Shaye’s Tiny House is nothing short of spectacular. Nestled amongst the bush in West Auckland, New Zealand it fits perfectly into its landscape and feels light, spacious, and warm. It’s obviously a house that has been built with love.
This stunning tiny house on wheels is packed full of absolutely game-changing design! There is a saying in architecture that you should build your first home for your enemy, the second for your friend, and the third for yourself. Good design takes time and practice to get things right, and this home truly is the result of years of experimentation and small space design exploration.
Super clever, the three-dimensional design has lead to exceptional use of space in this wonderfully functional and well future-proofed home.
Beyond the functional design, this tiny house is simply beautiful. Stunning design elements such as the green-roof over the veranda, exquisite reclaimed timbers, interior green-feature wall, and feature river table all transform this already exceptional design into a living work of art.
The Spectacular Interior Of Shaye’s Tiny House
A walkway separating bedrooms is unusual for a tiny house. Shaye must walk up the stairs along the walkway and past the living wall to access her bedroom. “That journey makes the space feel a lot bigger.”
The custom-built dining table by Variant Spaces is made from river rimu and resin; the stairs in the lounge also double as storage and lead to a walkway separating Shaye’s and Hazel’s bedrooms, and avoiding the need for ladders.
Unlike many bedrooms in tiny houses, Shaye’s Tiny House is designed with a full-height ceiling, closing door, and space all around the bed so that it’s easy to make.
Hazel’s bedroom is also stunning. The selected furniture and painting is totally amazing. What I love the most is the large windows, indeed this is this spectacular.
This small bathroom feels large thanks to the clever optical illusion of symmetrical sinks, a large mirror, and muted tones. Some “ugly parts” of the bathroom, such as the toilet and laundry basket, are tucked away.
Indoor Jungle Of This Dream Tiny House
The living wall in Shaye’s lounge has many species of indoor plants including begonias, bromeliads, strawberries, podophyllum, and maidenhair ferns. She designed the wall herself; water flows in a piping system between galvanized steel gutters. Plants sit in felt pockets, which wick the water from the troughs. The hardest part was sewing the felt pockets, Shaye says.
A Roof With A View
Hazel and Shaye’s bedrooms both look out onto the porch, which has a living roof. “The idea was that instead of looking out onto an ugly roof; we would see unobstructed greenery plus a habitat for bees and insects.”
Its roof surface is an EPDM rubber membrane, covered in old carpet. Ten centimeters of soil were planted with plants such as sedums, bromeliads, rock roses (Portulaca grandiflora), succulents, and petunias. The roof has a rim, so the soil doesn’t run off after rain.
Shaye’s tiny house was completed in November 2019. The house is a “transportable”. It means it is attached to a trailer and can, therefore, be classed as a vehicle. She refined the design after years of living in a tiny house with a small child.
Its configuration is distinct in that there are two bedrooms (with doors or a baby gate) on the upstairs level connected by a walkway. This layout means Shaye doesn’t have to climb a ladder to check on Hazel at night. Porch and office are not attached and are on a separate transportable.
The office is a flexible space that could be an extra bedroom if Shaye were ever to have another child. “It’s essential to think about how living situations can change in the future,” she says.
Shaye and her team have built 25 tiny houses. For instance, one owner might consider it essential to have a laundry space with a tub and sink, but for others, a bucket will suffice.
She’s also learned that every household item needs to allocate storage such as vacuums, brooms, ironing boards, and bins.
The macrocarpa porch is a transportable building and is separate from the main house.
Shaye not only builds tiny houses but sells downloadable plans through her website, shayestinyhomes.com She hopes to expand the blog section of her website to share building knowledge and will one day turn the business into a social enterprise. (She is yet to devise a business model.)