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Simple Living in an 800 Sq. Ft. Small House

If you’re into simple living but tiny living is too much you’re in the right place because today I’m showing you an 800 sq. ft. small house by Lanefab.

It’s a one bedroom one bath with a garage and it’s a two story design.

When you walk in (maybe after you park your car in the garage) you’re greeted by an entry.

RELATED: Couple Living Simply in 500 Sq. Ft. Laneway Home by Smallworks Studios

Simple Living in a Small House

© LaneFab

© LaneFab

I think you’ll enjoy the rest of the tour below:

My question is…

How would you like to live here instead of in a tiny house?

Just curious. Let us know in the comments.

Tiny or Small House with a Garage?

Relative to a lot of the tiny homes that I feature here, this is pretty large and spacious.

But part of it- I think- is also the amount of space the garage takes.

And with vehicles being so expensive, it really might be worth having a garage long-term

To store your car though (not your unwanted stuff) LOL.

RELATED: About Laneway Housing’s 500-750 Sq. Ft. Small Homes

Small House Living with a Modern Touch

Backyard with Fence for Privacy

Once you walk inside (downstairs) you can go directly upstairs which leads you to the kitchen, lounge, and balcony area with high ceilings, open space, and skylights.

RELATED: Incredibly Nice 500 Sq. Ft. 2-Story Tiny Cottage with Garage by SmallWorks

Upstairs Balcony and Outdoor Lounge

Micro Farm up on the Balcony

Modern French Doors that go to Balcony

RELATED: Homeowners Remodel Their 1950s 600 Sq. Ft. Small House without Adding On

Staircase, Skylights and Access to Balcony

Large Modern Kitchen in this Small House

Back downstairs is your bathroom, bedroom, closet, and garage. All with plenty of space in each room at 800 sq. ft. total living space.

Bedroom with Built in Storage Cabinets

Bathroom Downstairs

3D Sketch/Design

Floor Plan: Level Two

Floor Plan: First Level

More 3D Sketches of the Design

RELATED: 614 Sq. Ft. Zero Energy Tiny Home

If you’ve decided that a tiny house isn’t for you right now, would you still consider the simple life in a small home instead?

If you enjoyed this 800 sq. ft. Laneway small home you’ll absolutely love our free daily tiny house newsletter with more!

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!




{ 72 comments… add one }
  • Jamerson April 16, 2014, 10:33 am

    Love this house! It’s kind of my ideal.

  • alice h April 16, 2014, 11:03 am

    Some laneway houses in Vancouver are required to have an integrated garage, depends on lot size and other rules. These are great places to live and in a city with such ridiculously high land costs it may be the only way for kids to get a house in the same town, by building behind their parents’ place. A smart way to build would be to have the laneway house suitable for older people so the parents could move in there and the kids move into the main house as their family grows. It’s a much nicer alternative than a basement apartment. Wish our area allowed laneway houses.

  • Susie M April 16, 2014, 11:57 am

    fitting the washer/dryer into the knee wall of the bathroom so that they fit flush, is sheer genius!!!! Kudos!! Also love the amount of light in the kitchen and that it opens out onto a balcony with a ‘micro garden’. With a kitchen that large, I guess you could put a nice easy chair in it, an a TV on the wall – or did I miss a lounge or sitting room? personally, I don’t need a kitchen that big – but I do love the french doors – having the kitchen on the short wall opposite the stairs, adjacent to the french doors, with a ‘breakfast bar’ would suit me wonderfully – it would cut down on the open width – but let’s face it – there wouldn’t be the need for a table then, a couple of stools would slide underneath the breakfast bar, and the rest could be the ‘lounge’. I’m guessing that there is room inside the bedroom cabinets for a ladder – those top cabinets are very high – storage for seasonal items? There is plenty of storage. Very well thought out – Love that there is use of outdoor space too.
    I could definitely live here – especially in a downtown location (small town)

    • Allison April 16, 2014, 12:28 pm

      I scrolled down to leave a comment about the perfect placement of the washer/dryer, but see that someone beat me to it! I love them recessed into the wall like that.

  • NancyEH April 16, 2014, 12:24 pm

    The straight-line kitchen seems to take up space unnecessarily. I’d like to see more of a traditional 3-point design which would open up space for living/dining. The garage is a necessity in snowy areas.

  • David Ridge April 16, 2014, 1:33 pm

    I know that most of the time I am criticlle on here but be that as it may, this house looks to me that the balcony is facing an ally not a lane as the floor plan shows.

