Holistic Home Tour: This Tiny House In New Zealand Is Pure Magic
Climb to the top of Ponga Hill outside Auckland and you'll be met with thick, lush New Zealand bushland, harbor views—and the cutest tiny home you ever did see. Faith Poppy and her partner Bryce moved into the Hilltop Tiny House (@hilltoptiny on Instagram) this April after living overseas and have never looked back. Today, Faith's giving us a tour of the jungle home that has everything she needs—and nothing she doesn't.
What are three words that describe your design philosophy at home?
Worldly, energetic, natural.
What inspired you to move into a tiny home? How has the experience been similar & different from what you were expecting?
We were inspired to move into a tinier space for the freedom: the freedom to pick up and move at any time but also the financial freedom in being able to live without a mortgage, which also alleviates an element of stress.
Living here has been everything I thought it would be and better! There's nothing I feel it's missing or lacking in comparison to a regular home. We use every space, and everything has a purpose. It's the perfect space for where I am at in my life right now.
What's the most challenging part of living in a tiny home? The most rewarding?
With a background of living and working on boats, I was used to confined spaces. Moving into a tiny house felt huge! So I haven't found anything challenging about living in this house—except getting it to its location. It took a big tractor and the generous help of neighbors, friends, and family to make it possible.
The most rewarding thing about living in a tiny house is knowing we turned a dream into a reality. As a first-time homeowner, it's so rewarding to see something I worked so hard for come to fruition. And after living and sharing a home with 20+ other people on a yacht, it's so nice to have a space that's just mine.
When you opt for a tiny house, it also opens up the opportunity to have a beautiful location and view—something we would not have been able to afford had we bought a regular home at this stage.
What object in your home brings you the most joy and why?
The day bed! I designed it myself and had it custom-made so it can be a sectional couch and a bed. It's just the comfiest and coziest place to be. I love how versatile it is, and how easy it is to change the shape and look of the lounge so easily.
It's also in the most perfect sunny spot that gets the sunrise and the sunset. At night, it's really lovely to enjoy all the twinkling stars and city lights. You can find me there day and night!
What's the oldest thing in your home?
The oldest would be my collection of books (I love books) or crystals that I've had for years.
What noises can be heard in your home? What smells are there?
Being so immersed in nature, we hear many different birds and insects. Our free-range chickens are also very chatty! Smells range from fresh country air, incense, and sage to candles or whatever meal I'm cooking that day (I'm a foodie!).
How does your home support your health and well-being?
It supports my health and well-being in every way, honestly. I used to live in downtown Auckland, which I loved, but living out in the country is just so good for my soul. I don't miss all the noise, traffic, and pollution, and I try to fill the home with natural, healthy materials and cleaning products. Most importantly, I still have more than enough space to do yoga in the living room!
What's the most sentimental thing hanging on your wall, and what's the story behind it?
The most sentimental thing hanging on my wall is a painting my Grampy did for my birthday this year of my cat Pipi, who sadly passed away shortly after I received the artwork, having spent 11 magical years with her. It's a quirky painting and a special ode to my Pipi, created by one of the most important people in my life.
What does the word home mean to you?
Home is an extension of you; it's an expression of who you are. Home is a safe space. It's your space.
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Emma Loewe is the Sustainability Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.
Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 articles on mbg, her work has appeared on Bloomberg News, Marie Claire, Bustle, and Forbes. She has covered everything from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping to a group of doctors prescribing binaural beats for anxiety. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.