Considering most tiny houses are a similar size and shape, you’d think firms would run out of ideas to make their models stand out from the crowd, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. This year has seen many unique takes on downsizing, including an expandable tiny house, a cardboard tiny house, and another towable dwelling that sleeps up to 10 people. Here’s our pick for the best tiny houses of 2017.

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All but one of the models we’ve covered here are the classic tiny house style – that is, based on a trailer and legal to tow on a standard road without a permit or special vehicle. Most are for sale too, and when this is the case we’ve included pricing.

Read on for our selection of the best tiny houses of 2017, then head to the gallery for additional photos and information.

Aurora – Zero Squared

Zero Squared drew inspiration from the RV scene with its novel Aurora tiny house, which features large slide-outs – sections of walls that push outwards to increase living space. In the Aurora’s case they grow the total width from 8.6 ft (2.6 m) when towing, to 15.10 ft (4.6 m) when parked up.

This means that when being towed, the home remains narrow enough to be road-legal, but in its expanded state, residents can enjoy increased living space that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. Indeed, despite measuring a compact 26 ft (8 m)-long, the Aurora offers a relatively generous total floorspace of 374 sq ft (34.7 sq m).

Its interior comprises an office that turns into a bedroom with a Murphy-style drop-down bed, a living room with sofa, as well as a dining area and a bathroom with shower.

The Aurora gets power from a standard RV-style hookup or can run off-the-grid with solar panels and a composting toilet. It’ll set you back US$88,900.

Wikkelhouse – Fiction Factory

Furniture maker Fiction Factory’s debut home Wikkelhouse is a prefabricated dwelling made from cardboard. The home is constructed by wrapping 24 layers of cardboard around a rotating house-shaped mold, then finishing it in a waterproof foil and wooden cladding to improve durability.

Each Wikkelhouse is modular and consists of multiple segments measuring 5 sq m (53 sq ft) each, so it can be easily configured to serve as an office or a weekend cabin, for example. It runs from grid-based power as standard, though solar panels and a composting toilet can be added at extra cost for those who want to cut the cord.

The Wikkelhouse starts at €30,000 (roughly $35,600).

Escher – New Frontier Tiny Homes

New Frontier Tiny Homes impressed us before with the Alpha tiny house and its successor, the Escher, sports a similar overall design, but with some additional touches to make it suitable for a family.

The Escher reaches a length of 33 ft (10 m) and has an attractive exterior partly clad in Shou Sugi Ban-treated cedar, the Japanese method of charring wood to preserve it. It has a garage-like door and awning that lift upwards to open the home to the outside. The interior looks very luxurious and measures around 300 sq ft (27.8 sq m). There’s a lot going on in here but the most interesting piece of furniture is a custom dining table hidden under the stairs that’s pulled out to seat up to 12 adults.

Japanese-style Shoji paper doors separate the high-end kitchen and the Escher’s main bedroom. Over on the other side of the home is a small office, child’s room up in the loft, and a bathroom with walk-in closet.

The Escher starts at $139,900.

Retreat – Timbercraft Tiny Homes

The Retreat, by Timbercraft Tiny Homes, is an attractive-looking tiny house that sleeps a family of six. It measures 33 ft (10 m)-long and has a total floorspace of 416 sq ft (38.6 sq m), which is very spacious for a road-legal tiny house.

Visitors enter into the Retreat’s living room, which joins to a U-shaped kitchen with lots of cabinet space and full-size appliances. The bathroom has a full-size bath/shower. There are three bedrooms in the Retreat. The first is the master bedroom and has enough headroom to stand upright, while the second and third bedrooms are standard tiny house-style lofts reached by ladder.

The Retreat gets electricity from a standard RV-style hookup and costs $79,000.

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