  • ush April 16, 2014, 4:16 pm

    The kitchen window needs to be larger and wider for more access to the roof garden; the bedroom window needs to be bigger; the shower angle is pretty darn steep and how high is it? Would a tall person need to kneel? And the kitchen, whilst nice, leaves a very small area for “living.” Kvetch kvetch kvetch.

  • Tenderloin April 16, 2014, 4:25 pm

    A very creative use of space. I would probably prefer a small house to a tiny house, at least in an urban location like this. The best things about this house are the balconies and the storage, especially the closet at the entry. It was also thoughtful to put the bedroom and bathroom on the same level. But the biggest drawback is that the kitchen/living area is on the second floor instead of the first. I wouldn’t want to run upstairs every time I wanted something from the kitchen or lug my groceries up there.

  • Rich April 16, 2014, 5:08 pm

    It isn’t entirely clear from the 3D plan views but I think the garage floor is actually a few steps above the adjacent bedroom floor? That would not meet code in NYS and woe b if one stored a leaky propane gas grill in the garage 🙁 I agree with Angela’s (above) comments about “…….too much construction for not enough return. Looks very impractical.” The living space isn’t much wider than a tiny house on a trailer. I like that it isn’t a ‘McMansion’ and I think that houses under 1000 sf will suit more people than 200 sf ‘tiny’ houses. I just don’t think the ‘laneway’ hits the mark.

  • Bryn April 16, 2014, 7:07 pm

    There are a number of constraints that go into designing a laneway (or “alley” if you prefer) house in an urban location like Vancouver. The city’s regs push us to do things that add cost, or wouldn’t make sense on an open rural lot.

    For this one, here’s just a taste of the design constraints:

    – Max 19′ high
    – ‘Free’ floor area of 220sf for a garage, meaning the garage is always built but sometimes converted to living space. This rule has since been changed as most garages were being converted.
    – upper floor max 60% of the lower floor area, and is usually required to be stepped in from the walls below to reduce apparent massing
    – Nothing higher than 12′ within the rear 5′ of the building
    – Max 26′ into the yard, 4′ side setbacks, 2′ setback to lane, 5′ setback at the entry door
    – largest windows / doors face toward the lane (independent of views or solar orientation)
    – Max 86sf balcony
    – severe restrictions on windows looking toward the side neighbours and rear yard (to reduce overlook complaints from neighbours)
    – Fire sprinklering throughout
    – separate sewer, stormwater, water and electrical service
    – double counting square footage for rooms > 12′ high

    That’s how things go in the world’s second-least-affordable city…

  • Marsha Cowan April 16, 2014, 8:15 pm

    Love the gardens! The rest is kind of sterile for my taste, but nicely organized.

  • Fiona April 16, 2014, 9:10 pm

    I currently live in a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apt that has a total of 650′. When I first moved to Arizona in 2007, I lived in a 1200′ house with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths plus garage; bought a 1800′ house; sold it, moved into a 2200′ house (both previous houses had 3 bedrooms, lofts, and 2.75 baths and garages). Once my two daughters grew up and moved out/on with their lives, I moved into a 750′, 2 bed/1 bath condo, and then, last year, I moved into this 2 bed, 1 bath, 650′ apt. No garage at the condo or apt.

    I’m learning to live small because I live alone and don’t “need” that much space anymore. Eventually, I’ll buy another house, perhaps 2 or 3 bedroom, but it will most likely only have one bathroom, no garage, and be under 800′.

    Could I live here? YES. It’s beautiful, clean, and very simple. I like it.

  • Marcia April 17, 2014, 12:04 am

    It’s really cute, but does the 800 sf include the garage? I kind of think 800 sf is a lot for 1BR/1BA. Around here, lots of the homes were built in the 20’s, and they are about 700-900 sf with 2 bedrooms.

  • Michelle April 17, 2014, 8:12 am

    I live in a 3 bedroom, 860sf house, a comfortable size for 3 or 4 person family. Thats why I’m sure the garage in this has to be included in the total area. The back end of the garage would give workshop/outdoor storage space.
    I agree with the too much construction – too little return argument above. The balcony over the laneway isn’t a welcoming view, it would be better placed on the other side of the house sharing a view, if not a garden, with the main house. The garage pushed back through the building would allow a balcony area with steps to access the garden. In the above design the garden at the back cannot be seen from the house and has to be accessed through the side door in the garage.
    Setting the roof angle to south-north instead of north-south would probably be necessary for that change.
    Putting the kitchen along the short wall with a counter perpendicular as Susan and Nancy suggested would allow for a more flexible living area.
    One last point on the entrance. It has a high fence in front of the main door. That is ideal for burglars to work unseen. A fence that stops at 3 or 4 foot would give privacy without impacting security in the city.

