Customized to their needs with a pop-up canopy and fold-down stoop, this tiny vacation home on wheels helps one young family avoid both the crowds and the high prices of seaside resorts. Bulgarian designer Hristina Hristova built a narrow, lightweight structure on top of a trailer base, limiting it to nine feet wide so it’s still street-legal.
The result is like a rustic RV with no plastic in sight, lined inside and out with oiled timber and plywood. That means the interior smells like fresh-sawn wood instead of off-gassing synthetic materials, maintaining a sort of minimalist DIY aesthetic. A bench couch folds down into a bed, and the small kitchenette includes an oven and a sink.
The mini house features a standard-height ceiling for a feeling of spaciousness inside, and lots of glazing opens the living space to views of the chosen setting. The portability of this little getaway also makes it possible to spend the night in calmer, less developed spots.
“Our limited budget as a young family kept the idea of buying a plot and building on it distant and impossible,” says Hristova. “And by doing so we were just going to be part of the concrete army invading the seaside. So we opted for making our retreat on wheels. Under the canopy we spend long afternoons drinking chilled wine.”
“And as the Bulgarian traditions demand often our afternoon wine turned into long dinners with sea food and light music. That’s why we added accent exterior lighting as well as white panes to better reflect the light. Koleliba as we called this tiny vacation house (koleliba – a made up word meaning a hut on wheels) is our response to the invading consumerism that encourages us to always want our homes bigger, better and unnecessarily luxurious.”