To start off, i thought i would answer some common questions people ask regarding our decision to go tiny
Who will be living in your tiny house?
Myself: Joshua and my darling wife: Shelley. Plus, 2 small dogs and 1 awesome cat
Tiny House Basics We Design and Build the Number #1 Tiny House Trailers & Shells
What is the square footage of your previous home?
roughly about 1250 sqft
What is the intended square footage for your tiny home?
374 sq ft including 2 lofts
Are you building on a foundation, trailer, or legs/stilts?
we are building on a 28ft trailer, custom made for our build on one of our manufacturer’s trailers
What is the status of your tiny home build?
We have been living in our tiny house since November 2014
If you haven’t started building yet, what is your intended timeline?
We started in Autumn 2014 start
What are your hobbies? What do you do for fun?
We are big campers and usually go camping every couple months. along with that we are very active offroaders and we go four wheeling alot Some of the many famous places we have offroaded is the Rubicon Trail in lake tahoe, Death Valley Desert, Mojave Desert road (140 mile desert road from arizona thru california) Fordyce trail in lake tahoe, Pismo Beach sand dunes. I have built my truck by myself since ive purchased it new in 2004 and it is equipped to handle any offroad trail in north america. along with that i enjoy working on, building and designing parts for my 4runner and other vehicles. I have designed and build a fully self contained on board hot water shower system in my truck so we can have fresh showers anywhere we choose, whether is it in the middle of the sand dunes or deep in the tahoe forest. all these previously listed things are stuff shelley thoroughly enjoys too as we are always together.
in addition, i enjoy welding and metal fabrication. photography, rc airplanes + Drones, working on cars of all types. for fun i also buy subarus that are in need of heavy repair and i fix them up and sell them as a hobby.
One of my main hobbies and creative outlets is refinishing and repainting old furniture. In addition to that, we are HUGE music lovers and catch concerts as much as our schedule will allow it. Fortunately we have an awesome music venue 20 mins away from us in Oakland at the Fox. We love good craft cocktails and enjoy making them for us and family and friends. We are big time foodies, and like trying new restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries often. One of the cool faucets of the bay area allows us to enjoy all those things. Along with our love of food and cocktails, we love to bbq when entertaining. We are big fans of road trips and enjoy exploring new cities often, whether they be tiny or large. We will get to them all eventually. We love to read a good book when there is time, one of the things we look forward to about going tiny. Photography is another hobby that we no longer have time for as much as we would like. But get some awesome shots on all off roading adventures! And lastly…gardening….love us some fresh fruit and veggies!
How will these hobbies be incorporated in your tiny house?
Since we like to entertain a lot and do it often, a setup for that in our tiny house is essential. We have in mind to do a large accordion window that stretches into our kitchen and through to our dining table that will have a long bar table on the outside that is as long as the window. That will bring the outside in and make it a nice social spot. Along with that we plan to have a detachable deck. To include our hobbies of welding and furniture refinishing, we would like to have a tiny shop the meets up with the house. although we are still trying to figure those details out and are open to opinions.
What are the “MUST HAVES” of your tiny home?
Here goes our large list:
2 lofts, a full sized sink in the kitchen, cal king mattress, separett villa 9200 composting toilet. Accordion window, skylights, a bar area (we need to store our booze). Floating Metal Stairs to the main loft, only a ladder will not cut it. Cantilevered lofts. 10.0 cuft fridge or larger, no under counter fridge. Incorporate our 24” range/stove that we purchased for the tiny house. And our LG washer/dryer combo also worked into the design of the bathroom. A minimum of 35” shower. White kitchen cabinets with butcher block counters. Reclaimed wood floors or something that looks like it at least, price depending. An open and airy feel. A tiny wood burning stove or propane in living area. (No dickenson stove- they are not efficient at all) A front door that is mainly glass. Clothes storage in bedroom loft. An office space in second loft. A lazy susan built into the corner of one of the kitchen lower cabinets. An air conditioner. lots of windows. would like larger /thicker wainscotting on the walls, or a similar feel. A good sized deck off the front door area with bar window seating along the outside of accordion window. A space outside to do our crafts/hobbies. Some hecka sweet patio furniture and bbq. A storage couch that will convert into a twin bed size. A cell phone booster and antenna attached to the tiny house since we are somewhat rural.
What is your design style?
We have a an eclectic taste best described as….. rustic industrial with vintage/retro touches. Cozy and airy feeling. We love old rustic woods mixed with cool metals. Some metals that we love are steel and copper. Masculine meets feminine. Bright pops of colors also. Nothing to neutral. Some colors we like would be, mustard yellows, green and blue tones. Namely teal/turquoise. Navy and indigo tones. Deep greens and deep purples. Vibrant and rich colors, jewel tones. Anthropologie and CB2 are a couple of our favorites.
What are some of your biggest wishes and dreams for you tiny home?
For it to perfectly meld with our lifestyle, we are young and trendy but absolutely love the outdoors and want our tiny house to reflect that and even though small, feel like the perfect place for friends and family to feel they can escape the hustle and bustle and come hangout with us and take a load off some good food and drinks in our awesome slightly rural offroad paradise. And for it to just feel like the home we’ve been looking for. And to show that the everyday person can go tiny even in busy place like the bay area. It just takes setting your mind to it. And of course to show people that we can do it, even if when they look at us initially and think were not the type that can, we will prove them wrong. We want it to be a lifestyle, not a hobby.