  • Linda April 17, 2014, 10:54 am

    to Jeff Sadighi /Yep. Insane government in the US is the same. I collect rainwater anyway. They can fine me all they want. I will never stop.

  • Kelly April 17, 2014, 1:52 pm

    I would love to live in a house like this are there blue prints for this?

  • Joyce Rader April 18, 2014, 10:40 am

    The 3D image shows a family with children. I do not see room for children in this design. One must be young or agile to navigate stairs and clean such high looking windows. One will get plenty of exercise here.
    I do like the washer/dryer area and the roof top garden idea with easy access from the upper level. Would like a safety fence to avoid falling off the roof (garden). 3D image shows a wall but photo does not show walls on any side other than front balcony. Were all those ‘walls’ glass for the garden?

  • JJJ April 20, 2014, 9:45 am

    800 sq ft is a small home, not tiny. I’ve lived in 16×9 space for 9 years now. I wouldn’t know what to do with all that space!! lol. Then again, in my prior life I had a 4500 sq ft home with a 3 car garage, an acre of landscaped yard. We also had a 2500 sq ft. vacation home. Honestly, you couldn’t drag me back to a home that large! ever! There’s beauty in simplicity and in living tiny.

  • Venera May 6, 2014, 4:09 pm

    As soon as I saw that this house was a small split level, I stopped seriously considering it. I am hoping to have a 500-600 sq feet of livable space that is wheelchair friendly. I also need significant pantry space because I store my own home-canned foods due, in part, to food allergies.

  • Emily June 18, 2014, 1:34 pm

    I would TOTALLY live there! I love it!

    We’re in the very beginning stages of researching tiny homes. The plan is for a 500 sq ft living space plus a 2-4 car garage (or 2-car garage with 2-car carport?)

    • Alex August 20, 2014, 4:39 pm

      Me too 🙂

      I always thought building an oversized garage would be a pretty clever/creative way to explore to get by minimum sizing zoning standards for foundation/neighborhood housing.

  • Otessa Regina Compton June 18, 2014, 1:35 pm

    I WOULD GO WITH MORE TROPICAL COLORS AND MORE OF A COASTAL INSPIRATION, BUT IT SURE LOOKS LIKE IT HAS PLENTY OF DANCING ROOM TO ME.

  • AnnieinKC June 19, 2014, 8:54 pm

    I really absolutely love this house! But when are we going to stop using a whole room just for a bed? Seriously. See resource furniture on you tube, wherein Ron says “the bed is dead.” So true!

    • gale March 6, 2017, 6:52 pm

      I understand your loss of space with a bedroom but living with someone who snores loudly tells me I have to be able to close them away from me….otherwise I’d never sleep;)

  • VJ August 20, 2014, 5:31 pm

    Yes, I’m very interested in this type of space. I’ve been watching Tiny House Nation and reading the Tiny House Talk newsletter in preparation, and once my 2 years is up at my present 1868 sq. ft. house (so no capital gains penalty), I’m selling and want to live more simply AND debt free, so the 500-900 sq. ft. house is on my radar.

    • Andrea Andrea August 20, 2014, 5:46 pm

      Awesome! 🙂

    • Alex August 20, 2014, 6:44 pm

      Great plan VJ! 500-900 sq. ft. is a great size for the long-term for most people like us. I like the idea of a ~700 sq. ft. cabin myself. Or 400 sq. ft. with a separate structure as my studio office. Thanks for sharing :))

  • Celeste Batchelor August 20, 2014, 6:49 pm

    I like the size, but the layout seems backwards to me. I would have the living area and kitchen downstairs and the bedroom and bathroom upstairs. Maybe I’m too traditional in my thinking. Plus, I don’t think it needs a full-size washer dryer. I would save space with a stackable or all-in-one and use the space for something else. I do love the garage.

    Thanks for sharing. I’m tweaking our small house plans and hoping to get something in the works next year. I love some of the other Lane houses better.

