Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Simple Is As Simple Does at Ermitage cabin

The idea of how minimal is too minimal is one that can only be answered by the inhabitant of the space. Conversationally speaking there seem to be two major camps to emerge in the tiny house community. The first camp believe in the tiny house as comfy, cozy, cabin comparable to a bird’s nest in that everything is bundled and within arms’ reach. The second camp is the more minimalist of the two holding fast to the notion that way less is way more and a home should have little more than a mat to sleep on and a fuel source to heat and cook with. While the conversation rarely finds itself into polite company it will certainly come to light with the observation of the project “Ermitage” –  a wooden cabin in the woods of Trossö, near the west coast of Sweden.

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This black-painted tiny house was designed for a couple by Paris-based architecture firm Septembre and is a study in bare necessities. Described by Septembre as, “Two large windows frame the windswept and poetic landscape: the ocean on one side, pines on the other, with a large sliding door effectively doubling the living area when open.” And nothing more. Upon discover though it actually reveals a number of building principles that align with the modern tiny house movement.

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Framed and finished, the interior seems to be little more than 4’x8′ yellow pine with exposed seems. The window casing follow suit with very basic exposed framing. The oversized windows are single pane allowing for an unobstructed view of the outdoors as well as a significant amount of natural (or ambient) light on each side of the house. The window treatment(s) is likely a type of canvas, muslin, or burlap purposely rolled to remain “hidden” to some extent while remaining perfectly functional. The lack of personal touches and photos forces the inhabitant to recognize the natural world around him as art rather than background.

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The bed is the focal point of the room as it sits on a risen platform with direct view of the side window and in symmetry with the window across the room. From this vantage point the shape and size ratio of the tiny house is obvious and even allows for a very snug and cozy fit for the bed area. Without large bedding the mattress even allows for a presumed yoga or meditation area without arranging and rearranging. It is what is under the bed that is most interesting about Septembre’s design though.

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Rolling storage (drawers assembled of yellow pine with simple casters) divides the space under the bed into three keeping the overall space free from closets and/or clutter. The floor matches the rest of the interior save its tongue and groove assembly as opposed to lumber sheeting. Ermitage also has extra room on the bed platform making a great space for a journal or book or perhaps a midnight snack!

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The door to the tiny house is as understated as any door could be. Looking from the inside like a section of the wall and from the outside like part of the exterior line, the sliding opening serves to keep the house weather tight but also to double the living space allowing a fluidity from inside to out. Also obvious is what may be the primary lighting fixture in the tiny house as well as two, utilitarian coat hooks tucked away under the door casing; functional yet not distracting.

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The Ermitage is simple. The Ermitage is sparse. And similar to the Sneaky Cabin, the Ermitage is brilliant in that it immerses the inhabitant in the landscape assuring they never forget the human position in the world.

Your Turn!

  • Is the Ermitage too simple?

Via

My Apartment In Split

So I’ve officially landed in Split, Croatia and will be here for the next month, then I figure I’ll make my way north to Zagrab, maybe even take a day to go to Hungry.   So far my trip has been a interesting in some good ways and in some not so good ways.  First thing I did when I walked off the plane was land in my apartment, take a shower, and sleep.  I shot a video of my new place below.  It’s a small efficiency apartment in the old town of Split, which is an area that dated back to about 300 AD.  So even being in the nicest part of the town, my rent is only $800 for a furnished apartment on a month to month via airbnb.  You can check it out and get a free $25 credit when you sign up for AirBNB by using this link, then searching “Split, Croatia” and then “Apartment Toni in center of Split ”

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In many ways this is much like a tiny house.  It is about 350 square feet, it has a small kitchenette, a bathroom and separate bedroom.  There is a minisplit heater/AC unit like I have in my tiny house and I only have a mini fridge.  The bathroom is a bit interesting, there isn’t a shower, just a stall with and hand shower sprayer and its about 3 feet off the ground, but it works fine for me.  I have this interesting stone wall in the background of the video you can see, its a neat feature.  The couch is actually a futon, so it can open up to have someone sleep there if need be.

