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These incredible self-deploying buildings pop up in 8 minutes flat

Modular July 12, 2017

Incredible self-deploying buildings pop up in 8 minutes flat

We live in times where everything is planned and deadlines are more crucial than ever. This time-conscious society is no different when it comes to building homes and offices. People want things done right away and that’s the market for these self-deploying buildings that pop-up in 8 minutes flat. It sounds unbelievable but this is the new building innovation these days. Many decades ago, it would take, sometimes, years, for a home or small office to be built from the ground up, now you can see the results in minutes. So who does this serve? Families that want to choose a home and move in right away or for those who move around for new work or a new career, and don’t want to continue to spend their money on renting flats and houses.

There are a few choices of this self-deploying building model, so you’re not just stuck with limited ideas. There is the Tree House which sits up off of the ground a few feet. The Moot Hall is well-suited for those who love a very modern look and style of home. Its design will remind you of futuristic architecture. Then there is the Mobile Home Unfolding House which will surely be popular for those who are downsizing so that they can have freedom to travel or simply move whenever they feel the urge. This is creative innovation at its best and sure to be popular in a very short span of time.

The “Twist And Shout” Model Unfolding House

The “Mobile Home” Model Unfolding House

The “Moot Hall” Unfolding House

The “Tree House” Unfolding House

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What Does it Cost to Live On a Houseboat Year-Round

Houseboats July 7, 2017

The idea of living on a houseboat year-round sounds like being on a permanent vacation, but if you’ve never done it, there will be things that will come up that can be quite costly. But is it necessarily expensive to live year-round on a houseboat. Let’s explore what it takes to live this dream and approximately how much it costs.

You must take into consideration whether or not you want to remain docked in one place or if you are the type that will want to move regularly and take your home with you. This decision will determine some of your costs; docking fees, being one of them. Your upfront costs are determined by your decision to pay full price for your houseboat or apply for a monthly mortgage. There are ups and downs to both choices; with the first you need a lot of cash in the beginning of building your dream,  and for the latter, you will need to make sure that you can make enough money each month to cover mortgage and other expenses.

Research shows that you can buy a pre-owned Catalina, 40 ft. houseboat for about $150,000 depending upon the condition of the houseboat. A mortgage depending upon credit ratings, would be anywhere from $800-$1000 a month. Most people who make this decision are freelancers, consultants, sales people, artists, those who cannot guarantee exactly what their monthly income could be, so you must be comfortable with the amount of your monthly income. Also, other expenses, repairs, food, heat, all must be taken into consideration.

Marina fees can cost up to $1000 and more, plus the “live on board” fees, which can cost up to $250 or more each month. Overall, you are looking at a cost of $2500-$3000 per month to live year-round on a houseboat. For some who come from big cities where it costs easily $3000-$4000 a month with rent, utilities, and other expenses to live, this may be a bargain, so boat life is worth it for those who are used to those prices. For those already living in rural or in country areas, this may be an expensive choice. But it doesn’t mean that the choice cannot be made. For many, the serene atmosphere and beautiful scenery, are worth the extra costs.

Photo: damngeeky via Pinterest. Source: What it Costs to Live on a Houseboat Year-Round. And a few more for ideas:

For another gallery of houseboat designs and more info, click here.

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Really Cool Beds for Van Dwellers

RVs July 6, 2017

You may be wondering where and how, those who live out of their vans sleep comfortably. You may also be someone thinking about buying a van to convert into a living space and wondering what options you have for bedroom furniture. It takes no genius to realize that it would require a genius to put a full bedroom in a van, so what are the options for van dwellers once nighttime rolls around and it’s time for sleep? Well, there is always the floor, but no one wants to do that long term.

We wanted to inspire you and spark your imagination by giving you some really cool options for how to sleep comfortably as a van dweller. Some of these options are beds you simply place inside your van space and others will have multiple uses. You can also get crafty and build the kind of bed that would fit perfectly in your van space, but not everyone has that kind of time, talent, or interest.

Below we share some pics that should motivate you to think outside the box when it comes to beds and bedding, while living in a van.

The Simple Solution

You can go the simple route if you’re not hard to please and you’re also an easy sleeper, by purchasing a few crates and a mattress and throwing the mattress on top of the crates. It’s simple, quick, and most importantly economical.

The Futon

The futon is another great and simple solution. Many come with their own wooden or metal frame that can be propped against the wall during the day with a few reinforcements to keep it from flying around when you’re driving.

