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Simple and Elegant 950 Sq. Ft. Family Small House

This 950 sq. ft. small house was designed for a family by Rusafova Markulis Architects.

It’s called The Blue House and was created specifically for their clients needs.

Since the home is inspired by Japanese aesthetics it has a simple and elegant design, look, and feel.

It was completed in June of 2013 and photographed by Jennifer Coates.

Simple and Elegant Family Small House


All Images © Jennifer Coates & Rusafova Markulis Architects

I encourage you to enjoy touring the rest of this amazing 950 sq. ft. small home for a family and answer me this in the comments below…

Would you live in this little home with your family? Yes/no and why in the comments.

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Floor Plan and Design for this Family Small House

C:Revit-Local Files58HollandSiteOption3 w- Revisions_Memcho.pd C:Revit-Local Files58HollandPresentation.pdf C:Revit-Local Files58HollandPresentation.pdf C:Revit-Local Files58HollandPresentation.pdf C:Revit-Local Files58HollandPresentation.pdf C:Revit-Local Files58HollandPresentation.pdf

All Images © Jennifer Coates & Rusafova Markulis Architects

Explore more small but not tiny houses like this in our small homes section.

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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!
{ 35 comments… add one }
  • Claudia
    June 5, 2014, 12:46 pm

    How much did it cost to build. It is gorgeous!

    • michelle l himes
      July 30, 2019, 7:20 pm

      Yes, I would also like the plans & apx. the cost to build w/out the land?

  • Pat
    June 5, 2014, 12:47 pm

    I love this. Exactly the square footage I’m looking for. How much to build this in materials alone. I can do the labor.

  • June 5, 2014, 12:57 pm

    I love that tiny homes are so much roomier than most people think. The use of space is amazing. This is a great design.

  • MJ
    June 5, 2014, 1:05 pm

    I love the layout. I would have put upper cabinets in the kitchen and a floor to ceiling pantry. I also would have a four piece bath in the home. I love bubble baths.

  • Sharon McDafs
    June 5, 2014, 1:10 pm

    OMG! Perfect for what I want to build on my property in North Carolina, and all I need are the floor plans. Please, please, someone tell me where I can buy them.

  • Linda
    June 5, 2014, 1:27 pm

    Kitchen table could be replaced by an island/eating bar to increase counter space and storage for full-time living. Is that a coat closet and storage space under the stairs? Appears to be a bath and a half with laundry on the lower level, right?

  • Jeff
    June 5, 2014, 1:31 pm

    The laundry is in the ‘basement’ which is a small space not accessible from inside?!?!? A one bedroom house was designed for a family? Is there at least a tent provided in the yard for everyone else? Sounds more like a bamboozle job to me.

  • Veronica
    June 5, 2014, 1:48 pm

    I grew up in a family of four in a “small house” and I’ve lived in 850 sq feet for the past forty years. How is this so odd? Only one bathroom with a teenager was my sole problem–and that was temporary. 🙂 My urban neighborhood is all catalog-type houses (2 BR, 1 Bath) from 1920s and 1930s. The Blue House has no appeal, no charm, and no reason for being beyond pretense.

    • Linda
      June 5, 2014, 3:58 pm

      It seems there are many designs for modern spare looking little homes and I know they appeal to a lot of people. Home to me means more warmth and I would love to see more cottage type little houses. This one just seems so cold. We are getting ready to build a 600 sq foot home – so excited!

      • Alex
        June 6, 2014, 11:30 am

        Congrats Linda. I can see what you mean. Hope we get to see your 600 sq ft home later! Best wishes, Alex

  • Constance Edwards
    June 5, 2014, 2:21 pm

    Where do(es) the child(ren) sleep? It might work up through toddlers, but kids eventually do need privacy to develop autonomy. A teenager on the sofa every night with no opportunity for zir own space would go from normal surly to impossible in about 3 months. And how do you get into the basement? What’s the point in having a dryer at all if you have to take dry, folded clothes out in the rain to put them away?

    It’s lovely, and would work great for my DINK family, but not with a child. We’d be better off with one of the larger tinies, or one of the Tumbleweed Smalls, which have less space.

    • Paul
      June 7, 2014, 6:24 am

      You answered yours, and Jeff’s query… 2 people equates to a family. A family does NOT need to have children.

      To answer the query of would I live in such a house… no, but then I have knee joint issues so stairs are pretty much out for me.

      For those who say it is cold, I’d suggest that is because there is very little in the way of furniture and personal touches in the house as it is photographed as a NEW BUILD… i.e. no one living in it just after construction finished.

  • Dominick Bundy
    June 5, 2014, 3:06 pm

    There are many aspects of this structure, That I find appealing, But for the most part. It’s very odd looking to me. Also what’s with the kitchen being in the basement? I don’t get that concept here…

    • Dominick Bundy
      June 5, 2014, 3:15 pm

      OOPS! My mistake. I was looking at the floor plan wrong, I see now that isn’t the kitchen in the basement. But the laundry instead..Other than the outside look of oddness to me. I do like very much how well thought out and the how the ayout all flows together . All those windows are also a positive as well..

  • Miriam Kearney
    June 5, 2014, 4:58 pm

    I think the home is lovely inside but the three stories is a put-off for anyone over 40 who wants to live in their home long term. I didn’t like how it appeared on the site – I hate stilts for houses and prefer to be more attached to the land. But it sure was beautifully laid out inside. Like the others, I wonder about only 1 bedroom?

