BIG ON STYLE, SIMPLICITY AND SUSTAINABILITY, THE TINY HOME IS THE WAY OMF THE FUTURE, WRITES CANDICE BOTHA
Minimalism has gone from simply having a moment to being a popular movement that’s gaining traction worldwide. Reducing the number of possessions, working with a capsule wardrobe and packaging-free produce are some of the ways to live a less- is-more life. Another is downsizing on a mega-scale to a tiny home. And we mean tiny – about 15 to 30m2 to be exact. Pioneering this lifestyle in South Africa is the KZN-based Wanderlust Co. They produced the first prototype of their product to showcase at this year’s ECR House & Garden Show and to say it was a hit is an understatement. A flurry of social media posts suggests they are on to something big. But what’s tiny living all about? And is it practical?
“A Tiny House is a purpose-built, moveable home that promotes energy-efficient, sustainable living,” says co-director Megan Jeanes. Fully customisable, the interiors can be designed to suit your needs and decor style. The board and batten exterior and charcoal roof of the Tiny House showhouse is contemporary and stylish, hinting at the chic interior design. The feel is decidedly minimalist, as you would expect, but timber-topped cabinetry and wooden floors add warmth to the monochrome finishes.
“Interesting touches like leather handles on the cabinetry, on-trend black sanware and white subway tiles in the bathroom and a statement pendant light ensure that although small, the space feels decorated and inviting. The layout is surprisingly spacious with two double beds, one
cleverly housed in a loft with wall- mounted lights eliminating the need for a bedside table, and high clerestory windows welcoming in plenty of light without encroaching on valuable wall space – the type of clever design decisions that maximise space without compromising on necessities.
Storage space is there but living this way would require a careful curation of your possessions. “You really don’t need as much as you think you do,” notes Megan, “and living this way is very liberating for many people.”
Situated on a flatbed trailer, the idea is that you could live a nomadic lifestyle in a Tiny Home, moving your house to wherever the fancy takes you. “We have had great feedback from people wanting to rent out square meterage of their land for our Tiny Homes to start tiny home communities, so this will be an option very soon,” says Megan. For now, you can park your Tiny Home at a caravan park or obviously in the garden of a family member or friend – an interesting alternative to a bricks and mortar granny flat.
Prices range from R350 000 depending on the size you choose and the level of customisation. “Individuals can apply for unsecured lending from banks starting at R350 000 depending on your monthly take home pay which you will be able to pay off over a five-year period. We are hoping to have financing options available soon, in the form of a bond over a twenty-year period, as the banking institutes are interested in our product,” says Megan.
Simplicity and sustainability are the focus for Wanderlust Co and finishes and fittings are as eco-friendly as possible with the option of a Tiny Home being completely off-grid with solar power, a purpose- designed water tank and composting
toilet. “We have tried to stick to materials like glass, wood and ceramics rather than plastic to be true to our mission of being kinder to the environment,” says Megan.
Co-directors of Wanderlust Co, Matt Bower and Kendal McGlashan, are moving into a Tiny Home themselves. “There is
no better time than now. I want to be able to tell my children that their dad and I helped shape a movement that shifted our environmental impact on the planet, and the greater dream is to help South Africa’s economy by creating affordable and sustainable homes and investments for the majority of South Africans. The cost of living is extremely high and we want to slash that expense and simplify,” says Kendal.
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