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The Portal by The Tiny House Company in Australia

This is The Portal by The Tiny House Company in Australia.

The modular-style home is brimming with green — potted plants everywhere bringing the outdoors in! This house was nominated for the 2016 Tiny House of the Year and I’m not surprised. My favorite feature is the drop-down bed that hides near the ceiling during the day and comes down for bed time — genius!

Related: Pre-Fab Multi-Use Smart-Modules by Casa-Cubo Brazil

The Portal Tiny House on Wheels by The Tiny House Company in Australia

The built-in deck is so awesome isn’t it?

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

Having outdoor space like this can really make a big difference in a tiny house.

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

It’s almost like you can’t even tell whether you are inside or outside, right?

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

Even when you’re inside, there are so many plants.

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

Wow, look at that ceiling bed!

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

Can’t really ask for something better than this.

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

The bathroom.

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

Glass shower.

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

Washer/dryer combo unit snuck into the bath.

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

How cool is this tiny house?

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

Oh wow, built-in wardrobe in the living room. This is genius!

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

Up in the loft. I love that window!

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

This is the way to do it!

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

Indoor/outdoor space.

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

Way to go guys!🎉

Related: 592 Sq. Ft. Modular Tiny Home by Møn Huset

From the Builders:

‘PORTAL’ is our flagship design, featuring high-end detailing and fixtures, a modular demountable deck system, a custom-designed retractable bed and custom cabinetry between a grid of ‘portal’ frames.

This design has been featured in an array of online and print magazines, formed the basis of public lectures, radio and film interviews, and travelled up and down Southeast Queensland for open house events including Woodford Folk Festival.

Making the most out of our 18 square metres of floor area has relied on two key strategies and a whole lot of careful detail decisions.


Continuous sight lines through the length and width of the house help to provide a spacious feel. Doors and windows are aligned to lead the eye the house and out to the surrounding garden and provide very effective cross-ventilation and stack ventilation (through the high louvres). With correct design, small spaces such as this can be passively heated and cooled in an instant.

With almost everything visible from the one living space, establishing clear patterns and aesthetic rhythms helps to organise the space – de-cluttered and ordered views tend to feel bigger. The central space and deck are all organised around a 900mm grid which dictates the placement of exposed LVL frames, kitchen cabinets, doors and windows.
The joists, posts and rafters of the deck line up with the grid of internal portal frames. Windows fit seamlessly between the portals and detailing is painstakingly carried throughout with the portal frames, window jambs, joists and deck posts all matching in width, location and proportion.

A raking ceiling, side main entry, deck positioning, and material selection are used to establish a clear direction to the space – opening out towards the deck area and high louvre windows and providing visual and spatial relief. Clean lines and white surfaces lead the eye past the North wall and towards the deck, contrasting the rich tones and busier detailing of the South wall.

Put simply, when width is limited it can help to accentuate the height. While some tiny houses place a generous loft space above a low-ceiling wet area, we opted for the extra head height in the bathroom and laundry – two spaces that we believe are used too frequently to skimp on.


Our big thanks to Lara for sharing.

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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.
{ 50 comments… add one }
  • Evie
    January 27, 2017, 3:51 pm

    This is spectacular! I love the open feel! Great design. I laughed seeing the coffee center in the bathroom! I had mine there for years. Do Australian homes generally have no screens, though? What about mosquitoes and other insects? How humid is the area, by the way? Do you worry about that? In Florida, I pretty much have to keep the house closed, air conditioned and dehumidified from May through October.

    • Jaz
      January 27, 2017, 8:15 pm

      The coffee centre isn’t in the bathroom, its on the bench under the ladder to the loft; opposite the oven/fridge 🙂

    • February 1, 2017, 4:41 am

      G’day Evie, thanks – we’re glad you like it. A few answers to your questions and comments – as Jaz has pointed out, the coffee machine is outside the bathroom in a mixed use zone with laundry and kitchen functions, separated from the bathroom by a cavity slider. Plenty of Australian houses do have fly screens, we prefer it without them and don’t have any real trouble with insects, though we get some inside. We prefer the more open feel of having no screens, but we’ve built an almost identical version of this for a client with screens on all the external windows and deck. Australia is home to many different climates though, so we can’t really generalise. Brisbane, where we live is sub-tropical. Often humid, often hot, so we had to maximise the ventilation. This is also why we chose not to sleep up in a high loft – in our climate it’s often too hot up that high. Many (perhaps most?) Australians run air conditioning throughout the summer. Our place is passively cooled which is working our well for us so far. Cheers.

