Idea Box


Located in Salem, Oregon,  ideabox’s motto is  to make  “affordable cool and fun houses.” For 20 years ideabox has been designing and building  houses. Their goal is to use  the prefab housing system to create cost-effective, imaginative, energy-efficient, modern housing with space-efficient layouts and high-quality materials.

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They’ve created a Tiny Home starting at 200 SF, called the “Minibox”  which provides a variety of different configurations and design options that the buyer can choose.  Prices start around $43,000

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What I was really attracted to was their project called “Cottages at Camelot.”  This consists of five ideabox homes located adjacent to an existing mobile home community in Eugene, Oregon.  Check out the sketch, which looks promising!  Could this me a 21st Century version of the mobile home park?


The model used is called “Northwest” and starts at 400 SF.  Per their website description, “The first thing we did with this design was look for wasted space. Hallways were the first to go. A galley kitchen, opposite a compact full bath, provides a pass-through from the living to the sleeping space. The separated living and sleeping spaces give a nice public/private division.”  The typical price is about $78,000.  A little pricey for the typical Tiny Home-  but for those looking to buy a prefab model, this may be a great option.

For more info on ideabox and other models, Click Here.

Floor plan

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Portland Simple Tiny


Portland has recently become a hot bed for creative tiny home living and accessory dwelling units (ADU) , since they removed many fees required to build ADU’s in 2010, resulting in a recent spike in construction of the urban density icons.

The Sustainable Business Oregon (SBO) blog recently featured this stunning 160′ Tiny Home, by Mike Mercer and Laura Vincent.

The Tiny Home owners offered some interesting feedback with regard to life in their new home:

Image“For us, the most challenging part was moving in; figuring out what to bring in and what to sell. Honestly, the upsides have been significantly greater than any of the challenges. Well, OK, making the bed in the loft is a little tough on my knees,” says Mercer.


When asked for their advice, they commented, “Probably the greatest advice is to not do it on a whim. We didn’t make this choice out of necessity, it was a result of many factors: the strength of Laura’s and my relationship, our comfort with having less of our stuff around us and a desire for an adventure.”

To read more about the Mercer’s and Vincents, and the Sustainable Business Oregon site, click here.


Jesper Watchmeister and his film crew started two years ago, to create a documentary about the international trend towards smaller, well-designed houses. It highlights the movement toward small living. “explores how architects, artists and ordinary problem-solvers are pushing the limits to find answers to their dreams of portability, flexibility – and of creating independence from the grid

The description from their website:

“Modern nomads, homeless people, people in stress, people in need of privacy or seclusion. We hear about the personal reasons behind the dwellings, and to see how they actually work. On the sidewalk, on rooftops, in industrial landscapes and in nature we will see and feel how these abodes meet the dreams set up by their creators. Microtopia deals with a contemporary urgent ideas that are addressed, and solved, in a very surprising way.”

MICROTOPIA – a documentary about micro dwellings, downsizing and living off the grid. – Trailer from Eight Millimetres on Vimeo.

Depending on your region, you may be able to watch the full-length film for $3.99 using the Vimeo link provided above


The “modern” Tiny Home


Tumbleweed Tiny House Company is a well know name in the Tiny Home world.  The founder, Jay Shafer (now with Four Lights Tiny Home Company), is attributed to jump starting the entire movement that is crossing the nation.

One of my favorite Tiny Home designs, is their “Mica” plan.


As described on Tumbleweed’s site,

“The Mica is our sleek and modern home. The hot rolled weathering steel siding separates this house from anything else. At 8 feet, 6 inches, the model maximizes living space without requiring any special permit to tow. In this floor plan, named the Clear, you experience one-level living complete with a full-sized bedroom, separate kitchen and bath, and great open views.”


Being a modernist and wanna-be minimal list, I’m attracted to the clean lines of this design.  I also think for my Tiny Home community plan that I hope to someday build in the desert near Palm Springs, the flat roof design makes sense-  less surface area for heat gain-.



For more information on this plan, CLICK HERE.