Small House Lab, LLC, sells plans and 3D models of prototype small houses, and shares ideas about finding more in less. More designs will be available soon.

The American house has more than doubled in size since 1950, while the average household has fallen from 3.8 to 2.6 people. Only one American home in five now shelters two parents with a child at home, while most households are just one or two people.

Smaller, better fitting houses would sustainably consume fewer resources, require smaller building lots, reduce carrying costs and upkeep, and free their owners' time and money for other pursuits. Like weekend retreats and summer houses, they could answer our longing for simpler, less encumbered lives.

Small House Lab experiments with house design priorities, dialing down needless square footage and complexity, dialing up quality of space and living experience. The designs emphasize a single spacious living area with a high ceiling and generous light and views. These luxuries are offset by the economy of an efficiently planned, simply shaped house with a slab-on-grade floor and stud framing, familiar construction much like that of a family garage. Durable, low-maintenance materials and wheelchair accommodation make for lifelong service.

The designs are not ends in themselves, but practical demonstrations of small-house potential. They are prototypes to be adapted and developed for unique owners and sites by local architects, or used as points of departure for new designs created in collaboration with architects. 


Small House Lab creator David Holowka, an architect and student of great modern houses, at Mies van der Rohe's 1951 Farnsworth House.