When it comes to small homes,
there’s a lot to be set for keeping the designs simple,
but doing it really well.
The shipping container that we’re about to visit
is a brilliant example of that.
Living Big In A Tiny House
Good day, Shane.
嗨 哥们儿 近来可好 谢谢你过来
– Hey! Bro, so how are you.- Thanks for coming.
太客气了 兄弟 很高兴认识你
No worries, mate, great to meet you.
Yeah, nice to meet you.
Now this is a very impressive looking container.
Yes, we’re very, very happy with that.
It’s a twenty-foot, is it?
A twenty-foot high cube.
And we’ve attached a couple of pods to each side
to give it a bit more width in space inside.
These pop-outs are such a good idea, aren’t they?
It really seems to add a lot more space to the design.
Absolutely, containers are only eight foot wide.
– and when you’re inside, you get a quite complying feeling.-Yeah.
So, by adding the pop-outs,
it just gives us a whole lot more room inside,
a feeling of spaciousness basiclly.
Are these actually removeable?
Or are they fixed in place?
This one they’re fixed in place,
they could be removable,
but the issue was, from the engineering point of view,
they’re quite a heavy substantial unit,
and there’s a bit of engineering involved to attach them
to the actual container.
You could make them removeable,
but this one they’re fixed, yes.
I’ve always liked shipping containers.
I like the cubistic shape of them.
They’re so simple and minimalistic.
They’re just cool.
So, I guess that’s why I decided
to use a shipping container.
Also, structurally they’re very strong.
So, you have a cool space that’s structurally
sound reasonably cheap to buy,
and you’ve got a good foundation to start your design from.
And what’s this for?
‘Cause you don’t live in this, do you?
-This was just sort of something for guest accommodation?-Yeah.
– Or a little bit of extra space?
My wife is from China,
so we have overseas family
coming and visiting occasionally,
so we needed just a little bit of extra space
and something separate from us.
And that was the answer.
Perfect! Well, I’m really keen to see inside
and have a look at what you’ve done.
Absolutely! Come on in.
I love how open and spacious this designer is.
This is really impressive!
Yeah, we’ve tried to keep it as light in this area as possible.
I’m immediately drawn to this great alcove here.
That’s a fantastic place for relaxing.
When we first built the pod-tainer,
actually, the first evening we got to finish,
my wife, my son and I,
we just sat down there
and had a wine and relax
and enjoy the view, yeah, fantastic place.
Absolutely, because it’s so deep,
– and you can just, really just- Yep
-comfortably lounge out and relax here.- Absolutely.
Just for relaxing and joy.
– And what a view you’ve got here as well – Hmm.
– Spectacular!- Yeah.
Yeah, I really like that idea.
and I mean one of the things that’s immediately noticeable about this design
is how… it’s really open plan,
but also really cleverly separates this space
with this dividing wall, doesn’t it?
With a few simple design ideas
we’ve tried to have distinctive areas
in a really small space,
so, for instance, this curved carpet here
just sort of sections of a lounge area
and then you’ve got the kitchen,
just the subtle material and color change
and likewise our little corner table,
and the bedroom area,
so we’ve tried to give every area its own unique sort of look, I guess.
We just want it like a really simple,
emm…almost like a bit of a modern apartment feel to look
and the plywood, you know,
simple varnish plywood ceiling,
spotlights, the little display alcoves
and things like that,
Yeah, very, very happy.
And I think little things like this are really clever,
because if you are in a small space,
it’s good to be able to separate sections off.
And you don’t necessarily want to completely enclose them,
because then it actually can feel confined,
-whereas this way you get kind of the best of both worlds. – Yeah.
And the advantage with this too,
we designed it so that flood a little bit more light into bedroom area.
– Yeah.- Yeah.
Really clever what you’ve done here as well actually,
by not having this come out directly at 45 degrees,
because you kind of make this a bit of more welcoming space
and kind of channel people into here,
but when you’re in the bedroom as well,
you get a bit more space as the local zaps.-Absolutely, absolutely.
– That’s really cool. – Yeah.
When I sketched out the design for this, this wall,
it was really a case of building the interior,
and then we put the wall on,
and we moved the angle what you can draw
as much as you want to draw,
but at the end of the day,
it’s a case of, sometimes just, you know,
putting the partition and all the thing you’re building
and have a little bit of a play around
and see what works the best,
but this way, you still have access to the bedroom,
so, it’s a good compromise.
Could we have a look at the bedroom?
Absolutely, come on through.
Welcome to our tiny,
but hopefully practical usable little bedroom space.
This has a really great feeling to it,
– doesn’t it?- Yeah.
So, I noticed the bits quite a bid right off the floor.
That was for extra storage?
Absolutely. There’re stacks of storage underneath.
It was designed so, if we had visitors,
suitcases can be slid down there easily,
and you could still pop them open,
-reach in without having to drag them out. – Yeah
So, just a little bit more space
and it’s still easy to get on
and in and out at the bed at this height. Yeah.
