Small house ideas are gaining popularity as a way for people to free themselves from high mortgage payments, embrace simple living, and reduce home maintenance time and costs.
Many small house plans are available, ranging from tiny up to 1,000 square feet. You can also choose from multiple styles and unlimited layouts. We’ve rounded up 15 of the best small home ideas from around the world. Use these as inspiration whether you’re building or ready to buy.
90 Square Meters/970 Square Feet Small House Ideas
If you want to stay on the bigger side of small house living, check out these five unique homes, all around 970 square feet or 90 square meters.
1. Small Modern, Flat-Roof House
Located in Fukaya, Japan, this flat roof house was designed by Nobuo Araki. It measures 90 square meters across (970 square feet) and is small enough to be included in our top favorite small house plans under 1000 sq ft.
The architect and clients agreed on a simple design featuring a flat roof with 5-foot eaves that extend on all four sides of the home. The interior is open concept, with only the bedroom and bathroom partitioned.
2. Prefab 970 Square Foot House
Located in José Ignacio, Uruguay, this prefab home is designed by MAPA. The shell of the home is factory built and delivered to the site where contractors assembled it.
The small prefab home has a simple, box-like structure and measures 90 square meters across. The living area is positioned at the center and receives natural light through tall windows and glass doors. Two bedrooms flank the living room.
3. Small House Idea: Modern Mountain Home
Not all small house plans have the same simple and straightforward structure. Located in Hijuelas, Chile this retreat has a 90-square-meter floor plan and serves as a secondary residence for its owner.
It was designed and built by Estudio 111 Arquitectos in 2017. What’s unusual is that the exterior decks are integrated into the floor plan and framed by metal panels. The house is oriented towards the mountain, which allows a strong indoor/outdoor connection.
4. Two-Story 970 Square Foot Home
If you’re looking for the most unique small house ideas, this might be it. This small home features two stories, with one seeming to set on top of the other.
The upper floor contains all the private spaces and has a gable slate roof with a bunch of small windows scattered across. The lower area contains the common areas.
5. Sloped 970 Square Foot Home
Located in Santa María, Chile, and designed by Etcheberrigaray + Matuschka this small home is a single volume divided into two zones. One of the zones has a variable height and contains the social functions and the service areas, while the other houses the bedrooms.
The house site is an old farm with abundant fruit trees. With the home full of front-facing windows, the farm landscape is in constant view.
80 Square Meters / ≈ 860 Square Foot Small Home Examples
If 970 square feet feels a little big for you, here are some homes that measure only 860 square feet or 80 square meters.
6. Small Modern Cottage
Designed by CoLab Architecture for a family in Christchurch, New Zealand this house stands in an area previously populated with lots of small cottage-style structures. Unlike those, it seeks to serve as a stand-alone house and is oriented towards the North, welcoming the outdoors in.
The site on which this contemporary home sits is 20 meters long and 10 meters wide. The house has a square floor plan split into two zones and rotated to form a rectilinear layout with various outdoor extensions such as a car parking space or deck which serves as an outdoor living room extension.
7. Black A-Frame Cabin
The house that ARTELABO architecture designed in Saint-André-de-Sangonis, France, stands out among its neighbors. The interior space of this A-Frame cabin features a triangular main space with a small rectangular addition.
The architect enclosed the home on three sides and designed the front of the home with glass for the views. It’s the best of both worlds with a modern interior opening up to a rustic setting.
8. Small House Idea: Modern Modular Home
Another example of small house plans under 1000 sq ft, is this modular housing prototype created by architect Felipe Assadi. It has an 80 square meter floor plan and took 45 days to build. It then took the team only four hours to move it to its site in Pichicuy, Chile, and six days to assemble it.
The house features four identical modules, and the interior includes three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a pantry, and a living, dining, and cooking area.
9. Unique Small House Idea Made of Brick
Inspiration can come from anywhere – even a termite’s nest. Designed by Tropical Space and located in the Thanh Khê District in Vietnam the designer drew inspiration from nature when constructing this small brick home.
Inside the house, there’s a large common area, while the rest of the separate spaces are linked by a lobby. There’s also a mezzanine level which houses a bedroom and a small library.
10. Small Bungalow with Large Windows
The house that Cadaval & Solà-Morales built in Tepoztlán, Morelos, is the latest addition to a project developed by the same studio.
They built a minimal and quiet house with beautiful views, lots of natural light, and nature all around it. Since it’s not meant to serve as a permanent residence, both the social and the private areas were prioritized, and the floor plans include two volumes that highlight a clear separation between the areas.
70 Square Meters / ≈ 750 Square Foot Small House Ideas
Let’s now move on to some tiny house plans, limited to only 70 square meters or 750 square feet. While it’s not a lot of space, some architects maximize it making these small homes feel larger than they are.
11. Four-Floor 750 Square Foot Home
The house is squeezed between two existing buildings and has multiple layers, including a basement and three floors on top of that.
12. Tiny Wooden Home Plan
Speaking of tiny house plans, check out this cool project Studio Abarca+palma in Lampa, Chile completed in 2016
The home boasts wooden construction and is slightly raised off the ground for a floating effect. It has an angled roof and a row of windows just under the ceiling on one side of the structure. The internal floor plan captures a maximum amount of natural sunlight while feeling open, spacious, and welcoming.
13. Tin House with Steep Gable Roof
The Tinhouse project is another example of how to maximize tiny homes. This is a small but very charming house completed by Rural Design in 2016 and located on the island of Skye in Highland, UK.
The home stands out thanks to its contemporary design, which features corrugated aluminum cladding on the exterior walls and roof. The interior utilizes timber, concrete, and plywood.
14. Three Cabins Combined Into a Small Home
Speaking of cool house plans, check out this project from Larvik, Norway, and designed by Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter.
The client wanted a cabin with space divisions. To remedy this, the architect created three separate cabins, combining them into one home. The two side cabins offer privacy to the family members.
15. 750 Square Foot Brick House Small House Ideas
Located in Los Molinos, Argentina, and designed by BLOS Arquitectos this small brick home provides just enough space for a family. It has this unusual unfinished look on the outside due to the exposed brick walls and the metal sheets.