Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Posts Tagged Design

Spotlight on Design: Wishbone Tiny Homes

From_storage_landscape_up[1]This month my spotlight on design features Asheville, North Carolina’s father and son design team, Gerry and Teal Brown, at Wishbone Tiny Homes. They were recently spotted at the Tiny House Conference this past spring. With their new location in the up and coming west side of Asheville, they are creating homes that offer “a return to some natural truth…a universal and natural connection to small” as Teal described when I spoke to him last month.

How did you discover the tiny house movement and what drew your interest?Walk_thru_front_door_see_all[1]

Although we site Sarah Susanka, Jay Shafer, and Dee Williams as some of the trailblazers of the tiny house movement, we have been inspired by dwellings throughout world history that would be considered “tiny” by current standards. Indigenous cultures have always lived in spaces that accommodate necessary daily activities but do not demand excessive resources to build and maintain. You can see these principles in action in the modern, urban context as well. Looking even further into the subject, wild animals tend to build with locally sourced, sustainable resources, and usually take only what they need for their nests. The way we see it, tiny houses represent a return to some natural truth that we have somehow collectively forgotten as we have enabled our technologies to distance us from co-existing with the land around us. The urge to build tiny comes from a deep, innate place in our human existence, and we seek to explore that.

What is your ideal vision in building and sustaining tiny house construction and what life Ext_nw[1]experiences brought your developing such housing?

My dad has been building houses and doing fine woodworking for 40 years +. I learned a tremendous amount growing up under his lead. I also took and loved furniture and cabinetmaking classes in high school. Additionally, I have several building science-related certifications that provide a firm understanding of energy efficiency, sustainability, and renewable energy as they relate to residential construction. Tiny house design provides the ultimate platform to reflect these concepts in the highest form. My dad and I have always enjoyed working together. We share the same mind but also manage to compliment each other’s skills. The mere fact that we can do something as a team that we find meaningful to society keeps us motivated to push forward. We like to help people achieve their dreams too. This means that we might consult on one tiny house and build another. In whatever capacity we can be involved in making a tiny home come true, we are eager to do that.

What influences stylistically are you basing your designs off of?

_DSC7337_HDR[1]Rustic Modern, Craftsman, Japanese architecture, Greene and Greene, an architecture firm of the early 20th century which greatly influenced the American Arts and Crafts movement as well as aspects of Contemporary in regards to functionality, space saving techniques and energy efficiency.

What demographic are you attempting to reach?

Honestly, there isn’t a demographic we aren’t trying to reach. We believe that the inherent versatility of tiny structures (especially those on wheels), makes them relevant to all walks of life. A tiny home can represent a dignified solution to affordable housing for one group and a unique camping experience for another. In this burgeoning share economy, tiny homes can provide a legitimate investment opportunity as a rental as well.

Are you going to have workshops this summer geared towards building tiny houses?

We will hold workshops in the near future. In a previous career I worked for a company that specialized in job-skillPurlins_front_with_filter[1] training. During my time there I learned the cradle to grave process of curriculum development and delivery. Solar was my particular program and I was charged with creating a classroom and hands-on learning experience for our students. We created a 1KW roof-mounted array that simulated both grid-tied and off-grid applications. We are working on developing a similar program for Wishbone Tiny Homes that combines a classroom portion with an innovative hands-on training module to teach students the whole process of building tiny. More on that soon!

Keep up with the latest from Wishbone on their website and through their blog.

Thanks Teal for taking the time to talk to The Tiny Life. We look forward to seeing Wishbone flourish and expand that tiny life love.

Your Turn!

  • What design elements inspired your tiny house build?
  • Do you agree that tiny living is a natural inclination?

 

Design Ideas for a Kid’s Room in a Tiny Apartment

When we imagine tiny living, our minds automatically conjure images of the traditional tiny house built on a trailer. However, for some, tiny living simply means choosing a smaller housing option, such as a small apartment. In this post, we’ve put together some really cool (and simple!) design ideas for a kid’s room in a tiny apartment – although these unique ideas can easily be applied to any small space, however you define tiny living!

It can be difficult to find apartments that are big enough for all of the stuff your child has and wants. Not only is there a constant stream of new clothes coming in and old clothes that no longer fit going out, children also typically have tons of toys, books and electronics. Of course, it’s even better if your child has a desk to do homework at and a comfy place to read or watch TV. Check out these design ideas for organizing everything your child wants and needs in a tiny apartment.

Find Space-Saving Furniture

You aren’t likely to find apartments with big bedrooms for your child. One of the first things to do when trying to design a child’s bedroom in a tiny apartment is to look at the furniture. There’s just no place for bulky, inefficient furniture. Check out places like Ikea and Target for functional, space-saving items – or check out the rest of this site for more unique ideas! Beds that have drawers built in underneath the mattress or at the foot of the bed can provide a lot of extra storage space without taking up any extra floor space.

2 Image Credit:  http://www.wetwillieblog.com/

Go Up

Bunk beds are a great idea if you have more than one child sharing a room, and loft beds are the perfect choice for single children. Under the loft bed you can find designs that have a desk, dresser or even a seating area. You can also maximize floor space by buying taller furniture, rather than wide, low-to-the-ground options. Tall dressers hold quite a bit of stuff, as do shelves and bins for storing toys, books and clothes. See the image above for a beautiful example of how to maximize tiny spaces by building up instead of out!

Use the Walls

While many apartments for rent lack floor space, there’s most likely going to be plenty of wall space. Once you’ve built up and maximized all of the space in the room, start looking at the walls. A hook near the bedroom door is perfect for backpacks and jackets. Hooks in the closet can store hats, belts and scarfs. You can even find storage containers that attach right to the wall! These are perfect for storing toys, art supplies, school stuff and even diapers or baby wipes. The image below is a beautiful example of how to open up space by utilizing effective storage ideas – from the wall-mounted storage shelves to the drawers underneath the bed!

