Posts by Lloyd Kahn (239)

Mendocino County Architecture


Here’s the local influence for Sea Ranch home design. Perfect. Farmer architecture.

Too bad most of the houses (over 600 of them) out there turned out to be such clunkers. Why do so few architects ever get it right?

The best thing about Sea Ranch is the landscaping, by Lawrence Halperin; he left it completely au naturel.

This is at Stewart’s Point on Highway One.

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Inspired by Shelter in 1973


Hi, Lloyd,

On first looking into your Shelter book in 1973, my fate was sealed. Since then, I have made my own ceramic tile, been a tile setter for 35 years, and am a serial remodeler and builder of tiny houses. Pictured here with my original Shelter book. I recently came upon your Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter, and have been inspired anew. Rage on!

–Fred Ross
San Anselmo, CA

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Vin's Exquisitely Crafted Small Home


Master builder Vin Jon Gorman’s colorful, exquisitely crafted small home in progress. (See pp. 204–205, Builders of the Pacific Coast for his eucalyptus pod–shaped redwood sauna).


This is Sneak Preview #13 from our forthcoming book, Small Homes, to be published in spring, 2017.

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Canadian Home in Our Book Inspires Home in Tasmania


My name is Pete Robey and my wife Blythe and I live in Tasmania. The little island attached to the bottom of Australia. Thought I would share with you that our house is the first approved cordwood home in Australia. It is currently featured in Australia’s Owner Builder magazine. You can get a link here at the bottom of the page: 

I bought your 3 books: Shelter, Builders of the Pacific Coast, and Home Work early on before we had even confirmed style. The Baird House from page 28–31 of Builders of the Pacific Coast just grabbed me. Thanks Mike Baird and to you too Lloyd (House) for this inspiration. We designed our home with the same ideal: every room and every area of the home can pretty much engage with every other area of the home. The village TeePee idea. We have a massive 4 ft. diameter, 2  ft. long tree holding up the earth roof and our 2nd story doesn’t go all the way to the middle so we have plenty of space. We don’t have stairs, preferring to use a gym rope as exercise — see this post from our blog: ‌…

Catch you later.


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The Tin Shed


The house was designed to be very maintenance-free, using durable materials. It has a metal roof, 22-gauge corrugated Corten steel siding, concrete floors and 8″ wide oak plank floors upstairs.

4 × 12 Douglas fir beams were salvaged from the Seattle Federal Building for the stair treads. I used simple inexpensive materials for much of the build to save money, but the house has zero particle board. I wanted the materials in the house to be identifiable, real materials.

I believe that beauty is the highest order of sustainability. Whatever you put into this world, make it beautiful.Š

–Mike Buckley

This is Sneak Preview #12 from our forthcoming book, Small Homes, to be published in spring, 2017.

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Norma's Floating Store in British Columbia


Built by Bruno Atkey in Tofino, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, in the ’70s, and towed 26 miles to Hot Springs Cove, where Norma Bailey ran a “…great floating store selling emergency supplies, esoteric items, and Wild Coast history books,” according to Godfrey Stephens, who just sent this photo.


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Guner Tautrim's Wooden Home on California Coast


Kitchen in Guner Tautrim’s wooden home on California coast

Interior woods were all milled on site and include a floor of black walnut, kitchen cabinets of silky oak and black acacia, wainscoting of red gum eucalyptus, red ironbark eucalyptus, and yellow acacia; as well as kitchen counters made from large slabs of swamp eucalyptus…

This is Sneak Preview #11 from our forthcoming book, Small Homes, to be published in spring, 2017.

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Linda and Rob Sperry's 480 sq. ft. Small Home in Southern Vermont


Our house consists of a living room/kitchen, bedroom, and a bathroom. My husband Rob and I have lived here since July 2013…

Our cottage sits on just over six acres of land, partly forested, and rocky throughout. A 75′ × 55′ man-made pond is an “off-shoot” of the stream that borders the property…

Certainly we’ve made lifestyle adjustments, but we love “living small” and have found that almost everyone that visits says they would love to “live small” too!

Floor Area: 480 sq. ft. / 45 m2

This is Sneak Preview #9 from our forthcoming book, Small Homes, to be published in spring, 2017.

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Yogan and Menthé's Pacific Northwest Trip (Part 1)

imageOur French carpenter friends Yogan and Menthé spent several months last summer, hitchhiking up and down the Northwest Pacific Coast and trading their carpentry skill for room and board.

When they left, they visited us here and we downloaded about 1,000 of their photos. They’d had a great trip.

They wrote: “The U.S.A. is incredible, so much imagination. It was a perfect trip for me. Thank you Lloyd, I wanted to meet the amazing builders of the pacific coast. Your book Builders of the Pacific Coast was my motivation for my trip to the West Coast.”

I picked out a few photos and Yogan has written these captions. We’ll post them one at a time.

The Leviathan Studio on Lasqueti Island. Mark is a contemporary dancer who built this studio by himself. He used trees from his 12½-acre property. The south side was made with used windows; the floor is yellow cedar. The roof is green: he used EPDM roofing. It’s built it for dance workshops during the warm season. The architecture is inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci.

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Curved Roof Barn in Oregon


From our Tumblr
Photo by Lloyd Kahn

During my bookstore tour in Oregon in June, I took a few days off to drive around in the Willamette Valley (south of Portland) to hunt for barns. It’s a beautiful area, kind of like a mini-Sacramento Valley — flat, rich farmland, abundant water, with steep mountain ranges on 3 sides. I spotted this barn with it’s gracefully curved roof and did my usual trespassing to shoot the exterior.
Read More …

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SunRay Kelley's New Treehouse

Hi Lloyd and friends,

Just thought you might like to see some photos of SunRay’s latest creation — a funky little treehouse nestled in ponderosa pine trees, built during the recent 20th anniversary Natural Building Colloquium in Kingston, New Mexico. I have a bunch of images on my website here:

It’s a beautiful structure, particularly the roof. Hope you enjoy!

Brian “Ziggy” Liloia
Natural Building Workshops & more

P.S.: By the way, I’m greatly looking forward to the next book!


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19th Century Tiny Homes in the UK


Situated just behind New Street Station, the Birmingham Back to Backs are nestled in the very heart of Birmingham and are a residue of the history of the city’s population over the past 150 years.

The Back to Backs were originally tiny houses literally built back to back to each other in different quarters. Within these quarters communities would form. They were built in the 1800s in order to provide homes for the ever increasing population of the Birmingham of the Industrial Revolution. The Back to Backs were still inhabited by residents until the 1960s and 1970s when most of the courts were demolished to make way for more modern accommodation. 10 years ago the National Trust acquired the city’s very last surviving court of Back to Back buildings and has been preserving them ever since, much to our advantage.Š

Photo from:…
Photos of Back-to-Backs:…

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