One of our favourite hobbies at SpaceSave is looking at tiny homes and we are always fascinated how much room can be created with clever designs.
What to do if you need a house?
Many, many people in South Africa are forced to live in cramped living quarters or small apartments. Very few would consider it to be something to be excited or happy about.
With the average house price in South Africa now having surpassed the R1 million mark, it has become increasingly difficult for South Africans to climb onto the property ladder. The high cost of transport to get to work adds to the woes and is forcing people to move to smaller places in exchange for cutting down on transport.
A new trend in town
This has led to a rise in innovative micro-apartments and container homes – smaller re-purposed accommodation typically a fraction of the cost of a normal house. Some even offer off-the-grid living.
Just look at the success of some of my favourite movements such as Tiny Homes SA (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1466706333648669/about/) with over 4700 members or Tiny House Movement (https://www.facebook.com/groups/tinyhousemovementSA/about/) also with over 4000 members.
Companies like Wanderlust Co. (www.wanderlustco.co.za) and Containatech (www.containatech.co.za) are providing amazing designs and houses that are small but spacious, often mobile and always surprising.
What is driving this trend?
Yes, of course, the increasing cost of living, ever-increasing property prices and just pure lack of space in condensed urban areas. But there is also an evolving trend of less is more, moving away from excessive consumerism and enjoying the simple life while at the same time reducing the environmental impact.
Increasingly people who do not necessarily have to live in small places, are choosing to do so and we are seeing eco-driven change emerging in SA.
I just love the idea of having a small 15-30 sqm homes on a trailer and being able to move around. Essentially these amazing houses offer the chance to live wherever you want because of their mobility. And they offer every bit the comfort of a large house by making use of clever multi-purpose designs.
Now enthusiasts are looking for land which allows them to house their home and provide for tiny homeowners to park their homes on the property for short or longer-term – think caravan parks for small homes.
Clever use of space
Tiny homes are designed with space in mind while not sacrificing the look. As our consciousness regarding our environmental footprint increases, people are opting for sustainable living or even off the grid housing. Below is a picture of a tiny home from Wanderlust.
It can even be fitted with a composting toilet depending on how eco friendly and off the grid, you wanna be.
And what about those containers?
Apart from tiny homes, another area I find fascinating is the potential of container homes.
While they may have some bad connotations for lots of people, I am amazed by what can be done with them.
Look at this 14sqm bachelor pad from Containatech:
And I just have to share some of the pictures I found in an article from Business Tech (https://businesstech.co.za/). Here normal shipping containers have been used to build a variety of structures, including student housing, small apartments, and even schools and restaurants.
A new urban development using upcycled ISO shipping containers has been launched in Johannesburg’s Maboneng precinct, bringing affordable housing to the mixed-space area that is often used as the poster-child for recapturing the heart of South Africa’s biggest city.
The development, called Drivelines Studios, is the latest in a growing trend to repurpose shipping containers for livability. While most of these projects are sold as ‘modular homes’ (with prices starting as low as R120,000), Driveline marks a first, as a multistorey apartment block made up of multiple containers.
International architects Lot-Ek, show what can be accomplished with containers.
Among the group’s designs are a hotel, apartment blocks, a multi-level family home, and free-standing units which can be built anywhere in the world.
Container Living – New and Sustainable
I am sure we will be seeing lots more in this regards and I can’t wait for the innovation in this area. Let’s think about the space we can create in our own homes plus the space we can save in future by thinking big and creating small.
So, before you despair when it comes to your limited space, take a new look at how clever design can provide you with space you didn’t know you could have.
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