Dreaming of a way to live small and light so you can focus on the important things in life? Not sure how to do it? Well, dear reader, you have come to the right place.

When it comes to tiny home living, more and more options are sprouting up every day, it seems. Some are prefabs, some are DIY, some are on wheels, some are adobe, and some are wood — so, really, there's something for everyone, as long as you don't have very much stuff.

The idea of what constitutes a "dream home" is changing. Here are five dream tiny homes to consider:

1. Tumbleweed Houses

There's no question that Tumbleweed Houses have been on the vanguard of the tiny home movement. With 21 floor plans to choose from, Tumbleweeds can accommodate just about any life — within a 117 to 874 square feet range. Customers can also choose between ready made and build yourself models. Of course, all that fine craftsmanship comes at a price…Tumbleweeds start at just under $60,000.

2. NOMAD Micro Home

With a 10' by 10' footprint, the prefab NOMAD bills itself as "affordable + sustainable + adaptable," and it truly is. Through efficient, innovative design, the NOMAD Live model incorporates a living room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom loft, plus storage. It's all made possible by doubling up on duties: The stairs also serve as the kitchen and the bathroom is actually the shower stall. And the price tag is a mere $28,000 (Canadian), not including taxes and shipping.

3. The Pallet House

Originally imagined as a somewhat permanent home for refugees in Kosovo, the $500 Pallet House comes from I-Beam Design and measures 16' by 16'. Whether the displacement is caused by economic or natural disaster, people are generally left living in makeshift shelters or emergency tents. Shipping pallets provide a step up from there, as well as an affordable, sustainable solution to a widespread problem. Bolster the foundation and walls with some concrete and plaster for an easy measure of resilience.

4. Superadobe Dome

Here are the Superadobe Dome basics: Dig out a building area; fill sandbags with the dirt; stack the bags in a circle (with a 14-foot diameter). These fire-, pest-, and weather-resistant structures were also conceived originally as emergency shelters in war-torn areas, but have gone on to become a trusted, energy-efficient building method all over the world because a team of four people with about $650 to spare can build one in less than a week. Credit for the Superadobe Dome goes to architect Nader Khalili and his Cal-Earth Institute. The United Nations and NASA both like his work enough to honor it.

5. Four Lights Houses

Over at Four Lights, architect Jay Shafer has designed a number of home models ranging in size from 98 square feet all the way up to a whopping 380 square feet (plus another 350 in loft space). His blueprints start at $299 with building materials estimated to run an additional $15,000+, depending on which model you build. These beauties are also designed to meet ANSI requirements for RVs, so towing your house is a-okay with the po-po.

Kelly McCartney


Kelly McCartney |

Having won prestigious literary competitions in both grade school and junior high, I attended college with a Scripps Howard Foundation scholarship, earned a BA in Journalism, and interned at Entertainment

Things I share: I seek. I write. I think. I roam. I listen. I care. I wonder. I help. I flirt. I try. I dream. I grow.