Tiny houses and thinking “tiny”

“Or scale matters”Tiny House in a scene

When designing tiny homes, we need to think tiny, like the Europeans. Europeans had to learn this a long time ago; scale matters and scale the appliances to the tiny space they live in.  They even have a nick name for their kitchen design, “the 24-inch kitchen” meaning no stove, sink,  fridge, dishwasher is no bigger than 24” wide.

We love big things in America, big appliances, double sinks, huge stoves; but it is no different than bringing home a 9’ curved sofa that is too big for the living room, or bringing home a pool table to place in the dining room that is  8’ x 10’. I have really seen that and watched the family trying to play pool in my past. Kind of humorous and yet sad.

Appliances are such a huge part of planning a kitchen and a kitchen uses a lot of valuable space in a tiny house. There is some trade off with some narrower profiles, instead of a double sink use a single sink that is deeper and wider. Instead of a wide fridge, go narrower and taller and yet all of these appliances can have the high tech options and compartments/containers.

There was a builder that used bar sinks in his designs and kitchens. I tried one, and it was almost useless for me. I also found out later, that he ate all his meals out so did not need a sink or much else. It was all deco to appear like a kitchen for marketing.

And always think outside the box or into spaces not normally used in the kitchen cabinets; such as the toe kicks or wall stud cavities. Here you will find lots of room to store lids, backing sheets, Tupperware, even a folding step ladder. Can you imagine the linens, table clothes, kitchen utensils, and even seasonal clothing that takes up valuable space in your small closet or dresser that could be stored in the toe kicks.

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So does size matter? If used wisely, even small spaces can be great spaces.

 

 

 

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Tiny House Reverse Snobbery

Snob…the character or quality of being a snob.

Reverse Snobbery…a person overly proud of being one of or sympathetic to the common people, and who denigrates or shuns those of superior ability, education, social standing, etc. Dictionary.com
Pretentious…Trying to sound intelligent by using long, complicated words, even though you don’t know what they mean.

stirring the pot

I have noticed over the years some trolls that follow the tiny house movement only to cause mischief and create drama in a thread or post. To stir things up a bit or poke the bear.

Poke the bear by Urban Dictionary is To act in such a way that has a good, but not definite chance, of causing trouble. (You can poke a bear once and maybe get away with it, but if you keep poking him, he’s going to get really angry.) To stir things up.

Internet troll by Wikipedia;

In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

This sense of the word troll and its associated verb trolling are associated with Internet discourse, but have been used more widely. Media attention in recent years has equated trolling with online harassment.

As a builder of tiny houses, we have noticed trolls and received emails from them attacking us about being a builder of quality tiny homes for people that choose not to build them, themselves.

A healthy discussion about any subject or topic is good and we welcome them. As long as the comments are constructive in nature and not demeaning to anyone, it can help people see both sides of the argument or discussion. Too often we reject out of hand opinions or facts that go against our beliefs, and that is not healthy.

And we have seen some mean spirited attacks on people that were meant to insult and be inflammatory. Then when challenged and shown the error of their misinformed comment, do a turn about and attack from a different direction. A true tactic of a troll.

When one builds a beautiful one of a kind tiny houses such as these  examples, one is going to get a lot of attention via magazines, webs, and social media.

And that is fine. We like thinking outside the box and bringing some of many talents and skills to the planning and building process of tiny homes. We have also learned that our customers also like being original and creating something different; be it with color choices, or architectural styles. And that bothers some people that think that two of these homes are seen as overly large, expensive, ultra-extravagant, and excessively lavish.

I am proud that I built these tiny homes. The movement to me is about not only downsizing, but living your dreams and gaining the ability to run with the giants; be it traveling, adding charm to your tiny house, or pursuing your passions.

And the person that takes the time to research and build their own tiny home should feel proud of their accomplishment as well. And that does not mean ridiculing someone that chooses to “hire” it done for them. It is like belonging to a click in grade school, so passe! All the people that chose to downsize should be proud of their accomplishment.

Some people choose to invest a year or two of their time in sweat equity of their tiny home and another would rather have that time to do what they love to do. Neither one is wrong and have their reasons for how they built their tiny as well as what materials they chose.

In Peru, they use mud, straw, and whatever material they can salvage for their homes. And much has not changed in the last 1000 years. And we also learned that people often think the same. Just as THOW’s are built here to avoid codes and property taxes by some, the homes in Peru are never quite done; windows missing, 2nd floor expansion underway, an addition in progress. Their reason for never finishing their home is that they are taxed at a much lower rate, if even not at all!

