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Couple’s Ala Köl Tiny House, Designed For Full-Time Living


I don’t think I’ll ever tire of looking at Baluchon-built tiny homes. I only wish they were available state-side, but Baluchon only makes homes in France. This is a house they designed for a couple, which they named the “Ala Köl.”

It features an off-center ridgeline and a “glass wall” in the entry that lets in much-needed natural light. The living room has a couch and dining for four, and the kitchen has a sleek black sink, compact four-burner oven/stove and a mini-fridge. There’s a bathroom at the very end of the THOW, and a loft bedroom accessible via storage steps.

The coolest feature in this THOW is a wooden world map that reminds the couple of their many travels. Scroll down to take a tour of this beauty.

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Nina and Guillaume’s Stunning Baluchon Tiny Home in France

Ala Köl: Full-Time Tiny Living for Nina and Guillaume

Images via Baluchon

The rich wood flooring contrasts well with the light walls.

Ala Köl: Full-Time Tiny Living for Nina and Guillaume 10

Images via Baluchon

The glass front wall is gorgeous!

Ala Köl: Full-Time Tiny Living for Nina and Guillaume 5

Images via Baluchon

Do you like open or closed stair storage?

Ala Köl: Full-Time Tiny Living for Nina and Guillaume 3

Images via Baluchon

The table flips up to provide extra seating.

Ala Köl: Full-Time Tiny Living for Nina and Guillaume 17

Images via Baluchon

What a gorgeous wooden map.

Ala Köl: Full-Time Tiny Living for Nina and Guillaume 2

Images via Baluchon

Fridge and sink station on one wall.

Ala Köl: Full-Time Tiny Living for Nina and Guillaume 14

Images via Baluchon

And the oven and prep area is over here.

Ala Köl: Full-Time Tiny Living for Nina and Guillaume 15

Images via Baluchon

Everything melds together so well.

Ala Köl: Full-Time Tiny Living for Nina and Guillaume 16

Images via Baluchon

These long, thin windows let in even more sunshine.

Ala Köl: Full-Time Tiny Living for Nina and Guillaume 12

Images via Baluchon

Your view when entering the tiny house.

Ala Köl: Full-Time Tiny Living for Nina and Guillaume 11

Images via Baluchon

By tucking the bed on one side, they have space for shelving.

Ala Köl: Full-Time Tiny Living for Nina and Guillaume 4

Images via Baluchon

The bathroom has a laundry unit next to the shower.

Ala Köl: Full-Time Tiny Living for Nina and Guillaume 6

Images via Baluchon

And some great closet storage.

Ala Köl: Full-Time Tiny Living for Nina and Guillaume 7

Images via Baluchon

You can immediately tell this is a Baluchon creation from the exterior.

Ala Köl: Full-Time Tiny Living for Nina and Guillaume 8

Images via Baluchon

Ala Köl: Full-Time Tiny Living for Nina and Guillaume 9

Images via Baluchon

Highlights:

  • FRAME
  • Baluchon trailer with paint and anti-theft option
  • Useful length 6 meters
  • FRAME
  • Spruce class 2
  • INSULATION
  • Cotton, linen and hemp for floors and walls
  • and wood fiber for the ceiling
  • WINDOWS AND DOOR
  • Mixed wood / aluminum joinery
  • Double glazing
  • HARDWARE STORE
  • Würth
  • RAIN GUARD AND STEAM BRAKE
  • Proclimat rain shield and OuatEco vapor barrier (hygrovariable)
  • APPLIANCES
  • De Dietrich electric water heater , Klarstein refrigerator, gas stove.
  • PARQUET / FLOOR
  • Heat treated solid Landes pine and stained solid spruce.
  • Blades screwed onto joists and glazed.
  • BLANKET
  • Aluminum box with standing seams
  • CLADDING
  • Cladding cedar with
  • UV saturator and partial aluminum cladding with standing joints
  • PANELING
  • É raw white spruce Picea planed natural
  • LAYOUT
  • Solid walnut and spruce
  • VENTILATION
  • Lunos dual-flow CMV + air extractor
  • ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT
  • Legrand switchgear and LED lighting

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.
{ 5 comments… add one }
  • RightUp Sam
    April 19, 2021, 3:33 pm

    Wow, this is just gorgeous!

    I can’t even figure out what specifically makes it so lovely, or any particular feature I like best–it just all works together so perfectly!

    As often, though, I really do wonder/worry about the lack of railings on the stairs, especially for older people. I’m surprised there isn’t one here; they could have made it copper like the other metals, and it would (IMO) be really attractive. Certainly wouldn’t keep me from moving in, though!

    • Garth
      April 19, 2021, 4:17 pm

      I agree. The stairs with no railing is just an accident waiting to happen. One on the wall side would be way better than nothing. One on the other side would not need to appear to make the place any smaller.