Go Totally DIY

If you have any building skills at all or are a quick learner. you can build your own bed from your own specific measurements. Many van dwellers do this and they don’t mind having their bed be the center of attention when they have visitors.

The Multi-Purpose Bed 

Stores like Ikea and other home stores sell economical crates that can be used as coffee tables, dining tables, and side tables. The great thing about using crates is that they can also be used for storage. You can place the crates where you want in any design you want, L-shaped for example, put your mattress or futon mattress on at night or use as a sitting space during the day with pillows and accessories, so it can act as a sofa as well as a bed.

Try an Air Mattress

Air mattresses are not the lumpy cheap plastic things they used to be. Although, you can still find that kind if that’s all your budget can allow, but there are excellently made air mattresses out there on the market today that sleep just as well as any decent regular mattress.

The Loft Bed

Some van dwellers are savvy enough to build a loft in their van and a ladder with just a few steps and throw a good mattress up there in that space. It’s out of the way and the rest of the van can be used for living and dining space.

Below are some examples of the bed solutions we talked about and more, in our gallery.

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5 Fabulous Tiny Homes Built for Under $20K

Tiny House July 6, 2017

One of the major reasons why so many people are downsizing and trying out a lifestyle with a smaller carbon footprint on our planet is because of the lower cost of the tiny home. You can basically have all that you need in a tiny home and many things you actually desire as well, with a much lower cost than the average home. Of course, the idea of a tiny house can be overwhelming, not knowing where to begin or how much you will need financially to finish your dream, but maybe these tiny house dwellers and builders can inspire you with their tiny homes that were all made for under 20K! Amazing!

1. The Hawaiian Tiny Dream House for $11K

Kristie Wolfe of Boise, Idaho followed her dream of having a home in Hawaii and built her fabulous tiny house for $11K, way under $20K. What inspired this Hawaiian dream vacation house? Wolfe already lived in a tiny home in Idaho and saw how much money she saved by living in a tiny house and decided that this revolution has made it possible to have a dream off-the-grid, tiny home in one of her favorite vacation spots. Wolfe has build two homes for far less than the price of one average house.

2. A Romantic Forest Home Built for as Little as $4K

That’s correct, there’s no zeros missing here. This gorgeous little house is built on wheels and was built by a gentleman and his fiancee in 6 week’s time for $4K. It appears as a small log cabin with the view of the century. You can enjoy the sights and sounds of the forest right from a small deck that was built facing the forest. This tiny house is a treasure for this couple and just the savings alone is enough to warrant a celebration.

3. A Tiny House Built in the Trees  for Only $8200

Growing up, I don’t think there were too many kids that didn’t want a fabulous tree house and many of us had them and we thought they were great, but this tiny house built in the trees is one of a kind. Graduate student Geoff de Ruiter  built this amazing tree house with salvaged materials and by now we know that salvaged materials can save a home builder of any kind, lots of cash. And that is exactly what it did for Ruiter, but it also gave him the tree house anyone would have loved to have as a kid, except this tree house is a tiny house for real living.

4. A Texas Couple Builds Their Tiny Home for $7000

Physical Therapists for Veterans by trade, Ethan and Kelsey built their tiny home for $7000. They utilized Craigslist and found an old trailer. For many DIYers building tiny homes, Craigslist seems to be a bounty of goodies. The two work full-time, so though it took them 6 months from start to finish, the actual work only took 20 days out of that 6 month period of time. Remarkable. The home is 100 sq. feet of living space.

5. Tiny House Builders in New Zealand build their home from 80% Recycled Materials

New Zealand is a gorgeous place to live but it is becoming known for earthquakes and these quakes have destroyed a lot of homes, so many people are thinking that they would be better off spending less money on a home and also making it mobile. That’s what American ex-pats Patrick and Cori decided to do. With their labor and salvaged materials, Patrick and Cori built their tiny home for $10,000 American dollars.

We hope this inspires you to build your own tiny house if that has been a dream of yours. As you can see, there are many ways to follow your tiny house dream without worrying about about financing a huge loan for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Please check out our gallery and be inspired!

