Wittled Down Caravan Wittled Down Caravan The Whittled Down Caravan was made by a New Mexico couple who were looking to downsize and simplify. (Photo: Libby Renish /Whittled Down Life)

These amazing tiny homes might inspire you to downsize

See how the owners of these small houses maximize their space.

The tiny house movement is hot, with TV shows dedicated to people paring down and trying to find a place to live that requires minimal upkeep and utility costs. There’s even an edition of HGTV’s venerable “HouseHunters” series dedicated to tiny homes.

A look at these tiny homes shows that their owners have done a great job of maximizing a small space. If you're looking to downsize and simplify, there's a lot you could learn from these creative homeowners.

The Whittled Down Caravan House

Whittled Down CaravanWhittled Down Caravan, including the "catio" built for the owners' cat. (Photo: Inhabitat/Flickr)

A New Mexico couple, Tristan Chambers and Libby Reinish, created this pioneer-era wagon made of reclaimed material. They mounted a solar shower, and the sink drains to a container outside to reclaim the water. A translucent ceiling lets light in. They even created a "catio" for their pet cat.

Whittled Down CaravanThe Whittled Down Caravan uses reclaimed materials, a solar shower and translucent fabric on the ceiling. (Photo: Inhabitat/Flickr)


The House Made From a City Bus

Bus, sweet bus: This certainly isn't your grandparents' RV. (Photos by Lior Danzig}

Once you take the seats out of a bus, you've got a lot of room to work with. This is what two imaginative Israeli women found when they salvaged a city bus, gutted it, and created a modern tiny home. Note the sleek fixtures and the slick restaurant-style booth the creative duo installed. The huge windows let in a lot of light. Even the best rock star tour bus isn't this nice.

Bus ConversionThe bus conversion allowed a lot of room for modern furnishings. (Photo: Lior Danzig)


Thousand Crow House

Thousand Crow HouseThe Thousand Crow House in Vancouver is only 186 square feet. (Photo: Isabella Mori/Imgur)

Housing is tough to come by in Vancouver, B.C., so Isabella Mori decided to have her own tiny house built. Its modern design lets a lot of light in via windows near the roof, and the two-level structure creates a storage area under the mezzanine where Mori keeps a queen-sized bed.

Thousand Crow House interiorThe interior of the Thousand Crow House in Vancouver. A queen bed is stored under the floor of the mezzanine level. (Photo: Isabella Mori/Imgur)


House Made From a Truck

Truck home IsraelIsraeli animator Joseph Trayyer converted this truck into a modern, green home. (Photo: Ilan Nachum)

Israeli animator and performing arts school grad Joseph Trayyer had an inspired idea. Combing creativity and carpentry, he gutted this truck and built a mobile home powered by solar panels, with water provided by an external tank. Its green design doesn't prevent it from having a comfortable, well-appointed interior. And the walls are 7 inches thick.

Truck home Israel interiorThe interior of Joseph Trayyer's truck home. (Photo: Ilan Nachum)


Lulu's Shipping Container House

Lulu's tiny homeLulu, from Sonoma, California, made a tiny house from a shipping container. An "expansion" was made from a flatbed trailer. (Photo: Nicolás Boullosa/Flickr)

Lulu, a single mother in Sonoma, California, paired with tiny home builder Jenine Alexander to make this airy space out of a shipping container. When she wanted to "expand" with a new bedroom, she built a second space from a flatbed trailer. Both allow her to go to school full-time without having to maintain a mortgage.

Lulu's tiny homeLulu cut the openings for her shipping container home herself; she made the structure open and airy. (Photo: Nicolás Boullosa/Flickr)

Perhaps these tiny homes, which make creative use of materials and space, will inspire you to downsize. Either way, it's fascinating to see how a little ingenuity goes a long way toward making even the smallest of spaces feel like home.

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These amazing tiny homes might inspire you to downsize
See how the owners of these small houses maximize their space.