My interest and fascination with tiny, and some small, homes isn’t really about the fact that they are small in size, as it is about having just what I need. Yes, I like some things in miniature – like my small dogs or mini books. It’s really more about making my footprint on nature smaller so that I able to enjoy the wonders of nature for years to come.
I lived abroad in a third world country for a couple years when their economy and politics were at an all time low and saw many people living with so very little. And, despite that some lived hard lives, they had their families, faith, and the will to do what it takes with what little they had. They would build a home even if it was made with dirt floors and scrap aluminum, because that’s all they knew to be within their reach.
After the last couple years of losing a business, work, material possessions, a place to call home, friends and my beloved dogs, I decided I needed change my means of living. Now those beings I loved and those goods that I needed and added value to my life would always have a place in my life. Along with so many others in this world economy, at times, I’ve lived the last couple years doing without what some people would consider some basic means. For me, it’s not living in austere life; but choosing to create that home that’s beautiful, yet functional, kind to nature, and within my means.
Finally got all our tiny house kitchen knobs installed. Woo-hoo!
We started with river rocks that we liked, found some nice super strong stainless steal socket screws added a Loctite Epoxy glue (from lowes) and we were off to the races.
The trick is to work quickly and to have a nice level surface for your rocks to lay on and dry thoroughly. Of course no natural rock is actually flat or level, so I used regular baking flour in a bowl (you could use rice, grits, beans too), then put a little sheet of saran wrap to cover my dish and the flour (this stuff is no joke so you don’t want it getting on any surface you care about). We then drilled holes through our cabinet, and made the wholes wider on the back side so the nut would end up flush with the cabinet. I think they turned out nice, and cost about $15.00 total compared to the $48 for 3 knobs for sale in various knob stores. My only suggestion would be to not use stainless steel bolts if you want to cut them down, they are seriously hard to cut down! You will burn through hack saw blades!!!! I went with longer bolts because I wanted the diameter of the socket portion on the outside of the cabinet to be visible and enough of the cabinet door to allow your fingers to get behind the pulls, but of course that meant longer bolts than we needed. Just something to think about if you should decide to make your own cabinet hardware.
All in all this was a super easy project, and we ended up with hardware that we made, wasn’t expensive and has meaning to us… Oh yea, and they open our cabinets!
A few shots of the improvements we’ve made around the exterior of the tiny house. It’s been a good summer for plants and gardens!
People have asked a lot about our roof, it’s an ABC metal roof. They use a composite of recycled metals in their products. This roof made it through one of the worst winters on record in New England, and it still looks great.
There seems to be a lot of interested in the sleeping situation of a family in a tiny house. So I will take a minute to talk about what our experience has been I will first say that EVERY single decision in this particular tiny house was made as a group. Equal vote for all three of us, this includes the sleeping arrangements.
We first offered our Son (18) the loft so that he could have more space than us, but he didn’t like the feeling up there, so he preferred to have his bed on the first floor. The next phase was, how wide of a bed would he be comfortable for him, so we began experimenting at our old townhouse with bed widths, etc. If you go back to the earlier post we show lots of photos etc about that process. Before he was sleeping on a twin bed, so in order to have the font door be in the center of the tiny house, it would need to be about 2″ less wide than he’s previous bed. So we cut down is old latex mattress to that size, and he slept on it for months before we moved in. He determined for himself that that size was perfect for him. We offered to make that downstairs bed a fold out, double size or a queen and move the door over etc, but in the end he liked the modified twin. So away we went. He and I built it together, and tested it’s comfort all the way. He has two giant storage compartments under his bed, one of which is filled with his books, games and misc items. The other side is for the couch pillows and this sleeping linens. The other unintended perk of him taking the downstairs, was he stays up way later than us, so it works out well that he can be in the main part of the house late into the night… and we can be asleep upstairs and not be disturbed.
Lot’s of questions about what his bed is made of since it’s not a typical size. His bed is made of two 4″ pieces of natural rubber latex purchased from our favorite organic mattress store. It works great, and we flip it over each day to keep both sides fairly even and no moisture build up
As far as the upstairs loft bed, we’ve always slept on a queen size and we just stuck with that, even though a full would have worked for sure. As far as the privacy thing goes, well there is none when everyone is home. I’ve thought about adding a curtain to the upstairs loft so that you could pull it closed when you wanted more darkness or privacy, but it hasn’t been an issue so far. You defiantly have to tune into each family member and get the sense of when they need space, and then give it to them. For me, when I don’t want to be in the middle of it, I go upstairs, and put on my headphones and chill. My son like to mediate up there etc. As far as more adult activities, as in every home, you take advantage of alone time when it comes. If you think about it, most families are not all home, all the time. There are lots of blocks of time, where one, two or all of you aren’t home. So what I’ll say about that is, that works just like every other household.
I did post about our mattress brand with from Sudbury Organic Mattress, our specific brand was Eco-Slumber. The natural latex topper was Naturepedic. We love it, and highly highly recommend them. The linens: Nature Soft organic wool comforter with Nature Soft, duvet, sheets, and wool pillows. That company has been terrific. The more you wash the softer they get. For realz.