    • Alex
      June 6, 2014, 11:30 am

      Good points Miriam- thank you

    • Paul
      June 7, 2014, 6:28 am

      But Miriam, the stilts are attached to the land. Probably it is built on a sloping section, bit hard to tell from the photos, and there may have been restrictions stopping them from cutting into the slope, or maybe they just wanted to touch the land gently.

      And to others, what is wrong with having the laundry not accessible internally from the main body of the house? Perfectly sound way of doing it back earlier last century… just sayin’

  • Domitype
    June 5, 2014, 9:36 pm

    I agree with some of the other grumbles on the layout – having to go outside to get to the basement/laundry is not great, what was the large not bedroom part of the loft/upper floor area used for? The sofa placement in the living room is wrong for both window views and there is no wall to mount a video screen.
    I would have built more storage into the staircase – like tansu steps, since they were going for a Japanese style. Why does the pantry/closet door open inwards – lost a lot of useable space there. A slider or outward opening door would be better. The whole understair storage area could be more integrated in design details.
    A small sink in the upstairs half bath is needed – maybe combined with the toilet tank? Having to walk through the front entry just to get to the shower is a bit silly – I would have put the full bath upstairs and the half bath on the main floor.
    I do like the exterior, decks and overall proportions.

  • Annie in KC
    June 5, 2014, 11:28 pm

    Don’t kill the messenger, but I don’t like the outside blue or the anesthetics of the outside of the house. Inside, I’m DONE with stairs. At some point, you’ll need to use a walker for a wheelchair for an injury. Also, it’s too much waste of space. I like 900 sq ft homes, just not large empty rooms, hallways, unnecessary spaces. I thought that’s what we were trying to get away from.

  • marilyn
    June 5, 2014, 11:55 pm

    Hmmmm, I’m not feeling it, it doesn’t strike me as a small house. Too much space is wasted, I think. Although it’s design is lovely just way too big. I really think you should shed a few more pounds 🙂 no I wouldn’t live in this house just for that reason….knock of 300 or 400 sq. ft. and maybe I would consider it.

  • Marvin
    June 6, 2014, 1:54 am

    Are you going to have any exhibts on tiny houses in Sonoma Ca.–soon

  • Kerry
    June 6, 2014, 7:40 am

    It’s bigger than my home… Lol beautiful but I’d like it on a smaller scale. My home’s 813sf and is too big.

  • June 6, 2014, 8:49 am

    This is the exact type of small home I would LOVE to build (or have built) for myself an my children! We are three women n would fit perfectly in this home 😀 This is a dream home to me but is for now, out of our financial affordability.

  • MaryJ
    June 6, 2014, 9:53 am

    a modern and exciting small house, love the use of colour combined with the wood and white walls. Very light and airy indoors and attractive outdoor visual appeal. Easily make a bedroom for a child on either floors and also bring the laundry upstairs and use the under area for storage and keeping gear for car maintenance etc.

  • Princess Mom
    June 7, 2014, 12:16 pm

    I really like it, although I would have preferred to see it with furniture/accessories to get a better feel for the space. Is the interior wood that finished plywood that is so popular these days? If so, it looks much better than most applications of that idea that I’ve seen.

  • KAylan
    June 10, 2014, 10:20 am

    Im just curious how much this costed, Others asked but nobody answered.
    IF i were to buy the plans and do the labor myself , How much would the materials be?

  • Joni N. Yon
    June 12, 2014, 8:44 pm

    I thought the same thing–only one bedroom and no interior access to the laundry seems ill planned to say the least. You can’t really call it a “family” home. Are these weekend retreats or meant to be full time housing? I’d LOVE it, with modifications: More built in storage (especially in the kitchen), swap bathrooms around, bring up laundry and put in one more bedroom and it’s good to go!!!

  • Vickie
    August 14, 2014, 10:10 pm

    When I first saw the Blue House, I did not realize that there is a basement space, I think that is a genius of an add on to any small house. Some day I will live in a very small house!

  • Nancy
    April 11, 2015, 3:24 am

    I have been looking at many small houses and this really stands out for me. I love how it’s laid out. I’m 62 as I can see this as a home I could stay in. A few stairs keep you healthy. Though I would put the laundry room in the closet and have the basement room for an extra room.
    I would be interested in the plans for this house. And make minor adjustments for our needs.
    It’s beautiful!

  • Darlene
    May 7, 2015, 4:31 pm

    I would move into this today! It’s perfect for one or two peopl

  • Gilbert
    May 14, 2021, 4:37 pm

    Love the layout, it’s appearance is pleasing, suitable for living light.

  • Daniela
    February 2, 2022, 7:51 pm

    Is that a tiny house? Beautiful but I woudn’t call it tiny!

    • James D.
      February 6, 2022, 3:21 am

      It doesn’t literally have to be tiny. Size is really relative anyway, depending on use and opinions will vary. There isn’t a one size fits all that will work equally as well or the same for everyone. Like a space for a family shouldn’t be as small as a space meant for only a single person, or vice versa, etc. as then you’re having people live in homes not designed for their needs. So it’s more about what’s appropriate and most efficient for the specific application and situation.

      Also, it’s about rethinking how things should be done and re-examining what should be the focus. So discussion can also cover other alternatives, as well as other issues like sustainability, environmentalism, quality of life, etc.

      Besides, there’s a lot of overlap when it comes to ADU’s, which cover a pretty wide range of sizes that just has to be smaller than the primary house, and a lot of this will focus on people overcoming restrictions, some places do prohibit homes even this size, and seeing the results to further the discussion for how we should push to change the system as well as demonstrate outside the box thinking to reconsider how we go about it as well…

  • Jena
    August 15, 2022, 11:00 pm

    Do you happen to know the pain t color name for the exterior? I love it!

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