From warehouses to apartments to cottages on the water, lifestyles are diverse and fascinating, andtheWeekender certainly gets variety in its Homes of the Hunter section.
Plenty of people love living large, but, as more people think about affordability, the environment and minimalism, demands are also shifting in the opposite direction.
This week we're looking at lovely ways people live small and downsize.
A great place to start is a granny flat, as these little homes have increasingly become a popular lifestyle choice for all people, not just grandmas.
They don't require council approval to build, and in October of 2018 Alex Mitchell of local building company Backyard Grannys told us about their increasing demand.
Granny flats have a maximum size limit of 60 square metres of internal living space, but you can have additional build on the exterior, such as a patio or garage.
They can be up to two storeys and have up to three bedrooms.
"There's been a whole trend to add granny flats to backyards as a source of investment and income. A lot of property investors actually deliberately buy properties to add a granny flat because it's an easy way to increase the yield on the property," Mitchell says.
The homes can be described as tiny mansions.
Their display house in Jewells is based on one of their 12 models; they call it the Silverdale.
Despite size restrictions, the interior of the Jewells house is 60 square metres with a back patio and entry patio as well. It has two bedrooms, one bathroom, an internal laundry and open-plan kitchen/dining/living.
This granny flat seems enormous compared with the apartment of Ruby Walters and James Ellis in Newcastle's iconic art deco Moorings building.
Last year, the pair renovated their 25-square-metre King Street apartment with lots of interesting challenges along the way.
"We were attracted to the politic embedded within the building. The idea that small homes can allow you to use just enough and encourage you to share space and facility with those around you," Ellis says.
They wanted to keep everything below 900 millimeters so it didn't appear cluttered. Originally they had plans for a living room but they cut that, deciding they didn't want to sacrifice the kitchen.
At the centre of the apartment is a kitchen bench that covers three metres by one metre, which is more than 10 per cent of the total apartment.
"I think the thing that we are most proud of is the way that the apartment suits the way we live and maximises the amount of space and freedom we have in such a tiny space," Ellis says.
The biggest difference between the granny flat and the Moorings apartment and this last featured home is that Angie and Clay Francisco designed their apartment to be mobile.
Angie and Clay built their tiny home for a client while juggling other jobs and caring for three children.
Clay is a master builder and Angie works in corporate communications.
They called the little house on wheels the Joy Box. It's off the grid and fully powered by the sun, and the solar package alone is a 3kw solar system with batteries.
The Joy Box can go without sunshine for up to four days.
The home can also plug into the main grid if need be and has a composting, waterless toilet.
"It's self sufficient in a holistic way," Angie says.
In NSW Australia, the maximum width of a trailer is 2.5 metres, and this house trailer is 7.2 metres long and 2.4 metres wide, not including the draw bar.
Their client wanted to be able to open the door to the house and feel right at home, without having to fold down a bed or do any maneuvering. (Many tiny homes require work, e.g. wind down a bed from the ceiling or unfold a table from a door.)
Clay describes the home as a tiny mansion, and you could apply a similar description to the other two homes.
Thanks to great care and planning, all these amazing homes show that a little goes a long way.