Small House Design

I had fun making this today.

Floor Plan



  • Dresser under bed
  • TV
  • Wood box stores games, movies, and consoles
  • Bookshelf
  • Lapdesk
  • Pillow Chair

Bathroom / Laundry Room

Living Dining Kitchen

I’m probably going to work on it some more tomorrow…

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Very nice! But no room for a couch? :cry:

Just my little Opinion about the design:
If you placed the bathroom door in the middle of the room, you could save space.
Same for the door to the sleeping room. If placed more to the middle, there would be room for a working desk or something similar (wardrobe).
And I´m Missing the Heating/Heater/Chimney.

How does the Twilight-Renderer work? Directly as Plugin inside SketchUp?


I really like where you’re going with this. Right now the bedroom and bathroom are almost equal sizes. I feel like if you shifted the bathroom over to be connected to the bedroom, and made the bathroom smaller, you could create a more suitable layout.

I like how some of the cabinetry goes up to the ceiling. Consider having some ceiling height storage cabinets hanging the length of the bar.

Finally, I do agree there should be a lounge area, with a place for a sofa and to read. Don’t forget an area for things too, like books and such.

Love it!

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I’m a hardcore minimalist, so no there’s no room for a couch. The way I see it, I have less responsibilities and stressors when I own less. But that doesn’t mean you can’t relax and watch TV! In the bedroom, you can prop up your pillow chair on the bed and it’s just as relaxing as a couch. In my house, I have a couch that I never use (and constantly clean) & I use my bed to relax on instead. If you prefer to sit in a different position, then you can sit in the dining room with the nice table. Personally, I’m very satisfied with this layout and it works for my needs, but everyone’s different.

You could save space by putting the bathroom door in the middle, then putting the front and back door next to it. So then there’d be three doors on one side of the house, instead of two. But I like the doors spaced out, so people have more time to avoid running into each other. In terms of flow, I think the corner door is more effective.

That’s true… But I think I could achieve the same thing by organizing the rooms better. Good idea though!

Thanks for reminding me. I’ll probably put the fireplace onto the kitchen counter. HVAC was on my to-do list, but I forgot about the fireplace. The fireplace is important to keep people warm in case the power goes out.

Yes. It’s a plugin that comes with its own toolbar and everything. It’s really easy to use. There aren’t a lot of buttons, but the plugin has everything you need to render. High-end renderers like V-ray have more capabilities, but Twilight satisfies all my needs as a hobbyist.

Thank you! I like having symmetrical rooms on the sides of the house. The bathroom is also a laundry room. I agree there’s a bit too much unused space in the bathroom… and bedroom (in my opinion). I might try to make both a bit smaller. It’d help to lower costs too.

That’s a great idea! I’ll think about it. Over the sink would be perfect!

I made the porch seating in a hurry, but I’m going to make a minimalist couch on the front porch for relaxing in the sunlight. Indoors is tight on space & I feel like there’s already ample seating for reading (bed or dining table). But I might put in a small butterfly chair or something in the bedroom. Those are foldable too for easy storage, which is a plus. For general storage, there’re lots of drawers in the living room. On the kitchen side, you can store dishes and stuff, but the other side could be used to store books and general possessions.


General house storage

I’m considering converting one half of the ceiling-high shelving into a coat closet to put your shoes, coats, and stuff.

Thanks for the kinds words and helpful comments!


Ideally, I’d like to make the house as minimal as possible. I’m thinking about getting inspiration from airplanes. I could combine the bed and seating into one piece of small furniture, add a folding tray on the wall, etc…

I like the idea of reusable plastic cups. They take up so much less space than ceramic cups and are easily replaceable if they break.

The galleys are cool too.


Sketch Render

MicroHouse1.skp (1.2 MB)

Of course, that type of cup is not intended to be re-usable. But what about this? Virtually indestructible. Nasty but indestructible.

I must return again to the Futuro house (late 1960’s)


The reason I like plastic cups is their thin walls. 100 plastic cups take up as little space as 3 typical ceramic cups. This means you need less cupboard space which reduces the cost of the house. What about thin stainless steel cups?

I don’t know if you’ve heard but discarded plastic, especially in our oceans, is a major topic right now. So disposable plastic anything is so very yesterday.

But ss cups are a go! Also indestructible, light, thin, inert, etc. Not nice to drink from (thin edges, cold, etc) but if your central aim is to save space, that’s fine. BTW, where do you live? Central Japan? Why the fixation on space?

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I like the cost benefits of using less to do more. Reducing the volume of components is a part of the minimalist style that I like. To me, minimalism is about maximizing functionality and reducing its complexity as much as possible. Often times, intricacies and large spaces prove to be more of a burden than they’re worth. And small spaces with minimal intricacies are easier to maintain, so they take up less time and allow you to spend more time doing what you want.

Ok but are you mixing up minimalism as an approach to life with minimalism as understood by architects, I wonder? They are quite different in my book. Minimalism in architecture has nothing to do with size or scale and everything to do with eliminating fussy detail. It is one of the hardest and most difficult styles to pull off and costs a fortune. It also tends to use materials that have a lot of embodied energy and can be difficult to insulate. So not very green.


A bit of a tangent, but I love my Stainless Steel drinking glasses! In fact, I was sipping coffee from this one:

I have glassware for when I have guests, but for myself I have 4 of these. They nest so only take up shelf space of one. A bit hard to clean of coffee stains, but still a space saving joy!

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I would take a hard look at Airstream Nest, Winnebago, boats and other RV manufacturers. They have been working these problems for a long time and have highly evolved designs.

Also, there’s a certain “hurdle” of labor required to make a house and I want that “hurdle” to be as small as possible, so people can choose that option. The stability of a house being attainable, for anyone, would be an extremely liberating feeling.

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In that case, I advise strongly against the minimalist option. You won’t find it labour saving but labour consuming.

If you truly want to minimize labour, the sad truth is that the more ordinary and standard you make the design, the easier and faster it will be to build. Stands to reason when you think about. You are asking the industry to do what it knows best and it is “falling off log” territory. Once you start introducing things in which people have to stand around scratching their heads, you’ve lost already.

Sorry to be a party pooper but there is a reason why so few minimalist buildings get built. They can be great to look at and that’s fine if you want what is effectively an architectural version of sculpture, and providing you have bottomless pits of money. But what you have said you are after is rather different.

If you really want to marry your wishes to those of architectural minimalism, the perfect answer is an igloo.

What about a space suit to protect people from the elements (UV rays, temperature control, etc.)? A space suit is probably near the smallest a house can get.

Are you for real? A spacesuit is designed to provide protection in extremely aggressive conditions, ones that mankind did not evolve to cope with. But we are designed to cope perfectly with conditions we find on much of planet Earth. Would you really want to live in a spacesuit? Here’s a clue: never eat beans.

Totally! Rather than telling myself my dreams are impossible, I try to figure out how to make them a reality. A house suit has no need for a kitchen or refrigerator. You could just go to restaurants and get food delivered. Without a kitchen, you’d never have to do the dishes ever again! Imagine how much free time that’d add to your life. It adds up. Also, the HVAC system would take care of getting fresh air.

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I think we have moved on from small house design and something for which Sketchup is actually relevant. Unless you’d like to try using SU for designing a spacesuit?

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With artisan organic toolset and a person from MakeHuman, it’s totally possible to design a suit in SketchUp.