On October 8, 2019, we said farewell to our Tiny as it went off to bless its new owners. We called it the Tiny Tiny because it is the smallest Tiny house we have seen for sale which still managed to include a sleeping loft, bathroom, kitchen and sitting/dining area. We did end up getting rid of the entry deck and enclosing it into the the interior – you wouldn’t imagine the difference 1 square metre adds to the liveable space.
Healing the change took a lot of thought as we didn’t have any more of the floorboards. Instead we chose to use some patterned cement tiles which had the affect of designating the eating area as separate from the rest of the interior. A drop down table and suitably sized chairs finished the transformation.
It had a gorgeous light feel to the place with plenty of outlook yet cosy. We learned a lot in the process of building it and look forward to the next Tiny in all its possibilities.
It’s so exciting as we see the Tiny coming to completion; we can actually see an end in sight. It feels like a human sized doll’s house with everything to scale.
Kitchen work area with new lights
It is very important when building a tiny house, to remember proportions, especially when it comes to the size of windows and doors. There have been a few great books we have used in our design process over the years which I would highly recommend to any Tiny house builder. They speak about, flow, scale, light and public/private areas. You wouldn’t think that in such a small space that these ideas would be so important, but the smaller the space, the more crucial they become.
The first book is titled A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander (Oxford University Press, New York, 1977). It is a book which describes patterns in design which are often intuitive and unspoken, which when implemented bring about great buildings. Roughly 20 years later, some of the collaborators wrote Patterns of Home by Jacobson, Silverstein and Winslow ( Taunton Press 2002). This condensed 250 patterns into 10 essential patterns to give home owners the tools to design for themselves.
One of the first principles is light from two sides. Having one big window does not give the quality of light two smaller windows on different walls achieves. So although the ‘sitting’ area has a large window at the front, the quality of light is improved by the side window.
In the kitchen, two smaller windows on adjoining walls is better proportionally and in quality, than one large window. The size of the windows also helps delineate areas. The exterior of the house and the window proportions are also important – there needs to be harmony. Upstairs in the loft, there is a dormer as well as the window in the gable end.
Almost all the windows have been made by Steve, repurposing or making windows from stained glass we had on hand. They not only bring in the light but they are beautiful as well.
Next time, I’ll talk about public/private areas and outlook and refuge.
Welcome to our new TinyByDesign blog. It has been a long time since we’ve put anything up but now things are happening in a rush. We have set time aside to bring the Tiny to completion and hope to have it ready for sale in the next few weeks.
We first became interested in Tiny Houses over ten years ago when it wasn’t mainstream and definitely not cool. Most people would look at us blankly when we described what we wanted to do and then later, what we were doing. I guess the advantage of us taking so long to build is that all the advertising and explaining has been done for us!
We have noticed, though, that the emphasis has gone from affordable housing for those who are locked out of the housing market to high end, modular and massive. We hope to continue to build Tiny houses which will be unique, incorporate both new and recycled materials and help those who are needing alternative housing. We try to be responsible and creative in the use of materials which means I doubt there will be a standard list of models to choose from.
So this was Tiny Mark 1 at the beginning of 2018.
We decided to stain the cedar as a lot of people didn’t like the natural weathering of the boards. Steve, being Canadian, didn’t mind but I was happy to go for a more New England look. So here it is with the staining in progress; the windows are still being re puttied and painted.
Inside we have gone from just the loft being habitable to the bathroom and kitchen being identifiable rooms. We decided to use aluminium checker plate for the shower area with channel groove in the rest of the room; the kitchen/ living area is tongue and groove. The kitchen counter is made of blackbutt and iron bark offcuts laminated together and the timber detail is repeated on the stair treads.
Kitchen work area with new lights
Everything is half finished and open at the moment.We are waiting for the electrician to come on Wednesday to do second fix (240v) and the plumber to come and plumb in the shower, kitchen sink and gas cooktop. Next time I’ll talk about where we up to now.