Curious About The Tiny House Trend? Meet The Couple Who Built Their (small) Dream Home

Kate Hall

There’s no doubt, society is going nuts for tiny homes!

The idea of living in a space that is big enough to have everything you need, but small enough to live without clutter and ‘stuff’, has taken off.

Stressed out individuals, couples, and families, have begun to dive into the tiny house movement, leaving their huge homes and debts behind.



tiny house waiheke island

I’ve always been a fan of the tiny home movement.

I once mapped out a plan for a container house on the back lawn at 10pm at night after watching a documentary on tiny homes and becoming overwhelmingly enthused. I keep up to date with the latest designs, follow tiny homes on Instagram, and one day I might even build my own.

Last weekend I had the privilege of visiting a tiny home in real life! It was everything I thought it would be… but way cooler.

Let me introduce you to Kate and Willem’s gorgeous tiny home on Waiheke Island.

tiny house waiheke island

tiny house waiheke island

This tiny home is nestled into New Zealand native bush, away from the world, and perfectly practical in every way. The front of the house lets light in through big sliding doors, and allows the breeze to flow through in summer. The house is 7.6m long, 2.4m wide, and 4.25m high, but with the doors open and the sun shining, it hardly felt this small at all!

Kate and Willem’s design skills show through in their tiny home, as everything has been designed for purpose, yet nothing lacks style or beauty.


West Elm Sustainable

Kate’s wardrobe consists of hangers under the stairs, and the couch was custom made for Willem to lift the top pad, and find his clothes underneath. The finishing touches involve a light made from a copper Trademe part, fitted to become a lamp, and a composting toilet, which I was far too fired up about.

The composting toilet sounds much like a Harry Potter broomstick; it’s a Separett Villa 9000.

Are you sitting down? Prepare yourselves for a detailed composting toilet description.

The urine goes into a septic tank where Kate and Willem’s waste water goes too, and the ‘number twos’ are emptied into a wheelie vermiculture worm farm every 2-4 months. Once the ‘brown stuff’ has broken down into compost, it is wheeled to the top of the section to be collected and used as compost elsewhere.

Maybe I’m crazy, but knowing your waste helps things to grow rather than saying goodbye to it with one flush, makes me want to install a composting toilet immediately.

Now for the rest of the amenities.

Water is gathered on their little roof and sent to their water tank, and their electricity and internet comes from the same place as you and me. Easy.

Kate and Willem’s plans for an outdoor bath tub (another Trademe score) that sits under the deck, with a hatch to open when you want an outdoor bath, blew me away. There are so many things you can do in a functional space! They have a lounge, kitchen, study/spare room, toilet, master bed room, and a laundry box attached externally. They have everything they need, but it fits inside a space the size of most people’s living rooms.


When you’re up in their little loft, lying on their cosy bed, Kate and Willem’s house simply makes sense.

Looking around, there’s no piles of stuff, no shelves stacked with ornaments to dust every week, or redundant things to repair and add to their do-to list. They began this build to get into the housing market, but it’s turned into a little sanctuary, where they can escape from the busyness, and spend time having experiences and relationships.

There’s no doubt, society is going nuts for tiny homes! And now I know exactly why

Kate Hall

I live and breathe sustainable living and ethical fashion. This alternative way of consuming and existing dominates my every waking moment- and sometimes more. Ethical fashion and living are no longer my hobbies, it has become my mission... to change the future of fast fashion and the way we consume. My husband and I strive to live a zero-waste lifestyle, live at thrift stores, and always look to 'up-cycle' rather than throw out. Eco-living is not a choice for me, it's in my blood, and I am trying with all my power for it to be the new 'norm'.