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James' Ultra Compact Abode




Nanaimo, Canada



Square Feet:


What I Love About My Home

A uniquely designed comfortable tiny home. With our patented moving floor system we manage to fit two stories into an approximately 12 foot high structure.

Biggest Challenge in Furnishing My Home

Finding appliances, and furnishings that were small enough!

Favoriting and voting have ended.

Comments (70)

This place is absolutely amazing! Congratulations on creating such a homey 180 sq. ft. Well done!

posted by Laurie Jacobsen on April 20, 2011 at 11:19am
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It's amazing that such a small space could look spacious, especially in the kitchen area.


posted by THE BASICS Magazine on April 11, 2011 at 9:00am
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I'd have loved to see a floorplan on this!

posted by Bianca-Jade on April 11, 2011 at 8:21am
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Your kitchen is amazing considering the limited space you have!

posted by hotpaprika on April 11, 2011 at 8:32am
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this is great! I think I would need more color, but I just love this.

posted by tricksy on April 11, 2011 at 8:54am
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Dude! Now this is a small cool home!!!

posted by dvilim on April 11, 2011 at 9:08am
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Crazy good design I think. Japanese architecture inspired! I would also be interested to find out what the moving floor system is..

posted by nutmeg21 on April 11, 2011 at 9:42am
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I love it. The only thing i wonder about, is there enough light? I live in a tiny stone house and it's pretty dark. Your house, though, is a perfect jewel.

posted by Leslie77 on April 11, 2011 at 9:49am
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That is really cool!! Do you actually live in it?...I often wonder if people have bigger homes somewhere else where they really live:)

posted by lee66 on April 11, 2011 at 9:51am
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definitely need more info. this looks more like a professional submission (i.e., With our patented moving floor system we manage ...) than someone's residence.

ok. after quite a bit of googling, i found this: http://tinyhouseblog.com/yourstory/james-twelve-cubed-tiny-house/. apparently james is starting his own business?

posted by loislane on April 11, 2011 at 10:00am
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and here's the official site (i think): http://www.twelve3.ca/

posted by loislane on April 11, 2011 at 10:02am
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LOVE IT!!! I'd need a bit more room (six cats and two litter boxes). But this gives me good ideas.

posted by williamsweyr on April 11, 2011 at 10:29am
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I should not type before coffee, that word *retting* does not exist and I have no idea where it came from. :/

posted by cvgmiami on April 20, 2011 at 9:22am
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It's incredible and likely the wave of the future but for me personally, it's lacking personal soul which is what moves me. The house is slick and professional and you should do very well with this business. It could be a brilliant solution for large (progresive) corporations wanting to provide workforce housing without retiing a huge footprint. Good luck!

@williamsweyr This could be the perfect house for your cats! Mine would love it.

posted by cvgmiami on April 20, 2011 at 9:21am
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Fascinating. I'm not really able to picture the whole thing. I wish I could see lots of photos or a video of the moving parts.

posted by lcat on April 20, 2011 at 9:24am
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AWESOME!! Really cool and I am sure that the outdoor space is spectacular. I agree with a bit more colour in the space , but just a throw or pillow. I too would like to see more!;) Good luck!

posted by her_royal_gr8ness on April 20, 2011 at 10:26am
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This is nuts!
I don't know if I could live here, but it's definitely cool. I do want to have a nap in that bed beside the laundry machines.

posted by pheebs79 on April 20, 2011 at 10:19am
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Definitely small and cool! Especially love the kitchen and the bedding. Where did you find the duvets? Love how they balance each other.

posted by Tracy333 on April 20, 2011 at 10:40am
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Awesome, I want to have one.

posted by Jon Te' on April 20, 2011 at 10:57am
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yes, this does seem like a professional submission. That's amazing what's been done with 180 sqt. That's the size of my office.

posted by Pamela L on April 20, 2011 at 12:08pm
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I think this is a great idea, but it would be really difficult to live in for a longer period of time. Marketed as a guest house maybe, especially since it needs to get its plumbing and electricity from a 'main house on the lot' according to the website. Just not enough light and storage, etc, to make it an actual home.

posted by azaleasmoke on April 20, 2011 at 12:05pm
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I am lucky enough to live in the same city as James and I have actually been inside this tiny house. The photos really don't do it justice because it's hard to visualize the floorplan as several people have commented. The house is incredibly well designed, feels so bright and spacious when you are inside. There are two levels, four distinct living areas, and lots of storage. I wish you all could see it in person because it's so amazing! And smells wonderful too, because it's built from real wood, not particle board.

posted by laury66 on April 20, 2011 at 12:23pm
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is this an advertisement from the manufacturer? or is it really somebody's home?

