The buffalo in a space-suit serves many purposes. In a nutshell, our logo represents an emblem of the New Frontier for American society at large – a meshing of the original Western Frontier, and the “Final” Frontier – space.
But, first and foremost, we want our logo to be a reminder to have fun. Buying a home and finding a place to live is and always has been a source of stress and angst. Life is stressful. It is our hope that our logo serves as a reminder to everyone in our company that life needs to have a little whimsical sprinkled in. If we can’t remember to have fun along the path of life – to take a moment to give thanks and appreciate the small and sometimes silly things, even in the midst of great uncertainty, discomfort, or worse yet, great suffering, how can we expect to find happiness?
The Buffalo is an icon of the classic American Western Frontier – a place built and settled by bold people with limited resources, who chose a completely new lifestyle that had never been, all while living in small spaces. The buffalo also serves as a reminder of our responsibility as people to be stewards of nature, of our planet. Stewards of our resources, of our communities.
The Space-Suit… the Final Frontier – another place explored by people living in small spaces. The first courageous people exploring space lived in small spaces because to them, it made the most sense to conserve resources in order to use what they had to investigate life around them. Well to us, tiny homes are about doing just that – living in a new way… exploring life in a new way. Go forth and see what you haven’t yet seen. Don’t waste money on empty, unused space. We have an opportunity to do things in a new way – To avoid following the status quo of boring living. Be your own person.
Written by: William Williams / Published 05 October 2018
Work is slated to begin in November on what will be Nashville’s first tiny home community with a hotel-esque model.
To be located on the southeast corner of the intersection of Riverside Drive and Rosebank Avenue (across Riverside from Grillshack Fries and Burgers) in East Nashville, the future six tiny homes will be billed as short-term rental structures.
Nashville-based companies Paragon Group and New Frontier Tiny Homes are undertaking the project, which eventually could include additional small structures. The first six microhomes (an example is pictured) will range in size from 250 square feet to 350 square feet.
Of note, Paragon Managing Partner Zac Thomas is a co-founder with David Latimer of New Frontier. Relatedly, Thomas teams with Brett Diaz to oversee Paragon.
Latimer said there are few similar offerings elsewhere in the country and even fewer are located in or near cities. One exception is found in Portland, Oregon.
“We’re exploring options for the project but the plan now is to use a keyless, short-term-rental model,” he said.
Latimer said the site’s proximity to Walden, the mixed-use node located on Eastland Avenue and recognized as the home to restaurants The Wild Cow and Graze, among others, is a bonus. He said starting with six microhomes is a practical move to test the concept.
“We’ll see how it goes and we might add units down the line,” he said, adding no buildings will need to be razed to accommodate the homes.
Of note, the homes will be placed on foundations and not on wheels. A master permit has been applied for.
Latimer said the team is not ready to disclose the cost to undertake the project or the future short-term rates of the tiny homes. Similarly, the project does not yet have a name. The address is 999 Riverside Drive.
Latimer and Thomas started New Frontier in 2016, with the company having since garnered some national media attention, including via Dwell, Architectural Digest and Good Morning America.
Writer: James Gabriel Martin / Publish Date: 8 May 2018
For people all over the world, the expenses associated with owning a home can lead to difficult choices when it comes to traveling or taking holidays. But in recent years, alternative ways of living have been emerging more and more, fuelled by intrepid creatives with appetites for exploration and freedom. Perhaps the most famous example is the tiny home movement, which has seen people choosing to downsize their living quarters in favour of movability, leading to many companies offering bespoke and comfortable mobile homes designed for the open road. One such example is New Frontier Tiny Homes, who offer a range of custom creations that are bound to inspire wanderlust.
Built on trailers that can range between 18 and 40 feet, the ethos behind New Frontier Tiny Homes is flexibility, offering owners the opportunity to change their environment if they so wish. The houses can be fully customised, and even have the ability to utilise solar power for fully off grid systems. Available in three different models of varying sizes, the homes are multifunctional, cosy, and eye-catching, and include all the modern comforts seen in normal houses, such as fitted kitchens, dishwashers and washing machines, and sliding glass doors that open onto decks. The Nashville-based company creates unique designs for clients, and upon completion of a build, delivers the homes anywhere across the United States.
“Designing and building a completely custom tiny home on wheels for a client is a very intimate process. During that time, we get to know our clients as people, which allows us to build them homes fit for their every need. Owners can expect to get a home that is unmatched in creativity and the quality of craftsmanship and materials,” David Latimer, Founder of New Frontier Tiny Homes told Lonely Planet Travel News.
