Prefabulous Small Houses

Little House on the Ferry, Photo courtesy of Go Logic, Trent Bell

The downsized dwelling is, to many of us stuff-heavy Americans, both daunting and fascinating. It allows us to imagine a life less cluttered and more curated. Like Marie Kondo’s mega best-sellers, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy, the concept offers a path to lighten our homes and our psyches. It also promises less environmental impact.

Patrick Barta

Prefabulous Small Houses (The Taunton Press, $32) is a visual tour through a coast-to-coast sampling of prefab homes and vacation cabins (from 350 to 2,000 square feet) that succeed in embracing the pared-down life. It also includes floor plans, building specifics, innovative technologies and green features. Here, we offer a small sampling from its pages.

Little House on the Ferry [Photo courtesy of Go Logic, Trent Bell]


Location: Vinalhaven, Maine
Size: 980 square feet
Components: Cross-laminated timber
Use: An Austrian couple built these three structures on the lot next to their summer house to serve as guest space. The living unit and two bedroom units are linked by an exterior deck.


Sandpoint Cabin [Photo: Rob Yagid for Fine Homebuilding ©The Taunton Press]

Sandpoint Cabin [Photo courtesy of Marie-Dominique Verdier]


Location: Sagle, Idaho
Size: 550 square feet
Components: Timber frame/post and beam
Use: This vacation home serves as base camp for the outdoor adventures of a family of four.


Bayview Cottage [Photo: Alison Caron Design]

Bayview Cottage [Photo: Alison Caron Design]


Location: Dennis Port, Massachusetts
Size: 1,027 square feet
Components: Modular/cedar shingles
Use: This home is part of a 63-cottage neigh-bor-hood overlooking Nantucket Sound where the structures are designed for community interaction and built to withstand 110-mph winds. The oceanfront cottage colony is Cape Cod’s first in more than 50 years.


Sonoma Residence [Photo: Joe Fletcher]

Sonoma Residence [Photo: Joe Fletcher]


Location: Sonoma, California
Size: 1,600 square feet
Components: Modular/steel frame
Use: A daughter had this house built on an adjacent lot so her mom could be closer to her.

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Categories: Interiors