Beginning a journey to live more simply…

Archive for the ‘Interior Layout’ Category

Entry closet / “Mud Room”.

Friday, October 28th, 2011:

Trimmed out the entry closet and put up a closet bar for hanging coats and other clothing. This closet will serve as our ‘mud room’ of sorts. We’ll keep our cleaning tools, outer wear, and other such things in this space. Directly below the closet is a small cubby that houses the cat’s litter box.

One of the many selling points when considering this project was Jay Shafer’s comment about not having a lot of house to clean. A simple brush and dust pan will serve us well on a daily basis.

For deeper cleaning, we did want to have a vacuum available. However, given that the house is such a small space, we quickly realized that using and stowing a normal size vacuum was not realistic.

We’ve used various things like dust busters and sharks in the past, and have found them useful for a localized messes, but we weren’t as confident about relying on them for an entire cleaning project.

After a bit of on-line research, we found a very simple, yet powerful hand-held vacuum: The Dyson DC35.

As a hand-held vacuum, it is small enough to stow away in the back of the entry closet, but really is powerful enough to suck up everything we’ve used it for so far, including construction debris. To be honest, it is a bit shocking how well it works. One really does expect only so much from a hand-held vacuum. This little thing defies stereotype. We feel it is the perfect solution for our tiny place.


Great Room Shelving.

Friday, October 21st, 2011:

Continuing to take a good look at how to best maximize space in the ‘Great Room’. A few walls lent themselves well to shelving, so we’ve tried out our hand at shelf-making.

While shelving is a great way to take advantage of limited but usable space we do have one unique challenge to address: Cats.

To add another layer of ‘crazy’ to this adventure we’re not just fitting two people into this tiny space, but will be bringing along two very active and curious cats.

As cat owners know, shelves -and all items on them- are fair game. So, with an open mind and some strategy, we’ve installed a set of 1X8 pine shelves in a few intentional locations. These shelves, as with many features in the place, will have multiple uses: portions will hold baskets for storage, while other portions will serve as a cat-tree system to allow our small companions autonomous access to the sleeping loft as well as a nook in the storage loft that will house a hidden ‘blanket-nest’ for when they are feeling less social.

We’re still having a blast with this project! Getting closer and closer…

The Great Room to date.

Thursday, October 6th, 2011:

A tour of the Great Room to date.

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Next step: identify ways to maximize space with shelving.

Cubbies Complete.

Saturday, October 1st, 2011:

Wrapped up another one of those ‘small projects’ by completing the little storage cubbies wich form the armrests of our couch.

Each cubby stands 28 1/2″ tall, about 7″ wide, and 17″ deep. They consist of four small compartments ideal for shoe storage and as a home for other smallish things that will take well to some stuffing.

When utilizing the couch as a twin size bed, the cubbies will pull out and form the base of the ‘other half’ of the bed that hangs over the couch frame. It was fun designing for multi-use capabilities, one of the more enjoyable parts of this project…


Sunday, September 11th, 2011:

Realized our visualization of the ‘Great Room’ desk and dining table this afternoon.

We wanted to create an area that was substantial enough for us to sit comfortably and work or share a meal, but would not eat up too much floor space or make the room feel smaller. One side of the desk is supported by a closet wall, the other by an angled brace. The brace gives the desk more of a ‘floating’ effect and does not intrude too much into the open feel of the Great Room.

The desk measures 48″ wide X 21 3/4″ deep X 29″ high and was constructed with 2X2 framing and 1X8 pine decking.

Huge Thanks to Robert and Hunter Coulson! It was great working with you guys today.

‘Great Room’ seating and storage.

Friday, September 2nd, 2011:

Our vision for the ‘Great Room’ includes a bench seat/storage bin on one side and a built-in desk and shelves on the other. One half of that vision is now complete.

Some of the aspects we appreciate most about this project are the challenges to maximize limited space and to find multiple uses for things. One thing that really caught our eye when considering taking on this project was the similarities between living well in a tiny house and one of the general principles of backpacking: take only what is truly needed, and those things should have multiple uses.

Living simply -and intentionally- while on a backcountry trip is one of the aspects that makes such trips so gratifying. It was definitely a draw for us to be able to take this backcountry concept into the indoors…

With this in mind, we wanted to design our couch/bench seat to serve multiple purposes. It would need to be a very comfortable and inviting place to spend time, as it would be our only real sitting area inside. As well, the couch should serve as a storage solution as it is taking up so much of the limited real-estate in the Great Room. Lastly, we wanted it to be able to convert into a spare sleeping space.

We constructed the frame for the seating area out of 2X2’s and 2X6’s with 2 1/2″ screws. We dressed it with knotty pine, and decked it with 1/2″ plywood. Dimensions are 17 1/2″ high (at the seat) X 19 1/2″ deep X 75″ long. The back of the seating area rises another 19″ high. To determine how high to make the seat, we measured the hight of one of our existing kitchen chairs, and made it long and deep enough for a twin-sized mattress.

Thanks to Kyle and Emma Klues for helping us wrap up this project!

Enclosing the Water Tank.

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011:

Spent a few hours after work creating a pannel to hide the stainless steel potable water tank. We will need to be able to access the tank as well as the other plumbing elements, so we have built this small ‘wall’ to be removable -it is one solid panel that can be easily popped out for access. The permanent frame was constructed of 2X2’s, the removable portion framed with 1X2’s.

Careful measurements were made to ensure that the tank can slide out from it’s nook, but still allowing plenty of room to slide in the washer/dryer combo unit. With such limited space, ensuring that everything fits together is like carefully piecing together a complex puzzle. Planning has been an enjoyable challenge!

A new way of thinking.

Monday, May 2nd, 2011:

There is an aspect of this Tiny House adventure that we’ve been most excited about: the need to pare down our belongings and to be intentional in every decision we make regarding what goes into the house.

One ‘luxury item’ that has been very important to Gabby is her patchboard, highlighting patches collected from a life-time of trips. It had been hanging in a room in our current house that’s completely dedicated to our toys -a room that represents a lot of hard paring-down decisions.

These patches still hold an important place in her heart, so she got creative in how they could fit into our pared-down life. She found some cork tiles and hung them on the inside of her clothing closet door. Multi-purposing at its finest…

Sleeping Loft Taking Shape.

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011:

Began forming the structures that we’ve been envisioning for the sleeping loft area. Framed with 2X2’s to continue to be mindful of overall weight. Used 1X8 pine for shelves.

Most of the tiny houses we observed when originally researching this project had sleeping lofts with just enough length for a mattress. We wanted to enjoy some of the closet space we saw available in the smaller tiny houses that had just a sleeping loft and no cathedral ceiling over the ‘Great Room’. Interested in the best of both worlds, we built our sleeping loft a bit longer than the Tumbleweed plans called for. While this cut into the ‘Great Room’, the investment was worth it to have a more complete sleeping area.

We are also borrowing a great idea that we saw on another Tumbleweed Tiny House builder’s blog: small ‘foot lockers’ that run the length of the loft. We will be placing a Full size mattress in the loft, and liked the idea of building structures that will allow us to utilize the 13 to 14 inches of space left on either side of the mattress in an organized and intentional manner. These storage areas will be 77″ long on each side of the bed, 12″ deep, and 8″ high.

Enclosing the Kitchen.

Sunday, January 16th, 2011:

Finished up the bookshelf/kitchen shelf/canned goods pantry today, as well as put knotty pine on the walls making up the sides of the kitchen. As more and more walls get covered, the tiny house is looking more and more like the plans we drew up a few months ago. It is incredibly rewarding to see our imagination turn into reality…

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