1Image Credit:  http://themaisonette.net

 Customize

When you just can’t fit anything else in the room, it’s time to customize. This is a great idea, especially if your child can’t fit everything in his or her own room – or if they aren’t quite as excited as you are about living in a tiny apartment. Let your child personalize the room and have fun with it! It may be as simple as adding some pictures or painting the furniture. All that matters is your kid feels at home in your tiny apartment, and the best way to do that is by letting them help you decorate – they’ll love the idea of finding a funky chair or putting removable stars on the ceiling. Speaking of removable, you can also find large stickers that adhere to the wall and just peel off when it’s time to move out! This is a great option if your landlord does not allow you to paint the walls, or if you know your kid will want to redecorate again in a few months!

The most important thing to remember when you find a tiny apartment with even smaller rooms is not to throw out your dreams of living in a tiny home because you think your son or daughter won’t enjoy it. Remember, with a little bit of planning and organization, your child can still have a room that he or she will absolutely adore!

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Announcing Tiny House Craftsman

tinyhousecraftsman-logo-darkFor years I have been asked by readers if I could build them a tiny house and for a long while I haven’t been able to help them… Until now.

Today we are officially launching Tiny House Craftsman, a new website that is designed to not only build tiny houses, but also provide in-depth professional support to DIY builders.  In addition to full design and build services of tiny houses, we have a support line where people can sign up to gain access to experienced professional builders to ask any question that comes up in their build.

We see this as a big step forward not just for us here at The Tiny Life, but for tiny houses as well.  It will allow people who build tiny homes get the support they need in a way they have never been able to do before.  It also means we can build great tiny houses for people.

Visit Us At
   TinyHouseCraftsman.com

 

webuildit-90-3Design and Build

We have been working hard to train our team to be ready to build quality tiny houses for you.  I’ll be leading the build team and with me I have a 30 year veteran builder who has hands on experience building tiny homes.  For our design I work with an amazing designer and architect that has been designing small spaces for years.  The combination of my experience with tiny houses, hands on experience of pro builders and designers will make for quality tiny houses delivered to you.

 

youbuildit-90-3DIY Tiny Home Builder Support

A lot of people who want to live in a tiny house, want to build it themselves.  While we have a ton of free information on this website some people have been asking for a way to ask all their questions from knowledgeable people in a one on one setting.  We have two packages for you to choose from, 2 hours per month and 5 hours a month and when you join, you get our direct line for anything you need.  This is great for when you’re just starting out and have a million questions or when you mid build and have a quick question.  That’s what this is for in depth personalized one on one service.

 

materials-icons-90-3Building Materials

We are launching with four innovative products:

  • Bulk reclaimed 2×4 lumber delivered to your front door
  • Plug and play solar system design for tiny houses
  • Plug and play solar water filtration system
  • 120v to 12v transformer for you to use LED lights

Each of these things were things I had a really hard time finding when I did my build, so we are really excited to make it easy for you to get all in one spot.

  TinyHouseCraftsman.com

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Visit Us At
   TinyHouseCraftsman.com

 

 

Should Tiny Houses Have Bathrooms?

One area of my tiny house that I have come to think about a lot is the bathroom.  Now of course you need a bathroom, a place to use the restroom, a place to shower, etc.  It can range from in your tiny house flush toilet or composting, to an “outhouse” style with a properly designed system or even a flush toilet;  But I am beginning to wonder if a bathroom should be outside the tiny home.  It might be using the extra bathroom of the house you’re parked in the back yard of or it might be like Drew over at Tiny R(e)volution who build his “shower shack” photos at bottom of post.  I’m not saying you should do this, but I think it warrants discussion.

tiny-midwest-tiny-house-07-600x400The reason I’ve been thinking this is because while a bathroom of some form is a necessity, as it is in a tiny house, it takes up so much space and is used so little.  This is a really important factor when it comes to small spaces.  The amount of square footage should be directly proportional to the amount you use it.  So for example your mattress takes up about 30 square feet if you have a queen size bed, which is a lot of space, but you use it for 8 hours every day.  Compare that to the bathroom, about 22 square feet, I use it for maybe 30 or less minutes a day for showering, shaving, brushing teeth and going to the bathroom.  If you simply look at it like a return on investment a bathroom is not that great use of space.

Now you can reduce your space by building a wet bath (frankly I’m not keen on that idea).  You could also setup bathroom and shower outside, using an outdoor shower and bathroom, but there are a few months a year this wouldn’t work well.  You also could arrange for whoever house you park your tiny house behind that you can use their bathroom.   Obviously nothing will beat the convenience of having a shower and toilet in the actual tiny house, but I still struggle with how much space it uses versus how much I use it.


Make Your Tiny House Swoon – able

My good friend over at Tiny House R(e)volution is hosting a tiny house decorating class.  Learn about tips to decorate your tiny houses, explore double duty furniture, and how to effectively use windows to make you tiny house feel big.  It’s Big Style For The Tiny House!  Drew’s course is 2 hours for $10 so check it out!

Here is a photo of his gorgeous kitchen counter tops

Interior19

From Drew:

Do you have a flair for the decadent? Does your style read more modern bohemia than Appalachian cabin? Maybe you prefer color over monochromatic. Whatever the case, this workshop is the one for you.

Over the course of two hours you will be part of a dynamic, online conversation that mixes live video/audio, presentation, practical examples, and live Q&A. With Andrew Odom as your facilitator

You can sign up here

 

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