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Tiny House Tour – Bayside Bungalow

Not too long ago I got to sit down with Brittany Yunker of Bayside Bungalow for the first time to learn about her Bungalow.  It was a lot of fun to hear her stories and her tiny house is amazing!  So I thought I’d share some photos, plus Brittany let me know she will be doing a tiny house tour for those of you in the Olympia Washington area.  Details of the tour below photos.  Photos by Christopher Tack, Courtesy of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

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Many people over the past year have asked if they could see the Bayside Bungalow and check out the tiny little house that I now rent out as a vacation rental.  Alas, the time has come for a (tiny) Open House!
Are you interested in exploring, testing, touching, trying, photographing, peeing in (the composting toilet – duh!), measuring & learning more about tiny houses?  Then this is for you!  Learn about how it was built, why I decided to build it, how it works, what goes in (water, electricity & food) and how it all comes out (gray water, urine-diverting toilet system), and most of all – does it fit YOU? Bring on the questions!  Bring a sketchpad, measuring tape & camera & explore this tiny house.

What: Open House at the Bayside Bungalow tiny house vacation rental
When: Sunday, August 18, 2pm-6pm
Where: The Bayside Bungalow in Olympia, WA
Your host: Brittany Yunker, builder & owner of the Bayside Bungalow

For directions & more info, photos, or to make a reservation, visit www.baysidebungalow.com

The Hatch Cabin

This cozy cabin just reminds me of mountain vacation homes, with a simple appointments and a comfy rustic feel, sounds like a great place to get away!  This is actually a rental across the pond in Worcestershire.  Here is what their owner had to say about the house:

The Hatch Cabin is as eclectic as the Hatch is as a whole. Creatively and colorfully decorated by Ben and Nada with art, quirky objects, fabrics, rugs, big comfy bean bags and cushions for afternoon lounging, the odd musical instrument and fresh flowers from the garden, it’s a cozy and homely space. Perfect for a group of friends, for a family happy to just hang out, or even as a romantic retreat.

It’s all quite informal: the four bunks, double futon and all sorts of other sleeping scenarios make for a flexible escape – as one would expect at The Hatch. Even though it’s relatively close to the main house, it feels very private and peaceful. The views from its own little garden in the meadow are lovely. You’ll see tiny marsh tits in the morning, woodpeckers almost every day and owls in the evening.

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Via

Tiny House Bike Trailers

Camper-Bike-On-the-Move-600x398How can tiny houses get any better? By attaching them to bikes of course! I love these designs and the mobility without the petrol dependency is right up my alley. Also check out this awesome bike trailer design posted by Ryan. My question is: could I actually tow one of these and live out of it? Not sure but it’d be fun to find out!

Last summer when Cedric and I bike toured we were living out of a tent. After three months I could have really used one of these! It’s probably not the most versatile way to travel by bike but it would sure get a lot of attention. I’m really interested in the extreme ways that people are solving housing issues and creatively using small spaces. I think these bike trailers are such an exceptional example of human ingenuity. I’m continually trying to live a less petrol based lifestyle and while having a tiny house definitely moves me in that direction, this would be the maximum form of commitment!  Plus, if I am having a hard time living in 98 sq. feet, how hard would it be to downsize further! A real bike newThese bike pulled tiny spaces are certainly an extreme in the small space revolution but the impact on society could be huge! At the very least it might be able to provide housing to a growing population who don’t have the means to build a tiny house and pull such a structure but most everyone can get a hold of a bike. Although, to call this “housing” may be stretching things a bit. Shelter may be more apt!

I think it’d be great if bicycle cooperatives and shops could start assisting with constructing spaces such as these. There’s definitely a marketable perspective to such structures as well, for example, with travelers of the two-wheeled variety. I could see some bike enthusiasts wanting to take on the challenge of travel with such equipment. I don’t think it would be easy and you would be limited to terrain you could tackle with such a load but it just makes me itch to take a winter cruise through Florida with one of these rigs! I’d definitely have to stick to flat lands but it would be good fun and it would sure beat a tent! The slow traveler in me feels drawn to the people power of such a set-up plus the attention you’d get traveling with this would be great entertainment. Pretty much the best collision of bicycles and tiny living ever!

 Your Turn!

  • Would you consider living such a tiny life?