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New Tiny House Project

While we like designing and building our own tiny houses and cabins, we also will build other designs with plans provided by the customer. A customer requested we build a model similar to the Traveler and then made some changes to the plan set, which we incorporated into their new tiny house.

 

Some of the changes we made:

  • Redesigned the trailer for increased GVW
  • Smugglers storage
  • Fresh water tank with pump
  • 2 Grey water tanks
  • 750 WATT solar system
  • LEED recessed light above door
  • Switched exterior outlet by door
  • Drawers in toe kicks of cabinets
  • Closed cell spray foam insulation
  • Smoke and propane detectors

Some of the pictures of the build;

 

 

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Ravenlore Tiny House Tour

Tiny House Giant filmed a video of the Ravenlore. Enjoy this tiny house tour with Nicki The Firefighter from Savannah.

Going small doesn’t mean you can’t also go bold.

The Ravenlore, Nicki the Firefighter, and Tiny House Giant Journey made Good Housekeeping the 2nd week in January, 2015.

Here is an except;

What do you get when you smush together Victorian painted-lady style and minimalist living? This seriously adorable home from Tiny Green Cabins. Its candy-colored siding, trim, and roof just might make it the coolest tiny house we’ve ever seen.

But the home’s rainbow exterior isn’t the only surprising thing about it. A lap around the inside reveals a shocking amount of amenities artfully crammed into the 176-square-foot-space. A relatively large closet, clever hidden storage, a desk space, and a light-flooded kitchen offer the home full-size function in the small space. Still, we’re pretty sure it’s the pastel paint that will always make the owner (and passersby!) smile.

To read more click here: Good Housekeeping

 

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Firefighter buys a super tiny house

And you will not believe what she did!Nicki the Firefighter

In early May, we received a phone call from Nicki the Fire Fighter who lives in Savannah, Georgia. She had fallen in love with the Ravenlore tiny house and wanted to start the process rolling for purchasing it along with some changes. The list included eliminating the sleeping nook for a larger kitchen, adding a sink to the bathroom, and taking advantage of a sale we were holding, “Buy a Wildflower, Ravenlore, or Prairie Rose and get a 600 watt solar package for 2000 off” and could she select the paint colors. She loved the Carpenter Gothic architectural details of the Ravenlore tiny house and wanted it to “look like the Easter Bunny threw up all over it.”

Nicki is a firefighter, paramedic, and 1st responder in the Savannah, Georgia area and is passionate about life and her career. Some of her activities include kayaking, surfing, bike riding and exploring new places.

Nicki 2

 

She also likes to runs marathons……in full gear.

 

 

After we had it framed and sided, Masking 101

we started adding some color10622733_771073939616074_5362068251847797207_n

And more colormore tiny house color

And some more color1966108_10153365589384937_3958702924510469456_o

Then HGTV Tiny House Hunting called with the question; “do you know of any unique tiny houses that are close to completion that we could use in a new series? ” And Jim referred then to “Nicki the fighter” and she said “yes”
The crew showed up at the build site to shoot some film for “Nicki the Firefighter” episode with this film crew.
Tiny House Hunting Film Crew

Tiny House Hunting Film Crew

After which we finished the tiny house and the Ravenlore left for Savannah, Georgia and Tiny House Giant Journey filmed it as the courier was backing it into place for an open house that Nicki the firefighter had scheduled so all of her friends could see her new home. He even caught the jets overhead as he used hand signals to direct the driver. Pretty cool video and click the link below.

 

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Healthy Living in a Tiny House

Or Living Healthy

Guest post by Corinne from mychemicalfreehouse.blogspot.com

 Now that you have a green home to call your own, you want to make sure the furniture you bring in is not contributing VOCs or toxic particles. Finish off your non-toxic abode with healthy furnishings:

Tiny Green Cabin

Tiny Green Cabin

 Mattresses

 The most important item inside you house is your mattress because of how much time spent we spend in bed as well as your proximity to the substances that they offgas. Try to avoid toxic materials like polyurethane, synthetic latex and flame retardants.

 IKEA’s Sultan Heggedal is the most accessible option for someone that is not extremely sensitive. It uses mostly natural materials with 15% synthetic latex. It does not contain flame retardants. The cost is $900 For a queen.

