Tiny Footprint, Big Impact

Vina Lustado
4 min readDec 11, 2019


The Sol Haus Give Back 100 Initiative

Vina’s tiny house and mobile office are located in a gorgeous outdoor setting in Ojai, CA

In 2008 when I was working in an architecture office during the recession, I had an epiphany: It was possible to use the built environment to solve social issues like economic disparity and environmental degradation. I decided to start my own firm and Sol Haus Design was born.

After 4 years designing traditional homes for others, I re-focused my time and energy to design a home for myself that spoke to my core values of sustainability and economic efficiency. In 2012, I decided to design (and build!) my first tiny house, to prove to myself one can live tiny in luxury without sacrifice. It was 140 square-feet, made from mostly repurposed materials, and utilized the sun to maximize energy efficiency and live off-grid. Though small, it allowed me to finally live in harmony with nature and within my means.

This simple act of living tiny and beautifully quickly resonated with others. Word of my tiny house spread and the response was surprisingly swift and positive.

Vina’s tiny house is bathed in natural light, using repurposed materials and non-toxic finishes

One’s dwelling is a reflection of the type of life that you want to have.

Founded in 2010, Sol Haus Design is a boutique design firm that promotes small, efficient spaces as a vehicle for sustainable living. By creating simple, beautiful spaces, we’re designing for a life of less consumption, less production, and more freedom — even for modest means.

By reducing the size of the footprint and sourcing locally, we can eliminate a lot of the costs and waste that are part of building a new home. Living within one’s means is a win/win for homeowners and Mother Earth!

Living in harmony with nature with a spacious outdoor deck

Live Tiny, Do Good: The Sol Haus “Give Back 100” Initiative

We are committed to giving back to our local and global community. In addition to running our business using 100% renewable energy (and of course out of a tiny house!), we donate 1% of our annual profits through 1% for the Planet to organizations that create positive change for the environment. We like to practice what we preach.

And this month, we’re proud to announce the launch of our newest initiative — Sol Haus Give Back 100 — a program for fostering sustainable communities and positive social impact in partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

Through this initiative, $100 from every sale of our Tiny House Plans (The Sol Haus, Light Haus, and Sol Pod) is donated directly to Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County to help provide critical housing resources to community members in need. And as a special thank you for helping us launch the Give Back 100 initiative, we are offering 40% off all Tiny House Plans through December 31st.

Since its establishment in 1983, Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County (a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International) has built 70 safe, decent, and affordable homes for families in need. Through shelter, Habitat creates a strong foundation for a family and an opportunity on which they can build a better life. They’ve been awarded the highest possible rating from Charity Navigator and in 2018 received a perfect 100 point score. We’re proud to support the good work of this organization.

Although still in its initial stages and not yet approved, Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County is hard at work on a tiny home community in Oxnard, California. Proponents are hopeful that this project will move forward and obtain the necessary permits. This groundbreaking project can potentially serve as a pilot project for other cities to follow.

Building a Resilient Future

Just like a bike is a tool for healthy living, alternative transportation, and reduced fuel consumption, we at Sol Haus Design see the tiny house as a tool for enhancing sustainable lifestyles and building a more resource-efficient culture.

Vina working on Habitat Global Village project in Alaska

Our vision for the future is an intentional community that consists of clusters of small housing units (tiny homes) with a central gathering space around an indoor/outdoor deck. This allows for a greater connection to nature and each other.

And it’s slowly starting to take shape, one tiny house at a time…

Though we are small (in footprint), the tiny house movement is mighty! Together, we can build a resilient future for our loved ones, neighbors, and future generations to come.

The ripple effects can — and will — change the world.



Vina Lustado

I am the founder/owner of Sol Haus Design, a boutique firm with a focus on sustainable design and building in Ojai, California.