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Affordable housing solutions

James Rippon James Rippon
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Is the dream of owning a home to call your own feeling more and more out of reach? With real estate prices through the roof, the number of people being priced out of buying a home is on the rise. Buying in London is now completely out of the question for most, and the rest of the UK is seeing house prices well on the up.

Well, today we want to show you that there is hope, and owning a beautiful and liveable home is still within reach. Ever heard of the Small Home Movement? This is a social movement making waves around the world where people downsize the space they live in. It focuses on simplified living, and living in smaller spaces for a number of reasons, including environmental benefits, financial reasons, and an aim to live a less materialistic, more fulfilling life. The homes we want to present to you range from around £15,000 to £150,000, ranging from mobile homes, to those a little more permanent.

1. PIU House

This “summer house” is named PIU 65; the number 65 representing the square metres of the floor plan. Designed and built by industrial designers Patrick Frey and Björn Götte, PIU 65 is the first of their new series of summer homes, which feature all the elements of any normal home, including a living area, a dining and kitchen area, a bathroom, and two bedrooms. With a large deck of 35m², and Larch timber used for the facade, the modest yet entirely liveable home fits perfectly into its natural surrounds.

PIU Interior

From inside PIU 65, you can see how the smart architectural design allows the home to feel bright and spacious, all within a 65m² two bedroom house. By utilising full-length glass panels, there is no shortage of sunlight, reflecting off the natural materials of the interior that mirror the natural environment outside. The series of “summer houses” offers various sizes from 48 and 115m², each with their own layout. The cost of a home such as this will start at around £70,000.

Blueprint for PIU

The floor plan of small homes like this is where you truly realise the smart spatial layout that allows the home to never feel cramped. The kitchen and bathroom have been placed in the centre of the house, minimising wasted space in the corridors of a normal home. The two bedrooms are at one end, while the living and dining areas at the opposite end.

2. A home for the road

Although it is not everybody's idea of a dream home, the fundamental concept behind this mobile home are hard to deny. Going back to nature in style, giving yourself space to breathe, while living self-sufficiently without sacrificing on life's modern luxuries was the design brief of the German designers  from Wohnwagon. Before development began, the key questions were asked: “How much space do you actually need to live?”, “What would it look like?” and “Where would it be?”, and the answer was the mobile home we see here. The carts are equipped with their own power and heat supply in the form of solar panels, and with a bio-toilet system.


From inside, you could be forgiven for thinking you have walked into a chic inner-city apartment, not a home you can park anywhere. Bright colours are used to give the room a generous feeling, with intelligent storage solutions. They can be fitted with bathrooms, bedrooms, offices, kitchens, even a fireplace. According to Wohnwagon, prices begin at around £30,000.

3. Container homes

Container homes have been around for years now, with their affordability and availability making them a popular choice for those looking to downsize. Their modular assembly system means they can be arranged and stacked as you please, just like Lego; the design possibilities are endless. The exterior of container homes can be dressed up as such so they no longer resemble anything like a container, or their unique charm can be left for all to see. The cost of a 12 foot container is roughly £1500, with container conversions beginning at roughly £7000.

Endless options

The interiors of container homes will vary between each individual home, as the layout and placement options are endless. Here, six containers have been purchase and remodelled to create a bright and spacious two storey home.

3. The recycled house

The owners of this prefabricated house have purchased the small display home from a company in Munich and have placed it on a plot of land in the countryside. The building contains the previous office and upstairs showroom, and is now an idyllic rural retreat. The complete timber framework and aluminium window frames have been reused, greatly reducing the cost of a new home for the owners.

Endless views

The stunning view of the Bavarian countryside is never far from sight, with the large windows keeping the upper level feeling spacious and open, mimicking the surrounding countryside.

Curious to see even more quirky small homes from around the world? Then take a look at these small home designs.

Could you see yourself living in a home as small as these? Let us know your thoughts on the Small Home Movement in the comments.
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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