We are excited to announce our first design/build project for 2014: Harmony House. A 8x20 foot tiny home on a trailer. Our company began with a conversation between Dawn, Jamie, and Lloyd about building her a tiny home on wheels, so she could move it wherever she liked.
We started the design process with another conversation about what mattered to her about the space around her and how she wanted to live within that space. Light was important to her and she wanted to enjoy the view from her windows while standing in her kitchen and sitting in her living area. She wanted to experience the changing light throughout the day and wanted and adaptable space for her various activities and interests.
The Design Process
After several conversations we began the design process with preliminary drawings and later full SketchUp drawing from our architect.
Early designs incorporated a wall of windows that could face the south.
The window placement changed as we considered design needs for the interior and costs.
Most tiny homes place the kitchen against the wall or in corner at the rear by the washroom. Neither of these where appealing because they limited the solar gain or restricted the views. By moving the entry door to the side and utilizing french doors we gained both a view and open space when the doors are opened.
The island surface becomes a workspace when covered and offers full time views of the southern exposure. The workspace has easy access to the refrigerator.
The wood stove in the corner of the living area heats the entire home and makes a cozy room for entertaining.
Because this will be her primary residence, storage is important. The Japanese have for generations mastered the art of utilizing small spaces for multiple purpose by using built in storage. One of their secrets, that we do not use in the West, is under floor storage. We decided to maximize the available storage space by raising the floor of the main living area and creating vast amount of storage underneath with lift up panels. The open cathedral ceiling makes the room feel larger.
Additional closet space and storage is available, beside the refrigerator, in the wall area that separates the kitchen from the bath area.
By placing the loft in the center of the design over the kitchen area, there is a feeling of enclosure upon entering from the French doors and then expanse as one moves into the living area. The kitchen island, under the loft, become a place of connection and gathering.
The loft allows ample room for a double or queen size bed with additional storage along the back wall. The windows over the doors brighten the loft area.
We moved the bath area to the front and increased its size by welding additional support to the trailer. Raising the floor, gray water is conveniently stored below.
Below is the floor plan showing the large wet bath with wood slat floor and will include a compost toilet to eliminate black water storage.
Next post: The trailer arrives and is modified.