The roughly 7.5 x 19 ft (2.2 x 5.8 m) Matchbox has a flat roof with a slight two-degree pitch, which allows rainwater to run off into a gutter. Rain chains are then used to direct the water down into three 80 gal (364 l) tanks below the house, from where it is piped inside for uses such as showering and washing dishes. Greywater from the shower and sink is also collected for reuse elsewhere, while all the electricity needs are met by a solar array.
The house is clad in western red cedar wood that has been treated using a Japanese technique known as "shou sugi ban." This involved charring the wood to not only give it a dark aesthetic, but to help make it weatherproof, fireproof and insect-proof.
Inside, the Matchbox has one large ground-floor space, which effectively splits into living, kitchen and utility areas. The living area features space for two opposing benches on which people can sit when guests visit and that have space for storage underneath. Additional storage space comes in the shape of cabinets.