Tiny House makes a big impression

Photo: Will & Jen's Tiny House (Supplied)

Wanaka's new Tiny House

When you hear about a house the size of a garage, you can’t help but form ideas before you see it. But if you visit Will and Jennie Croxford’s tiny house, you might just find many of those preconceptions are way off the mark.

As you walk into the house, which at just under 30 square metres is the size of a single garage, albeit on two floors, the first thing that strikes you is the amount of space they have.

There is a large living room and an open plan kitchen with ample room for preparing food. Upstairs, the bedroom stretches halfway across the property’s length, leaving plenty of room for a double bed, bedside tables and storage space for clothes.

The tiny house idea came on one of their many cycling trips.

“Cycle tourists get obsessed with shedding weight. They even chop the handles off their toothbrushes. We biked from Melbourne to Brisbane and you go around the shops and can’t buy anything because you can’t carry it.”

“That got us thinking that we don’t need a spare bedroom when someone comes to stay. We had 20 acres in our last property, but did we need it?” Will explains.

You might expect them to be living without many home comforts. Yet there are two sofas, a big television, a coffee table, a washing machine and a dishwasher. The bathroom is no smaller than most en suites I’ve seen.

“People like to surround themselves with their stuff, but it’s easy to be minimalist these days. We had a bookshelf full of books, now we have a Kindle. We had lots of CDs and records, now we have Spotify.”

Will does, however, warn that the lifestyle is not for everyone.

“You have to want to live in a tiny house to live in a tiny house. If you want a big house, you’ll just get frustrated.”

One thing they have certainly done is to maximise their space. Three drawers come out of the stairs for storage. They have two kitchen hobs instead of four, a slimmed-down toaster and a tiny kettle. The kitchen’s extractor fan is a vent, with the motor hidden under the floor.

Will designed the house himself and took it to an architect. Their builder, a long-time friend, was so inspired by the idea that he and Will are now setting up a business providing tiny buildings.

Originally from Canterbury, Will and Jennie have now settled in Wanaka.

“This is our forever house,” Will said.

Having seen how innovative, comfortable and spacious their house is, it’s easy to see why.

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