There's nothing quite like waking up in a tiny house and gazing out the surrounding windows to watch the snow falling around you on all sides. There's a quiet peacefulness to it that feels more magical than in our larger family home.
We took a tiny trip for Thanksgiving this year. We found an Airbnb tiny house less than an hour from where we live, and so we rented it for a few days to get away, spend some quality time with each other, and test out our dream of tiny living!
I'm not sure if our tot was more excited for the snow or the tiny house experience. When we first arrived and stepped inside, he exclaimed, "it's so TEENY!"
He ran around, climbing the ladder over and over again to the loft, pretending it was everything from a treehouse to a fire station. I'm not sure when the excitement would wear off if this were HOME instead of a vacation stay... but two days in, it was still a thrill for both father and son. The day we left, the little guy reiterated, "I LOVE this tiny house!"
My husband seemed pretty adamant that he'd enjoy living all together in such tight quarters, right on top of each other. He seemed almost offended when I asked if he was sure he could live so closely to me all the time?
I definitely like it. One thing I immediately like about this tiny house is how open and bright a small space can feel. Plus cleaning and tidying is quick and easy. I am often perplexed at giant houses and even get overwhelmed at our own family home by the time spent cleaning and doing laundry. The space and the number of rooms feel too much sometimes. We will never be the kind of people who can afford to hire a house-cleaning service. It may seem extreme to most people, but to me a tiny house is a great way to make your money go farther.
We want fewer things and fewer monthly expenses so our money can go toward life experiences, security for our family, and a future and education for our son. After staying here on our trial run, I do believe we can do this.
Here is what I learned right away:
Stuff - We have already downsized our belongings a lot. But we still have a long way to go to be minimalists. We will need a combination of clever storage and fewer things to live this way.
Kitchen - A tiny kitchen is cute but really impractical for real life. We'd need ample counter space and under cupboard storage, especially as plant-based eaters who make all our own food.
A hidden TV that rises up out of a cabinet on a switch is so cool - but it wastes space. A smaller, hanging TV makes much more sense.
Privacy - When designing a tiny house, one must be mindful of separating space in clever ways to build in privacy and partitions for when the need for solitude arises. We will need to drop our lofts lower so there's enough room to really sit up in them so they can be used for more than sleeping. (Luckily, my husband is shorter than 6 feet, so we can do this!)
Even if you have a table, you're going to end up eating or drinking on the couch. We need either a coffee table or little shelves built over the arms of the couch. My idea is a coffee table that doubles as upside down and stackable stools for the kitchen counter.
Clever shoe storage is a must!
Have a little, easily accessible vacuum because the floor will need to be cleaned a lot.
I wish I were not a microwave person... but I think I need to be...
A couple things I love about this tiny house:
The Murphy bed couch combo. You take the cushions off the couch, and the bed folds down with the couch as its base. If we end up having a main floor bedroom, this might be the way to go...
Copper accents - cabinet pulls, loft railing, clock, chair legs, baskets, salt and pepper shaker lids on tiny mason jars. Such a nice touch.
Towel storage slider behind the shower. Look how cool this is!:
A 4 foot shower seems plenty big.
Subway tile backsplash = classy.
White shiplap walls and ceilings go well with a darker wood trim and natural wood shelves and countertops.
Slide out ladder to loft.
Pull out, under cabinet trash bin on a slider.
It's nice and toasty inside with baseboard heaters even on a snowy day.
Wall hooks for coats and sweatshirts.
My husband has been looking in to the possibility of building a stationary foundation structure on his mom's property instead of our original plan of a THOW (tiny house on wheels.)
We didn't want a permanent tiny house originally because of resale value and the potential to move on a whim. But what I didn't realize is that a 28 foot tiny house (about 300 square feet) will cost $70-$75,000 whereas a small foundation home with a larger footprint (maybe 500 square feet) could be as little as $30,000.
We have to look more into this, but we could do this for ourselves now, pay for it much more easily, and then in 10+ years when our kiddo is bigger and yearning for more privacy, we could build our THOW, make it smaller (20 feet maybe) and our son could live there. Then, eventually it could be our retirement and travel home.
It's an interesting new perspective and plan. Something to think about anyway. We shall see...
I'm glad we took this tiny vacation. It's a good way to spend the Thanksgiving holiday. Real, quality time and snuggles with my boys who I am overwhelmingly thankful for.
For more tiny house explorations, visit the Tiny Living section of my blog https://www.okstef.com/blog/categories/tinyliving