      • Stephan of Arkansas
        August 16, 2021, 8:14 pm

        What a lovely house! I have visited Australia several times — I love your country! — but never made it to Brisbane. Do I understand correctly that U do not have mosquitos in your part of Oz?
        For several years I lived in Jakarta, Indonesia, in an open air Javanese-style house. That house was a joy, but there were mosquitos like crazy, though they tended to come out after 6 p.m. or so. I had bars on the windows to keep out thieves and a mosquito net over my bed that we let down at night to keep the little blood suckers at bay. That mosquito net was the best spent money of all my years in Indonesia.
        This question/comment is respectfully submitted. Stephan of Arkansas

  • January 27, 2017, 5:13 pm

    Perfect is Wonderful in all its Parts.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      January 30, 2017, 7:47 am

      I agree 🙂

  • Peggy
    January 27, 2017, 6:27 pm

    This is simply wonderful. Great visual appeal and exquisite detail work. But I think it is the McMoney of Tiny Homes. Thats not a bad thing. Its the same as what people dream of when they look at the rooms inside those multi-million dollar homes. Who can afford it?
    Last time I checked, Resource Furniture in NY sold the bed for $25,000… and you still have to climb over your sleeping mate to get out.
    Huge kitchen for <200 sq ft, but no place to sit and eat, unless you both eat all your meals standing, or off your lap. Since you need electric to operate the bed, it might have been better to have an induction cook top.
    Deck is beautiful, but the cost of that, its covering roof, and customized deck shutters would be astronomical. So where do you put the comfy sofa when it rains?
    Where are the practical items.. book shelves, computer area, food storage. Not a loft which you move around in on your belly…
    This is the Tiny Home for dreamers. We all like to dream. Show us the ideas, inside the drawers, cupboards and lavatory which we can actually implement in our own spaces. Show us how you will water the plants without a ladder…. (or where you store the ladder). Show us how your "dream" can become reality living for the rest of us.
    Otherwise, I complement you on awaking the dream in all of us, and those who use a wheel barrel to carry their money in.

    • February 1, 2017, 6:23 am

      Hi Peggy, just a few things to clarify:
      – There’s a fold-out table built into the white cabinetry which we use for a study desk and dining table.
      – We opted for gas cooking because it significantly reduces the required size of a solar setup, and because we love cooking on gas. 🙂 The bed draws very little power, and we’re using gas hot water as well.
      – The sofa on the deck is pretty hardy and we pull it in from the edge of the deck when raining. Ideally we’d like the deck roof to overhang on all sides but it’s all a trade-off when designing a deck that is to be easily dismantled.
      – Regarding the livability of the house, my partner and I are currently living in it in an inner-city suburb with our daughter. You may find this video interesting – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xIKIXS70tE . It’s an honest view of what it looks like when it’s messy (with a newborn) and when it’s cleaned.
      – Of course, I don’t expect this design to suit everyone’s needs and it was deliberately designed as a high end model to demonstrate the idea of tiny house living in an emerging Australian market (we’re way behind you all in the US and struggle with very very high building costs). As another person here has said, we’ve also designed a more affordable model. Still very expensive by US standards at $79,000 AUD but it simply costs us far more to build over here.

      On a final note, before you convince yourself entirely that this is another one of those ‘us and them’ situations, I’d like to point out that my partner and I are both low earners. Believe me, we can empathise. It’s not only about affordability for us though. We are also deeply concerned about the environmental impact of our lifestyles here in Australia and are interested in how tiny houses might demonstrate that the average Australian doesn’t need 240 square metres of house. By designing a tiny house with a high end finish and some of the comforts of a standard house we hoped to make tiny houses more accessible to the general public.

      • Peggy
        February 2, 2017, 5:43 pm

        Thank you for your response. It certainly gave me a different perspective. There is no doubt you have incorporated some good ideas. Appreciate your insight into the design and that your home is actually livable. All the best with your endeavour.

    January 27, 2017, 7:47 pm

    I don’t even want to speculate as to it’s price…! But I will admit it is a beautiful House nonetheless…!

