Across the pond in the United States and in other countries where tiny living has seen an incredible boom over the past five years or so, like Australia or New Zealand, or even the UK, there's a decided preference for larger units. People who choose this type of mobile lifestyle would rather give up some degree of mobility than have to downsize "by the book" and fit their entire life within the confines of a road-legal trailer-based house.
While compromise is essential to tiny living and mobile homes in general, there's the misconception that the smaller the unit, the less functionality it has. Golden Hour shows that it doesn't necessarily have to be so: this is a tiny designed as a permanent residence for two adults, with all the creature comforts of a home, outstanding sustainability credentials, and more than a fair share of personality.
Golden Hour is, like most Baluchon units, a fully custom, turnkey project for a woman named Celine, who is now living in it full-time in the Rhône-Alpes region of France. It sits on a double-axle trailer with a usable length of just 6 meters (19.6 feet), which makes it very small compared to the mobile homes we usually cover here. As the golden rule in the tiny house industry has it, the smaller the house, the easier it is to move around.
But the most impressive part about Golden Hour is that, despite the compact size, it has everything you would expect to find in a "proper" home, including standing height in the bedroom so you don't have to crawl on your hands and knees to put on a pair of pants. Again, if you're not new to the topic of tiny living, you know that headroom is among the first compromises to be made when building one such home.
The ground floor is occupied by spaces for daytime activities, with the only difference being that all of them are brought down to size on considerations of space. Still, Golden Hour has a cute little lounge that could, under very special circumstances, sleep one or two overnight guests, an almost full-size kitchen, a dining area, and a small bathroom.
Celine is a passionate cook, so she wanted the kitchen to resemble a residential one. Baluchon equipped it with a two-burner propane stove, a fridge, a deep sink, and a surprising amount of storage space. There's even a wine rack because you can't go without wine and cheese if you're French. A drop-down extension of the counter becomes a two-person breakfast bar, and there's additional storage under the floating staircase (including a nice little nook for a dog).
Like all Baluchon tinies, the Golden Hour is fully insulated with a combination of hemp, linen, and cotton and gets power from an RV-style hookup. It's basked in natural light throughout thanks to expansive glazing and is finished in red cedar with a matching all-wood interior in contrasting neutrals and whites. Baluchon takes pride in using natural materials for sustainability and enhanced comfort, and this one is no exception.
Another similarity between this unit and previous Baluchon builds is that it doesn't come with a price tag. As a reference, turnkey tinies from this builder range between €85,000 and €100,000 ($93,000-$109,400 at the current exchange rate), while shells start at €25,000 ($27,400).