With an eye towards more customization, as well as affordability, California prefab manufacturer Blu Homes just released a revamped product line, featuring updates on existing designs as well as new silhouettes and styles that should be familiar to any contemporary design fan. "We’re trying to lower our price per-square-foot with this launch," says Maura McCarthy, one of Blu’s cofounders, "and want to deliver cooler, more personalized homes on a tighter timeframe." The 16 new or updated offerings—including the Lotus and Cabana lines of tiny homes, a Modern Farmhouse series, and a Eichler-inspired Aire model—tap into the zeitgeist, and the desire for stripped-down, simple lifestyles, while also offering larger models that McCarthy says line up with the typical footprint of most homes being built today. Here's a look at the new designs from the custom homebuilder.
Lotus: Starting at $275,000
Blu’s new miniature models offers more streamlined, flexible spaces meant to have a range of uses, from potential pool houses or extensions meant to densify a lot to a vehicle for a full-on embrace of the tiny home lifestyle. The Lotus line, which includes both a compact 640-square foot mini model and 1,600-square-foot option with an offset floor plan and two bedrooms, were created with a more small footprint and luxurious lifestyle in mind. Both sizes features options that magnify their relatively small layouts, including custom storage systems from California Closets, Murphy beds, full kitchenettes, and a series of sliding doors and decks meant to amplify outdoor space. "Building lots of options into the small footprint is important to us," says McCarthy.
Cabanas: Starting at $235,000
The result of Blu’s acquisition of Modern Cabanas in 2012, these simple "accessory dwelling units" (ADUs) come in 400- and 640-square-foot models, made to be used as guest homes, cabanas, even studios or standalone tiny homes.
Modern Farmhouse: Starting at $745,000
Inspired by the farmhouses and barns found around Napa and Sonoma counties, and the classic gabled profile, this new line features three different layouts: a 1,600-square-foot, single-story plan, as well as 2,000- and 3,200-square-foot, two-story options. The Mini model, built around an open plan, includes a lofted attic for storage and the options of a one- or two-bedroom layout. The larger models have vaulted second levels meant for a master suite and laundry room, as well as additional storage and common space, all designed with a family in mind.
Aire: Starting at $1,110,000
Blu’s spin on Eichler-style homes, which were originally designed with the assistance of Eichler grandson, Steven J. Eichler, these low-profile homes feature open kitchens and dining areas with private living spaces.
Solaire: Starting at $945,000
Designed for urban infill, these two-story models feature clerestory windows and roof decks to help make the thin, 30-foot-wide profile more airy, light-filled, and comfortable. The stacked levels create a cantilever over the entrance and a roof deck on the top level.