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  • Writer's pictureAlino

Beautiful 27m2 Tiny House surrounded by birdlife and native trees.

The tiny house trend has taken off in recent years, and there are now little homes popping up all over New Zealand, alongside many others making the shift towards a more minimal lifestyle. For graphic designer Kate van den Bergh and architect Willem, their place on Waiheke Island is a dream come true.

When they realised as newlyweds that buying a home in Auckland was out of their price range, the couple began brainstorming other options to get out of the rent trap and own a place of their own. Kate was working for a magazine focused on sustainability and green living at the time, and a feature on a $21,000 tiny abode sparked her interest.

With their creative skills combined, they drew up the plans and designed the house together, a beautiful blend of Willem’s love of modern design, and Kate’s love of small cottages. They spent several months collecting materials, scouring TradeMe for bits and pieces to keep costs down.

The house, which at $96,000 cost them the price of a house deposit in Auckland, took three months to build out in West Auckland, before being ferried over to their new section on Waiheke Island. “It was the best move we’ve ever made,” says Kate. Nestled in the bush near Palm Beach, the house is surrounded by birdlife and native trees. Within 27m2 of space they’ve managed to fit a beautiful kitchen, lounge, nursery, laundry, bathroom with composting toilet, reading loft and bedroom loft, with French doors opening out onto a gorgeous wrap-around deck that’s larger than the house itself.

By nature, Kate isn’t a minimalist herself, but living on a tiny scale doesn’t leave much room for a big wardrobe or piles of clutter. “Once you peel back to the basics of what you can live with, it’s pretty easy to live with less,” she says. Initially, she also wasn’t sure how living in such a small space together would affect their relationship, but to her delight, the whole experience has brought them closer together.

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