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Resources for Tiny House Dwellers

Tiny House July 6, 2017

Once you have decided to downgrade from a regular sized home to a tiny house, there is a lot that is different about the way you live. Often, families don’t realize just how different life can be in a tiny home. The idea of it starts off as a novelty, and quickly turns into reality. A lot of the revelations are great. Bills should be lower because there is less house to heat and cool in the summer, and the electric bill should also be less than usual, considering that there is less space to light.

Though the venture from the decision to move into a tiny house and downsize your life is exciting, one still needs help every now and again, or just ideas on how to make all this downsizing work. There are some wonderful resources out there that are able to support and assist with the what is sometimes “the shock” of moving from 3000 sq ft. to 250 sq. feet. Here we list some resources that can help you along the way with your move and once you actually begin to live in your tiny house.

Tumbleweed Houses

Tumbleweed Houses was started by Jay Shafer, author of The Small House Book. This company provides tiny house dreamers with the plans for tiny homes. If you don’t know where to begin, check out Jay Shafer’s website or get his book, The Small House Book to help you decide what you want your tiny home to look like.

Tiny r(E)volution

This website is truly valuable because it is not only for those thinking of moving into a tiny house but it also helps those who are already in their tiny homes, with personal stories of how others dealt with the transition. It’s a great place to search for help with just about any issue or physical problem with your tiny home. Tiny r(E)volution is a public project and is here to help anyone or you can contribute your own stories.

Pin-Up Houses

Pin-Up Houses provides floor plans and designs to give tiny house dreamers a place to begin. This site differs from other sites that are similar because it is geared towards people who have already made up their minds to move into a tiny house and are past the point of going back and forth with their decision. Pin-Up Houses is available to  help you from start to finish.

Coming Unmoored

This site is quite eclectic. It is a blog of a woman in her thirties in the process of changing her entire life and the tiny house is one aspect of this change. It is personal, funny, poignant and help for those who may feel that they lack the courage and/or resources to build or move to a tiny house. The author downsized from a large home in Arizona to a small floating home in Portland.

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For the Love of Chairs: 7 Chairs that Will Blow Your Mind

Interior Design July 6, 2017

The chair has always been a centerpiece of a classically styled living room, and even modernists have worshiped the chair as a must-have piece of furniture and conversation piece. A great chair has a few things going for it; it’s sturdy, durable, well-constructed mostly by hand, and most importantly, beautiful. Here are seven chairs that represent all those qualities and more, for they also will stand the test of time when it comes to style.

1. The Classic Chaise Lounge

The chaise lounge has become a staple in traditional and luxurious homes. It has become so popular that you may even find a cheaper, less durable version in a dorm room. However, the chaise lounge we love so dearly is made from beautiful and plush fabrics and are really used to lay your troubles down at the end of a busy socialite’s day. We introduce you to the perfect red chaise lounge.

2. The True Arm Chair

We have been trained in the past few decades to call just about any chair that sits in the living room, an arm chair. But the original arm chair was always made of the finest wood, sometimes maple wood, and upholstered meticulously, as is this pink arm chair we share with you today. It will never go our of style and you can pass it down to your grandchildren. The pink gives it a modern swing.

3.  The Eames Chair

No list would be complete without showcasing the Eames chair. Eames chairs were first popular in the 1950’s and were staples in the hills of Hollywood if you visited a star’s home. Anyone who considered themselves to be someone special had an Eames chair, and there may not be Eames all over Hollywood homes anymore but it is still a prize to own this remarkable piece of furniture for nostalgia’s sake.

4, The Black Leather Chair

Any chair done in black leather is hard to resist. It’s like women resisting James Dean in his heyday. Black leather is just about the coolest chair you can have in your home. It’s super stylish, and also never goes out of style. It may not be known for comfort, as leather tends to be hot in the summer and cold in the winter, but all chairs are meant for sitting, some are just meant for envy.

5. The Minimalist Chair

For all you minimalist and modernists out there, this sleek and slim chair is a must for any dining room. This chair will be a great complement to a home that is decorated in minimalist furniture. An NYC or London apartment would be the outstanding background for this beautifully constructed chair.

6. The Scandinavian Chair

Scandinavian design is well recognized throughout the world, especially when it comes to their design aesthetic. This aubergine/eggplant colored chair reminds of us a luxury beanbag chair for those who were around in the 70s. However, the construction and detail within the design are just perfect. A beanbag chair may last you a semester, while this chair will last a lifetime; perfect for that luxurious family room.