‘Cause sometimes the storage like this
is actually the most practical,
if you divided it up with cupboards
and drawers and all that sort of thing,
quite often it actually limits what you can store under it,
whereas something like this where it’s just a really large open space.
You could pack a ton of stuff under.
Absolutely, and it was important for us when we designed that,
that it was basically a walk through design.
I know a lot of designs have areas
that you can fold out or lift up,
which I think is fantastic,
but for us, we wanted a design that
everything was as it is,
and you didn’t need to collapse something to move around.
So, with the area like this,
it’s always gonna be a compromise.
But for us, the compromise works.
And the bathroom is in the pops-out behind this here
Yep, small but practical.
So, come on in and have a look.
哇 是的 这真棒
Oh, yeah. This is great.
So, this is our shower area.
That’s a seven-hundred by one metre shower.
That’s a good sized shower.
Yeah, good sized shower,
I’m six-foot three and I can fit in it okay.
– Great- So, that’s great.
And then we’ve got just a little vanity here.
And around the corner,
we’ve got our toilet area,
small but practical.
And so, in the space, tell me a little bit about the power hookups,
water, where’s all that coming from.
Are you just hooked into the mains here?
– That’s what we will do eventually, yes,- Yeah.
There’s some place.
You could have a water tank outside,
but we’ve got a huge water capacity here anyway.
-So, that’s not a problem.-Great.
And likewise, if you wanted to go off the grid,
that’s also an option, I guess,
but at this stage, it’s all just connected.
As far as the cooking side of things goes,
because it’s a small space
and it was for guests,
we didn’t really want to have a guest cooker around here.
So what we’re gonna opt for is just a microwave in there. – mhmm
You can always have a stovetop oven
or something in one of the cupboards.
And I guess, if people want to do gas cooking,
there’s the BBQ outside.
I know that this was actually predominantly designed for guest accommodation,
– Mmm.- But this is bigger and nicer
than a lot of the central city apartments I’ve seen.
This could really easily be a full-time living setup, couldn’t it?
It depends on the person,
some people are into living minimally,
and you could still … uh…very comfortable.
But a minimal lifestyle in this
like obviously you can’t fit as many clothes
or as many bits and pieces as a normal house,
but if you cut back a little bit,
it’d be a fantastic place to live.
Tell me a little bit about the process of building this
and maybe something of things that you’ve learned along the way.
The build process was pretty straight forward.
That’s not rocket science.
You’ve just got to do a better homework, for instance,
go on sets like your set
and you’ll learn a lot.
The whole secret, what I found was
certainly if you’re building with a shipping container,
as soon as the weather gets a little bit chilly,
you have a condensation issue.
So, the insulation side of things are super important.
This is all our sealed spray foam insulation.
For me, the most interesting part of the project
was the design stage,
and how little tweaks in the design
can really make a difference to the visual outcome.
So, for example, when we put this wall in,
and it originally had just simple things like
it had a straight corner here
or 90-degree corner
and just by rounding off this corner,
it makes the flow from the lounge area to the bedroom area
-just flow nicer and gentler-Mmm
without sounding like a design to it
but it just flows a nicer.
And I guess it’s just those things that you almost have to get into the space
and play around with an experiment to find out
what’s gonna work and what’s not.
Absolutely, I think you can draw
and do as many sketches as you want,
but that’ll give you the basic layout and everything,
but it’s not until you start adding colours,
or you know, dimensions or materials
-that you get an idea of what the finished example is gonna look like. – Yeah.
It was just a really fun thing to do.
It was fun to design,
it was fun to build,
immensely satisfying once it was finished.
You know, you see, you get to see what you’ve done through your efforts,
and the whole project was great.
I think, for people who are struggling with the cost of housing nowadays,
affordable homes are a great solution.
And whether it be a container
or another smaller style portable home,
I think the real advantage of,
for people certainly, or any age group,
people living in a smaller house at costs and less,
as they can put in any extra money,
they, first of all, they can become hopefully freehold quicker,
and then, any extra money they have,
they can enjoy their lives a little bit,
or put the money into investment
and then go out and enjoy themselves,
because it seems to me, nowadays,
the biggest thing lacking in a lot of people’s lives
is free time and actually getting a chance to enjoy things.
And that’s advantage of something like us.
And what was the budget for this built?
The budget for this built excluding my labour cost me $28000,
and then it was about two and a half months worth of labour involved.
That’s less than your average Aucklander would spend in a year on rent.
Absolutely, absolutely, so, with a bit of effort,
if someone was to do this themselves
over, say a year’s part-time work on the weekends and that,
a young person could produce something like this,
and save a heap of money on rent.
Well, Shane, I think your trail and error in this case has really paid off.
You’ve created a fantastic space,
even though it wasn’t necessarily designed to be lived in full-time,
this is a place where I think
I could really comfortably see myself living.
So, congratulations on a job really well done.
Well, thanks for that, I appreciate the compliment
and thanks for coming out.
This shipping container may be a small space,
but there’s a lot of really big ideas
that have gone into making it work.
I don’t know about you,
but I don’t think I’d mind calling this place home.
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