Little Houses

The New Zealand dream is to own your own home. Now while there is nothing inherently wrong with this dream I am wondering if we could be more sustainable / eco-friendly by having smaller homes. I’m not necessarily suggesting tiny homes like seen at but something with a smaller footprint than most homes in NZ.

If I had the desire to build a house from scratch I would likely start out with a design from the and modify it. I particularly like the Kowhai Design as a base. However, I would like a two bedroom home so maybe I would add a mezzanine floor over the first bedroom to contain a second bedroom, with access via a ladder and the ability to shut this area off from the living area. Having a second bedroom would mean that the bathroom would have to have a separate entrance  and I also prefer a separate toilet (because admit how many of us really enjoy someone interrupting our shower to use the toilet!). Below is a quick sketch of what the downstairs might look like based on the Kowhai designIMG_2144

However, you might also be better to have a two bedroom house on one level so you don’t loose a whole lot of heat into a high ceiling stud so perhaps the Nikau Design would be a better option! I’ve always wanted a mezzanine floor bedroom accessed by a ladder though…what can I say I  am dreaming whilst I design this house 🙂

I also believe that the following items would be useful to reduce the ecological footprint of the house

  • Solar heating
  • Greywater Recycling
  • Rainwater Harvesting
  • Made of recycled materials
  • Compositing toilet
  • Double glazing
  • Wool insulation

Other essentials:

  • The lounge suite would have to convert into a bed so visitors could stay
  • there would need to be room for book storage 🙂 and
  • even in a modern eco-friendly home I would still want to include my love of crockery and old wooden furniture – so maybe the table would be a wooden gate leg table that could double as an office area and incorporated display cases for the crockery.

Update – 16 April 2016

I have modified the Nikau design to include a separate toilet and bathroom – see sketch below, not actually sure if this would be possible 🙂





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