    January 27, 2017, 7:49 pm

    OH…! And the coffee center in the bathroom gives a whole new meaning to, coffee to go…!

    • Michael L
      January 28, 2017, 6:30 pm

      Funny thought but if you look closely the coffee bar/washing machine unit is on the opposite side of the kitchen from the frig. I’m just wondering what the cost is of this unit. It’s one of the nicer ones I’ve seen.

        January 28, 2017, 7:50 pm

        I don’t know where you see that, and I have studied the photo’s several times, I must be getting blind as well as hardheaded… LoL….! But as to the cost, I would think it would be quit a bit high, as you know how drastically high in pricing tiny houses have now become…

        • Emily
          January 30, 2017, 1:15 am

          Michael L you are correct! the coffee machine is on the bench at the end of the kitchen, opposite the fridge (and behind where the ladder goes up to the storage loft). As this awesome young company is located close to me I’ve been lucky enough to tour this model tiny home at an open day. And you are also right Zachary, this model is very high end in price – retails at $120K Aussie dollars! But they recently released more affordable pod options – check out http://www.tinyhousecompany.com.au/

        • Natalie C. McKee
          January 30, 2017, 7:10 am

          Thanks so much for that Emily! I was wondering about the coffee machine 🙂

        • oxide
          January 30, 2017, 4:03 pm

          Things will be a lot clearer if you look at the Pods website: http://www.tinyhousecompany.com.au/pods-abcd/ which shows floor plans. There is a “room” pod (Aus$60K), which is an empty room, and a “services” pod (Aus$54K), which is the kitchen/bath unit. The bath is just a toilet and shower. The bathroom sink and W/D are actually *outside* the bathroom. So you can put your coffee station on the W/D without being in the bath.

          The main part of the Portal House is one service pod and one room pod put together, and costs Aus$79K. The actual Portal house has all those extras, the porch and the lifty bed which brings the cost to Aus$120K+.

        • Kay
          February 15, 2017, 11:21 pm

          $AUS120 is a huge amount of money.
          But in New Zealand, to purchase a basic starter home in a NZ city would be $NZ500-$600,000, so spending this amount is a bargain.

        • Eric
          May 20, 2017, 12:07 am

          But Kay, come on, that price you quote includes the price of a pokey section running about about (depending on the city) typically between $230k and $450k. We Kiwis get ripped off worse that the Ozzies.

  • Danielle DiLisio
    January 27, 2017, 8:02 pm

    Beautiful! But, there are to many critters crawling around Australia that want to kill you – I would need screens for the windows, lol.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      January 30, 2017, 7:38 am

      Hahaha 🙂 It sure does seem like they have too many deathly things out there!

  • Cosy
    January 27, 2017, 8:09 pm

    I love everything about this. They did a great job of using every inch of space. I love the storage and I do agree with the others, I would need some screens but that’s not a big deal. Wish they were building here in the US.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      January 30, 2017, 7:37 am

      Me too!

  • Patricia Chang
    January 28, 2017, 3:18 am

    Lovely house and beautiful décor. Plantings are marvelous. Very nice.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      January 30, 2017, 7:28 am

      I’m in love with the plantings!

  • Susanne
    January 28, 2017, 9:24 am

    Amazing! How many sq ft is that? Also how is the weight of the bed supported?

    • February 1, 2017, 6:06 am

      It’s 18 square metres, so 194 square feet, plus a 10 square metre deck. The bed is supported by a frame and brackets that run up and down tracks built into the cabinetry.

  • Mary
    February 2, 2017, 5:30 pm

    Gorgeous house with so many wonderful design ideas!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 3, 2017, 5:55 am

      I completely agree 🙂

  • Carla
    February 3, 2017, 6:29 am

    I thought it was very nice, but again it’s the expense with high end costs that make this special…..and reality is if we want to spend that kind of $ we could all do this but most of us want something that is around that $50000 to reduce the high end costs. Just a note: the drop down bed is not unique as they have been doing this in high end rvs for a long time.

    February 5, 2017, 6:42 am

    Very nicely done. A bit of modern with some old style as well. Very nice. Two thumbs up!

