Must-Haves, Layout Considerations, and (HELP!) Interior Design

As we continue to research and plan our build, we’re starting to think of what we’d like to see in the floor plan and overall design. This is both exciting and immensely frustrating, because there are so many different styles that we’ve seen and liked for various reasons. We have agreed on a handful of things that we are thinking of as “must-haves”:

  • Shed roof. This will give a greater surface area for solar panels and give us the ability to catch water when/if we live in a place that actually gets rain. Also, more headroom in the loft, at least on one side.
  • Big kitchen. Of course this is a tiny house so we won’t have a full-on restaurant sized kitchen, but counter space is important. We cook a lot at home now and have very little counter space. Given some of the floor plans and layouts we’ve seen, we know it’s possible to upgrade from what we we are currently working with. This includes a 3/4 size or full-size fridge, depending on what works best for the layout.
  • Double lofts. One for sleeping, with stairs. One for lounging, with a ladder. Unless there is some not-totally-ridiculous way to make both lofts with staircases. Either way.
  • Lots of windows. Natural light is awesome. Of course with a lot of windows, we’ll need a lot of curtains or blinds, but I’d rather have “too much” natural light than feel claustrophobic and cramped without it.

There are a lot of layout considerations to be made, and this is where things are getting tricky.

  • Kitchen and bathroom on opposite ends. I don’t think I want to have the bathroom RIGHT BEHIND the kitchen. We’ve read that it’s more expensive to do plumbing on either end of the house as opposed to all of the water-needing-things being on one wall or one end, but if the trailer is only 24 feet long, how much of an extra expense are we talking?
  • Where is the kitchen? I’m in love with the kitchen being at the end of the unit, like in the Minim House. I think there’s less of an opportunity for wasted space in that kind of configuration. Or having it all along one wall, not an L-shaped kitchen.
  • Where is the front door? If it’s on the back end of the trailer, then it makes it a bit more difficult to do the bathroom on one end, kitchen on the other. The hOMe build has it on the side of the tiny house, which allows for different configurations on the inside.
  • Wet bath or regular bathroom?¬†In theory, I like the idea of everything being one, and we’ve seen some that have a really cool design. But then again, I don’t know that I want to be washing my hair over the toilet, especially if it’s a composting toilet. And if it were a wet bath, then I wouldn’t really have an excuse to keep our water buffalo shower curtain. ;)

And finally, when it comes to the overall look and feel, I think we’re going to need professional help on this one. There are so many elements of existing tiny houses that we like, that if we try to take all of it and roll it into one, we’re going to have some issues. Our interior design tastes are questionable at best. Buuuut, there are some things that would be really awesome to see in there:

  • Sliding barn door. Anywhere. Like this:
  • Dark wood and stainless steel, seen in the “Miter Box” model by Shelter Wise.
  • White and pops of color (thinking blue and/or green)

For those of you who are still in the planning stages, where do you draw inspiration from? For those of you who have already built, is there anything you’d incorporate now that you didn’t think of? Anything you have that you don’t need?

Downsizing, Planning, and Saving, OH MY!

Downsizing, Planning, and Saving, OH MY!

There is actually a lot of correlation between our skydiving lives and our preparation for this tiny house.

In skydiving, downsizing is the act of progressing to a smaller canopy, thus giving you (potentially) better performance. The thought of downsizing in skydiving shouldn’t be taken lightly, as there are a lot of factors that come into play when you’re deciding to go smaller.

Though downsizing to a tiny house certainly doesn’t have the same potential consequences, it does require a lot of thought.

The act of downsizing your life to fit in a home somewhere between 100-300 square feet requires us to really reflect on what is important. We’ve always been able to relocate with what can fit in the trunk of my car, so we don’t have a lot of stuff to get rid of, but we have accumulated quite a bit since we moved to California.

The good news is, we aren’t attached to much beyond what will fit in our dream tiny house. The furniture here was all stuff we either picked up off Craigslist for really cheap or was given to us by friends. This is good in the sense that we don’t have to get rid of a lot of stuff. But if we, like so many other potential tiny housers, were relying on the money we could make from selling what we have to help fund the project, then we would be pretty hard up.

Beyond the whole “what will fit in our new tiny house” thing, now we can get creative about how to best utilize the space, and determine what features we would like to incorporate into our plans.
So far, we have a handful of “must haves” and some general ideas of the look/feel we are going for.

Barry says: I want a funk/metal fusion, with a mix of Tom Jones and Tom Waits.

Sydney says: I like dark wood, stainless steel, clean lines, and blues or greens to tie it all together.

Some must-haves for the build: Shed roof, solar, ample kitchen space with open shelving vs. cabinets, double loft (stairs to the bedroom, ladder to secondary), composting toilet and plenty of windows.

Going through this process has reinvigorated my love for writing, so a place to chill out comfortably and write is also on the docket.

For now, we are saving where we can, waiting for a couple outstanding financial things to come through, and then we can get serious about the rest of the process. We have been doodling designs and floorplans, scouring YouTube for tours and design ideas, and looking at some of the pre-fabricated models for inspiration. Neither one of us has any construction experience, but I have a feeling everything will come together to make our Dream Tiny House a reality.

Fellow Tiny House enthusiasts or residents, where did you draw inspiration? Since we are in the very early stages of planning, what do you wish you had incorporated? What did you add that you find you would change?