Behind the Scenes: Visiting a smart tiny house
It’s small, flexible and has everything you could possibly need: As long as you satisfy certain conditions, the smart Cabin One Minimal House can be erected in virtually any location and tailored to suit even the most diverse needs. It’s an exciting concept that seems perfect for the demands of modern life – and although it’s small on space, it’s big on comfort.
This year, the smart tiny house travelled across Germany on the Wohnglück smart house tour, attracting enthusiastic responses from
countless visitors, including Ricarda Nieswandt. The Cologne-based blogger who writes (in German) about her everyday life and creative interior ideas on her blog 23QM Stil, currently lives with her husband and three children in a beautiful, historic home that dates back to 1918. In this interview, she explains why she has fallen in love with the tiny house concept – and why she could imagine herself downsizing at some point in the future.
G-Pulse editor: What do you think of the tiny house concept?
Ricarda: I absolutely love it. The tiny house has everything you need for everyday life – for a single person or a couple, I think it would work perfectly. I have three children and currently live with my family in a home that has 170 square metres of living space. I like to keep things minimalist, but in my current family situation, I sometimes have to let my own personal tastes take a backseat. This is exactly what appealed to me about the tiny house concept – you have everything you need in the smallest of spaces, and it’s all laid out in a logical and smart way.
G-Pulse editor: Could you imagine yourself living in a tiny house? If not, why not?
Ricarda: I can definitely imagine myself downsizing in the future, perhaps even down to tiny house level. The only thing I’d feel I would lack would be storage space. I’d need to make sure I picked a tiny house with plenty of storage for things you don’t need all the time, but that you do use occasionally at different times of the year, like suitcases, walking shoes or Christmas decorations. All that has to go somewhere. And I’d want a large table, because I like cooking and hosting dinner parties; there would have to be enough space for my friends in my tiny house. Tiny houses can be expanded, too, and I’d love to see a design that can be adapted to perfectly suit your own needs.
G-Pulse editor: The Cabin One Minimal House was designed in partnership with Gira and is packed with smart features – from smart lighting to automatic blind controllers. Which functions were you most impressed by?
Ricarda: To be honest, all of the functions really made a lasting impression on me: Everything from the door that turns opaque at the touch of a button to the replaceable lights on the wall. I also loved the notification functions for the motion detectors and door handles. The house automatically initiates an emergency call if no motion is detected for a long period of time, or if the bathroom door has not been opened. I know from my own experience how worrying it can be if you have older relatives who need a little care and assistance living alone. And I don’t feel like this is excessive monitoring – it could be a lifesaver.
G-Pulse editor: You’ve already indicated that you’d like to kit out your home with smart technology. What solutions would you like to incorporate into your home and why?
Ricarda: I’ve already got smart lighting and sound technology, and I’m now looking to install a smart intrusion detection system and smoke alarm devices. A fire is about the worst thing I could imagine happening to my home, and having connected smoke alarms would really help to put my mind at rest. I also like the idea of using smart technology to save energy. Plus I’m ridiculously forgetful and I often lose my keys – but luckily Gira offers a range of smart solutions that eliminate the need for a key completely.
We think it's fair to say that Ricarda has well and truly fallen for the smart tiny house.
Of course, it may not suit everyone - but for many who are considering downsizing, it is a comfortablee (and affordable) option.
How do you feel about the tiny house concept? Could you imagine limiting your living space to an absolute minimum – without compromising on comfort? Let us know in the comments!