Couple’s minimalist home is Brazil’s second legal tiny house

Fact checked byKatherine Martinko

This flexible residence features a cleverly designed living room.

In the past, the stereotypical gable-roof-topped tiny house was, for the most part, a North American phenomenon, emerging as a radical response to society’s wasteful consumerism and rising housing costs. However, nowadays the tiny house is being popularized in surprising locales as far off as France, Italy, Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, and even South Korea.

The ideals of simple living, reducing one’s carbon footprint and that “small is beautiful,” are indeed gaining traction all over the world. It’s a heartening thing to see, given that building and construction are responsible for 39% of all carbon emissions in the world, with 28% going to heat, cool, and electrify buildings and the rest coming from upfront or embodied carbon emissions.1

In any case, it appears the tiny house movement has arrived in Brazil as well. Gabi and Gu are a young couple living in a tiny house that is currently parked on a farm property about 50 minutes away from São Paulo. We get a tour of their lovely home via Alternative House, which features quite a few clever space-saving ideas, particularly in their living room.

As the couple explains, their tiny home is the second tiny house that has been legally recognized in the South American country, allowing them to travel with their tiny home on the roads. Flexibility, and being able to move their home around, was one of the big reasons why they decided to go tiny, says Gu:

“Basically, what made us think about moving into a tiny house, and buying a tiny house to live in, was the fact that we could actually choose where we could live. That’s why our tiny house is on wheels. So we lived in an apartment before, and we bought that apartment, and we were thinking about the next step—what would we want to do after that, after paying [for] that apartment, and we didn’t want to be rooted to one place, because we didn’t know where we would need to travel, or to work, or to travel to live. So that’s the main reason why we decided to live in a tiny house.”

So once it was decided that a tiny house was the way to go forward, Gabi and Gu enlisted the help of another couple who were the first to build a legal tiny house in Brazil, to help them build their own legal tiny home.

Gabi and Gu’s tiny house measures about 269 square feet (25 square meters) and is clad mostly with wood. The footprint of their home is extended by a large outdoor deck, which allows them to enjoy time outdoors, especially with the addition of an inflatable spa unit.

Once inside, we can see that a lot of attention has been paid to how things are laid out so that no space is wasted. Once one enters, we come into the flexible space that serves as a home office, with the kitchen counter extending to become the office desk.

Since both Gabi and Gu work remotely in sales, this means they needed space to set up their laptops. While the main desk is one option, there is another in this cleverly designed piece of multifunctional furniture beside it, which can act as another desk when it’s folded up, or as a dinner table for six when it’s open. (You can see it in action a little further below).

Off to one side is the living room, where this intriguing set of multifunctional modules sits.

When the pieces move around, it can become either an L-shaped couch …

… or it can be a bed for guests. Of course, one can also store things within these modules, and the couple says that because of this feature, along with all the storage space allocated under the stairs, they don’t really need any more extra storage space.

Here we can see what the living room area looks like when the dining table is deployed.

The kitchen is spacious and equipped with regular-sized appliances, like the stove, oven, refrigerator, and microwave, along with a double sink.

The bathroom feels quite large and has a tiled shower, sink, and vanity, and a bamboo-clad composting toilet that the couple built themselves. There is a combination washer-dryer included here too.

Going up the stairs, we have the sleeping loft, which can fit a queen-sized bed.

Here’s a view of the tiny house from one of the lofts, which shows a catwalk for the couple’s cat to move around on. The other loft at the other end of the home is accessible by ladder and is mainly a secondary space for the cat to do its business or a place to sleep for extra guests who can’t fit in the modular sofa bed below. Amazingly, this house can sleep up to six people.

Overall, Gabi and Gu are extremely happy with their decision to go tiny, saying it allows them to have the best of both worlds by living close to the city, yet in a countryside setting. They are raising awareness about tiny living not only by living the lifestyle but also by offering tours of their home to the tiny-curious via Airbnb. You can see more on their Instagram.

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