Unusual House Plans with Small style

Who needs big when you've got unique house plans!

Unusual house plans are perfect for small, cool house plans and designs.  They provide a creative outlet that you can call home, surrounding you with all of the aspects you need and want and less of those that you can do without.


More importantly, they give you a way to springboard out of the land of high mortgages into a small mortgage heaven!Our small converted church house

Small, unique house plans make for an exciting diversion from the standard home designs we see every day.  Living in small, uniquely designed spaces is fun and you find that most people, when they see where you live, want your little find for themselves. 

Function and practicality are both important but aren't the only deciding factors for those of us looking for a house that better fits our personality. I get more excited by unique small house designs than I do about any of my other interests.

I haven't got an artistic bone in my body when it comes to traditional art, still, I have design after design for unique small house plans in my head.  Adding more every day, too ...



Get Moving! Portable houses for nomads

How a yurt is constructedSmall houses such as yurts (known as 'gers' in Mongolia) are more commonly sought after worldwide in recent years.

Traditionally, yurts come from the nomadic Central Asian countries - Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Afghanistan - and are a wooden lattice structure covered with a felt skin. They are portable and able to be constructed and/or de-constructed in a couple of hours.

Yurt plans are so simple that you can build your own home!

It is these same unusual house plans used for the timber and canvas versions that makes it an easy-to-erect small home well-suited even to cold climates, oozing character and style. And anyone can build a yurt!

Gypsy wagon (or vardo) - reading style

Speaking of unusual house plans and nomadic dwellings, it seems fitting to talk about the gypsy caravan or 'vardo'.  They tend to fit both descriptions very well.

In my 20's I was a bit of a gypsy and moved around quite a lot. What would have completed the picture was a delicately decorated, nomadic gypsy caravan. However, back in those days, I had yet to discover the joys of small unusual houses.

Romany gypsies, travelling circus troupes, salespeople and other similarly transient populations in England were the original inhabitants of vardos. Wagon wheels and horse-drawn options would suit very few of us these days but being roughly the size of a large car trailer, gypsy caravans can easily be adapted for more modern times.

Nowadays, you may find that vardos are not commonly sold.  Custom home builders would be able to assist you in the design and construction of these historic little dwellings.


Live like a Hobbit. Do you dig your new house?



Live like a Hobbit in a house in a hillsideFrom above the ground to below it, I've recently discovered that an underground home can take many forms, like this little hobbit house to the left that is dug into the side of a hill.

Being an Australian, I've always known about the underground homes in Coober Pedy. For those who have never heard of Coober Pedy, it's Australia's only opal mining town and is located in South Australia.

Known for it's extremely hot temperatures, dry dusty outlook, barren and featureless view and little to no green, it isn't known for it's above ground life. You won't see much as you drive through except hills of waste from the opal mining, called 'mullock'.

More specifically, you see very few houses despite the fact that around 4000 people live there. When it's that hot, that often, you simply must build your house underground.

You don't find more unusual house plans than Underground homes. They have an air of mystery about them as they are so rare and quirky.

If your house isn't big enough, needs a new bathroom or a bigger book-shelf, you just dig it out yourself. No expertise required. Underground homes are also referred to as caves and can just as easily be found in the mountains in Spain or dug into the side of a hill in the middle of a forest.

Escaping rising heating and cooling costs and the ever-widening hole in the ozone layer might very well force us all underground one day!


Top of page



Modern, unique small spaces:  style + mortgage savings

Modern unique and unusual small houses

Whatever the mind can conceive, it can also believe. This is so true of small house owners and builders.

In our growing small house society, there are more unique and unusual house plans popping up every day than any one person could build in a lifetime.

Modern, unique small house plans can take any shape you like ... a snail's shell, many shaped 'blocks' meshed together, billboard homes (you can build these in water and live on the ocean if you can get planning permits!), a glass box, a concrete cylinder, an orchid...

You may have a very specific idea about your own future house design or need the help of talented custom home builders to create what you see in your mind.

The finished product, including:

  • your specially chosen combination of building materials;
  • ideas from multiple sources (including your imagination) for design and layout, and
  • just the right placement on your block of land,

will be a great reflection of your own personality, style and requirements.



Not just for cargo:  Shipping Container Homes

Conhouse - Shipping container houses with style

Aren't these shipping container homes just plain clever!

If you're turning up your nose at the idea of shipping container house plans, you needn't worry.  Many unusual house plans are made with the container as their base. You can add to, take away and adorn them.  In the end, they may not even look like shipping containers at first glance.

Buying storage containers to use as container house plans can easily save you money on design by allowing you to cut away the sides, stack one on top of the other and the surfaces can be covered in any kind of material you wish to use.  Use each container as a room of its own or cut out the sides and join them together to make one large room.

Thanks to our shipping industry, cargo storage containers are readily available, durable, inexpensive and have an in-built method of transport.

Used shipping containers as houses are unusual small house plans at their most flexible and inexpensive best.

Conhouse - Shipping Container houses with style
Designed & Created by Conhouse.com


Ahoy! Small floating houses.

For those who don't fancy the land as much as they do the water, house boat plans are no doubt high on the list of must-have's.

Years ago, I visited the Netherlands, living in Amsterdam for three months.  A major highlight of my time there were the many ordered canals sheltering small, medium and large houseboats. House boat life is a common choice.

To live on a houseboat, to my way of thinking now, is to 'go Dutch'.  Beautiful, antique and character-filled house boat designs (my favourite adventurous unusual house plans) filled the canals end to end, some having been there for a very long time.


Live on a house boat like the Dutch on the canals of Amsterdam


There are many different types of houseboat plans available but in the interest of DIY and small living, we'll provide you with all the resources for homebuilt houseboats and house boat plans.

Build your own houseboat with FREE plans!




High on life with whimsical Tree houses

Did you have a tree house when you were a young child?  They're the home of a young person's whimsy and dreams, a hideaway in your own private, secret retreat.

The very way a tree house is positioned - up high, out of reach, looking up over the top of a canopy of trees, perhaps - makes it one of the most alluring, unusual house plans to build.


Whimsical Tree house


For seekers of privacy and seclusion, nature and quiet times of  contemplation, an adult-sized luxury treehouse can be a very desirable option.

Our experience of tree houses stay with us for a long time and now that there are treehouse plans for adults, you won't ever have to let those whimsical days go!  




NEXT:  Eco Houses

Top of page

Return from Small Unusual House Plans to HOME




I'll be writing about more Unusual House Plans
in each edition of the

Living In Small Houses - Small-zine

Register for your FREE insight into the global trend that's buzzing with residential creativity and mortgage free-ing goodness!