  • Glen August 21, 2014, 2:26 am

    Top marks for placing the living area upstairs where they benefit from sunlight, views and ventilation. What a lovely idea to incorporate garden beds into the design!. Most households have a car and this is unlikely ever to change. Incorporating a garage into small home design broadens their appeal immeasurably .

    • Alex August 21, 2014, 10:26 am

      Thanks, Glen, I agree. A car is a big purchase. And most of us have one. At least one. In my future small home, I definitely want garage space.

  • Darlington August 23, 2014, 8:13 am

    Simple and lovely. The concept is Just awesome.

  • Patricia September 18, 2014, 4:49 pm

    I love the ‘kitchen garden’ so accessable. I personally would not feel safe to invest it this for the stairs and my age near 70, but maybe the stairs would help my legs stay young longer! I really like how the house and fenced yard make total use of the property. The house is airy, bright even when a few curtains are installed for privacy. I really like it. Thanks for posting.

  • rachel September 19, 2014, 8:22 am

    Yes i liked this home and size. The tiny homes are right for some people but they feel too squished and confined for me, i need open space and flow.
    Remember– you do not have to have a lot of “stuff”, just an open floor plan and space so you feel you are not in a “sardine can” where so much is packed into so little a home.
    I just went to the largest RV show in the US in hershey, Pa., it was loads of fun to see and get in hundreds of RV’s from the size of a small van to a greyhound bus (with 2 bathrooms). Went with a friend who considers building a tiny home, now has the option of an RV. Note: there are tons of used rv’s for sale if someone does not want to build their own home, and they can be reconditioned….r

  • Comet September 20, 2014, 1:21 am

    The garage shelters your (most likely) second largest investment and one that loses value quicker than your house.

    I find it some what staggering to think that our two 10 year old Honda CRV’s together cost HALF (used!!!) what this house cost.

    Of course we bought the house a while ago but not back in the 1800’s either!

    We don’t have a garage or car port and in Upstate NY this is a huge problem. Shoveling out at 5 AM is a beeeatch. And getting back UP the driveway–which doesn’t LOOK steep!—can also be a huge challenge. Make good friends with your Plow Guy!

    I have said for a long time that my “Dream Garage” would be CONNECTED TO THE HOUSE and have TWO sets of remote opening doors; one in FRONT and one in the REAR–so you could just drive THRU the garage. None of that silly “Backing up” for moi!

    Some places however won’t allow you to park a car in the driveway or the street so you might have to be stealthy in using the garage as living space—use of convertible furniture that can fold out of the way and look like something else might be a good idea.

    I do like this but that loooong stretch of kitchen–not so much. The closet in the bedroom–I LOVE that!

  • Cathy October 31, 2015, 11:52 am

    I already live in 900 sq ft with garage. On one floor. Not impressed!

  • Josie Marrero October 31, 2015, 11:53 am

    The garage is not so issue with me – I can use it for something else.

    This is a beautiful space.

  • Jessica October 31, 2015, 12:03 pm

    As a single person, I was seriously on my way to a tiny home on wheels. Then I fell in love and got married and a tiny home on wheels is too small for both of us to live *and* indulge our passions. I like to have a lot of arts and crafts supplies out: paint, yarn, ink, papers, fabric, etc… And he likes to woodwork . So we are compromising and downsizing from a 3000 square-foot home to a 1000 or less square-foot home with an enclosed outdoor workshop . And I know I want at least a carport, so I like this look with the garage included. But a carport would be sufficient for me. I do like the outdoor gardening farm on the kitchen level. Also, like others commented, as I age, I need to be on one level. My guests can go upstairs LOL. The modern look is not for everyone. I remember when I considered it ugly, but it grows on me and I like the look now. What I don’t like is that sometimes it is jarring in visual appearance against its neighbors, depending on where it is situated .

    • Marcy November 2, 2015, 10:10 am

      Jessica, My house is 825 sq. ft. I has 2 bedrooms (or one bedroom and one office/crafts room), one bath, full kitchen, etc. It was built in 1948 and has coved ceiling, hardwood floors, and a (not attached) oversized 1 car garage. If one is looking for a small home that is quality built, consider those older homes. Another advantage – the neighborhood is all grown up so trees, trees, trees.

  • Kristina H Nadreau October 31, 2015, 1:55 pm

    Yes, I would prefere a small house rather than a Tiny house. Also, I like to have a secure place for my vehicle. I like the look of this house but I would not buy it because I want to be on one level.

