The Tiny House Movement
A couple of years ago, I was in Warren, Vermont helping to build the foundation of a tiny home for a newlywed couple living nearby. It was the first time I had heard of the tiny house movement—a social movement where people are choosing to downsize the spaces they live in. The house we built was about 300 square feet with lofted bed space, a small bathroom, and a combined kitchen and living area. The entire foundation was built upon a trailer, which would be attached to a truck upon completion and moved to, well, wherever the couple wanted to live. This was fascinating to me—the idea to simplify and minimize one’s possessions was a narrative that contradicted the story I had grown up with. As a child, large two-story houses with freshly mowed lawns and fenced in-ground pools were the norm.
The tiny house movement has spread across the United States, with building schools like Yestermorrow specializing in tiny house design and companies like Getaway capitalizing on society’s expanding interest in minimalism. Now Europe has caught on, albeit slowly. The regulations for building tiny houses in Europe are a bit more stringent than in the US. But, as countries such as Denmark, France, and Germany, are starting to embrace the benefits of tiny living, tiny homes are becoming more accepted and more affordable to build.
If you’re intrigued by the concept of tiny house living and would like to test-drive this minimalist lifestyle, consider renting a tiny home on Airbnb for your next European vacation.
Five Amazing Tiny Houses in Europe for Rent on Airbnb
Formally a hayshed, this field house sits on the edge of a hayfield outside of Fort Augustus. It feels remote, with game birds, hares, and owls frequenting the outside porch and stunning views of the Scottish highlands. However, you are only a short walk away from the village of Fort Augustus and freshwater lake Loch Ness. The house owner, Olivia, has received 84 five-star reviews, with prior guests boasting about the simple check-in process and spectacular location. The Field House is available on Airbnb for two guests at about 95 USD per night.
This beautiful tiny home sits on 30 acres of privately-owned land nestled in the Saddleworth hills, ensuring quiet from the general noise and everyday life of city dwellers. The outside resembles a rustic, log cabin with floor-to-ceiling black trimmed windows. The inside decor is modern and chic, with bright colors and throw pillows that state “There is beauty in simplicity.” The owner, Nic, has 145 five-star ratings. His property is known for having an ideal location, only a five-minute drive from popular villages such as Uppermill and Delph, as well as offering a continental breakfast including fresh milk and eggs from their local dairy farm. The cabin is available for two guests for about 87 USD per night.
This small summer garden house offers a unique experience inside a triangularly shaped cottage. It doesn’t have heat, so you can only book for summer months. Giant green-leafed trees and colorful flowers surround the house. It is quaint, with a lofted bed and a simple kitchen space. Harriet’s five-star tiny home is known for its location, sitting atop the Pillnitz Castle, and its sparkling clean accommodation. It fits two guests for about 52 USD per night.
Book a night at this unique and secluded airship for a futuristic spin on the trendy tiny house. Looking like a cross between a blimp and a submarine, this aluminum and glass structure dubbed an airship has been verified and passed an in-person inspection to ensure it meets high-quality standards of comfort, quality, and style. The ship is equipped with dragonfly windows that overlook the Sound of Mull, which is a channel between the Isle of Mull and the mainland. Best of all? You can bring your furry friend. Pets are allowed. The airship is available on Airbnb for two guests at 190 USD per night.
Completely disconnect by booking a weekend stay at the Chal’Home in Campan, France. This chalet won’t give you access to the internet or television, but it will provide you with a splendid view of the mountains from an outdoor hot tub running on the wood stove. It is located 12 kilometers from the La Mongie Grand Tourmalet ski resort at the top of a hill about 900 meters high. The neighborhood is quiet, and there are ample hiking trails accessible nearby. The chalet is a renovated mobile home available for up to four guests at about 86 USD per night.