Tiny homes are all the rage. Real estate is getting expensive, and younger people are more worried about paying off student loans than saving up for a house. Tiny homes offer a way to live somewhere on the cheap, pare down your life to the essentials, and not necessarily skimp on some of the nicer things in life.
And if you don’t want to buy one, they’re great to rent for the weekend. Tiny homes are a popular category on Airbnb, and there’s even a company worth millions of dollars dedicated to renting out tiny cottages.
On roofs, wheels, and in backyards, here are 35 of the most beautiful small homes in the world.
Melissa Stanger contributed to an earlier version of this story.
KODA Walking Concrete can be taken apart and easily rebuilt in a new location.
Size: 250 sq. ft
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
The KODA Walking Concrete made the World Architecture Festival’s shortlist of the best “Small Projects” in 2016. It’s completely mobile, and can be unassembled and reassembled if it needs to move to a new location. The company that developed it, Kodasema, designed the two-tiered home so that it can be assembled in as little as four hours.
The simple design allows it to function as whatever space is needed, be it a beach house, mountain hut, café, or office.
This 196-square-foot home cost its architect less than $12,000 to build.
Size: 196 sq. ft.
Location: Boise, Idaho
Boise architect Macy Miller decided to downgrade from a full-size home to a tiny one, which she designed and built herself. She lives there with her partner and dog.
The home, which sits on top of a flatbed trailer, cost about $11,500 all in. The most expensive component is the composting toilet — about $2,000 — which uses barely any water.
A young American filmmaker converted an old van into a mobile studio so he could travel the country.
Size: 2003 Chevrolet Express, L x 79″ W x 82″
Location: United States
Zach Both, a 23-year-old filmmaker, lives and works out of a converted van. It took Both six months to transform the vehicle into a fully functional home and studio, complete with a bed, kitchen, and desk.
Famed architect Renzo Piano jumped into the tiny homes business with these 79-square-foot German models.
Size: About 79 sq. ft.
Location: Weil am Rhein, Germany
Best known for Manhattan’s New York Times Building, London’s The Shard, and Paris’ Pompidou Museum, Renzo Piano is now turning his attention to tiny details — specifically, to “Diogene,” a tiny house prototype built for German furniture company Vitra.
The house — which is constructed of wood and aluminum paneling, and collects, cleans, and reuses water — also supplies its own power, and features photovoltaic cells and solar modules, a rainwater tank, a biological toilet, and natural ventilation.
A California couple also built their 170 square-foot home on a flatbed trailer.
Size: 170 sq. ft.
Location: Sebastopol, California
Web designer Alek Lisefski and his girlfriend fulfilled their dream of a simpler, more minimalistic life by building a smaller home. The project took about a year and cost them $30,000. In the end they wound up with a small mobile home measuring about 2,261 cubic feet.
The home doesn’t feel cramped, thanks to the 13-foot ceilings, fold-away furniture, and smaller appliances with dual purposes.
The Japanese minimalist design firm Muji now sells houses.
Size: 98 sq. ft.
The world-famous Japanese design firm Muji, known for its minimalist home goods and clothing, is now selling houses. Starting in August, Japanese residents will be able to order its $27,000, 98-square-foot house.
Like all of Muji’s products, it’s bare-bones, sourced from beautiful materials, and durable. They don’t include electricity or plumbing, and are meant for owners who want a vacation or backyard home that would let them unplug.
The Waterwoody Houseboat is the perfect cross between boat and cabin.
Size: L x 28′ w x 9′
Location: United States
Boat builder and designer Kerry Elwood crafted this tiny houseboat after sailing boats for 18 years. He wanted a more minimalist way of life, and to be more in sync with nature.
Elwood spent almost two years building the first “WaterWoody,” and drove it across Detroit Lake in Oregon. The cozy cabin feature solar power, LED lighting, and a composting toilet.
A Colorado couple built this 124-square-foot home that has a kitchen, bathroom and sleeping loft.
Size: 124 sq. ft.
Colorado couple Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller began building their home back in 2011 and documented the journey in a new movie called “TINY: A Story About Living Small.”
