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‘Small Space, Big Ideas’: Exploring the ingenious design of a tiny house with a rooftop garden

In June 2020, Bryce Langston and Rasa Pescud of Living Big In A Tiny House visited this tiny home in New Zealand—a dream sanctuary packed with clever design ideas and functionality in every space.

Its owner, Shaye, designed this tiny home for her and her daughter, Hazel. After building her first tiny house several years ago, she fell in love with the process and wanted to make more, so she started her own tiny house design and construction business.

Shaye, also a professional diver, has clearly had practice from her previous builds over the last several years. Her mom helped her design this beautiful tiny home, making it even more special.

Shaye wanted the 14x9x28ft home to be easy to transport, so she ensured its height was well within the limit. 

She sees herself living in this house for a long time, so she also future-proofed it to accommodate more children or a relationship with a blended family situation.

Shaye capitalized on the beautiful parking spot by creating a really nice veranda area, which she and Hazel use a lot. The home is cedar and ironclad, a classic combo that makes a really good look.

The highlight of this tiny home is the rooftop garden. Shaye loves plants, and she wanted her house to respect the landscape and blend in with its environment, so she installed a living roof on the porch.

Once you step inside the home, your eyes will immediately be drawn to the plant wall on the left, which creates a stunning feature in the home.

The lounge area has a big couch, and the huge bi-folding doors across it open up the space and provide a fantastic view of the outside.

It’s not just the rooftop garden that will catch your attention, the kitchen has an exquisite river table, a timber sink, a four-burner gas hob, a microwave oven, and a fridge—all of which are standard size.

The shelf pantry is backed with mirrors, making it look more spacious than it actually is.

There is also a spare room in the tiny house for possible future expansions.

The couch there pulls out into a double bed, and Shaye and Hazel use the space to watch movies on the computer.

The bathroom is super spacious and features a double vanity and a roll-out composting toilet, which is part of Shaye’s effort to hide all the “ugly stuff.”

The rooms upstairs have closing doors, and they are joined by a walkway that adds to the feeling of having more space.

Hazel’s room has everything a kid would need, including a cute bed, storage for toys and trinkets, and a little desk for drawing.

Shaye can stand fully upright in the main bedroom, which contains a tremendous amount of storage.

A mirror behind the bed creates a feeling of extra depth and space. It also reflects the rooftop garden outside.

When it was filmed in June 2020, Shaye and Hazel had been living in this tiny house for eight months.

“I thought there may be a bit of an adjustment getting back into tiny house living, but there hasn’t even been an adjustment,” she said.

“It’s just been amazing. I’ve just felt so blessed that this is my home, and I love every part of it. It’s worked out better than I could have even hoped.”

Check out this amazing tiny home especially the rooftop garden in the video below.


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