A micro-home is defined as having a living space of below 37 square metres – or the size of a tube carriage. To be honest, I could live in a home that size.
I think the key with a micro-home, as with caravans, is design.
Having been the proud owner of a touring caravan for 3 years, I think 37 square metres would seem palatial compared with 13 square metres, which we holidayed in frequently.
In our Sterling Eccles Sport 586 (a grand name for a tin snail), there were all sorts of ingenious design cues. The front wraparound sofa converted into a huge double bed, with the dining table forming the “divan” and the cushions seamlessly fitting the space. Worktops folded down. A wardrobe contained the TV aerial and the dining table / divan when not in use. The shower and toilet were minuscule but perfectly adequate for our family of four. At the back, a mini diner could form a bunk bed and the fixed beds on the other side could become three, with some shuffling. A slider split the accommodation in half and I can’t remember once in 3 years thinking that the proportions were irritating.
So what should developers put in a micro-home?
37 square metres requires some design ingenuity and I believe that the assumption would be that a single person, or a couple, would live in that sort of space.
What would I include if I was buying (unlikely) or designing (even more unlikely) a micro-home?
- A distinct bedroom with doors and walls. I say this, being fully aware of the layout of studio flats, but I think a micro home, for comfort, should have a separate living quarter, for quietness and privacy.
- A small ensuite shower room, with sink and toilet. I’d like an external window in here – more so than the bedroom – but I wouldn’t insist on a door to close between bedroom and ensuite.
- A living kitchen. Nothing expansive, but a place to eat, dine and lounge. Big enough for a two seater sofa, a breakfast bar and a couple of stools.
- A dishwasher, fridge-freezeer, washer-dryer.
- Fibre optic broadband.
If a bedroom was 3m x 4m, the kitchen 4m x 5m, that still leaves a footprint of 5 square metres for ensuite, storage etc.
Given the UK’s housing crisis, I could live easily in such a space – couldn’t you?
If four of us could enjoy a month in the Loire in 13 square metres, I don’t think a 37 metre micro-home would feel claustrophobic – do you agree?