The house has a small galley kitchen, a bathroom, and a sleeping loft nestled between the floor and the 11-foot-high ceilings. For storage, the couple makes use of a small closet and two built-in bookshelves, and works from a built-in desk a reclaimed hardwood table.
The Mushroom dome cabin has gorgeous views of the surrounding redwood trees
Size: 100 sq. ft.
Location: Aptos, California
Located in a quiet grove in California, the Mushroom Dome Cabin has a skylight and wide windows that offers a view of California’s surrounding redwood forest and the stars in the sky at night. The building is topped with a cute mushroom cap that almost makes it look like it’s part of the forest.
The Ecocapsule is a self-sufficient, environmentally friendly, tiny mobile home that looks like an egg.
Size: 120 sq. ft.
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
This futuristic, tiny home was a collaboration between architects Tomas Zacek and Sona Pohlova.
The uniquely designed house is self sustaining, as it generates its own power, and obtains water from its surroundings. It was built for two people to live off the grid for up to a year.
Currently, the company is accepting pre-orders for the first 50 homes, each starting at roughly $90,000.
The Riverside comes fully equipped with a full kitchen, bathroom, living room, and two loft spaces.
Size: 246 sq. ft.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
This Scandinavian-inspired home was created by New Frontier Tiny Homes. While it may be small, the interior exudes luxury. Granite counter tops and custom cabinetry furnish the kitchen, while the exterior features a small front porch and metal roof.
You can move in for $79,000.
The Escher comes with luxury furnishings better than you could ever imagine.
Size: 200 sq. ft. (customizable)
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Also made by New Frontier Tiny Homes, the Escher model is filled with high-end features and vibrant colors. You can customize it when you order, so the size can be tweaked depending on what you’re looking for.
The mobile Minim House is multi functional and fully customizable.
Size: 210 sq. ft.
Location: Washington, D.C.
The Minim House is a small space that is great for both living and entertaining. Because of its dual-purpose furnishings, the tiny home can adjust for various purposes, like dining or sleeping.
For example, under the couch (that also doubles as a second bed), there is storage space, a 40-gallon water tank, and water filter.
Models of this house — which range from around $40,000 to $80,000 — are available for purchase on the company’s website.
This 330-square-foot apartment in Hong Kong transforms into 24 different rooms.
Size: 330 sq. ft.
Location: Hong Kong
Gary Chang, an architect in Hong Kong, turned his family’s tiny 330-square-foot tenement apartment into a sleek and efficient living space with 24 different room combinations, including bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, and even a guest bedroom area.
So, how does he do it? Chang installed a number of sliding panels which he can move around the space to reveal hidden areas and storage. It’s a system he calls the “Domestic Transformer.”
A Brooklyn couple bought small furniture to make their 350-square-foot apartment feel more spacious.
Size:350 sq. ft.
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Homeowners Tiffany and Allan use small furniture instead of full-size pieces to make the most of their 350 square-foot studio in Brooklyn. The space was formerly the parlor of a ship captain’s home from the 1800s, and still features the original crown molding and large, light-bearing windows.
Their home was the US overall winner of Apartment Therapy’s 2014 Small Cool contest.
This 112-square-foot mobile house traveled across 9,000 miles.
Size: 112 sq. ft.
Location: Around the US and Canada
Zach Griffin and four friends decided to take an epic, cross-continental ski trip, and built a 112 square-foot mobile pod house in which they lived for the duration of the six week, 9,000-mile-long trip.
The tiny house has a “drawbridge” bunk bed that comes down from the two-person sleeper loft, and a pull-out sofa bed. The skiers relied on the kindness of hostels and strangers for bathrooms, as the pod has none. It does, however, have electricity and a generator, and a toaster oven and propane stove as a kitchen.
They even made a movie about their trip in their tiny, temporary home.
This 104-square-foot home is beautifully designed.
Size: 104 sq. ft.
Location: Seattle, Washington
Chris and Malissa Tack built their 104-square-foot home just outside of Seattle. They had both been working in the tech industry and decided to leave their complicated, material lives behind and make a clean break, starting with a smaller, simpler home.
The home has cut their living cost substantially, and they predict the home will be paid in full in just two or three years. Chris Tack, who now works as a photographer, has taken many beautiful photos of the home, which has a kitchen, living and dining area, bathroom, storage area, and sleeping loft.
