Being Tiny and 100% Sustainable

How fantastic would it be if all micro, tiny & small homes were 100% sustainable? It makes complete sense to me. Tiny homes offer the best opportunities to experiment with all the different aspects of sustainable resources due to there size. This sure would also be one way to get the tiny home critics to have something positive to say about these sized homes, while at the same time challenging their environmental consciousness even more.

There are so many sustainable & green energy options and they include:

  • ·       Solar energy
  • ·       Bio-fuels/bio-energy
  • ·       Wind power
  • ·       Hydro power
  • ·       Hydrogen and fuel cells
  • ·       Geothermal
  • ·       Ocean energy

In addition to these renewable energy options, there are also so many different types of recycling efforts that can be utilized for maximizing of material use. Where do we start on this 100% sustainable mission? By incorporating ideas like:

  • ·       Building a portion or all of the tiny home from recycled material
  • ·       Using appliances and other items that utilize renewable energy: These include items such as solar cookers, Sun Frost refrigerators, composting toilets, rainwater catchment systems, hand operated appliances, and so much more.
  • ·       Utilizing solar panels to generate electricity
  • ·       Using solar heaters to heat water
  • ·       Using non-electric washing machines
  • ·       Planting trees and plants for food, air purification, wind and temperature control
  • ·       Using solar lanterns and candles as lighting options

Creating tiny homes that are 100% sustainable is possible. It requires effort and a lot of creative thinking. We are halfway there by having a Cozy Home!

Cozy,  Kevin B Harrington

Foundations for a Cozy Home

Many of the popular tiny homes are built on a portable foundation like a trailer that can be towed around the country, or even on skids that can be moved around a piece of property. However, if you are thinking of putting down roots in a small or Cozy Home, you will most likely want a strong and solid foundation. There’s a saying that a home is only as good as its hat (roof) and boots. Let’s go over those boots.

There are several different types of foundations for a small home. A slab foundation, a concrete perimeter foundation, a basement foundation and a crawl space foundation. In some hotter parts of the world, some homes are built on a pier and beam foundation. Each of these foundations are built in different sections of the country and each have their own pros and cons.


Slab Foundation

Most homes in the South are built on a slab. A slab foundation is usually concrete poured directly onto the ground after the soil is removed and the grading is complete. It’s a quick, efficient and more inexpensive way to build a foundation and the pro is that concrete rather than wood is used to support the weight of the home.


Basement Foundation

Most homes in the north part of the country have a basement foundation. These types of foundations are constructed at least 8-10 feet into the ground with a concrete slab and concrete walls around the slab. The house rests on the concrete walls and the basement can act as an extension of the home. Some basements can be finished to include an extra room or storage and laundry space and some are used as a refuge during tornadoes or other fierce storms. A basement foundation does add additional cost to a small home.


Concrete Perimeter Foundation

For homeowners who want the stability of concrete, but don’t want to have a basement, a concrete perimeter foundation is a cheaper solution. A concrete perimeter foundation is formed by excavating around the outside dimensions of where the house will sit and pouring a layer of concrete known as footer into the ground. After the footer is poured, concrete blocks are cemented together on top of the footer to provide concrete block walls for the house to rest on.


Crawl Space Foundation

Crawl space foundations are usually built where the frost line is not as deep. This type of foundation is built above the ground allowing just enough room to crawl underneath to access wiring and plumbing. There are stem walls on the perimeters, pierced in-between and then a girder system and floor joists on top of that.


Pier and Beam Foundation

A pier and beam foundation consists of wood beams or posts that sit on top of concrete piers, with the house resting on the wood beams. The advantage of this type of foundation is that it is easier to construct and less expensive than a concrete perimeter foundation. A pier and beam foundation may be implemented in areas where there is a low risk of earthquakes or hurricane-velocity winds because the foundation is not embedded as deep into the ground as a concrete foundation.

