Recent years haven't seen just a boom in tiny houses and mobile homes of all kinds but also a boom in the diversity of these products. Builders and sellers are trying to cater to a wider range of customers, including parents with kids, while still sticking to the basic principles of downsizing: a compact footprint for high mobility and reduced monthly costs, and intentional living.
Baluchon is one such builder. The French company has been on the market for much longer than the current post-2020 boom in tiny houses and has built for itself a reputation that others would probably give an arm and a leg for. While offering very modern and comfortable mobile homes, Baluchon is able to keep them sustainable, using responsibly-sourced materials and natural insulation. They're also very nice to look at.
Le Château Ambulant translates to "Rolling Castle" or "Rolling Country Manor," but don’t let the name trick you into jumping to conclusions. Neither should you let the diminutive size do that. Le Château is neither castle nor a cramped tiny home, but a beautiful combination of both and, because of it, a family home.
It sits on a custom dual-axle Baluchon trailer with a useful length of 19.6 feet (6 meters) and offers only 225 square feet (21 square meters) of living space. It's very small, which helps with it being moved around whenever the owners want to, but it can still sleep four people comfortably and offer basic home-like comforts like a sizable kitchen, a dining area, a full bathroom, and even space to chill. And Netflix, if that's your thing.
The ground floor holds the living area slash guest or kids' bedroom, the kitchen and the dining nook, and the bathroom. In writing, it doesn't seem like there's much to Le Château Ambulant to make it stand out, but it's the design and the styling that give it charm and plenty of personality.
The exterior, for example, is a combination of red cedar with aluminum, with a gable roof and matching double-glazed windows. At the rear is an oversize picture window that opens up the interior space and creates the most idyllic spot to watch sunsets or whatever else you like watching from inside.
Multi-functional, to be more accurate. The sofa by the large window can convert into a double bed with ease thanks to a comb-like wooden frame. The dining nook can comfortably seat four people, while the kitchen is surprisingly large, with one block on each side of the trailer. It also includes almost full-size appliances, like a fridge, a four-burner gas stove, and an oven. A large sink, hidden pantry, and many storage options turn this space into a proper family kitchen.
The bathroom is at the other end of the trailer, with a composting toilet and a small shower. It's exactly what you'd expect to find in a tiny house of this size, so it's the one space where you can tell compromises had to be made.
Le Château Ambulant is a turnkey, fully custom Baluchon project, so no details regarding pricing were ever disclosed about it. That said, a turnkey Baluchon tiny home will set you back between €85,000 and €100,000 ($93,400-$110,000), with appliances, finishes, and whatever amount of charm and personality you want included.