This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

The Most Inspiring Tiny Homes Of 2021

Tiny Homes

Whenever we publish a tiny or micro house on The Design Files, we can basically guarantee it will become our top-performing story of the week! 

In 2021, we discovered some of the most inspiring small designs yet, ranging from shipping containers converted into accommodation, to prefabricated dwellings available for purchase. 

We simply can’t get enough of these innovative, environmentally-conscious spaces – so here’s a recap of the most inspiring examples we’ve come across over the past twelve months.

5th January, 2022

‘Permanent Camping Two’ by Casey Brown Architecture comprises two tiny copper towers looking out to the ocean in Berry, NSW. Photo – Andrew Loiterton

The cabin is a new and improved version of a 2007 project in Mudgee. Photos – Andrew Loiterton

A Farmer’s Tiny Copper-Clad Getaway!

If you’re a longtime reader of design media, this tiny rural retreat may look familiar. Originally designed by Casey Brown Architecture in Mudgee in 2007, the practice recently designed an updated version of the copper cabin in Berry, on the NSW South Coast, with the same collaborator, Jeffrey Broadfield, alongside local builder, Smith and Primmer.

This new structure is a simple retreat for the owner, whose main house is located on the same acreage. While its predecessor was contained to the one structure, the updated concept incorporates a secondary tower immediately to the rear enclosing a composting toilet and shower. East and west-facing outdoor decks have also been added, effectively doubling the ground floor in the process.

At 3 x 3 metres, the size of the main structure remains the same. On the ground floor is the living space (including facilities to cook, store items, and heat the cabin), while the bedroom is located above (accessible via a ladder). The rooftop with a water tank and solar panels is accessible via an external permanent copper ladder.

Revisit the original story here

The Brook is a tiny house, and the first offering from Victorian-based business Small. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Sinead Murphy. Additional styling – Aimee Shields Gleeson

The house celebrates its location, wherever that may be. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Sinead Murphy. Additional styling – Aimee Shields Gleeson

The mezzanine’s angled roof means the bedroom and office ceiling is well above standing height. Chairs by Michael Gittings Studio. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Sinead Murphy. Additional styling – Aimee Shields Gleeson

A Game Changing Apartment-Sized, Transportable Tiny Home

The Brook by Victorian-based business Small is a tiny house with a difference, containing 37 square metres of highly versatile floor space on a 27 square metre footprint.

This apartment-sized home contains five-metre ceilings, allowing users to comfortably walk around both levels of the home inclusive of a kitchen, bathroom, living area, and study nook. It’s also a thoroughly beautiful home, featuring recycled materials and a ‘New York loft’ aesthetic.

The Brook is available built-to-order or as a plans package, but the prototype is a one-of-a-kind model built with hardworking and recycled materials such as Australian hardwoods, volcanic bluestone, glass, spotted gum, and steel. 

Revisit the original story here

The Greenly Carriage is a train carriage turned accomodation on the west coast of South Australia. Restored with local timber and filled with a mix of vintage furniture by local dealers and new pieces by Australian makers Photo – Rob Lang.

‘The coastline at the end of our road boasts endless kilometres of pristine, untouched and wild beaches with not even a footprint on the beach for most of the year,’ says Tara. Utter heaven! Photo – Rob Lang.

The space features local timber and a mix of vintage furniture by local dealers and new pieces by Australian makers. Photo – Rob Lang.

A Converted Train Carriage Turned Breathtaking Off-Grid Cabin

Tara Rowe and her partner Luke always wanted to create a boutique accommodation offering on their slice of remote wilderness on the west coast of South Australia. So, when they found an antique train carriage at a junk sale in a neighbouring town, a unique opportunity presented itself!

Restored with local timber and filled with a mix of vintage furniture by local dealers and new pieces by Australian makers – The Greenly Carriage operates off-grid and has panoramic views over the Southern Ocean, Mount Greenly, Lake Greenly and the rolling countryside. Book your stay here

Revisit the original story here

Mansfield Shipping Container home by Robbie Walker. Photo – Anthony Richardson.

Both self-contained structures are identical in plan, with a wet area on one end, and an open-plan space featuring fold-down furniture seamlessly integrated into the remaining plywood-lined walls. Photos – Anthony Richardson.

A Transportable, Off-Grid Tiny Home Made From Shipping Containers

Perched on the top of a rocky hill, overlooking the undulating mountains around Mansfield, two 14 square metre shipping containers are not exactly as they seem.

While from the outside this pair look almost identical to others in the area, inside they have been completely transformed into a pair of tiny homes by designer and builder Robbie Walker.

Capturing incredible views towards Mount Buller, Victoria, Robbie likens the experience of staying in these beautiful, functional tiny homes to camping, with protection from the elements and everything you need to be comfortable. Book your stay in this incredible tiny home here!