Photos by Chris McSorley, Ohio Passive Solar Home, Home Style Choices, Quality Foundation Repair

By Christina Nellemann for [Cozy Home Plans]

Small Furniture with Unique Storage

Tiny, small and Cozy homes can be a challenge when it comes to storage. Cozy Home Plans tries to add in as much built-in storage as possible into each small home, but sometimes you might have to let your furniture do the storing of your clothing, paperwork, books or DVDs. These days, more and more furniture is being designed to hold your belongings. Some of these pieces of furniture are unique, functional and stylish and still take up less room than some storage bins or other alternative ways to hide away your stuff.


This platform bed for $275 from Humble Abode features two large drawers on each side of the bed for clothing, bedding or towels.



This stylish chair from Coleman Furniture has storage inside the seat.


Target sells some nice looking ottomans in different shapes and fabrics that also double as storage cubes.


This dark cherry dining table has a storage pedestal base for stacking cookbooks or dining accessories, with a lower door offering even more out of sight storage. It costs about $260 from Wendy Furniture.


This rolling laundry cart from Casa not only holds laundry in separate compartments, but it can also hold clean clothes and it rolls around from bathroom to bedroom. It costs around $100.



By Christina Nellemann for [Cozy Home Plans]

The Emotions Behind Paint Colors

Creating your perfect Cozy Home is combining both “visual” charm and “physical” comfort. A space that appeals to all 5 senses; sight, hearing, taste, smell & touch in a positive way will quickly become your favourite one. There are a lot of ways to do this; one of those is picking the right paint colour to help make any room feel alive and comfortable.

Based on experiments, different colours instil different vibes and emotions. The psychology of colours relies mainly on a sighted person’s mental and emotional sensibilities. Say, you see a cool one. The first vibe that you get from this is that the place is a restful one, where if you see a warm colour, the vibe that you get is that the place gives you passion and drive.

You can – in addition to setting the desired mood for your home – set goals for a specific room. This room could be a nursery, so you might want to paint it with bright and playful colours. This room could be a study room, so you might want to paint it with metallic colours to inspire you to strive for bigger achievements. You can use this colour psychology in order to achieve the mood that you want. Restaurants, if you have noticed, also use this. They usually paint their spaces with bright red, yellow and orange colours which evoke the feeling of hunger, savour and delight. Here is a rundown of a few colours and the emotions that they evoke.

  • WHITE: peace, comfort, purity
  • BLACK: power, authority
  • GRAY: practicality, neutrality
  • RED: love, romance, passion
  • ORANGE: warmth, happiness
  • YELLOW: warmth, enthusiasm
  • GREEN: growth, money
  • BLUE: peace, serenity, restfulness
  • PURPLE: death, creativity, mystery
  • BROWN: stability, strive
  • PINK: gentleness, love, romance


As you can see, different colours evoke different emotions. Expressing your personality through colours is a great way to show off “you”. The emotions behind paint are sometimes left unnoticed, but they actually do affect people both mentally and emotionally.

Painting is a great DIYer project but it usually takes more time than you think. Here are some tips that may make it easier.


Cozy,  Kevin B Harrington

Cozy Home Entertainment Systems

Even if your house is tiny or small, you might want to have an area or space that’s specifically for entertaining purposes. This can include a TV, stereo system, computer or laptop space and maybe even some cool speakers. With technology getting smaller every year, even the tiniest house can have a great place to watch movies or listen to music without taking up too much room. Several Cozy Homes have a space for a flat screen television including the 384 square foot Crested Butte and the 505 square foot Mount Kiska. With a little ingenuity, a small entertainment space can be integrated into a living room with a flat screen TV area.


A small cabinet or shelf from IKEA can hold a DVD player, a compact stereo, a cable box and even some movies in a small corner. The key to keeping space uncluttered is to install as many things on the wall as possible. This includes the TV, the speakers, shelving and wiring. Speakers for a small house can stay in one area or can be installed in various places around the house. An unobtrusive style of speaker system from Bose is only around $160 and comes with custom mounting brackets. They are only about 4 inches high and about 11 inches wide. If your main source of entertainment is your computer or laptop, this and its components can be tucked away into a desk or shelf or even inside an ottoman with an inside storage area…only being brought out when you want to watch a movie or your favorite show.

