Big design in a tiny package

Tiny Houses Hit The Hamptons

They call it “big design in a tiny package.” With experience in construction and design under their tool belts, Jessica and Mark Dunkirk sought a different type of career path once they had a baby. “We wanted to be in one place,” Mark said.

As he explained the couple’s shift away from grand home design and building Sunday, Mark stood in one pretty small place—a tiny show house the Dunkirks built in their shop on David Whites Lane in Southampton. They’re the first to bring the tiny house movement to Long Island.

On Sunday, two tiny houses were on display on trailers in the parking lot of the modest commercial industrial complex. The smaller of the pair has already been sold—for $60,000—to an upisland individual who will use it as an Airbnb. The larger—if under 200 square feet can be considered large—is a model of the upscale tiny houses the Dunkirks build.

Running about $100,000, the tiny house measures 28 feet long and eight and a half feet wide. But don’t let the measurements deceive. The interior boasts windows galore, offering the illusion of space and plenty of sunshine. Quartz counters surround a full size sink and abut top-of-the-line range and refrigerator in a kitchen built to rival any cook’s space in a typical three-bedroom ranch.

Lofts are located at either end of the tiny house. The main “bedroom” plays host to a queen size bed, “tin” ceiling, and electric fireplace for cozy nights. Ladders to access the lofts are cleverly hidden away. The bathroom includes a full size sink and toilet, plus a large tiled shower.

Asked to describe the airy, yet country-homey design style of the interior, Jessica was a little stumped. She uses iron, metal, and wood accents, to create a look that’s both modern and rustic. “It’s . . . Jessica,” she shrugged.

Whether a tiny house can be used as a full time home, depends on the zoning of individual towns, Mark pointed out.

In Southampton, the zoning code carries a minimum square footage provision for houses. But Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman seemed intrigued Sunday discussing the movement. Tiny houses might be a way to address the need for workforce housing, or become part of the town’s affordable housing program.

To learn more about the Dunkirk’s work, visit tinyhamptonshomes.com.