Small and Perfectly Formed

Tiny houses.  Everywhere you look there seems to be pictures of tiny houses, and TV programs about them.  This is a good thing, and it is needed to swing the pendulum away from the sprawling McMansions in the suburbs. 

Despite what developers tell you in their restrictive covenants, bigger isn’t always better.

A tiny house is generally accepted to be about 50 square meters.  Personally I think this is too small to live in comfortably.  It’s okay if you live alone, and only invite friends around one at a time, but this could get a little annoying.  Just a little bigger, makes a huge difference.

Small, efficient homes are the way to go in my opinion.  I’ve noticed a large increase in people asking me to design them smaller homes, or being accepting of the fact that with the cost of building being so high in Christchurch, a smaller higher quality home is a better option than a larger lower quality home.

Size wise, these homes have been sitting between 100-150 square meters.  Not tiny, but still significantly smaller than the 250 square meters that some subdivisions demand as a minimum.  Within this size, we’re designing two bedrooms and a flexible space to double as a bedroom or office or games room.  We’re often not attaching a double garage, but instead focus on practical storage within the home.

Some of the favourite houses I’m designed over the years have been described as “urban baches”.  This seems to be a term that New Zealanders can associate with.  Baches are smaller houses traditionally, and more focused on what you need rather than what you want.  They are not striving for prestige, and are much more relaxed.  In the high pressure world we live in, this is a good thing.  Being more relaxed is a good thing.  Being higher quality is a good thing.  Being smaller is a good thing.