If you have to share your small space with other people and you don’t want to watch or listen to the same thing, a good pair of headphones can be a relationship-saver. A pair of wireless TV headphones allows one person to listen to the TV while the other sleeps or reads. A Sennheiser set of headphones runs about $70.


By Christina Nellemann for [Cozy Home Plans]

The El Capitan with a Fireplace

One of the first stock small house plans to be offered here at Cozy was the El Capitan; it’s also available in a simple outdoor shed too by the way. The exterior look and style was influenced by a picture of a garden shed that I saw on the internet and immediately thought “how cool is that”. However, the inside is 100% pure Cozy Micro, Little, Tiny or small living at it finest.

At only 307 sq. ft. the El Capitan’s layout never ceases to amaze me on what can be done with it. We now have 4 different configurations for the inside, depending on your needs or wants in a small house. All versions have your basic full-time needs covered with a great place for sleeping, cooking, relaxing, bathroom and laundry facilities.

The original El Capitan is a perfect mixture of Pool & Guest House with bathroom access from both outside and from within. 307 sq ft Small House "El Capitan Pool House" Floor Plan View

307 sq ft “El Capitan Pool House” Floor Plan View 307 sq ft Small House "El Capitan" 3D Outside View

307 sq ft “El Capitan” 3D Outside View










We changed things up a bit by creating the perfect writer’s retreat, that also serves double duty as a private guest house called the “Studio”. 307 sq ft Small House "El Capitan Studio" Floor Plan View

307 sq ft “El Capitan Studio” Floor Plan View










This layout shows off my love of cooking and perhaps is Cozy’s smallest and most perfect “Gourmet Kitchen” granny flat to date. This one has two different layouts offering both a Full and ¾ Bath option. Both designs work well in my opinion and it would be tough to have to choose between them. I guess it would boil down to the loss of 12” of closet space. 307 sq ft Small House "El Capitan Gourmet Kitchen" Floor Plan View

307 sq ft “El Capitan Gourmet Kitchen” Floor Plan View 307 sq ft Small House "El Capitan Gourmet Kit w FB" Floor Plan View

307 sq ft “El Capitan Gourmet Kitchen w Full Bath” Floor Plan View










Last but certainly not least is the “Fireplace” layout, which was just created last night and coming in at #2 just behind the Humble Pie for smallest Cozy Home with a fireplace. This version has just about everything for making it the perfect backyard or full time Casita; I think! :-D 307 sq ft Small House "El Capitan Fireplace" Floor Plan View

307 sq ft “El Capitan Fireplace” 3D Top View 307 sq ft Small House "El Capitan Fireplace" Floor Plan View w Grid

307 sq ft “El Capitan Fireplace” Floor Plan View with Grid









My Essentials for the “Fireplace”

The Kitchen has all the basics covered.

Rendered with a Full size Bed but a Queen could still fit in the space.

The Bath has a 48” shower, storage closet and a nice sized vanity.

Storage areas are provided by closets, cabinets and furniture.

The stackable Washer/Dryer fits nicely into the Bath, but if not needed could easily provide an additional closet space or a full sized tub.

Space is my 6thFloor Plan Essential”. This particular layout has seating for 3 with the desk chair making it 4. The backdoor also provides another way of combining in and outdoor living.

The only negative thing I see is…  :cry:    The act of actually eating what you have cooked at a table is somewhat compromised, it could be accomplished at the desk area, flip-up dining table or the old stand-by… TV trays.

This brings up the point that my renderings are precisely that, my vision of what it could be and how the furniture “could” be laid out inside.  Your version could have two recliners with room for a table and no desk at all.

Our design Motto is “Let our signature be yours”, all of these plans are 100% customizable. Let my vision be your inspiration, we can then meld them together and create the perfect Cozy home… just for you.

