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Posts Tagged Tiny Living

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?

 

DIY Your Tiny Life

For me, living the tiny life means living a do-it-yourself kinda life. It goes beyond the building of a house on wheels and becomes a style of living that is conscious of so much more. Occupying 98 square feet makes me carefully consider everything I use in the house, from the all-purpose cleaner to the face wash I make! For me, it means an awareness and attempt at less toxicity in my everyday environment. My friend just sent me some great links to recipes concerning this exact subject that I thought would be fun to share.

natural cleannerWhile there are lots of green house cleaning products out there I love making my own. Check out Ryan’s post about the effectiveness of homemade cleaners! It’s so easy to do and is 100% toxin-free. Plus, it’s so cheap to make and you probably have all the ingredients in your cupboard right now! This recipe takes all of five minutes to whip together and will keep on the shelf for up to a month.

You will need:

a spray bottle

one cup water

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

10 drops tea tree oil

10 drops lavender oil

make your placeNow it’s as easy as adding all your liquids together in the spray bottle, shaking it up and your good to go! Pretty easy, right? You can also experiment with different essential oils. I’ve used peppermint, orange and eucalyptus to great effect although lavender and tea tree is my favorite combination. I’ve also made excellent cleaner by soaking lemon rinds in vinegar for a couple days and then draining the liquid in to a spray bottle as an all-purpose sanitizing agent. The rinds are great scrubbers for the sink as well, leaving a lovely lemony smell to my kitchen!Here you can find my review of an excellent book on sustainable, affordable cleaning products for your home! I highly recommend checking out these alternatives.

Coconut-milk-shampoo-ingredientsBesides cleaning agents, I love to make homemade beauty products. I so enjoy the natural, chemical-free body care items made in my kitchen. I am super anti-parabens and chemicals I can’t pronounce so this recently acquired recipe via the Free People blog for coconut milk shampoo was right up my alley! Give it a try and see how it makes you feel!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut milk

2/3 cup castile soap

1 tsp vitamin E oil

1 tsp coconut oil

Warm the coconut oil til melted and then mix with other ingredients in a jar. Shake well. Use 1 to 2 teaspoons with each wash. Will keep for up to a month.  I normally use Bronner’s castile soap for much of my cleaning needs but it does tend to dry out my skin and hair so the coconut milk and oil is perfect for adding the moisture I need in a cold, Vermont climate!

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Your Turn!

  • Got any go to recipes to share for living a less toxic tiny life? Please share! I love to learn new tricks and ideas for healthy living!

Via

 

 

 

Book Storage

Books are my biggest weakness when it comes to living the tiny life. I love to read and if I could just have a tiny house filled with books, my life would be complete. I got rid of a lot of my books when we moved in to La Casita and while I’m debating getting a Nook or other such tablet, I love the feel of reading a book. I’m not sure I can adapt wholeheartedly to the technological versions of reading. Below are some quirky and creative solutions to the book storage dilemma!

book storage

The ultimate in utility! I wouldn’t even have to get up to grab my favorite novel! I can live with that. Question is can I fit it in the house?
bookstorage

What a great idea for an old ladder! Love re-purposed projects like this. It’s what our tiny house is all about!
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Brilliant storage idea for rafter space.

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Super fun mod chair. Not the best for storage but I love the design!bookstorage3

 This modern couch could double as a sleeping space on top of being storage. I’m always looking for multiple functions in any piece of furniture for a tiny house.  If I was really going to fulfill my heart’s desire I would ask the public library to let me park in their backyard. That would be he perfect living situation for me!

Your Turn!

  • What do you have the most trouble storing in a tiny house?
  • What have you parted with in order to live the tiny life?

Favorite News of the Week

caravan hoteMy favorite tiny house news of the week…first tiny house hotel now open in Portland, Oregon! This news is very inspiring to me! I would love to open a tiny house bed and breakfast. It’s been a scheme of a dream which Cedric and I have been tossing around for some time. I’m excited to see if this type of tourist accommodation attracts more folks to the lifestyle. It’s definitely a great way to get ideas and stay in a cool space in a rad city. I wish I could have hung out in a tiny house before we started building. It would have really helped me conceptualize our design before building.

Ranging in size from 100-200 square feet of custom built coziness, they sport all the amenities youTiny-House-Hotel5 would expect from a hotel.  Flush toilets, hot showers,  full kitchen and outdoor covered seating.  Add in hammocks and fire pits and you’ve got yourself an excellent set-up! The Pearl, shown here, is the smallest of the three tiny houses coming in at 90 square feet. A modern design with gorgeous custom wood work, it was designed and built by Shelterwise LLC. With a dining room table that converts in to a queen size bed, this accommodation truly meets the challenge of small space design with creative solutions.

the rosebudThe three houses definitely have their own personalities. The Rosebud, shown left, is the next size up at 120 square feet and provides that woodsy, cabin-like appeal. According to their website this is best rented for 1-2 people. The Tandem, their largest accommodation can hold 4 but they recommend that family or close friends share the space due to it’s open floor plan. At 160 square feet it would definitely be a cozy fit for four. The pictures suggest a bright and comfy stay no matter which house you choose!

 

If I ever make out to Portland I will definitely check this place out!

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Your Turn!

  • Would you pay to stay at a tiny house hotel?

 

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?

Via

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