Gina has been a part of the tiny house movement for quite a while now. In designing, she has created plenty of modern and fully functional homes using every square footage with innovative designs and layouts, perfect for families who want to downsize.
Gina’s professional career in Bay of Plenty, New Zealand designing houses led her to create the ‘Bitser.’ At first, it was meant to be a spec home for prospective buyers. Eventually, she fell in love with the house and got it for herself before the house was made available.
Her home got its moniker from the building process, where Gina and her team had to re-purpose bits and pieces of components and materials from other builds.
Gina’s team already had a 19.6-foot trailer lying around the workshop. In designing the Bitser’s, its windows and kitchen were also part of a previous build where the client changed their mind halfway through the project.
The home is 19.6 feet long by 7.9 feet wide. It’s roughly 13.8 feet tall, while the beautiful jet-black wall plating is also one of the materials they had in stock. From afar, you’d think that the home looks like a simple black box, but once you get closer, you’ll notice the exquisite craftsmanship of the doors and windows that elevate the structure’s modern feel.
The Bitser’s roof is also designed for rainwater collection with a spouting and piping system. It’s still connected to the grid, but thanks to Gina’s design parameters, the home can be modified to an off-grid lifestyle if need be.
The first thing that you’ll notice once you get inside Gina’s home is the nets located overhead. It makes the room look bigger while providing Gina with more usable space upstairs. The woven nets are also a nice touch to complement the interior’s white color scheme. The light coming from the windows upstairs can still shine below.
The lounge takes a third of the tiny house’s square footage. The couch’s leg has a contraption for the lagoon table leg. The table’s bass clips to the bracket, giving you a table that swivels in all directions. It’s a handy fixture that allows you to work or eat in the living room without feeling cramped and restricted.
You’ll find a wall-mounted TV on the opposite side of the couch, beneath lies a six storage compartments. These were supposed to be cubbies for shoes, but in designing this area, Gina thought that it would make great slimline storage for blankets, laptops, and other bulky objects. These compartments don’t take up much space when opened.
Just past the living room is the kitchen, which Gina already had before the build. The overhead cupboards also give Gina’s kitchen more storage options. And thanks to the windows below, her kitchen does not feel tight and cramped.
She can still cook dishes and wash plates while looking at the relaxing view outside. Gina also makes use of her countertop’s drawers and the stairs located on the opposite side of the room. The Bitser’s layout integrated cool yet discrete places where you can keep your belongings.
The home’s bathroom features the same color scheme with the rest of the house. The fixtures are well-spaced in the room’s compact area. The two windows help make the room feel and look more spacious together with the reflective surfaces.
The square footage and layout are not different from most tiny houses except for the same shoe cubbies, where Gina stores the wood chips. The composting toilet’s sleek, wooden-looking design ties the room’s walls and floor.
Gina was still able to put a shower area despite the tiny home’s limited square footage. The retractable shower screen separates the area from the rest of the room. The screen does the same job as a glass divider, except it’s lighter and more affordable.
Right upstairs is where Gina’s sanctuary lies. The net hammock almost looks like a ceiling, where you can read books directly above the living room. You even see the television from there! There are wooden shelves where Gina keeps her book collection. “I’d like to think of this as my little library or like a reading area—a place to chill out.” Gina explained.
Some people even find the hammock very comfortable to sleep on. “But you’d have to be a certain kind of confident to do that,” she joked. “I think a lot of people really get nervous around nets like it’s quite polarizing. People love or hate them.”
Just a few feet away from the shelves are framed with various quotes. “I did a talk at the Auckland Home Show last year and I spoke about the reasons why people want to go tiny, because I’ve always been fascinated by the absolute variety in people’s reasoning and the types of people as well,” Gina said.
The framed photo contained testimonies from many people explaining the advantages of living in a tiny home.
The sleeping loft mimics the style and motif of the lounge. The bed is situated opposite of the hammock loft with two windows on the walls on its two sides. The room is bright and vibrant, thanks to the natural light. There are also big cabinets and baskets on the north side of the room for clothes and bedroom essentials.
It took approximately $76,000 for Gina to build The Bitser. She saved more by choosing more affordable alternatives without compromising the home’s longevity and quality.
Most of the time, the mobile home is parked outside at Gina’s workshop. She and her partner, Jay, is not living in the house yet. The goal is to have it stand in a property once Gina and Jay are ready.
No matter where the couple will go in the country, they both have the peace of mind of having a home they can take with them. And it’s not just any other home—Gina designed and built it herself tailored to her needs and lifestyle.
And isn’t that everyone’s dream? In designing, you are able use every square footage of your home to its fullest potential.
Take a full tour inside by watching the video below.
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