Cozy,  Kevin B Harrington



Small Patios for Cozy Homes

Now that the weather has warmed up around most of North America, the garden centers and landscaping stores are full of people pushing around carts laden with pavers and patio stones to build that perfect outdoor patio. A Cozy, small or tiny home can also benefit from an outdoor patio. They offer a great refuge to sit and enjoy your garden as well as an extension of the indoors. Patios can be placed anywhere in your yard: right off a back door, tucked in a secluded corner or they can even encompass the majority of your yard.


For a Cozy home, a smaller patio might work best. Not only will it be less expensive to construct and you could do the labor yourself, but it will not overwhelm a smaller home. With a good design you can also fit an eating area, some plants, a barbecue and maybe even a small water feature. Pre-cut paver stones or bricks make a good patio and they can be laid down in a variety of patterns and styles. Natural stone pavers create a more organic look, but will need to be adjusted a few times to fit together – like a puzzle. Both types of pavers can have sand, small pebbles or “gator dust” pour in between them to create a smooth, seamless patio. Also make sure that you create a level and stable patio that can support foot traffic, chairs and tables. Transition areas between the yard and the home should also be smooth and should not have sharp corners or places where you can trip.


Here are some additional design tips for building a small patio for a small home (from Better Homes & Gardens):

• Make the design attractive: It should complement the house and landscape, as well as provide a comfortable living space.

• Don’t be square. Add slabs at the corners of paver patio, for instance, to make a unique geometric form. Curves often make the best use of space.

• Create a hidden or enclosed patio away from the house. It is one of the simplest outdoor rooms you can make. All you need is level ground, comfortable seating, and the shelter of trees and shrubs.

• Extend a patio’s usefulness with a roof or partial cover. Position the patio to be warmed (but not baked) by the sun; a southeast or southwest location is ideal.

• Keep in mind the costs of maintenance over the anticipated lifetime of the paving material, when figuring the patio’s cost initially.



Photos by Wonderlane and Houzz

By Christina Nellemann for [Cozy Home Plans]

The New & Improved A B See 2 Bedroom Small House Plan

Anyone who looked at the “old version” of the A B See a year ago saw a very plain small house, devoid of any 3D love that most of my designs typically get. This was because it needed something, the layout just felt unfinished. A year later… it got the attention it needed with the addition of 54 sq. ft. This made all the difference and made this a truly Cozy home. 592 sq ft Small House "A B See" 3D Top View

592 sq ft Small House “A B See” 3D Top View 592 sq ft Small House "A B See" 3D Outside View

592 sq ft Small House “A B See” 3D Outside View









New Features!

Larger and more open Kitchen & Dining area.

It now has access to the backyard like all homes should have.

A door now separates the W/D from the hallway for a cleaner more finished look.

Larger closet in Bedroom #2, for holding more stuff!!! Because stuff is not a four letter word here at Cozy HP.

Adding the one car garage now makes this an ideal paired home choice too.

Including the 6 essentials is quite a bit easier when we have this much square footage to play with. Of course, most people think under 600 sq. ft. make’s a good sized Kitchen & Gathering room but not us! You could fit 3 Cozy Cubes, 2 Thimble Peeks or a Crested Butte and a half in this foot print.


Now my 6 Must Haves; decent Kitchen, room for a larger Bed, Bath that will fit two in a pinch, Storage, Washer & Dryer & Space to move around a bit.

#1 The half Galley & “U” Kitchen has 9 cabinets, plus a pantry with extra room for a built in buffet adding additional counter top space & appliance storage.

#2 Room for a Queen mattress in both bedroom #1 and #2.

#3 The full Bath includes room a standard 5’ tub or 60” shower pan, whichever is preferred.

#4 Lots of big closets for Storage.

#5 The stackable Washer/Dryer centrally located in the hall.

#6 The open Kitchen, Dinning & Gathering room creates a more Spacious feel and a great first impression.


Cozy Home Plans now has 20 different two bedroom small house plans in Flickr to choose from.

I was shocked by this number too! Had no idea that we had so many to choose from now and we will be adding a 20th one next week.