Recently, New Frontier Tiny Homes was approached by Cornelia Funke, who commissioned them to create a rustic, rectangular writing studio in the forest. Two New Frontier Tiny Homes trailers are even available to rent through Airbnb for travellers looking to sample a taste of the rustic, cosy life without breaking the bank. Both are located in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains, approximately ten minutes from Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and offer 360 degree views of the surrounding area.
More information on New Frontier Tiny Home trailers is available at the official website. Prices start at $115,000 (€97,080), and details are also available on renting the Escher and the Alpha in Santa Cruz.
Publish Date: 20 November 2017
Simple living advocate David Latimer patiently progresses with his New Frontier Tiny Homes.
David Latimer is CEO and founder of Nashville-based New Frontier Tiny Homes, a company that constructs small fully equipped freestanding homes while advocating for simple living movement principles.
After recently debuting its Alpha tiny house on HGTV’s Tiny House, Big Living, NFTH launched an enterprise division catering to companies looking to step outside the traditional brick and mortar model.
Via its Escher tiny home, the NFTH division will offer brands and companies a distinctive opportunity to reach and retain customers.
The Post recently enjoyed a brief exchange with Latimer (read more here).
Why did you start the enterprise division of New Frontier Tiny Homes?
A number of reasons. It allows tens of thousands of more people to experience a quality tiny house, continues to normalize tiny houses and creates tiny house champions in people who aren’t already.
Also, for all intents and purposes, tiny houses are still illegal, unfinanceable and not a narcotic. So selling them, even to people with land and cash, is extremely challenging for the short-term foreseeable future. Companies have money. Tiny houses that aren’t permanent residences can be used anywhere in the country. I could go on for hours.
What was the inspiration behind offering mobile showrooms?
Necessity, imaginative problem solving and demand. We’ve had more and more companies reach out for these. So, we decided to formalize our offering and announce it.
How did you start your relationship with New-York-based apparel company Rhone? And what was it like creating the first mobile showroom for them?
They found us and reached out. Their office is in a beautiful old factory that they renovated. The aesthetic is similar to the Alpha (a NFTH model). As an online brand, they don’t get touch points with their customers. This helps bridge that gap. It helps them attend the big shows and expose their brand to thousands of new people.
Also, our companies’ ethoses are very aligned: integrity, quality, sustainability, nature as a tonic for the human mind and body, and the principles of H.D. Thoreau. Thus the reason it’s called the Walden House. Rhone has incredible human beings who also happen to be very talented: Michelle Barone found us and led the charge. She’s amazing. The CEO, Nate Checketts, is just a righteous dude. Great people, great brand.
It was super fun. Very collaborative. More intensive and required more communication and approvals than a residential customer.
Do you see New Frontier Tiny Homes building home models in the $50,000 to $100,000 range?
Yes for sure. One step at a time. The obstacles to tiny houses are suffocating and overwhelming. I’m playing the long game. I refuse to compromise quality. Long-game strategy. By building quality, I am chipping away at negative stigmas. I build to code, and I win over detractors. Many $40,000 tiny homes are negative for the longevity and credibility of the movement. My product has mainstream credibility and approval. A social movement can’t last if it doesn’t get normalized by a large chunk of detractors.
Also, building at scale will drive down costs significantly. I am working behind the scenes all the time on a few larger projects. It will happen. It’s just a matter of when.
See the Tesla business model. Innovation and pioneering a new way of life and a new product is costly and extremely time consuming. But as Elon Musk has created a pathway to making top-quality electric cars available to the masses, I intend to do and am doing the same with tiny houses and microhousing.
Do you continue to talk with Metro regarding a space within Nashville to operate a tiny home community? What could be the potential obstacles?
Yes, it’s a long process but we are continually trying to work out a way to make this feasible. The city really is great about this. They are privately rooting to make this happen. They just want it done right and in a very positive way. They also have an enormous list of other priorities. So hats off to the city and respect and gratitude for all they do. The process is just slower than molasses running uphill in Antarctica. The Metro Codes Department is super busy. Changing code is just an extremely slow process. It is a matter of when, not if. But it is not something to wait around on to fund a business. Case and point for Enterprise.
As to potential obstacles … how many hours do you have? Is this a 15,000-word essay? Land is super expensive in Nashville. So economics are a huge obstacle. Codes and zoning are an obstacle and time consuming.
Time can’t pay my bills, so I’m doing all I can to come up with creative ways to do so near term.
