Here is a crazy idea, a house with moving walls. A while back I designed (but never built) a wall system for our guest bedroom, which is also my home office. I wanted to cram a bunch of functionality into one room so I came up with an idea of building a 24″ deep floor to ceiling cabinet on wheels that was attached to a wall with heavy duty hinges. The whole cabinet would pivot out revealing one set of functionality on the inside (like a murphy bed) and another completely different set on the outside (like a flip-out desk). The giant cabinet wouldn’t tip over because the ceiling and floor would prevent it. In other words by building it floor to ceiling the diagonal would be longer than the ceiling is high making it impossible for it to tip over and hurt someone, even in an earthquake.
Now take that idea, add another cabinet, and put them in a tiny house, lets say 16′ by 16′ (256 square feet). Imagine that the ceiling is flat. The roof could be flat or pitched and be constructed wth trusses or whatever. The walls could be made out of whatever too. The floor plan might look something like this: (click the image to enlarge)
As you can see there are actually several different layouts and uses all in the same small room. A bathroom would take up the corner. I didn’t want to try to make any of the plumbing move but I can imagine a flexible gas line and electrical wiring connecting the real walls to the moving cabinet walls. If a flexible gas line to the stove worries you just imagine swapping the stove for the fridge. In other words there are other ways to lay the kitchen out, this way just seemed to make sense to me, assuming the gas line could be done safely.
I can picture a tiny house like this serving one or two people with a couple of guests from time to time. Imagine throwing a tiny dinner party, just open up the kitchen, close the bedroom and you’re good to go. Party over? Fold in the kitchen and open the bedroom. Just want to sit and read a book in a peaceful clutter free place, close everything.
I didn’t draw in any free standing furniture like a comfy chair but theoretically you could have a piece of furniture like that and just move it around. The four chairs in the drawing are intended to be some kind of comfortable folding chairs that would be stored in a special closet on the backside of the folding kitchen table when not in use.
I wanted to throw this idea out there just for fun. It’s an idea that’s been bouncing around in my mind for a while and it was fun to actually put it in pixels. I’ll do a couple more revisions of the idea to explore some other more extreme possibilities. I even have one idea where a multiple bedroom house could be designed the same way… just a few real walls… and a bunch of hinged and moving walls. This might be really useful for someone who needs three or four bedrooms and is limited to two by building codes or the approved septic system size.