Our #1 goal is to make living the tiny lifestyle a reality for everyone. Offering realistic downsizing choices for singles & couples wanting a Cozy home, plus small families needing 3 or even 4 bedrooms.

It really is all about Living Large, in a Cozy Home.

Cozy,  Kevin B Harrington

Small Home Security Systems

We all hope that when we simplify our lives into a tiny, small or Cozy home that our world will become a little more ideal. Unfortunately this is not the case in most locations these days. No matter what the size of your home, you can still be burglarized and what little items you do own could end up in someone else’s hands. Many tiny home owners these days are looking into home security systems and there are some great systems that are suitable for smaller spaces.


A two-camera wireless system will cost around $250.

What type of system you buy will depend on how much you will want to spend and also how much coverage you want. It will also depend on how often you will be away from your home. You could go simple with a home security camera that sends the feed directly to your computer or TV, or a motion detector alarm system from an online store like the Home Security Store. Their one to two camera systems cost around $200 for wireless DVR security system and their hard-wired alarm kits are around $150. They also offer other burglary deterrents like warning window stickers, simulated cameras and small door alarms for around $30. Another inexpensive way to add your own security is to install outdoor motion lights that turn on when movement is detected around your home. You can also get a reliable watchdog from the local shelter. Also, remember to have good locks on all your doors and windows.

If you want a full security system, the Protection 1 company offers a full system with a 24-hour UL listed monitor, touchscreen keypad and a pet-friendly motion detector. This system also includes a remote arm/disarm option and a remote lock/unlock doors option. You can also get text alert and email notifications if your system is compromised. The cost of this system will depend on the size of your home and other options you may want.


Photo by Home Security Store

Looking for the Perfect Small “2” Bedroom Cabin Retreat

Look no further than this one of a kind layout from Cozy Home Plans. The 432 sq. ft. Firefly’s design creates an amazing 2 bedroom compact cabin, with all the amenities you would typically find in one of our small houses. As a matter of fact, this home would be a perfect full time tiny house for anyone needing a 2nd bedroom or private office. 432 sq ft Small House "Firefly" 3D outside View

432 sq ft Small House “Firefly” 3D outside View 432 sq ft Small House "Firefly" 3D Top View

432 sq ft Small House “Firefly” 3D Top View








The Firefly’s 8’-6” x 9’ seating area comfortably seats 3 or 4 and has room for a built-in entertainment center too. The large Kitchen and Bathroom makes cooking and getting ready for more than one person really easy. The Bedrooms are a little snug, but with the utilization of built-in storage options and room for a private TV, their perfect for sleeping & relaxing in. We also added an extra door in Bedroom #1 for easy access to your backyard oasis or garden.

The “6 Must Haves” are included in 98% of our small house designs; it’s what sets us apart from other micro & tiny house designers. This one is no exception…

#1 The half Galley & “U” Kitchen has 9 cabinets, plus a pantry with extra room for a built in buffet adding additional counter top space & appliance storage.

#2 The custom storage beds have enough room for a Queen mattress in bedroom #1 and a Twin in #2.

#3 The full Bath includes room a standard 5’ tub or 60” shower pan, whichever is preferred.

#4 Storage areas include the custom beds; linen closet, cabinets, coat closet and bedroom chifferobe’.s

#5 We added room for the optional stackable Washer/Dryer centrally located in the hall or it becomes over 4’ of additional storage without it.

#6 The open Kitchen & Gathering room creates a more Spacious feel and a good first impression.


Cozy HP is all about making unique Micro, Tiny & Small houses completely full-time livable. Even the ones we would consider more of a guest house, weekend retreat or getaway cabin like the Firefly.

We now have 121 sets divided into 14 collections or ascending square footage starting at 64 sq ft. and going up. Flickr has almost 2000 3D renderings of what Living large in a Cozy Home would look like. Proudly offering 1 to 5 bedrooms and 1 to 3 bathrooms, all under 1000 sq. ft. with 76 of them under 500 sq. ft.

Cozy,  Kevin B Harrington

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