Whether you love or hate the idea of downsizing, a micro-life presents a revolution in thinking about how and why we live the way we do. Detractors may call them an impractical fad, but advocates of the micro lifestyle pop up faster than production companies can make reality shows about them. As awareness grows around healthier homes, housing affordability, supply and sustainability, micro-architecture and design is coming into its own, often with creative genius and future-thinking outcomes.
Micro means living in an area between nine and 37-square-metres. To give that some context QV.co.nz suggests the average size New Zealand home is 149-square-metres. With
Micro abodes offer a chance to let the imagination rather than the overdraft run wild. They have been designed on trailers (unofficially, tiny houses) that provide portable living options; in trees for a bird’s eye view and as A-frame, tent inspired homes for back to nature types. From mid-century referenced cubes of glass and sleek smartphone controlled
The Japanese homeware company MUJI is constantly updating their prefab micro hut designs and this year released a nine-square-metres mono
Micro is also being adopted to revitalize urban areas often by inhabiting readymade edifices. The SHED project in London designs DIY living pods that can be used to reoccupy empty office buildings. America’s oldest but defunct shopping mall, the Westminster Arcade in Providence, Rhode Island, has been revitalized with
Micro dwellings are being employed as rental properties, get-away homes, granny flats
If a tiny house remains on a trailer i.e. not on blocks or foundations, it may not be subject to the same building restrictions as a permanent dwelling
(check with your local council) and can be moved from site to site. The versatility of tiny houses has been adopted by corporates too. In Australia Tesla recently built a sustainable chemical free tiny house as a touring solar powered showroom.
For many, the basis for leading a micro-lifestyle is achieving a healthier work-life balance. An infographic on
The same site claims two out of five tiny
IQs aside the fact remains that having less of a mortgage and, fewer cleaning and maintenance chores to handle, ultimately means there is more time for experiencing life, travelling the world, engaging with the wider community and fully enjoying relationships.The micro dweller it is
Pocket size homes lessen the demand on precious construction resources and once finished a small space is easier and cheaper to heat and light.
Whether micro means living in a yurt, shipping-container or a converted refrigerator unit (yes it has been done), the most important thing is how their interior spaces work. The pared
Petite places do not have to feel Lilliputian inside, anything goes but the essentials remain constant: flexible areas with multipurpose furniture. Standard tricks like large windows to harvest daylight, pale colours, translucent surfaces and sliding partitions will maximise the sense of space. Going vertical adds a voluminous feel and increases living options. A raised kitchen alters eye lines and presents an illusion of space while providing a storage cavity for
There are plenty of off-the-shelf ideas available. Ikea
Where land area allows, the addition of a deck will provide extra external living areas. On portable units, this could be cantilevered or fold down from an existing wall. As with any home
WRITTEN BY Jason Burgess IMAGE Ossip