Writer: Carrington Fox / Publish Date: November 2017
Given how charismatic and engaging David Latimer is when speaking on the topic of micro-housing, it’s no surprise that HGTV based an episode of reality program Tiny House, Big Living on his company, New Frontier Tiny Homes. Nor is it surprising that glossy publications such as Architectural Digest and House Beautiful followed up with glowing articles about Latimer’s stylish signature product, a 240-square-foot mobile structure known as the Alpha.
What is surprising, however, is the fact that the Alpha—painstakingly and gorgeously embellished with subway tile, barnwood, dishwasher drawer, Jacuzzi, farmhouse sink, and glass garage door—was Latimer’s first endeavor of the sort.
Latimer’s rapid rise from tiny-house enthusiast to telegenic champion for the architecture of a pared-down and intentional lifestyle began in 2015, when he was building a couple of micro-houses from plans, as a way to dip his big toe into tiny waters. He stumbled into a dinner party conversation about tiny houses with a guest from Los Angeles. Get Latimer rolling on the writings of Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and David Shi, author of The Simple Life: Plain Living and High Thinking in American Culture, and it becomes immediately clear that he is interested in more than just the bricks and mortar of the twee architectural movement. So, while he had never designed a house from scratch, he was so passionate and confident about his ability to craft beautiful dwellings for intentional living that his dinner companion relayed his story to a producer in California.
Next thing Latimer knew, he was executing his first proprietary tiny house model in front of a camera crew, with help from technically savvy business partner Zac Thomas, who made sure Latimer’s blue-sky designs were grounded in reality. To watch the episode, which first aired in June 2016, you’d have no idea that Latimer was a newcomer to both tiny-house design and reality television.
Since the HGTV debut, New Frontier partners Latimer and Thomas have completed four tiny houses based on Latimer’s custom designs. Aided by ebullient national media—including Huffington Post, New York Post, and Curbed.com, which dubbed Latimer’s flagship Alpha model “the fanciest tiny house around”—nascent New Frontier has quickly staked a huge claim on the tiny-house landscape.
In college, Latimer, now 35, studied philosophy and played football. His disparate athletic and academic credentials merge seamlessly at New Frontier HQ, where heavy machinery and existential literature sit side by side in the workbarn and Latimer quotes Winston Churchill while four-wheeling across a pasture to inspect his handmade structures.
After college, he traveled across Europe and Africa, worked in fashion in New York, and designed restaurant interiors in Chicago before coming to Nashville to open the short-lived Music City Tippler.
Upon returning to his hometown, Latimer also took an unexpected turn toward the family business, so to speak. His father, Eddie Latimer, CEO of Affordable Housing Resources, is an outspoken advocate for increasing the city’s stock of workforce housing and levels of home-ownership. Having seen the tiny-house movement take hold on the West Coast, Eddie wanted to explore micro-housing as a way to deal with ever- escalating real estate costs in It City Nashville. He introduced the subject of tiny houses to David, who wanted to merge his own interests in sustainable design and intentional living. To see if father and son could pursue their interests under the same tiny roof, Latimers elder and younger attended a Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop, then Eddie provided capital for David and some friends to construct two tiny houses from Tumbleweed plans. Those early efforts, finished with clean lines of white-painted tongue-and-groove and dark-stained barnwood accents, now sit on rolling pastureland at a Bells Bend farm, where New Frontier’s office and workshop occupy a grand barn.
With two practice structures under his belt, David partnered with builder Zac Thomas—who is also managing partner at Nashville-based Paragon Group builders—to bring his high-design aesthetic to the positive constraints of moderated consumption. The results include the Alpha, which was profiled on HGTV, and the slightly larger and more embellished Escher, which Curbed.com called “a new embodiment of tiny house as art.”
But while the New Frontier team—including architectural consultant Taylor Mallon, director of operations Stevee Curtis, and sales director Mary Dockery—have demonstrated remarkable passion, ingenuity, and craftsmanship in their creative enterprise, they still wrestle with the economics of the fledgling tiny-house industry. Here’s where the math of tiny living gets tricky: The original Alpha was budgeted to cost $60,000 to build, but actual construction costs came in significantly higher. As Latimer says cheerfully on the HGTV segment, “I envisioned it going a little smoother than this.” Of course, he was talking specifically about the installation of an elegantly ingenious overhead storage system designed to give a compact kitchen outsized functionality, but little luxuries designed to lure homeowners toward a radically edited lifestyle can add up fast. Innovative space-saving furniture that collapses into the floor or slides into the walls costs more to build than off-the-shelf stock, so tiny living can cost big bucks. As listed online, a 250-square-foot Alpha costs $124,000, while the 325-square-foot Escher starts at $185,000.
