Is there anything more romantic than staying in a simple structure made highly luxurious? Having recently had a lovely glamping experience, where I had the pleasure of feeling lost in the woods (but in my lovely A-Frame), I am newly obsessed with all forms of smaller, simple structures. Tiny homes, yurts and tents can all be designed to be both incredibly efficient (low carbon footprint, too!) as well as creatively outfitted to feel incredibly sumptuous and luxurious. In this day and age– where we are looking for new ways to live more economically, and with less impact on our fragile planet–these smaller, more simple residences are very compelling and appealing.
I’d like to start by exploring yurts! These lovely circular structures originate with the Nomadic tribes of Mongolia, and have ancient origins. The round footprint allows for any number of wonderful “open floor plan” configurations, and the decor can have endless creative possibilities.
In the image below, we can see what a traditional Mongolian yurt would have looked like…
The hole at the top of the structure is designed to be constructed over a fire pit/cooking area within the yurt structure on the ground below. Pretty genius!
In the image above, we see how a very simple yurt structure can be made to be very comfortable for multi-functional living in one space. The copper lined tub adds a nice vintage touch and little hint of luxury to the simple decor.
In the image above, we have a huge yurt style space–complete with cozy twin beds, and wooden doors that tie in nicely with the wood lattice walls. The funky, eclectic combination of design styles and elements makes for a fun, playful, warm feeling space. I cannot imagine wanting to leave this awesome place!
Tents also lend themselves perfectly to this “high/low” design aesthetic. There is something incredibly appealing about being in a very simple structure that we associate with camping, or adventurous expeditions, and then having the “surprise” of beautiful, soft bedding, canopies of fabric, soft pillows, and romantic lighting sources.
In the image above, the simple tent has been transformed into a luxury oasis! The addition of the twinkle lights creates a romantic touch, and the low table, surrounded by cushions, adds a casual yet exotic flair. I love the combination of textures, neutral tones, and fun patterns to create a visually rich impression. My kind of tent!!
Although more rustic, the image below gives us another view of this rustic/luxurious combination. The traditional tan canvas tent has been given a luxurious “twist” by outfitting it with white canvas camp chairs and a coffee bar just inside! Very cozy!
Finally, we come to the ever-popular tiny homes! With the increasing popularity of both low-impact and more flexible, economic living, tiny homes have garnered lots of attention! The beauty and genius of these small footprint residences is the way the homes can incorporate endless, creative forms of efficient design. In the images below, we see several very different styles expressed in the tiny home decor.
A-Frame Tiny Home in Stowe, VT
In the first image, showing a tiny home in Stowe, Vermont, the white A-frame structure is highlighted and set-off by the dark metal work of the windows. The design is clean and simple with a dramatic effect.
In the second image, we see a really visually appealing white cabinetry and wood combination. Notice the cool, plant filled loft space created in the space above the main living area. The clean lines and simplicity of the (primarily) white/brown palette keeps the space visually uncluttered and feeling open and airy.
The last tiny home design shown is more of a “stacked” or layered design concept. A central area, including a galley style kitchen, is set off from the sleeping area above. This tiered space planning works really well-keeping everything delineated and well-organized. Here again, we see some well-planned design elements, like the cute open shelves and built-in window seat to the left side of the steps.
This tiny home in New York
The Tiny Home in New York has a fun “bunk bed” type concept, with a daybed below, and a loft style sleeping area above. The splash of color increases the playful, vibrant feel of the space. The fold up/down shelf provides a handy and spatially efficient way of adding a work surface, and the shelves built under the loft create visual interest and great, flexible storage!
And last but not least, the smallest home (on wheels!)
Finally, let’s not forget the added benefit of the mobility of these nomadic style homes! Yurts and tents, by nature of the building materials and the inherent simple structures, are relatively easily constructed and de-constructed. You can bring your home to wherever you may want to go! The tiny home, of course, is an even more mobile version of nomadic/travel style living. Often constructed on wheels to be a fully mobile home, you can literally “pick-up” and go to a different location in your amazing tiny home! The design “tricks”, clever space planning, and luxury details we see in these smaller structures can also be easily incorporated in residences of any size! So, the next time you are ready to embark on your design project, consider taking inspiration from the wonderful tents, yurts and tiny homes that are popping up everywhere!