7. The Swivel Office Chair

This is no office chair you will get as an associate unless you may be an associate at Apple or IBM. The CEO will definitely be the one swiveling around from you to the window, in this amazing leather swivel chair. Made with the colors of gorgeous and rich deep burgundy and tan, this chair speaks of importance and is made for two people; one who rules and one who is happy thinking that he rules.

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5 Bathroom Solutions for Yurts

Unusual Dwellings July 5, 2017

Now that living in yurts is becoming so popular, people considering yurt living, are beginning to think about more modern ways to to enjoy this lifestyle. If you’ve never heard of a yurt, it is a sophisticated, well constructed round tent-like structure that can be as large as you’d like it, but the whole point of yurt living is to downsize one’s life and live as much off-the-grid-as possible.

One thing on many peoples’ minds is the bathroom construction in a yurt. Many yurt dwellers use the bathroom as an outhouse and must leave the yurt every time nature calls. Not everyone can be happy living with an outhouse, though it is one reasonable solution when living in a yurt, though it’s not for everyone. For those who just cannot see themselves living as people did in the old days, we provide you with some inspiration as to how you can construct a bathroom inside your yurt.

1. The Simple Shower/Toilet

You can go simple by having a large closet sized space that holds a shower, sink, and toilet. It does not need to be elaborate. The toilet can be a compost toilet which is your most sensible option. The bathroom closet can be tucked away in a corner of the yurt, out of the way from the living space.

2. A Free Standing Bathtub

A nostalgic and beautiful look for a yurt bathroom could be a vintage bathtub hooked to a water source with a simple shower curtain or beautiful piece of fabric to match the yurt’s style, surrounding it for privacy. You can also have a free standing basin in this bathroom and pour water in it only when you need it.

3. Put Up a Wall

If you want a full bathroom in your yurt, meaning a tub with a shower and toilet, and sink. in the same area, a wall divider is a great idea to separate this area as if it were a different room from the rest of the open floor plan that yurts normally have.

4. Shower with Free Standing Sink

Another great and simple option is to install a shower and then transform a dresser or other similar piece of furniture into a free standing sink and counter top area. The setup provides a place to shave, do your hair and makeup and has the feel of a real apartment bathroom.

5. An Outside Bathroom with Hallway to the Home

If it comes down to it being the easiest way to get a bathroom designed for your yurt, is to have an outside space, you can always connect a hallway through the outdoors that leads to the bathroom. It could be as simple as a tent or as elaborate as you want a hallway to be. The most important thing is that you are comfortable and feel good about the life you are living in your unusual dwelling

Source: Google Images

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15 Beautiful Homes Made from Shipping Containers

Shipping Container Buildings July 3, 2017

15 Beautiful Homes Made from Shipping Containers

Shipping containers used to be simply containers that shipped large items mostly. Though they were used for shipping all sorts of items that was their specialty and main purpose. Now, people, designers, and home builders use these containers to build homes of all sizes. Who would have thought a couple decades ago that some of the most beautiful homes that exist would be made from these industrial items? Home builders are becoming more creative and innovative when it comes to building homes that are fabulous, yet affordable. Home buyers are looking for more green, eco-conscious, and luxurious homes that will not break the bank, but instead are affordable and highly personalized. Besides the tiny house which many are made from shipping containers as well, a home made with shipping container can also be mini mansions. You can create as much space as you need by building with these materials.

The shipping container house started off as rough metal homes utilizing one or two containers, now builders are linking many containers together in many different directions and angles to personalize the homes for their buyers. DIYers are also taking advantage of this trend by building their own homes. All they need is a space where they can build and legally reside in order to make this dream come true. There is no limit to the creative and beautiful homes that can be built this way.

In a way, building with shipping containers is a bit more creative than the average tiny house, because you can place your shipping containers so that they can connect in any shape you desire. Just use your imagination and you can come up with a look and style of of some of the most luxurious homes out there, also made from these containers. We hope to inspire you to use your imagination if you have been thinking of living in a home built from salvaged containers.

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6 Shabby Chic Items You Must Have in Your Cottage

Uncategorized July 1, 2017

Whether decorating a cottage style home in the suburbs or a cottage in the woods, shabby chic may be just the thing you need to bring your household atmosphere alive. Shabby Chic items are usually vintage or vintage items that have been re-purposed, in colors of white, off-white, pinks, light blue, to name a few. Lace and vintage fabrics play a big role in the Shabby Chic style. From old-fashioned doilies to modern day table cloths and fresh flowers.