Revisit the original story here

Minima is a series of prefabricated small dwellings created by FABPREFAB, and designed by TRIAS. Photo – Clinton Weaver

Options include those with a kitchen and bathroom. Photo – Clinton Weaver

Minima’s smartest design feature is its inherent flexibility: a single module can be joined into a dual configuration, without changing the essential design. Photo – Clinton Weaver

The Architect-Designed, Prefabricated Tiny House Of The Future

When designing and building a new house in Australia, there are currently very few options between mass-produced plans, and architect-designed bespoke projects. For those who can’t afford the latter, or are seeking something more considered than the former, Minima is an attractive alternative.

The project is the brainchild of prefabrication and modular residential construction company FABPREFAB in collaboration with Sydney-based architects TRIAS.

Minima is available in six arrangements ranging from 24.5 square metres (including spare bedrooms, home offices, and all-inclusive tiny houses) and larger, standalone dwellings of 72 square metres. It’s one of the only architect-designed, modular tiny houses on the market in Australia, and can be built to order in as little as 12 weeks!

Revisit the original story here

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

A 3-Metre-Wide Micro-Terrace Inspired By Its Redfern Surrounds

Architect Adele McNab makes a case for compact, inner-city living with her own serene family home on a 62 square metre site!

Architecture

A Minimalist, Semi-Prefabricated Beach House

Architect Hannah Tribe of Tribe Studio developed a prototype for a partially prefabricated kit home for her own family beach house in Bundee...

Architecture

A 90m² Inner-Suburban Block Turned Multipurpose Family Home!

MRTN Architects have designed family home, office, and granny flat on a mere 90m² Brunswick East block!

This Week

News

WIN A One-Of-A-Kind Artwork By Local Artist Dave Kulesza - aka Boris Bombay!

Bombay Sapphire are giving away a nostalgia-fuelled, pop art-esque tiled artwork by Boris Bombay (aka Dave Kulesza) to one lucky winner!
Sponsored

Shopping

The Ultimate Outdoor Furniture Guide

From sleek and chic to fun and playful, here are four different schemes for the outdoor dining situation of your dreams!

Architecture

A Minimal Intervention Weatherboard Home Makeover

A Seddon weatherboard renovation by Circle Studio Architects that doesn’t erase its past, but firmly enhances its future.

Family

Artist Miranda Skoczek On Single Parenting, Smelling The Roses + Spontaneity

Artist Miranda Skoczek shares her multigenerational family life in the Dandenongs with son Harper and aunt Margaret.

Homes

The Experimental Melbourne Home Of Two Artists

The 'warped maximalist colour feast' home of artists Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski in Newport, Melbourne.

News

Save Soho Rose Farm!

Donate to help save Victoria’s most beautiful field-grown roses, after a devastating hail storm. 

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With Trailblazing Curator, Shonae Hobson

Inside the day of Kaantju woman and curator of Indigenous art at the NGV, Shonae Hobson!

Homes

An Incredible 1896 Waterfront House, Accessible Only By Boat

Garden designer Richard Unsworth shares ‘Trincomalee’ – his magical 1896 waterfront home in northern Sydney, accessible only by boat.
Lucy Feagins
  19 hours ago

Studio Visit

The Graduate Designer Pushing The Limits Of Traditional Furniture Design

Brigitte Owers-Buccianti is the designer behind Real Non-Real, an exciting new practice making multi-functional furniture pieces.

On The Market

The Perfect Mid-Century, NSW South Coast Beach House Is For Sale

This mid-century Mollymook Beach house is perfect in its proportions, feel and water views... and it's on the market!

News

Melbourne's Futuristic New Gallery For Art + Science

Excitement is high – the latest museum in the international Science Gallery Network opens in Melbourne today!
Sponsored

Architecture

A Traditional Queenslander Turned Multigenerational, Japanese-Inspired Home

Arcke architects lifted this Queenslander to accommodate a two-bedroom apartment underneath, and provide better connections to the outdoors

Creative People

Creating Original, Ever-Changing Gardens With Kep Horticulture’s Andy Kepitis

Kep Horticulture founder Andy Kepitis talks how to create dynamic gardens, and his aversion to 'certain' plant palettes!

Stays

Stay Off-Grid In A Tiny House, Or Restored 1890s Hut, On The One NSW Property!

Escape to one of two tiny houses or a restored 1890 hut at Wildernest, located on the edge of the NSW Southern Highlands.

Words From The Wise

Pushing Against The Status Quo As A Creative Professional, With Designer Timothy Moore

Sibling Architecture director and co-founder Timothy Moore shares refreshing advice about embarking on a career in architecture and design -...
Haroula Karapanagiotidis

Similar Stories

Architecture

A 3-Metre-Wide Micro-Terrace Inspired By Its Redfern Surrounds

Adele McNab makes a case for compact, inner-city living with her own serene family home on a 62 square metre site!

Architecture

A Minimalist, Semi-Prefabricated Beach House

Tribe Studio develop a prototype for a partially prefabricated kit home!

Architecture

A 90m² Inner-Suburban Block Turned Multipurpose Family Home!

MRTN Architects have designed family home, office, and granny flat on a mere 90m² Brunswick East block!

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.