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Small House Floor Plan Sketches by Robert Olson

Here you’ll find a couple of small house floor plan sketches by Robert Olson, a reader of the Tiny House Newsletter and Tiny House Talk.

We’ve exchanged some e-mails and I’m excited to share some of his design concepts with you which are in the 500 to 1080 sq. ft. range of space.

The first one is a two story atrium loft house design with a wall of glass in the downstairs living area. A spacious kitchen with a big window over the sink. There’s also a large bathroom with a spacious walk-in closet and a spiral staircase in the living area that to get up to the atrium loft. Vaulted ceilings with 6 skylights bring daylight down through two floors. Please enjoy, leave your thoughts in the comments (would you build and live in this one?) and re-share below. Thanks.

Small House Floor Plan Sketches by Robert Olson


Images © Robert Olson

two-story-atrium-loft-small-house-by-robert-olson-002 two-story-atrium-loft-small-house-by-robert-olson-003

Summit Climbers Cabin (1 1/2 Story Loft Cottage Floor Plan)


Images © Robert Olson

Our big thanks to Robert Olson for sharing his inspiring small house designs and story with us!

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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!
{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Paul
    December 9, 2014, 5:44 pm

    Robert, why not change the skylights from 6 small ones to 2 large ones.

    Benefits are more light and probably cheaper to make and install.

    Spiral staircase… man those things can be lethal. And going by the design it looks like a very tight spiral to boot. Therefore even more problematic.

    I’d be inclined to take a standard dog leg staircase from just past the front door. Safer, and much much easier to take furniture upstairs when shifting in.

    And I’d shift the closet upstairs where the desk is and shift the desk to the closet space downstairs.

  • Karen R
    December 9, 2014, 8:47 pm

    Super! We lived for 12 years in a house with a two-story spiral staircase. My husband, who has multiple sclerosis, loved it. You can lean against the handrail to balance. We are bemused by the people who insist they are dangerous.

  • Lisa
    December 9, 2014, 11:57 pm

    I really like the Summit Climbers Cabin. Do you draw any with a base of 10′ x 10′ or 12′ x 12′ block rooms, or any based on a block pattern?

  • Robert Olson
    December 10, 2014, 8:07 am

    PAUL, I originally had a standard staircase and changed it to spiral so the house could have a front window. Yes, you could use the second loft area for a closet and bath, or anything your imagination desires. Skylight patterns can be changed to individual tastes.

    KAREN, Thanks for your comments. I have a friend who has a spiral staircase in his house and was surprised how easy it was to use.

    LISA, Glad you like the Summit Climbers Cabin. It was designed to try to beat the high cost of housing in Summit County Colorado. Its a 1 1/2 story to accommodate the loft. Perfect for a young single.

    Because I am so claustrophobic I tend to avoid 10 x 10 rooms. I try to open up the design and avoid any unnecessary walls.

  • Scooter
    December 10, 2014, 12:20 pm

    I like the plans. I think there are many people who would enjoy these layouts. I’m looking for a single story floor plan. But I love dreaming no matter what kind of good designs I’m investigating! Keep up the creative, good work.

  • Lisa
    December 11, 2014, 8:29 am

    I totally agree on the walls, and confined spaces. It is easier sometimes to think in those block parameters either with or without walls. I see your over all dimensions are 15′ x30′. I would like to build a series of houses, in the future, and have been trying to think in blocks. Not to make the houses the same but each unique with a simple floor plan that includes the essentials. Thinking also of a two story as well as a single. My goal is a home that a retired single or couple could enjoy. Your cabin floor plan is great for that except for the loft. There is another plan I have that is similar with a room or two off the area where you have the window behind the couch. And I can’t tell you how much this plan is just like one I drew for myself many years ago, which has the loft over the living room with a half bath over the full bath below and is open above the kitchen to give an airy/openness. Plants hanging down from above…you might give it a shot.

  • Glema
    December 11, 2014, 6:22 pm

    Thank you for sharing your designs with us Robert, and thank you Alex for uploading them. God bless and keep creating. Happy trails!

  • Alex Smith
    December 14, 2014, 9:46 am

    My experiences with spirals have been mixed. That the treads be completely non-slip is what makes the difference. Stocking feet on a shiny wood tread= disaster.

  • Nikki
    August 18, 2016, 10:12 pm

    I realize this is an old article but I like the cabin just the way it is for many reasons. The only thing I might consider changing just a little bit would be to find a way to add an island in the kitchen somehow, but the kitchen would definitely work the way it is in the drawing too. Love the few drawings that I’ve found of Robert’s though. Simple and sweet! Thank you

  • ruth
    October 31, 2016, 10:49 pm

    I love this plan but could it be considered a granny flat.like the open loft.I too am terribly clausterphobic.Could a plan be made for a bit bigger plan and what are the approimate costs. Im in Canada so I am sure it would be at least 25% more.Thanks

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