posted by sousa609 on April 20, 2011 at 2:37pm
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Looks great from the outside, but on the inside it's too much like an RV. Maybe if you just used it once in a while, and it were in Paris or someplace like that....but as a permanent space? Not for me!

posted by jennasophia on April 20, 2011 at 1:33pm
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this is a fabulous use of space and so eco friendly. excellent for use as a studio teen pad or for rental income. i love it

posted by bob tell on April 20, 2011 at 2:02pm
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what is the sitting area like? great ideas for small vacation home. I want one!

posted by sarawelder on April 20, 2011 at 2:49pm
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180 sq ft.? Amazing!

posted by schwyzerin on April 20, 2011 at 3:21pm
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incredible use of space. i want that bathroom!

posted by elizabeth11 on April 20, 2011 at 3:37pm
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I agree... I want more info on this. Wouldn't it be cool if we could all live (comfortably) in small sheds?!

posted by Melissa the Canadian on April 20, 2011 at 3:44pm
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an official house tour is in order!!

posted by katycometrue on April 20, 2011 at 3:47pm
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Great design, can't believe the size of the kitchen and the office/bed area is brillant! But... it doesn't feel to me like you are submitting your home, but rather it feels like a submission of a staged model home. There are no toiletries in the bathroom for example. And the narrative sounds like an ad, not someone talking about their home. I still think its cool but, the thing I love about AT is how the personality of the people living in these spaces comes through and I love to see how much thought and pride they put into their home. If you actually live there, my sincere apologies.

posted by mauishopgirl on April 20, 2011 at 4:10pm
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posted by sweethomesweet on April 20, 2011 at 4:11pm
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Totally amazing!

posted by ModHomekeeper on April 20, 2011 at 4:46pm
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Hello Vancouver Island!

posted by owlmug on April 20, 2011 at 4:50pm
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The kitchen is wonderfull.

posted by Ofelia on April 20, 2011 at 5:31pm
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This is amazing! real cool space..

posted by mattNmags on April 20, 2011 at 7:06pm
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More pictures please. I can't wrap my head around how the lift works.

posted by aynn on April 20, 2011 at 7:27pm
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*faint* beautiful

posted by JulianneMay on April 20, 2011 at 7:37pm
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I could actually live here with a few more windows.

posted by CraigslistDecorator on April 20, 2011 at 8:05pm
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How much would a house like this set me back for????

I agree with everyone else this looks like a marketing scheme for exposure.

posted by daylight on April 20, 2011 at 8:08pm
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Ok, I did a little research and here's the skinny on this house. James is actually the designer of these homes. This is very interesting as an alternative for the homeless:

posted by daylight on April 20, 2011 at 8:13pm
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One more:


posted by daylight on April 20, 2011 at 8:17pm
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my first thought was "This looks like that place that I pass off Bowen on my way to the gym... wait.. it IS that place off Bowen I pass on the way to my gym!" So weird/nice to see something I see in real life almost everyday on AT, and I've always been curious as to who lived in this place!

posted by mcheerio on April 20, 2011 at 8:24pm
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Thank you daylight! It was a pleasure to read. I love hearing about new prefab ventures. I think AT should do a post/article on you James, you seem to be the Canadian version tiny house guy but with a design that would appeal to those with a modern asthetic, tiny home is a bit more rustic in design :-) Of course, tiny house started because the designer first adopted that lifestyle for himself and then turned it into a business.

posted by mauishopgirl on April 20, 2011 at 8:28pm
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I saw this on the Tiny House Blog (I think) last year. It's very familiar. IIRC it was a prototype and no one actually lived there. Caveat: I could be wrong about the prototype thing. But I KNOW I've seen this before.

posted by KayinKCMO on April 20, 2011 at 8:37pm
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Fabulous use of space. Very drool worthy.

posted by RocketScientist on April 20, 2011 at 9:33pm
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INCREDIBLE almost edible, completely delicious! YUM! I'm so into tiny footprints! THIS is just a little larger than my smartcar, which is just a little bigger than the dog! LOL


posted by arcaneincleveland on April 20, 2011 at 9:34pm
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I love these! I've taken the tour and would love to buy one.

As far as I understand it, James (the creator) lived in the first one for a year+, the show home (the one in the picture) is not being lived in.

posted by Xoiv on April 20, 2011 at 9:54pm
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This is the entry from the Tiny House Blog (thanks to Kent Griswold for his timely reply): http://tinyhouseblog.com/yourstory/james-twelve-cubed-tiny-house/

posted by KayinKCMO on April 20, 2011 at 10:30pm
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Just to add a comment - I lived in my Cube full time for a year. It was very comfortable, and don't forget that was through a Canadian winter. I'm building a new one with a new design.

posted by James from Twelve3 on April 21, 2011 at 12:00am
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gotta have this tiny tiny international place!

posted by Nef4tt on April 21, 2011 at 12:01am
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posted by lebyru on April 21, 2011 at 1:17am
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It's back! :D I love this concept and am only bummed that I'll never likely encounter such a beauty in real life.

