It may have caught your eye on a property site trawl.
There, like a beautiful wooden beacon among a slew of overpriced (and rapidly increasing) homes for sale across Cork, stood a truly tempting alternative: a portable home that could potentially offer a ticket to a mortgage-free lifestyle.
Damien Peureux’s stylish homes on wheels have many of us pining for the freedom of compact living this week.
In fact, his company Sunflower Tiny House has been inundated with inquiries after photos of his most recent creation and its luxurious interior were shared online on a property website.
Originally from Dijon in France, Peureux moved to Cork six years ago, settling in Kinsale. Having bought and restored a house to sell, Damien began thinking about all the times he had moved in his life, which brought him to a lightbulb moment: what if you could create a tiny house on wheels? And what if it didn’t necessarily need planning permission?
In January of this year, he found suitable premises, launched his business and began building charming tiny homes to market in France. They went down a storm and customers already have 25 houses on order.
Now alternative lifestyle seekers and nomadic retirees in Ireland are taking notice.
The first Sunflower Tiny Home, pictured above in a series of shots taken outside Timoleague Abbey in West Cork, was delivered to its new owner on Monday.
Custom built to the customer’s specification, the structure is designed with her input as a forever home and comes complete with a custom cat flap for her pet.
So, what does one of these adorable little houses cost? Well, that’s largely up to you.
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Damien works within the customer’s budget to create a plan that best suits their needs. So far, the price has ranged from around €30,000 right up to €65,000, with the more expensive models including everything from antique fittings and carved wood finishes to generators and rainwater collection systems for off-grid living.
To make a tiny home your primary residence in Ireland you will need land to put it on and planning permission, but for those who plan on using their trailer homes for touring, the rules are fuzzier.
Right now there are five basic styles to choose from and you can visit the showroom in Ballinglanna or check them out on the company’s website sunflower-tiny-house.com.