I’ve been trying my best to learn Croatia, but its a little hard, because it has some word sounds we don’t use in English.  For example, to say thank you, you say “hvala”  that “hv” noise is hard for me to pick up.  I’m going to try finding a class to learn a bit more.

To make things more interesting, as I was flying over here I had a major allergic reaction to some poison ivy I got while installing my water line to my tiny house the other day.  Mid flight my hands and feet swelled up so bad they felt like they were really badly sunburned because of how stretched the skin became.   I knew it wasn’t anything life threatening, but uncomfortable indeed.  So the first day here I woke up and found a hospital.

I got passed around some and finally was seen by the right person that knew some English to boot, which was nice.  Long story short, some antibiotics, some corticosteroid shots later I was good to go.  The nice part is health care here is pretty modern and very cheap, for my two visits to the ER, 2 shots, antibiotics and 4 cab rides in all cost me a whooping…. wait for it…. $100 USD!  At that price I didn’t even worry about my insurance to file a claim.   As I write this to you my limbs have now returned back to a normal state.

Some photos so far:

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Dealing With Waste In Tiny Houses

6-5episode-bannerI posted a new podcast episode for Tiny House Chat about how I handle waste in my tiny house.  Focusing on trash, recycles, composting, gray water and more.

Listen to it and other here: http://www.tinyhousechat.com/episode-6-5-dealing-with-waste-in-a-tiny-house/

Beach Paradiso in San Diego

There is nothing quite as relaxing as the sound of the ebb and flow of the ocean lapping in and out under the glow of a waxing gibbous. There is nothing more freeing than having a chai in the early morning while sitting on an old rattan and watching the sun illuminate the world around you. Such is the life in a quaint beach getaway and more specifically in the small house on the San Diego beach created by Robin and Mac.

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The two maintain that despite the time, effort, and resources involved, it has been a personal labor of love.

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The overt nautical theme of the home is appropriate for the area where it is located as San Diego is full of sun, sand, and gorgeous rises and sets (both by the sun and by the swells). With a number of homes resting on manageable cliffs and overlooking what seems like a year-round summer. With the average temperature hovering around 69º without humidity there are ample attractions for all interests including Seaport Village, Balboa Park, the Gaslamp Quarter, Old Town, and, of course, the beach! That sort of relaxed and tranquil yet stimulating lifestyle is reflected in the soft greens and pared back blues that emanate from the larger furniture pieces of the home including the gingham print couch and the rolling bar back.

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In fact, the choice of furniture and accent pillows/pieces the owners picked helps to create the vintage look that makes this place one of a kind. Throw in a vintage white insulated rolling cooler, a long board suspended on the wall, and a few live palms and potted perennials to lighten up and liven up the house and one can only feel like they are living the cover of a Coastal Living magazine!

Structurally speaking several items jump out that are surely considered unconventional but help give a certain Beach Blanket Bingo casual flair to the small house.

The floors look to be flat lacquered OSB. The walls have exposed (yet painted) studs and the electrical work runs through exposed metal conduit. In addition to those subdued elements the windows to the small pool are flip-up rather than traditional sash and glazed pieces.

 

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Perhaps though the real flare is introduced with the most subtle of choices: the seashell wrapped candles, the mosaic frames on the walls, the ‘Aloha’ pillow, and the stainless steel hanging light shades. All give the feeling that you have taken up residence for the summer on the beach, in a friend’s poolhouse! It is both inviting and nostalgic with just a shot of tropical.

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While it may look like only a pool house this small house could offer a more permanent opportunity to live a peaceful and comfortable life in el paradiso of San Diego!

Your Turn!

  • Could you live in a tiny house that carries a central theme?
  • Does this small house make you long for next summer?

 

Via

Dale’s Tiny House Conference Videos

I just stumbled upon a series of four videos shot by an attendee of the Tiny House Conference of the 2014 conference in Charlotte.  I had no idea he had shot these videos, but it was super fun to watch an outside perspective.  Dale toured four tiny houses and shows you the inside of them, plus gives some commentary at the end of the first video.  These were great so I wanted to share and I wanted to thank Dale.

You can learn more about the next Conference by heading over to www.tinyhouseconference.com

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