My tiny efficiency rental has taught me that I can live very small and and I'll definitely be looking at 200-400sqft units when I seek a larger apt.

posted by Kinky Gazpacho on April 21, 2011 at 1:56am
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WINNER! You have made a miracle!

posted by Ana Carolina on April 21, 2011 at 9:08am
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I, too, am confused about how this works. Does the middle panel lift up so that one can stand in the kitchen? All we see are kitchen, bed, & bath -- is there a sitting/eating area? I love the look and compactness, but it doesn't look like someone actually lives in it.

posted by Holly14 on April 21, 2011 at 11:45am
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What a great concept. I'll check out the site to see how it all actually works as the floor plan is a bit confusing without more info. As far as I can tell this is fabulous.

posted by dicey1 on April 21, 2011 at 9:16pm
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And yet it always comes back to - why are small homes illegal in most parts of the United States? It seriously breaks my heart. I want to OWN something this amazing but no: zoning is against it, taxes revenue too small, blah blah. This does need to be the wave of the future; red tape should be as fragile and removable as it sounds.

Love this modern take, but as a 'non-cook' I could have a media center surrounded by books where most all of that kitchen is. LOVES.

posted by Knifemouth on April 22, 2011 at 3:53am
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Gorgeous space! I think I would need more natural light but overall the design is fabulous!

posted by bzb on April 24, 2011 at 1:30pm
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I love it.. but can't vote for it.. i'm more a fan of the underdog.. had to live in it.. and made it work fan.

posted by outcastpoetry on April 24, 2011 at 5:27pm
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Great. I love the washer next to the bed. too funny.
It's like living in the trailer home without the trailer house trash living aroundyou.

posted by House Voyeur on April 24, 2011 at 7:38pm
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Love it! Build some for rent in Abbotsford!!!

posted by S.J.P. on April 25, 2011 at 6:33pm
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There is a great you tube video on this home... just querry up "12 cubed home" and there are several video's; one in particular is a comprehensive tour. I've been looking at tiny houses for two years. I've seen it all from Tiny Texas Houses, to Katrina Cottages, Little House on a Trailer, Tumbleweed Tiny Houses and even the French Cube. I have always gone back to the Tumbleweed Tiny House until I found the French Cube and now this. This cube is even better. The design is innovative, spacious (in the tiny house world) and nicely contemperary. What I have yet to learn are the energy options (heat and air) etc... I'm almost ready to move in....r

posted by mustlovecaesar on April 26, 2011 at 6:59pm
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So cute and liveable!! Comfortable and friendly!

posted by bdun on April 26, 2011 at 8:57pm
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fellow Island dweller (Victoria pour moi!)... nothing like living on the westcoast, even if it is Nanaimo! ;) Fantastique!

posted by bccanada on April 29, 2011 at 3:49pm
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iloveit.iloveit.iloveit.. **sigh**

posted by cynthia et alexandre on April 30, 2011 at 7:27pm
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I would love to see AT do a full house tour, or some sort of article about your dwelling.

posted by k2yhe on April 30, 2011 at 11:55pm
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Decrease the length of the bathroom:

Include the toilet seat within the shower curtain – to sit while showering.

Try a small, 12” – depth, corner sink adjacent to the toilet plumbing – they’re easy to find online.

With a shower curtain, waterproofing just the lower half of the walls may be sufficient.

Rather than excessive shelving, store a cosmetic basket on the shelf over the toilet.

Try a full-length mirror and towel/clothing hooks on the back of the bathroom door.

posted by lil on May 18, 2011 at 3:40pm
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Ecological? Rather than a huge roof and deck, try a simple awning and sit on the lawn.

posted by lil on May 18, 2011 at 3:51pm
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A one-story building with a peaked ceiling, 10’ in height, may be sufficient.

Staircases take up a lot of space.

One daybed or futon couch, with underbed pull-out storage baskets, may be sufficient.

Rather than a desk, try a handheld computer and clipboard.

A dishwasher, microwave and washer/dryer are not always needed.

Try just a lower, corner carousel cabinet for a set of stackable pans/dishes, weekly dry goods and a utensil basket.

posted by lil on May 18, 2011 at 3:55pm
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_____ing fantastic!! this needs a house tour!

posted by northstory on April 20, 2012 at 8:59pm
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