We’ve been living in our new tiny house for a little over a week now and are really enjoying it!! The last few days have been great as we’re officially all moved out of our former rental house and our schedules have slowed down a bit, providing time for much needed SLEEP and SITTING AROUND.
I did a blog post a week ago about what was working and what needed… improvement. Now I have photos to go with that post! We have already learned SO much about what works and what needs improvement. If I could live in all my designs… they would become perfect! This process is allowing us to learn and refine future designs for Clothesline Tiny Homes, which is great.
Things about our Tiny House that work so wonderfully well:
- The Bedroom: our roof designwas based on aerodynamics, but also on creating a spacious and useable interior bedroom space. And it works SO well. The ceiling is tall enough to walk up the storage stairs and get into bed, the white vaulted ceiling creates a spacious, yet cozy (it’s less than 8′-0 wide) sleeping nook.
- Storage Stairs: there are built in stairs on each side of the queen size bed with cubbies and drawers. it’s like a built in dresser!
- The Kitchen: I cannot believe how easy it is to use a kitchen that is only 4′-0″ long x 8′-0″ wide! it’s a galley kitchen with sink and fridge on one side and propane cooktop on the other side. There is a peninsula with pantry food storage below. We didn’t go crazy at Ikea on this house, but we do really like the stainless steel shelves we found for the kitchen. Great for stacking dishes, hanging a towel, hanging pots and pans and utensils. And I think the open shelving (though technically “clutter”) actually makes the house feel roomy and spacious.
- The Closet / aka Rio’s Room: We don’t have any full height closets in our plan. instead we have a hanging rack underneath our bed platform. (The bed has to be elevated due to the height of the gooseneck / 5th wheel hitch.) The hanging rack is just the right height for hanging shirts/ pants and also creates a room for our dog’s crate / bed and a laundry basket on top. And, we didn’t plan for this, but the bottom stair on either side of the bed is the perfect place to sit down and view the closet while contemplating your wardrobe selections for the day!
Lessons we’ve already learned:
- The Incinerating Toilet: the new motor and fan came for our toilet and it’s working now! Quietly (sounds like a small portable fan) and no odor… inside. It still has an odor outside where it vents. One solution would be to vent it up through the roof, instead of straight out the wall. The odd thing is that the exhaust smells kind of like fireworks – which makes me wonder… what ingredients are in fireworks??? Haha. We’ll continue to give it a good shot, but I was a big fan of the 5 gallon bucket we used for a few days while the toilet was out of commission. So simple, no water and no electricity needed. If we had a safe place to compost humanure, I would totally go that route.
- Pocket Doors: we made ours out of slabs of plywood edged with aluminum channel. they look so pretty! I love the plywood grain. but they have still warped / bowed and one of them doesn’t slide freely anymore. So. ways to avoid this: use an extra 4″ to use a prehung pocket door (they shouldn’t warp). Or find some alternate material to wood that won’t warp. (honeycomb construction sandwiched plastic / metal panels?)
- The sink in the shower: the plumbing / faucet is in the corner over the sink and you can’t get your head over the sink to wash your face or rinse your mouth after brushing your teeth. Shane is going to solve this by raising the knobs higher. Another solution would be to install the plumbing inside of the interior wall, instead of exposed in the corner.
That’s all I can think of right now… although I have been shopping for a lift-top coffee / cocktail table. It would be the perfect dining table / desk while seated at the couch. We currently have a black crate there, which is great for storing dog food, etc. We had planned on building in a folding dining table / desk off the wall, but now that we’re in it, the coffee table option would be ideal, because it would provide storage AND a table at two heights!
The hardware for these tables is $210…. a new table is $310. Hmmm.
Thank you everyone for all your thoughtful comments and emails! Being on the news turned out to be the most awesome FREE advertisement. For new friends! ha. At times like this I adore the internet. We feel like we have a kindred community in the tiny house world. Let us know if you have any questions / curiosities about tiny house living… we could do a future blog post on them!
All in all, I am so glad Shane talked me into this absolutely INSANE idea of two people living in 200 SF. Seriously. It doesn’t feel cramped – just efficient. It has everything we need, no extra stuff I THOUGHT I needed. We’re spending a lot more time outside and in our community (at the library and coffee shop). We’re talking to our neighbors more. We’re not buying random stuff we don’t need. And… it’s a beautifully detailed home that we OWN! I’ve always rented. I LOVE it.