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The Golden Elephant

I’m back in Charleston for the month visiting friends and family and recently went to visit my friend Zach at The Golden Elephant! No, it’s not an Indian restaurant it’s his tiny house! He’s about half-way through his build and I was really curious to see the progress in person and talk about his approach to building a tiny house. Here are some of his insights!

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What inspired you to build a tiny house?

I was originally inspired by the shed that Cedric re-modeled in to a living space in the backyard at our apartment. It was the perfect set-up. I was attracted to the minimalism of the lifestyle as well. Plus, all the resources and time to do it were there.

What freedoms do you hope to attain living the tiny life?

Time, I want my time back. Time and flexibility in life. I feel like you have to pay that ahead though. Truthfully, I don’t want to work as much. I also really appreciate the mobility the lifestyle offers.

Why is it called The Golden Elephant?

Cedric and I were hanging out at the house and we were discussing names at one point. We got to work and then he turned to me and said it was going to be called the golden elephant.  I think the name fits. The cantilever of the house looks like a big trunk. It’s one of the largest tiny houses I’ve seen so far and the outside of the house is a golden color from the cypress.

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How has community impacted your build?

I’ve met so many awesome people through this thing and it’s made me form stronger bonds to my community. It would not be possible without my friends. You can’t really do it without help from your community unless you have that skill set already. Building I had help with the sheathing, siding and installation of the roof.  I have had help figuring out where systems are going to go, talking about ideas and how I’m going to approach these things. A lot of help has come through talking to people who have done things like this before and going over what I plan to do.

What are your methods for getting rid of stuff?

The formula that I’ve adopted is if it’s not serving a purpose or I haven’t used it in 30 days, I try to get rid of it. The exception to this is tools and camping gear because you’re not going to use them all the time but it’s difficult and expensive to replace those things. At minimum, I do four major purges a year. I will take full inventory and clean everything that I own. I will touch everything that I own in my house and if it doesn’t serve a purpose or I don’t need to own it, it’s gone. That’s what keeps me sane because I don’t need to own any more of this stuff. I’ve never been let down by not hanging on and you just have to really decide what you can and can’t live with.

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Are Trailers Holding Tiny Houses Back?

I had been doing some writing for another project I have been working on when I started talking about how the form of many tiny houses today have actually been dictated by the use of a trailer.  It reminds me about  the story how the width of a horse has determined the dimensions of today space shuttle (though this isn’t 100% true), and so it appears this is the case with Tiny Houses too (read about it here).

There are many compelling reasons to have a tiny house on a trailer, I am building my tiny house on one, but it does have it does have some downsides too.  For many the need the flexibility of being able to move locations, for others they like the legal gray area a trailered tiny house is, and for me, I like the idea that if code enforcement comes by, I can take a little road trip to a camp ground for a while if I need to.

If you are going to trailer a tiny house, inherently it can only be so wide, so tall and so long.  You can certainly take the approach of getting permits to push these dimensions, but generally speaking it is going to be 8.5 feet wide and 13.5 feet tall.  This means that inherently a tiny house on a trailer can only be so many square feet.  People have tried different tricks to get around this, such as multiple tiny houses, put it on foundation, etc.

So it got me thinking about how the form of the trailer can be limiting on the potential creativity that we bring when building our houses.  This then was struck home when I saw Tumbleweed’s new Cypress 20, which looks almost identical to the Fencl from the outside with the exception of it being on a 20′ trailer instead of a 18′.  That isn’t to say that I don’t like it, but it was interesting timing.

Then I remember a conversation I had with Macy from Minimotives.com about how I thought there was only a limited number of design options when it comes to trailered tiny homes.  Her stance was, being the architect she is, was that was so many options that could be done with a tiny house on trailer.  I think it shows the creativity that could be had with the trailer that Macy is building, but the fact remains that the trailer holds us to a certain set of parameters.  To add on to this, we also must use the current set of materials on the market and then there are certain features that make a house a home, so when we get down to it, we are somewhat limited.

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Many will disagree and part of me disagrees with myself.  The success of creativity is taking how we do things and approach it in a way not previously thought.   It is taking those materials and re-purposing them in different and unintended ways.  It is saying… “what if we” and not being afraid of failure, but seeing it as a learning process.

Your Turn!

  • Are trailers limiting tiny houses?

 

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