The Tiny Fern Forest Treehouse is one of the most-booked Airbnbs in Vermont
Size: 100 sq. ft.
Location: Lincoln, Vermont
The house is more like a hand-built treehouse, hand-built by a couple in the woods of Vermont. It’s charming and available for rent, so no wonder it’s one of the most-booked Airbnbs ever.
This 100-square-foot environmentally-friendly house will actually earn you money.
Size: 100 sq. ft.
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
This home is called the “Eco-cube.” At 10 cubic feet, it’s still sizeable enough to hold a small living room, dining area, kitchen, washer and dryer, a closet, full shower, toilet, and full-sized bed.
It was designed by Dr. Mike Page of the University of Hertfordshire and founder of the Cube Project, an initiative created to prove that a person could “live a comfortable, modern existence with a minimum impact on the environment.” Thanks to its solar panels, the Eco-cube can earn you $1,600 a year through the UK’s feed-in tariff.
This 84-square-foot home cost just $10,000 to build, and even less to maintain.
Size: 84 sq. ft.
Location: Olympia, Washington
Dee Williams returned from an eye-opening trip to Guatemala and decided to downsize her home from 1,500 square feet to just 84 square feet. She moved out of her big house, built a small one from scratch, and parked it in her friend’s backyard.
This home, which she calls “The Little House,” cost about $10,000 to build, and even less to maintain. With a propane tank for heat and solar panels for electricity, Williams pays very little to live there.
The owner of this 75-square-foot house in Rome rents the space to friends and tourists.
Size:75 sq. ft.
Location: Rome, Italy
Architect and designer Marco Pierazzi saw potential in an abandoned, one-room alleyway house just steps from Roman landmarks like the Pantheon and Saint Peter’s Square. He bought it, fixed it up, and lived there with his wife until their child was born.
Pierazzi now rents what he calls the “smallest house in Italy,” making it a convenient place to stay on a Roman holiday. Featuring all the comforts of home, the little house has a full kitchen, a bathroom with a shower, a small lofted sofa bed, and an LED TV.
A student-built, 70-square-foot home in Vermont is completely sustainable.
Size: 70 sq. ft.
Location: Poultney, Vermont
In a renewable energy and ecological design class at Green Mountain College, a group of students designed a stunning and creative mobile shelter that gives back to the Earth.
They called their home OTIS (Optimal Traveling Independent Space), a 70-square-foot, solar-powered dwelling made of all reclaimed materials. The home has a sleeping area, and the ability to collect and recycle rainwater.
The Pequod houses a family of four.
Named after the ship in “Moby Dick,” The Pequod has a cool curvy design inspired by the waves. It packs a lot into its small interior space, with a washer/dryer, a 20-inch range cooktop, and a full-sized refrigerator and freezer. It was designed by Greg Parham, owner and architect of Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses in Durango, Colorado, for a family in Indiana.
The Maisie is one of several tiny houses you can rent out from a company that was featured on “Shark Tank.”
Size: ~180 sq. ft.
Location: Somewhere in New York
The famous cabins of Getaway became famous when the founders turned down a $500,000 offer on “Shark Tank.” They offer tiny houses for rent, scattered in the woods surrounding New York City and Boston.
The Maisie, outside of New York, might just be their most beautiful house. It has an enormous square window outside of the “bedroom” area that allows you to have a scenic view while enjoying the building’s modern furnishings.
This 60-square-foot home is the smallest house in the UK.
Size: 60 sq. ft.
Location: Conwy, Wales
Also known as the Quay House, this tiny red home, which measures just 10 feet by 6 feet, is known as the smallest house in the UK, and has actually become a tourist attraction.
The home has been occupied by various people since the 16th century, including a6-foot-3-inch fisherman. The house has room for a stove, water tap, bed, and bedside storage.
This 5-foot-wide home in Poland is possibly the skinniest apartment in the world.
Size: 46 sq. ft.
Location: Warsaw, Poland
This 46-square-foot apartment in Warsaw, Poland, is just five feet wide, possibly making it the skinniest apartment in the world.
Polish architect Jakub Szczesny sandwiched the tiny home in an alley between two other buildings. With no windows, a microscopic fridge, and a shower that’s almost directly over the toilet, this place is as small as they come. The kitchen table has room for two chairs, and the fridge has room for just two sodas.
