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10 must-see tiny houses from 2018

Tiny houses: still full of creativity

slanted roof black tiny house
The Draper.
Jeremy Gudac courtesy Land Ark RV

Another year, another crop of tiny houses to marvel over. In 2018, micro abodes of all kinds—camper vans, trailers, prefabs—showcased boundless ingenuity, and tiny houses on wheels were not left behind.

From good-looking builds that embraced the larger design trends (like all-black exteriors and modern farmhouse style) to one-of-a-kind gems (like one designed after a lunar lander), here are the tiny homes that stood out from the pack this year.

All-black modern stunner

Jeremy Gudac courtesy Land Ark RV

Land Ark RV is making some of the stylish tiny houses around these days. The Draper here, like its predecessor the Drake, fully embraces the all-black exterior trend. For a fun contrast, the interior is all light pine with a sleek modern kitchen, a U-shaped sofa that transforms into a queen-size bed, full shower in the bathroom, a “mud room” with a washer/dryer unit, and built-in shelving throughout.

The one with a sliding roof

Facade of fir-clad tiny home Optinid/Agence Argo
Lofted bedroom with no ceiling Optinid/Agence Argo

With the Cécile tiny house from French builder Optinid, we may have finally seen everything. The roof of the home slides right open to reveal the skies, if you ever feel too cramped or just want some fresh air. Another clever feature? A staircase that does triple duty as storage and desktop.

A tiny house designed after a lunar lander

lunar lander tiny home Marcus Ricci for Zillow
Marcus Ricci for Zillow

Just kidding—now we’ve seen everything. Naval architect Kurt Hughes designed the hexagon-shaped structure after the lander that astronauts piloted during the Apollo 11 landing. Sitting on three steel beams, the 250-square-foot home has plenty of nooks and lookout opportunities, plus a compact kitchen, breakfast nook, bathroom, and sleeping space for two. .

The maximalist charmer

Mark Menjivar

Love maximalism? So does this 190-square-foot tiny house from Galeana Younger. The micro abode is chock full of vibrant patterns, colors, and decorative objects. We’re digging the black and white cactus-patterned wallpaper, robin’s egg blue ceiling, colorful geometric backsplash, not to mention layers of fun textiles.

Modern farmhouse goes tiny

The popular “modern farmhouse” style of the moment is the name of the game with the Roost 36 model from North Carolina-based Perch and Nest. Accommodating up to four people, the family farmhouse on wheels boasts two lofted sleeping areas, a third sleeping nook, built-in shelving and storage, skylights, raw concrete kitchen counters, and distressed flooring. Bonus: An open-air porch for indoor-outdoor living, and, well, some necessary breathing room.

The Tudor

How adorable is this Tudor-style tiny house from Tiny Heirloom? The interior of the 220-square-foot home is appropriately traditional in style, with marble countertops, a gas fireplace, and dark-wood floors, and a wrought-iron metal staircase leads to the lofted bedroom.

The sustainable prototype

Courtesy UN Environment
Rendering of housing systems Courtesy UN Environment

This past summer, Yale University’s Center for Ecosystems in Architecture and UN Environment, in collaboration with UN Habitat and Gray Organschi Architecture, unveiled an experimental tiny home that runs entirely on renewable energy. The 237-square-foot Ecological Living Module hosts a long list of sustainable systems to generate and save energy, including on-site water collection, plant-based air purification, passive cross-ventilation, and micro agriculture infrastructure.

The writer’s retreat

New Frontier Tiny Homes, maker of ultra-luxe tiny houses, created the Cornelia for the bestselling author Cornelia Funke. The space features dark wood, Scandinavian-style furniture, a small kitchen, lofted king-size bed, bathroom, and of course, a fold-down desk that looks out onto the forest for maximum writing vibes.

The party-ready house

Raised seating area in tiny home Modern Tiny Living
Raised seating area converted into bed Modern Tiny Living

This 236-square-foot-home from Modern Tiny Living lets you gather the friends for a snuggly good time. The Clover model features a platform hangout that looks remarkably like a tiny conversation pit, only elevated. The inward-facing built-in lounge area also comes with storage under the floor and banquette seating that folds out into a bed.

The drop-down bed strikes again

The Sturgis model from Cubist Engineering has a few impressive tricks up its sleeve, including a 4-foot by 8-foot configurable “obsession space” accessed via a hydraulic door opening. The other one is the queen bed hidden in the ceiling above the living room. Though we’ve seen it before, the drop-down bed trick never ceases to amaze.