  • Suzanne
    May 18, 2017, 7:31 pm

    I live in Brisbane and personally I couldn’t live without door and window screens. There’s nothing more upsetting than finding a python wandering around in the hallway and the buzz of mosquitoes buzzing in your ear while trying to sleep is off putting, besides the risk of contracting a mosquito born disease. All sounds dramatic doesn’t it but it’s happened to my daughter who lives in a rental without door screens.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      May 19, 2017, 3:49 pm

      Yikes!!! I live in New England (no pythons) and I still want screens. Mosquitoes are no fun.

      • Eric
        May 20, 2017, 12:14 am

        Yeah, but I hear in the States you have plenty of snakes of the 2 legged variety. Used Car salespeople. Politicians. Aluminum siding salesmen… etc. LOL

        • Natalie C. McKee
          May 22, 2017, 4:04 pm

          Hehe 🙂

  • Marsha Cowan
    May 18, 2017, 11:31 pm

    It’s gorgeous! I love the way the shelves melt into the ceiling beams, and the coffee/sink/washer area is a great idea! Who would have thought of hiding all that closet space behind the sofa? What a beautiful place!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      May 19, 2017, 3:47 pm

      Yes the hidden storage is amazing!

    • Marsha Cowan
      August 16, 2021, 7:32 pm

      You know, you could paint a soft floral mural on those closet doors over the sofa and add some focus to that “wall” without interfering with the bed’s movement. Just a thought. . .

  • Michael L
    May 19, 2017, 1:49 am

    Every time I see this home I think, damn that’s THE one! I love this place.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      May 19, 2017, 3:46 pm

      I’m so glad 🙂 It’s good to find a favorite!

  • wenD
    September 2, 2017, 10:14 am

    Hooray, a tiny house company in Oz : )
    Where is the ‘contact us?’
    I’m glad I found you via Pinterest. I built a tiny cottage for my mum 12 years ago. She never got to live in it but now I want to, but my 20 year old son needs a space when he visits. I have been considering a mezzanine but although have cathedral ceilings there is not huge space between top of french doors and the beams (about 5 ft in centre) so was delighted to see your “custom-designed retractable bed” can you please send me more details about this?
    looking forward to receiving your newsletters

  • Christina Delamare
    February 17, 2019, 1:31 am

    SO….. I haven’t seen one question about the materials that this quite expensive THOW is constructed from – it looks a lot like MDF in other words, PRESS BOARD?? I would think in the type of humid environment that seems to be located in ( looks like the same humidity I have in my home state of Hawaii ) press board falls apart in about a year! And it MOLDS! AND don’t you have gecko’s, coackroaches, centipedes, cane spiders etc….?? And even more nasties than that I think that I’m sure you really don’t want in your bed and especially your daughters! While the design is ok I was just curious about these things.

  • Donna Rae
    August 20, 2020, 7:09 pm

    Very interesting shelving treatment in the kitchen. I might choose to end the support boards at the bottom of the window instead of having them touch the counter. Easier to keep clean. I think the confusion about the coffee center comes from the fact that the long shot of the kitchen doesn’t show the coffee pot by the washer. Probably a slightly different model. The small sink does give the impression that it belongs in the bathroom. Still, nice to know you can customize it.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      August 21, 2020, 1:04 pm

      Yes almost all the tiny houses we show from builders come with customization options. Unless someone is selling one particular home that’s already built, you can adjust things to your needs 🙂

  • Nita Hiltner
    December 2, 2020, 2:38 pm

    Too small for sanity.

  • Angela
    December 2, 2020, 4:16 pm

    I’m so heartbroken…
    They are not operating anymore and so there can’t be found anything on their website…
    But this tiny home touched something I side me and I’m so, so sad I can’t find more pictures of it to at least get a better feeling of the floor plan…

  • Sheila
    December 2, 2020, 5:16 pm

    This is breath taking! Am lost with words at this beautiful home.

  • Nancy M
    August 16, 2021, 3:11 pm

    Gorgeous, super-functional, love the drop-bed and the lovely deck area with pass-through windows! Very nice design. And love the light colors to help open up the space!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      August 17, 2021, 11:01 am

      The drop beds are such a great use of space!

  • vee
    August 16, 2021, 5:55 pm

    Well this one goes to the top of my list! Love the indoor/outdoor aspect — love the design, the storage, the cabinetry and all the lovely light. The loft looks pretty roomy to me — a plus. All in all — with a few modifications, I’d take it!!!

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