  • Boyscout57 October 31, 2015, 7:35 pm

    Looks like a maintenance nightmare to me with a flat roof and so much exterior wood. Living small shouldn’t mean having to accept substandard. Honestly, you couldn’t give this one to me, unless it was sitting on 40 acres. The first thing I would do is salvage pieces I felt were usable and level it so something more functional would be built in its place.

  • Dirk November 1, 2015, 1:19 am

    800 SF 1 bedroom quite a bit. We just moved from an 800 SF 2 bedroom. There are lots of 1 bdrm condos that aren’t 800.

  • Vicki November 1, 2015, 11:29 am

    Russ Evans has a great idea to modify the design. Bury the first floor to be like a basement bedroom bathroom, then you would not have to carry groceries up stairs. Plus if you have family member or firend or stranger who lives on a huge lot or acrage and are willing to sell you a o.25 chunk off it the corner it would work well.

  • Rex VanAlstine November 2, 2015, 9:47 am

    Love everything about this, but age makes me leery of signing up for anything with stairs. Trying to visualize keeping garage but having living space downstairs too. This would fit on a couple of lots I’ve been coveting but might wind up costing as much as what I’m in. Would really like to see more projected cost info and possible customization options.

  • Marcy November 2, 2015, 10:16 am

    Alex, you might want to change the title to more accurately describe the house. Garages aren’t usually included in the square footage of a home, so this one is really more like 550? Oh, and if I lived in a city, I’d like something like this. Minor tweaks, but could really see this as do-able.

  • Janette Price March 13, 2016, 3:57 pm

    Like this one alot.I too would want a little larger window as I love maximum sunlight. Really like the yard and roof top garden. Some place to hang clothes a definite asset. I like lots of features in this one. Thanks for sharing

  • Janice Connors March 14, 2016, 9:05 am

    I wish more of the small houses would have 2 bedrooms! Not all people that want to downsize are singles or couples! Our boys have always shared a bedroom, but, we do need that extra bedroom that can fit at least 2 twin beds (one would be a bunk bed) for our three boys.

    LOVE the washer dryer, and the garage.

  • Janthony J Phillips May 5, 2016, 8:07 pm

    How much would some thing like this cost? Really interested

  • Brian Hurling March 6, 2017, 1:53 pm

    How much would something like this cost?

  • Gigi Raygor March 6, 2017, 5:38 pm

    I live in a subdivision which requires minimum 600 sf, so can’t do a tiny house. This is more my speed except the high cost.
    I have lived in a sailboat, and an RV, so I’m a tiny house type.
    I hope you will continue to have some small homes on the site.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee March 7, 2017, 8:19 am

      We like to mix it up 🙂 I will keep adding smaller ones as well.

  • John Wiley March 6, 2017, 5:58 pm

    It looks very nice, almost the size of the condo I used to have (823 square feet). So I’m used to the size. The layout looks great also.

  • Chuck March 6, 2017, 6:40 pm

    I wouldn’t change a thing!
    Love it.

  • Kelly March 6, 2017, 6:40 pm

    Lovely, but I agree that there is too much kitchen. An L shaped kitchen would open up more space for a living area. Love the closets and the full size washer & dryer. I’ve lived in an apt. that had a small washing machine that only fit a couple of towels and one day’s worth of clothes. I was doing laundry constantly.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee March 7, 2017, 8:14 am

      That’s how it is in our apartment! Drives me nutty haha.

  • Belinda Vargas March 6, 2017, 8:32 pm

    I would love a house this size. A tiny home is a bit claustrophobic for me but this very doable.
    I don’t care for the floor plan, maybe if it were reversed (living/kitchen on level 1) it would be perfect.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee March 7, 2017, 7:21 am

      Yes I think this is a great size, especially if you have a couple kiddos!

  • Mysteryuz March 7, 2017, 12:24 pm

    This is awesome! I love that the kitchen/dining/living area is upstairs and the bedroom and bathrooms downstairs. This lends more space to stand and move about the bedrooms. I love it.

  • ZACHARY E MOHRMANN March 7, 2017, 7:00 pm

    It’s different I’ll give it that… And it is just what I would expect from a permanent structure…!

  • ZACHARY E MOHRMANN March 7, 2017, 7:05 pm

    I meant to say, what I would have expected “of ” a permanent structure and not from….

  • Kevin Wang March 11, 2017, 3:11 pm

    Do you have a resource for where to buy a little place like that in Vancouver? Is this one for sale now or sold?

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