At Portland’s Garden Cottages, bigger is definitely not better. A few years ago, self-taught designers Jeffrey Gantert and Brad Bloom built two tiny cottages — each just 364 sq. ft. — on one full-sized suburban lot, outfitting them with details that matched the Victorian and Craftsman homes in the historic neighborhood. But these aren’t your average “mini-McMansions.” The Garden Cottages are constructed primarily with reclaimed materials. The outer walls are made of flattened tin cans, while the inner walls are lined with recycled Trader Joe’s bags — handles still attached. Bricks from an old chimney make up the homes’ foundations, while window planters are repurposed upside-down hood vents. With space-stretching design tricks inside, like a foldable table and a pop-up wine caddy, the homes are comfortable yet compact, and push the limit on the growing tiny-home movement.
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