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By Diane Small
Tiny homes have become an (ironically) huge trend in recent years, as people move away from the stress-causing, energy-consuming clutter of everyday life toward a simpler existence. Moving into a tiny home forces you to re-evaluate what materialistic goods matter to you, and can be a positive way to reduce your spending and adhere to a budget.
Here, we’ve found 5 tiny home ideas that are sure to inspire those who care about their impact on the planet, since they’re constructed from upcycled materials.
1. Prefab Log Cabins
The only thing better than living in a tiny home is living in a tiny log cabin – often made from reclaimed boards, including those from old barns and even old railway ties. According to RiverwoodCabins.com, you can get prefabricated log cabins in sizes as small as 300 square feet, and you can choose an eco-friendly stain for your walls as well as for the roof, flooring, and kitchen counters.
A wood-based, tiny home is perfect for those who feel most at peace while surrounded by acres of wild forest and sparkling, fish-filled lakes. The rustic, traditional look adds the charm of days gone by with the modern fixings that make life enjoyable.
Images: Riverwood Cabins
2. Refurbished Grain Silos
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to live in a lighthouse, you can get the same effect with a refurbished grain silo. In Phoenix, Arizona, architect Christoph Kaiser designed an open-concept tiny home in an old grain silo for his wife and himself. The home boasts a minuscule 340 square feet of living space, with the main floor featuring the kitchen, living room, and bathroom, and a loft-style bedroom up the spiral staircase.
One of the best features of the silo is the floor to ceiling windows, letting in lots of natural light. The yard is landscaped to create a private oasis in case the interior becomes a little claustrophobic. Now that it’s been done once, it’s become an inspiration for many tiny home owners to emulate.
Images: by Mark Lipczynski in Dwell
3. Shipping Containers
They may not look like much from the docks, but shipping containers can provide the foundation for some truly incredible homes! You can now create two-story dwellings or arrange multiple shipping containers to create a bigger abode.
It’s important to note that there’s a lot to consider when building a shipping container home. How will you install windows, insulation, and electricity in a safe way? The various complexities are one of the many reasons that people are moving toward pre-fab options rather than taking a DIY approach.
Photographs by Jens Markus Lindhe.
4. School Buses
Have you ever heard of the term “skoolie?” Not many people have, but it refers to those who transform a school bus into a tiny home. The benefits of such a dwelling include the potential for mobility, lots of windows, the ability to sell or repurpose seats, and affordability. Once you remove the interior fixtures from a school bus, there’s a surprising amount of room available.
You can purchase used school buses from local dealerships, Craigslist or specialty vendors. If in doubt, ask local schools where they purchase their school buses or to notify you if they have any for sale – you’ll be surprised at the bargains you can find, and how much space is in these buses after the seats are removed!
Image: Skoolie built by Jeremy and Mira Thompson
5. Glass Bottles
Many of us recycle glass bottles – but how about upcycling them, into a home? Glass makes for a colourful and interesting alternative (or addition to) bricks, as demonstrated perfectly by the ‘Glass Bottle House’ in Canada’s Prince Edward Island. Created in the 1950s by David H. Brown, the house is comprised of half a million bottles – quite a feat!
Sure, this may not be practical for most people to construct, but this house serves as an inspiration to all who wish to incorporate upcycling into their abodes.
Image source: TripAdvisor
Tiny home living isn’t for everyone, but for those who wish to downsize and live a simpler life, it’s easier than ever to do so. Cut back on your material goods and free up your budget to be able to experience more of the world outside your tiny front door.