This small home in China is built on top of a tricycle.
Beijing’s People’s Architecture Office and People’s Industrial Design Office designed and built a polypropylene mobile home so small that it can be folded up, accordion-style, and carted around on the back of a tricycle.
The expandable home can attach to others for more space. Facilities in the house include a sink, stove, bathtub, and water tank. All the furniture is convertible: the bed becomes a dining table, the counter top becomes a bench for seating, and it can all fold up into the front wall.
This 15-square-foot bike camper home was designed to be a residence for the Burning Man Festival.
Size:About 15 sq. ft.
Location: Black Rock Desert, Nevada
Designer Paul Elkins needed a convenient and eco-friendly way to get around during the Burning Man Festival, so he designed a wind turbine-powered bicycle camper that functions as a bedroom, living room, and kitchen. It’s even equipped with a solar-powered oven.
As for the bathroom, you’ll have to resort to the great outdoors for that.
The Lego Apartment is designed to store all amenities inside wood paneled shelves, creating an insane amount of space.
Size: 258 sq. feet
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Photographer Christian Schallert tapped the talents of architect Barbara Appollini to redesign this tiny apartment into a space-saving pad. At first glance it looks like an empty cube, but once you open up the many wood-paneled shelves, the space turns into a fully-equipped home.
For example, Schallert’s bed rolls out from underneath his balcony, and his bedside tables serve as stairs. The small home is so impeccably designed that it even stores a full refrigerator, dishwasher, and sink… all hidden in the wood paneling.
The rEvolve is solar-powered and rotates to face the sun.
Size: 238 sq. ft.
Location: San Francisco, California
The rEvolve was developed as part of a housing competition organized by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and made by a team of students at Santa Clara University. It cost $86,000 to build, with $25,000 of that cost going toward a tracking ring that rotates the structure to face the sun.
It’s surprisingly roomy, and features eight 330-watt solar panels on the roof for solar power.
There aren’t plans to build more of them, but the rEvolve prototype was donated to Operation Freedom Paws, which pairs service dogs with disabled veterans who need them, and is used as temporary housing for veterans who visit the Bay Area.
At $150,000, the Vintage Glam is one of the most expensive tiny homes in the world.
Size: 200 sq. ft.
Location: Portland, Oregon
Despite its diminutive size, the Vintage Glam was built for luxury. It has a chandelier, hardwood floors, and a motorized bed that slides out of the steps.
The architects even managed to cram in marble counter tops, a dishwasher, and a washer and dryer unit. Tiny homes don’t get any better than this.
Canada’s native Esk’etemc community built a 280 square-foot home with gorgeous craftsmanship.
Size: 280 sq. ft.
Location: Alkali Lake, British Columbia, Canada
In Canada’s British Columbia, one of the country’s native groups built the Esk’et Sqlelten tiny house, and it’s made with First Nation design flourishes. The building has handcarved wooden features, and it looks as beautiful as it is airy.
This small home on an island in Washington was created by two artists.
Size: 144 sq. ft.
Location: Guemes Island, Washington
Guemes Island is a small community with just 650 full-time residents. On their 5.5-acre plot of land, Carson and Jessica Lynch — a print maker and wood shop owner — have a small getaway house that features a queen size bed, a small fridge and burner cook top, a TV, fire pit, and BBQ. You can rent it on Airbnb and enjoy the peace of the outdoors
The “Transforming A-Frame” costs just $1,200 to build.
Size: 110 sq. ft.
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
With its elegant structure and stark simplicity, the A-Frame is a cheap, easy home that you could build yourself if you really wanted to. The blueprints and instructions cost just $30. It was designed by Joe Everson, a tiny home entrepreneur in Tennessee.
The structure can also transform into a “closed” mode to protect from the elements. It reduces its size to 80 square feet.
The Elm looks like a tiny farmhouse.
Size: 187-250 sq. ft.
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Tumbleweed has been designing RV homes for nearly two decades. One of their latest designs, the Elm, is customizable and has all basic furnishings with a soft wood interior. The outside looks like a practical farmhouse, and it even comes with porch space.