The items that are labeled Shabby Chic are in many home stores and there are endless items from which to choose for your cottage home. We offer you 7 Shabby Chic items that are must-haves if you want the Shabby Chic look in your home.

1. An Old Door

Old barn doors are the best Shabby Chic item because they can used for just about any item in the house. Old doors can be table tops for dining room areas, coffee tables, wall decorations dressed with flowers, or simply hung in between rooms like the kitchen and dining areas. The limit is only a lack of imagination.

2. Mirrors

Old vintage mirrors are great. Often they come from garage sales chipped with old paint. They often look good just the way they are. They have so much character. But you can also paint mirrors and use faux designs around the frames for a bit of your own personality and style.

3. Flowers

Flowers are a huge part of the Shabby Chic look. Fresh white and pink flowers are the best, but some really good quality plastic or silk flowers will also do the trick. Place them in the kitchen, dining room, on tables and book shelves.

4. Lace and White Fabrics

Lace and white fabrics are also very Shabby Chic. You can get a great price on fabric remnants that are wonderful to use as throws across the sofas and chairs or to redo furniture that may need a bit of sprucing up. Lace can be placed on dressers, the dining room table, side tables and even in the bedroom to give off a softer feminine feel and look.

5. Old Bottles

Glass bottles are also huge in the Shabby Chic world particularly naturally colored ones like cobalt blue. Depending on their size, they can be used for fresh juices, water, or vases, and even storage for small items like safety pins and nails.

6. Pillows

In a Shabby Chic world, pillows are everywhere. White, ivory, pastel, florals, all are wonderful Shabby Chic choices. Use them as throw pillows for the sofas and sitting chairs, in the family room as extra cushions or on a table top to transform it into an ottoman. The bedroom is obviously an amazing place to throw a few extra pillows on your bed for style and comfort.

By Kimm Smith

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How to Stay Safe Being a Van Dweller

Unusual Dwellings June 29, 2017

There are so many people today choosing to live in their vans as a permanent life choice or semi-permanent. There is that feeling of freedom and adventure that goes along with such a choice but sometimes newbies forget to think about the practical side of the situation , especially if you are out there alone, day and night. How do you keep yourself safe and protected on the road and while you sleep at night? Also what about your belongings as you sight-see or take a one-day or two-day job and you’re away from your van for eight hours or more?

Here are a few suggestions on how to care for yourself and your property when living on the road:

Use Common Sense

What does this mean exactly? Don’t tell every stranger your story or where you may be parked overnight. It just isn’t safe. You don’t know what their intentions are in that moment. Also, don’t leave valuable items or any items really, in your windows where passersby can see them. Be discreet, particularly when parking in a neighborhood.

Never Park in the Same Spot Two Days in a Row

If you do this, you will be putting yourself in danger of someone watching and calling the police or parking authority about an abandoned vehicle. This could get you in a lot of trouble, financially as well. You may end up spending money that you need for necessities just to get your van out of lock up.

Be Discreet at Night

Overnight is a sensitive time when you may start to feel a little restricted. It isn’t safe to make a lot of noise with the television or music late at night, once again, particularly in a neighborhood environment. You take the chance of someone calling the police because of noise disturbance or they may even tell the police that you are living out of your van, which believe it or not, in many areas, is illegal. It is actually illegal to be “homeless”.  So at night, keep it quiet and rotate nighttime parking spaces.

Make Sure Your Locks are Secure

Especially at night, make sure that your van has working locks and that you use them. They may not keep a thief out always, but it is a great deterrent. Keep your windows covered so strangers can’t just see inside of your vehicle day or night. Try not to park in bad neighborhoods. If you are considering a neighborhood in which to park your van at night, casually look around and ask people you see about the neighborhood. You can say that you had plans on buying a home there and wanted to know what the area was like. Keep your questions simple.

Following the above suggestions will keep you from hearing that awful knock at your van door late at night that will most likely be some sort of neighborhood watch or even the police. They will, and can, find many citations to give you for parking and for van dwelling, so don’t take any chances, rotate your parking spaces if you’re going to be in an area for a while and use your common sense and your sixth sense to keep yourself safe. If you see the “nosey” neighbor poking around or asking you questions when you exit your van for the day, it would be best to choose another spot.


Source: The Vanual: Sleeping and Safety Photo: The Vanual

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