These Tiny, Off-the-Grid Cabins look like nothing from the outside...but you will be EXCITED by what you learn ....

Photo Credit: Dwell

Check out these cute tiny houses in the Mojave Desert. They may look like Monopoly houses from the outside, but once you see inside, you will be blown away. These two houses are wonderful examples of small house design and creative home design too. You'll notice that the exterior looks somewhat red, this is because of the weathered steel siding that was used from an older home on the land. Malek Alqadi is the designer of the home, and the first time he visited Joshua Tree where the tiny house is now standing, he knew he wanted to build a home there. He built it on a 1954 homestead outside Joshua Tree National Park with his friend and stitched together an old structure on the land. He did all of this while not disturbing the beautiful land surrounding the tiny house either. Malek has been interested in sustainable design and living since he was an architecture student and he has always wanted to build an off-grid home or cabin. He and his friend had to dig a seven-foot hole to install a solar tree that would create solar power for the home. Usually, when it comes to off-grid small house design, people will go with solar panels and a solar kit to power their homes. They can be quite pricey though, so it needs to be a factor in your budget if you plan on off the grid small house living.

The tiny house ended up being about 400 square feet with a communal space in one area and the sleeping space in the other. Inside, the tiny house looks much different than it does on the inside. They finished the walls with raw plywood and dark plaster which creates the perfect juxtaposition of colour. Most of the furniture they furnished the home with is from IKEA. They even added in a solar refrigerator which is from EcoSolarCool. Then a ladder goes up into the loft and there is a solar powered skylight with a rain sensor on it. They put a water tank and the mechanicals on the top of the second tiny house as well as a deck facing north. The bed in the bedroom is even heated and the bedroom also features a bio-ethanol fireplace and a projector for watching shows and movies. The odd time it rains there is a cover to protect the deck area. The off-grid tiny house is available to be rented out too so people can experience this off-grid and sustainable lifestyle. They added in WiFi if guests want to use it, but they can also completely disconnect if they want to enjoy a relaxing escape from their hectic city lives. The area between the two tiny houses allows people to stay in touch with nature during their stay and there is also a stargazing portal. This outdoor area also features an outdoor rain shower and a bathtub, which are hooked up to the property's gray-water system.

When you're building a tiny house off-grid you can dig a well too, but in the desert Malek may not have found water. Which is why it can be better to invest in an off-grid option so you have a reliable source or power and water. The solar tree is a freestanding photovoltaic power generator and Malek and his friend made it mostly themselves. It runs off of the sun's energy so the sun keeps everything in the tiny house running. Malek and his friend plan to develop an off-grid village with tiny houses much like this small house design so that people can experience the sustainability of small house living. In the meantime, they visit the tiny house regularly and rent it out to people who want to stay short term.***

Learn MORE at Dwell


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