Tiny Natural Homes Around the World.



An introduction by Tim Guiles...

Tim Guiles: Conversations in Tiny House

Wants are limitless, needs are finite and quite easily met.


Tim lives in a tiny home in Vermont, USA. His taste for living in small spaces began in 1988 when he sold his apartment to live on a sail boat. After some graduate schooling in environmental engineering, he rekindled his interest in simple living and moved into a small solar home in Vermont in 1992.


In 2004 he decided to build a little cabin, a simple 8’ by 12’ box. He lived in that small space for 2 years and learned a lot about what didn’t work in small spaces. Then he discovered Jay Shafer who had clearly figured out how to make inviting, warm, functional spaces that felt like home. After building and living in a cabin designed by Jay for a year Tim became convinced that this kind of living space should be available to more people that he started his own company to promote the small living philosophy. Tim says, "Wants are limitless and in fact, are part of what poisons our culture. Needs are finite and quite easily met." Here are some tiny homes around the world.








It took Daniel two months to build his tiny home in Sweden with friends in 2008. Taking inspiration from Sami torvkata (turf hut) and yurts, Daniel cut a 3m x 3m hole into a sunny hillside 1.5m deep. Building intuitively the house grew quickly. The home, which cost nearly nothing to build, stays warm in the winter, cool in the summer.
  Daniel Wilhelms: A home in Northern Sweeden  

Daniel's story Part 1



This tiny cob house in the lush green hills of Romania on the banks of the Nera River was built by Ileana Mavrodin. You can see more of the home on her website at www.casa-verde.ro and take a closer look inside in the video below. Ileana has now added extra space to her tiny home. She gives a tour in this video.

  Ileana Mavrodin's cob home  

Ileana talks about her cob home



This is one of the bamboo classroom pods at the Green School in Bali. Green School is home to some wonderfully organic shapes all made from bamboo. Bamboo grows incredibly quickly. has a higher tensile strength than many alloys of steel and a higher compressive strength than many mixtures of concrete.

  Bamboo can grow upto 1m per day  

Bamboo grows very fast









If the ground around this tiny home wasn't so flat you would probably walk past it thinking it was a hill. This is one of the Sami people’s Goahti (a turf home, also known as a Gamme in Norwegian) used as a summer residence (Siida) at Gamtofta near Sorreisa, Norway. You can stay in these Sami homes, sleeping on reindeer skin beds warmed by an open stone circle fire, while you attend a workshop in Sami crafts (duodji). Here’s where you can visit the tiny home and here's how you can build your own Goahti.


On Canada's Vancouver Island you will find a beautiful example of tiny storybook architecture created by Lindcroft. The cottage, called Winckler, was built with local douglas fir, logged and cut with a portable sawmill. The roof is cedar shingles (shakes) hand split and steamed to make them supple enough to follow the curves of the roof.
  Making cedar shingles  

Making cedar shingles



This is the earthbag dome at the Permaforest Trust (now renamed Pattern Dynamics) near Brisbane, Australia. A naturally built dome's roof is especially difficult to protect from rain. This design uses a clever system of hand sculpted fins that channel the rain away from the walls of the dome into drain pipes to the ground. Channelling water with fins is a technique used in the traditional homes of Asir province in Saudi Arabia. You can read about each stage of the building process in this PDF document: building with earthbags.








This is Poula's tiny straw bale Smurf House. She built it as a temporary place to live while she was building her straw bale spiral home inspired by the shape of a shell she found on a beach in Malaysia. The Smurf House is now a guest room for people who come to learn about natural building at the ecoVillage in Denmark where she lives.


This is Tony Wrench's cordwood roundhouse den in Wales. Like many of Tony's homes it's based on a henge of roundwood timbers with the ends charred and daubed in pitch before being buried in the ground. The roundhouse cost Tony around £100 ($150) to build using timbers from the woodlands that surround his home and some reclaimed windows.


Hidden away in a lush Oregon woodland near Coquille, OR, USA is a collection of tiny cob homes with names like Dawn and Dusk built by Cob Cottage Comapany. You can learn about their tiny homes in this video.
  Ianto and Linda at Cob Cottage  

Off the treadmill with
Ianto and Linda