What are some of your fears of going tiny?
Oh boy…where to begin….
Well the fact that it is less than a 3rd of what we currently live in is always a scary thought. Namely the narrowness of the home. Another big fear is how we’re going to fit our little animal farm in there. Our pets follow us everywhere, which can be a tripping hazard, but we know we’ll adjust in time. Also the fact that our current house is filled with stuff, and knowing we have to fit the stuff we think we want all into a small space seems very scary and daunting to go through it. Its easy to envision it, but we know when it comes down to the move in day it will be much harder than we had imagined, especially since we have never actually seen a tiny house or been in one in person. We know we’ll adjust, but the adjustment period will be challenging at times.
What issues or conflicts do you see arising in living tiny?
One of the issues is trying to explain to general society about living simply and people accepting it would be one. We hope to broaden people’s thinking and get them to think outside of the box would be great. But we imagine that will take time. A composting toilet for daily life will take some adjusting to, we’re use to it for camping, but not everyday life. Again the pets all fitting in along with us will be a challenge, we know it can work but not without some trial and error. And also since tiny houses are still a new thing to most….land in the long run will be a big challenge if or when we decide to move from the current spot we have. Not everyone is on board with us trying to change the “American Dream”.
How did you and your partner meet? Who’s idea was it to live tiny?
We met late 2007 at a concert put on by mutual friends. And talked briefly, then several months later met again in Tahoe at a ski resort when a large group of friends went. Josh got the digits and heavily pursued for a solid year before I came around. He needed to learn that it was no gravy train with biscuit wheels. He was going to have to earn it! After a year of being put through the ringer…he proved worthy and we started dating. We dated for a couple years and got married after 2.5 years of being together. Then after we got married I moved into the house with Joshua. The idea of going tiny started about 2 years ago, some friends had the idea of a tiny house and we thought it sounded insane. these 2 people were talking about less than 100 sqft. They have come around and realized that tiny wouldn’t quite work for 2 people. As time has gone by we thought more and more about it, and its sounded more and more like a great idea after all! About 5 months ago we watched a documentary on tiny houses and had an Ah Ha moment! We both had been thinking of a way to live more simply and save money so we can actually enjoy life while were young and healthy and have good energy! How could we have forgotten about tiny houses! It was perfect! Exactly what we had been looking for! We were hooked….we got straight to planning and started to save money and sell things. When we put our minds to something we make it happen. No if and’s or but’s, not even big ones. Its now or never. The trailer was ordered not to long after.
How long have you lived with your current partner (if ever)?
We got married May 2011, and thats when we moved in together. So a little over 5 years. And its been a fun ride so far!
What do your friends and family think of your decision to go tiny?
They are all across the board. We have some incredibly supportive ones and ones who think we are crazy. And some think its not actually going to happen, that its more of a dream then a reality to us.
What is the fondest memory of your Last home? What will you miss most about “living large”?
Our last house is the first and only house we’ve lived in since getting married. The first house we got our pets at, and the first house that Josh started his old man hoarder tool collection. It has a lot of fond memories of us as a newly married couple.
Some large living things that will be missed will be our full washer and dryer, a large driveway for man hobbies. Being able to have a sectional couch. Having a full sized dining table and knowing we can truly fit all our company inside comfortably. Being able to store all our clothes and shoes without having to think about it. Our nice big fireplace for the chilly weather. Being able to fit a full bar and have spirit and wine and beer storage. A bathtub.
What possessions can you not live without?
Some sort of little fireplace/wood burning stove. Its very cozy and comforting in the cold months. A decent sized fridge, a bar of some sort. Tools and man accessories. Air conditioning, it gets both extremely hot and extremely cold. A place for makeup and haircare to go. A comfortable couch and tv in both the bedroom and living room. We like options to be able to watch tv. A good sized kitchen. A washer/dryer combo.
What are you most excited about getting rid of when downsizing?
So so so many things!! For starters all the clothes that we’ve hung onto that we think we’ll wear again. All the dumb tiny nicknacks that we seem to collect, wires, cables, trinkets, electronics, to name a few. We look forward to being able to actually find the things we need when we need them without having to dig through junk to find it.
What will make your tiny home unique?
The fact that it will actually be a nicely designed space that will allow for entertainment and will bring the outdoors in and vise versa. We have a lot of different needs and wants compared to the currently average tiny houser, and seeing it all come together in a functional and stylish way will really set our tiny house apart from others. Combining our styles of rustic and industrial while having a feminine edge will also make it unique. Having our hobbies of an offroad paradise incorporated and reflected also will make it unique, having some sort of setup to allow for those hobbies and access to utilizing tools and gear in an annex or tiny garage.
Why do you want a tiny home?
We want a tiny house so we can actually live our lives and not dream about living our lives by the time we retire. We want to break the mold of the typical “American Dream” of getting married, buying a house we cant afford and working tirelessly to act like we can. There’s a lot of pressure on young newly married couples to keep to that mold and to pursue what everyone else thinks is what we need. For us going tiny is not a short term goal, its a long term goal and a lifestyle change. We want to travel while were young and have the energy and joy of life. Before we settle down to a family. We don’t want to grow older with those regrets.
Please pick any one of the questions above and answer it in the comments!