At $500 per square foot, New Frontier’s tiny homes are more luxury living than affordable housing. Latimer’s first signature models have found buyers on the West Coast, and his next custom project is a writing studio and library for best-selling children’s author Cornelia Funke.
Latimer hasn’t given up on extending the common-sense beauty of tiny living to a larger audience. For a six- unit tiny-house hotel in the works for East Nashville, he’s exploring cost-effective variations, such as eliminating the trailer base and streamlining the interior design. But he’s not prepared to sacrifice too much design. Latimer feels strongly that housing, no matter what size, should be beautiful and inspiring. It’s just of question of how to make it economically scalable.
He cites Tesla’s Elon Musk, whose effort to bring electric cars to the masses began with luxury automobiles. “Pioneering is expensive,” Latimer says, cataloging the many time-consuming lessons he has learned along the way. “But I know this is the future of housing.”
Written by: Sara Tardiff / Publish Date: 23 August 2016
Tiny house living is much more than downsizing for the sake of simplicity. David Latimer, the founder and CEO of New Frontier Tiny Homes, got involved in this niche market as a way of encouraging people to live with intention. From economic responsibility to curating a home full of belongings that bring you true happiness, the reasons to invest in a petite pad are endless. His Nashville-based company designs micro-living spaces with heart, pairing fine craftsmanship and compact space. New Frontier’s original design, the Alpha Tiny Home, is on the market for $95,000 and can be delivered to your front door (if you live in the continental U.S., that is). The cozy abode boasts luxury amenities that make it an excellent full-time home, remote getaway, guesthouse, or holiday rental. Discover what living tiny is like from a true expert.
Architectural Digest: What are the main goals of the New Frontier?
David Latimer: To provide people with a rich life regardless of income; one of experience, one in which the most important things in a person’s life can become part of daily living instead of being relegated to nights, weekends, and holidays. We design the most beautiful, impeccably constructed tiny homes that make great design and meticulous craftsmanship attainable to a wide range of people.
AD: What are the benefits of owning a tiny home?
DL: The constraint of living in a tiny house is liberating, not limiting. It can allow you to reduce your carbon footprint, simplify your life, greatly decrease expenses for utilities, cleaning, and maintenance, and offer great design. They are also a readily available solution for the affordable housing crises in cities throughout the country.
AD: What are the most important things to your team during the design process?
DL: First and foremost we work to understand our customer, including their needs, hopes, desires, and goals. With a tiny living space, every inch must be put to utilitarian use. Therefore, a person must understand how they actually live, and we must understand how best to maximize the efficiency, functionality, and aesthetic value of a home. We believe that form and function are not mutually exclusive and we do not compromise one for the other. We strive to create original, unique designs both in appearance and functionality.
AD: Tell us a little about your Alpha Tiny Home.
DL: The Alpha Tiny Home allows its owners to downsize and upgrade. It provides many of the amenities of a home six times its size, like an eight-by-eight glass garage door, drop-down deck, eight-person dining room table, a loft big enough for a king-size bed, a full-size bathroom with a jacuzzi tub and shower, and full-size kitchen appliances.
AD: What makes it different than other tiny houses?
DL: It is beautifully singular in its aesthetic. It’s unique in its multifunctional furniture and fixtures, its open floor plan and immense amount of glass, creating an expansive feeling that is unmatched among other tiny homes on wheels. Contrasting textures and styles create an interesting, compelling, and engaging feel that is neither too crowded nor too sterile.
Publish Date: 16 June 2016
David Latimer, founder of New Frontier Tiny Homes, started his business in 2015 with the idea of creating small, affordable housing. Now, Latimer has shown his creations of small homes on HGTV’s Tiny House, Big Living with an episode premiering in the next few months. Latimer has been a member of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center since July 2015 and we’re proud to showcase his success in this week’s member spotlight.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN ONE WORD.
WHY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP?
“I’m passionate about adding value to people’s lives and doing things in a better way.”
IF YOU COULD MEET ANY ENTREPRENEUR, WHO WOULD IT BE?
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ASPECT OF THE EC?
“The support, the access to so many great minds and resources, the inspiring environment.”
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE SEEKING TO CREATE, LAUNCH, OR GROW A BUSINESS?
“Be patient, be honest with yourself, be dogged, and above all else validate your ideas with customer feedback.”
HOW DO YOU BALANCE THE ENTREPRENEURIAL LIFESTYLE?
“Poorly. But you have to make time for personal space. Meditate, Exercise, eat healthy, sleep, and make time to play at least once a week.”