      As for the “Do you like open- or closed-stair storage?” question, I like for these and cupboards’ contents to be hidden, so the place doesn’t have to look messy, and I’ve wondered about the feasibility of Tambour-type sliding doors. These can open and close with virtually no room (which is obviously good for THs). The potential problem is that they don’t seem to last and work smoothly; but I don’t have any recent information about them or experience with them, so maybe the problems have been solved in recent years.

      • James D.
        April 19, 2021, 6:11 pm

        @Garth – You could do Tambour doors, they’re essentially functionally the same as a garage door. They do take up some space as the door needs to go somewhere and there needs to be a track for it to travel that can’t be blocked. So you lose a little storage space using them.

        While anything mechanical will eventually wear and break down. So has to be maintained and occasionally repaired but if you take good care of them then they can last for many years.

        The amount of work required to make them can be a little cost prohibitive if you have the builder do them but if you’re at least moderately good at crafting then it’s something you can DIY… I’d suggest designing them as an install-able module. So it would be easy to remove to perform maintenance on.

        If you’re looking for a kit, Rockler has both a Tambour door kit and a Wood Appliance Garage kit options… While options like Hide Glue are reversible, which makes taking it apart pretty easy for repairs later.

        Otherwise there’s a number of commercial providers of Tambour doors for applications like kitchen cabinets and will even make them out of metal like aluminum that should require less maintenance and last longer than the traditional wood ones. Often they will be referred to as Appliance Garages, but that also includes other door types and lift systems as well.

    • James D.
      April 19, 2021, 5:47 pm

      Well, there’s a number of reasons you won’t always see a railing in a THOW…

      One being the most common reasons that it simply won’t be installed until the owner moves in first. Reason being it can be one of a number of things the owner wants to do themselves or just to save a little cost that they don’t mind to DIY. While it can be beneficial to wait because it’s much easier to do things like install the mattress when the loft is wide open and nothing is obstructing it in any way and gives the owner the chance to make sure the railing is optimal for them…

      The other is a bit controversial, doesn’t apply to everyone, but goes into how railings may not actually make it safer for everyone. Mind, THOW stairs are more narrow than standard residential. Normal stairs are at minimum 3 feet wide but THOW stairs are 2 feet wide and if your body type is anywhere near that wide then railings can be an issue.

      If installed against the wall then it can cause some people to lean out and have their point of view over open space to the floor… Or installed on the outer side can narrow the path to the point that movement would have to be at an awkward angle… In either case this can increase the chances of someone losing their balance and if you don’t have both a good grip on the railing and are at an angle that allows you to leverage your strength against it to resist a fall then it likely won’t help prevent a fall…

      Height of the railing can also be a problem because some people are beyond the size range threshold of which the average height for railing placement is based. Problem being reaching too far down or too far up will unbalance you and increase the chance of you losing your balance. This is why stairs for children place the railing lower than you’d see in a residential or commercial space but this would also be a issue for people who are significantly taller or shorter than average. Along with effecting whether guests can use the space without issue if it’s optimized for the owner.

      While how people will use the stairs can effect what they choose. Some may just prefer to hold onto the stair treads as they will be transitioning from a vertical to a horizontal position anyway, when they access the loft and railings may actually get in their way then. Others may prefer different types of hand holds placed in key points along the path of the stairs that they may find easier and more convenient than a traditional railing. The railing may be hidden and built into the wall as a recess. If it’s a spiral staircase then a pole may replace the function of a railing… Among other ways people may choose to handle it…

      While there’s also contributing considerations like how it effects the design. Like the placement of the windows would be effected by railing or accept how it can block part of the view… How much space is available to move around the stairs can be effected… Being able to lift the stair tread to access storage compartments may be limited with a railing… It can be harder to minimize the space required for the stairs to take up and take away from what space could have otherwise been given to something else…

      Then there’s how most other countries around the world have a much more strict max weight limit. So designs will tend to push to eliminate anything that isn’t absolutely necessary or kept to a minimalistic design to ensure the total weight doesn’t exceed that limit. So something a little less ideal may become acceptable with the understanding it’s a compromise that the owner accepts as the trade off for things they may care about more…

      So with what is often custom built, how the stairs are done in THOWs will often be what is optimal for the owner, their specific situation, but that just may not be what’s optimal for someone else or isn’t going to be done until after the owner moves in first, which again is often the most common reason you won’t see the railing, among some other details that also may be simply done later…

      Though, options like going wider than road legal limit, lowering the loft to provide standing height, etc. can allow for more standard stair designs, which for example is pretty common for Park Models and more generic model builders, but increasing the size of a THOW also increases costs and weight but there are usually always trade offs and different people can be effected differently as well…

      That said, I agree, copper railing would have been really appealing in this design…

  • Theresa Perdue
    April 21, 2021, 1:50 pm

    If you are looking for a bright and airy home then stop right here. It’s also quite pretty. I cannot imagine anyone ever feeling depressed in this home as it’s almost like living outside only with perfect weather 😊

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