Self-Sufficient Tiny With a Bold Layout Is Inspired by Off-Shore Navigation

It would seem that most tiny homes these days are trying to be luxurious and prove that mobile living doesn’t need to compromise on comfort. On the other hand, some might argue that the essence of tiny living has to do with minimalism, sustainability, and frugality. This tiny house designed and built in Spain isn’t afraid to be rugged – it’s totally off-grid, rustic, and unconventional.
The Freyja is a totally self-sufficient tiny home with a quirky layout 16 photos
Photo: Serena House
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Serena House is a real pioneer in Europe. Back in 2016, its DIY construction of an off-grid tiny house paved the way for a new approach to sustainable housing in this part of the world. That prototype, called Les Abers and built as part of the Vagabonde.House project, became the first autonomous tiny house in France. In 2017, it won the Loire Atlantique sustainable tourism award for environmental preservation.

One year later, it was followed by another build, The Stendhal, which would become the first off-grid tiny house in Spain. Hundreds of people have experienced off-grid vacations inside these pioneering tiny homes over the next years, and many more have chosen similar models for permanent living.

The team at Serena House build everything at its workshop near Barcelona, Spain. Several of them live in tiny homes themselves, so they know exactly what customers need and what are the best ways to make that happen. They currently have four basic designs, all customizable and all adapted to different styles and needs.

Serena House Builds Tiny Homes in Spain
Photo: Serena House
The Freya is one of the most popular models built by Serena House, and it’s no wonder. This tiny isn’t just entirely self-sufficient, and perfectly equipped for off-grid living, but also reflects that wild spirit in its atypical layout.

Don’t expect great luxuries, premium furniture, and fancy décor. Freja is unpretentious, yet highly functional for long-term living. It includes a kitchen, a bathroom, a loft bedroom, abundant storage, and a quirky living area. All of these are fitted inside a dwelling that’s only six-meter (19.6 feet) long and 2.5-meters (8.2 feet) wide.

The Freya is based on the brand’s Penates format. This is one of its largest designs, that can accommodate two to four people ideally, or even six, if it includes a convertible sofa. It’s suitable for anything from permanent housing to tourist accommodation, and remote creative work (it could be a great mobile workshop).

The Spanish brand describes it beautifully as a home that “brings off-shore navigation to mainland.” This is because the Penates format combines off-grid capabilities with a type of configuration that’s inspired by ship layouts. Vessels that spend a lot of time at sea obviously need to make the most of the available space on board, and Serena House used a similar efficient space optimization.

Freyja Tiny House
Photo: Serena House
As soon as you enter Freya, you are welcomed by a rustic kitchen. It’s very compact, but fitted with a sink, a two-burner cooktop, and a fridge. On the opposite side, you’ll discover a very tiny, but practical, multi-functional corner. A wall-mounted desk and a rustic stool, sitting in front of a window, are enough to turn this corner into an office, a breakfast spot, or just a simple relaxation area for more privacy.

The kitchen countertop stands out right away because the ladder that leads to the loft bedroom is placed right on top of it. While this is definitely not your typical tiny house ladder, it does save a lot of space. The bedroom itself is spacious and airy, including a comfortable double bed, a generous cabinet, and discreet lighting.

The bathroom is placed next to the kitchen, and it’s surprisingly well-equipped for a small, rustic house. This includes a large shower, an eco-friendly toilet, a stylish contrasting sink, and even a cute, wall-mounted washing machine.

Going past the kitchen, you’ll be surprised to find a generous storage space that’s rarely included in tiny houses. An XL dressing room is a rare luxury, especially when there’s no modular furniture involved. The Freyja sacrifices the typical living room layout for abundant, easily-accessible storage.

Serena House Builds Tiny Homes in Spain
Photo: Serena House
But this doesn’t mean that it ditches the living room altogether. A couple of wide stairs connect it to a very unusual relaxation area, on a suspended platform. Of course, the space itself is versatile enough to be transformed in different ways, depending on the customers’ needs. But it can also work as a quirky living area, with one or two light chairs and a tiny coffee table.

Designed to be entirely autonomous, Freyja is equipped with gas heating, a solar power system, plus a system for rainwater collection and filtration. It runs entirely on clean electricity, and it’s also built sustainably, using plenty of wood and ecological materials for insulation. Breathable walls and the use of ecological paint also make this tiny eco-friendly and more sustainable.

Tiny and self-sufficient, Freyja is ready for adventure. It’s built on a road-compliant, 3,500 kg (7,716 lbs) custom trailer, and it’s light enough to travel safely.

As for the price, the Penates format starts at €39,961 ($43,700) for the empty shell and €72,000 ($78,600) for the turnkey version. Freyja may not be luxurious or fancy style-wise, but it stays true to the essence of off-grid tiny living.

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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
Otilia Drăgan profile photo

Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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