 For 100% natural options go with either natural latex – like this one from Nest Bedding ($900 for a queen), or a 100% wool mattress from Shepard’s Dream ($1200 for a queen).

Bed Frame

For a bed frame in a tiny house you might need to build-in slates like I did, or use a low lying futon base finished with a natural sealant.

Sofa

 Sofa’s are tricky – I haven’t seen a conventional sofa that is safe. They all use polyurethane foam, glues and flame retardants. In my tiny house I’m having a carpenter make me a base out of maple (and the glue of my choosing), with a custom sized piece of natural latex on top. This is a good option when you need a custom sized sofa as well.

 There are many companies making eco sofas but they are often really pricy. Greensofas is an good option and they are quite affordable at $1300.

 A futon is also a good option if it is filled with 100% organic cotton or wool batting. With an unfinished or naturally finished wood.

Rugs

Look for rugs made from cotton, hemp, rattan or jute from companies that state that they are all natural and do not use toxins in their production. Conventional rugs from big box stores contain a long list of chemicals including flame retardants.

Curtains

It’s hard to know which curtains contains flame retardants as they will not be labeled. Many also are treated with chemicals that make them wrinkle free for example.  I would go with an organic brand like these hemp fabric curtains or have your own made from the fabric of your choosing.

Tables and Chairs

 Look for inert materials like metal, glass, solid wood (with natural finishes), or tables with ceramic tiles.

 Vintage furniture might be tolerable for some if you are sure it hasn’t been re-finished recently with conventional products, and has not been exposed to chemical cleaning products, smoke, mould, or other substances in its previous life. Metal is a good bet for vintage furniture as it does not soak up toxins and can be simply wiped down.

For more info see Corinne’s Blog: mychemicalfreehouse.blogspot.com

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Ravenlore – A Sweet Life Tiny House

A Sweet Life tiny home

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”  – William Blake

We designed this model starting in January, 2014 as a concept design with some Carpenter Gothic features as shown in the 1st  two pictures. It was published on our website and Facebook page in late March and early April. As a custom builder of tiny houses, tiny homes, and tiny cabins; we use the designs to get the “juices” churning in to what is possible. We are often surprised by some of the results.

Below is the stern and starboard side of the Ravenlore as originally drawn. Just like a boat, a tiny house also has terms for different sides of the craft.

The bow is the hitch, while the stern is the rear of the tiny house. Here is a picture of the Ravenlore floor plan with parts named.

Tiny House & Boat Names_2

boat-diagram-1

Why is the port side called the port and starboard the starboard side?

Port;

An early version of “port” is larboard, which itself derives from Middle-English ladebord. In Old English the word was bæcbord, of which cognates are used in other European languages, for example as the German backbord and the French term (derived from Dutch) bâbord. The origin of lade has not been determined but some would connect it with the verb lade (to load), referring to the side on which cargo was loaded.[1] The term larboard, when shouted in the wind, was presumably too easy to confuse with starboard[2] and so the word port came to replace it. Port is derived from the practice of sailors mooring ships on the left side at ports in order to prevent the steering oar from being crushed.

Starboard;

The origin of the term starboard comes from early boating practices. Before ships had rudders on their centrelines, they were steered by use of a specialized steering oar, which was held by an oarsman located in the stern of the ship and, due to the prevalence of right-handed sailors, on the right-hand side of it. The word starboard comes from Old English steorbord, literally meaning the side on which the ship is steered, cognate with the Old Norse words stýri meaning “rudder” (from the verb stýra, “to steer” or “to govern”) and borð meaning etymologically “board”, then the “side of a ship”.

Definitions from wikipedia

Ravenlore Tiny House Southeast Elevation

View of the Ravenlore off the Starboard Stern

Ravenlore-2_2_2

View of the Ravenlore Off the Port Stern

From our concept we now move onto our customers’ color scheme and changes such as the Carpenter Gothic detail on the stern to create her own unique home just for her.

And the Ravenlore as a painted lady tiny house; For those who aren’t fans of the cabin-in-the-woods look of natural, unpainted pine, check this head turner out! It would fit right in with our Big House neighborhood of Painted Lady’s,  Cape Cods, Federals, Victorians, and Craftsman homes.

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The Ravenlore hitched up

Off The Bow Starboard View

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The Ravenlore tiny house is part of the Sweet Life series of our tiny homes; they are wood framed built to the clients specifications.

To see more of the Ravenlore and pricing options click on this link;  Ravenlore Tiny House

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