festive look than pair these colors with gold to create more shine. Red based colors not fitting your space? Try a color with a yellow base. A light honey color is a great option. If you prefer something with more warmth try mustard instead. You can pair these colors with shades of gray or brown in your home. Of course we cannot forget about the seasons overwhelming popular color of orange.
This color is not just for your pumpkins! Embrace the seasons color by bringing in burnt orange for a dramatic accent or caramel if you would like a warm touch.
There are a variety of colors you can choose from and even more ways to present them in your home. Practical ways to enjoy these seasonal colors would be with updated throw pillows or blankets. Although they may be seasonal in your purchase, they can be used year round for guests. If you are not worried about practicality you can buy seasonal decorations that draw upon these colors. If you do not have the closet space to dedicate to these seasonal items then try flowers! They are a great way to bring the season indoors.
Pictured color combinations: Burgundy, Maroon, Rust; Caramel, Burnt Orange; Honey, Mustard)
By Alison LaPaglia
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