Tiny House Interior Pictures

These are all kinda dark, because I’m only home in the evenings and it’s January so evening starts at 4 o’clock, but you’ll get the gist.

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Cabinet stairs to the sleeping loft, also my dresser.  Behind them are half steps, and above are black iron pipes for handrails.  Closet to the right with little fridge underneath
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Tiny bathroom on the left.  No door yet, just a curtain.  Kitchen consists of a salvaged cabinet section with my old desk perpendicular to it, and stained pieces of psuedo-butcher block pine atop them.  I treated the countertops with 1. tung oil/mineral spirits 2. pure tung oil 3. 4 coats of Howard’s Butcher Block Conditioner (which I believe is tung oil + beeswax).  The counters are very easy to clean and water beads up on the surface nicely.  On the counter are many mason jars full of bulk rice/beans/dried fruit etc, a Travel Berkey filter for drinking water, and an Origo 3000 alcohol stove.  I plan someday to cut a hole in the counter and make a cavity for the stove to sit in, but for now I am tired of working.  There are shelves attached to the undersides of the loft joists for dishes and canned goods, and fruit, garlic and potatoes live in the hanging basket.  Above the sink/tub area is a wooden box that holds my toothbrush, contact solution etc, and the windowsill holds dish, hand and hair soap in mason jars.  
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View of the main room from the kitchen.  Just to the right of the tub (you can see the piece of wood I keep over half the tub for drying dishes on the far left) is the Cubic Mini Woodstove Grizzly.  This thing is badass and gets the house super hot.  It is only I think 12″ square but I cook on it all the time.  I took the metal railing off the top and can fit most medium pots and pans up there.  I keep cast iron and a little metal pot hanging on the wall near the stove.  To the right of that is my 16×48″ desk.  It’s attached to the wall with brackets that aren’t really strong enough, someday I’ll add legs.  Below the desk in a set of shelves I made from 2×6 that also support the desk.  I keep library books, pens, schoolbooks, notebooks, and general office things on these shelves, as well as DVDs.  In the back of the house are the built in bookshelf/cabinets (aka the Haley A Scott Library) and in the middle a small couch with storage underneath.  Above this built in area is a second 3′ wide loft for storage.  On the far right is one of the only pieces of furniture not built in: an antique desk that was my great-grandmother’s.  It has been my altar for many years and I was happy to find a spot for it.  The little bench underneath it has storage (intended for sewing supplies) where I keep candles/incense/tarot cards and things like that.  On the floor, Honey Bear.
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Dance studio!  It’s only 36″ wide and 48″ tall, but it completely suffices for most of my dance practice needs and I am so pleased to finally have a nice airy space to dance!!  The few guests I’ve had over so far have all commented on how spacious the house feels, and this is not only because of all the windows (9) but because I sacrificed bathroom space to make the living area big enough for dancing.  Bathing in my kitchen sink is worth it to be able to stretch out and move around.  I’ve been belly dancing for 15 years and I am so ready to take it to another level.
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The sleeping loft is my favorite part of the house.  I have a full sized futon pushed to one side of the 7.5×7.5′ area, which leaves enough space on the other side for a small cedar chest made by my great-grandfather.  I keep personal things in the chest and use the top of it for a nightstand.  I have an old make-up case to hold a lamp which is on the downstairs desk temporarily, but the white christmas lights are enough light to read by.  In front of the cedar chest near the stairs is an old milk crate turned on it’s side… I keep socks and sweaters and a knitted hat in there in case it gets cold at night, which it never does.  The blanket is a king sized down comforter with a smaller fleece blanket on top and so far I’ve had to sleep in very light clothes or I wake up sweating in the early morning.  The bed is below the Fakro skylight that opens out like a door, and on the other half of the ceiling are glow stars.  Out the skylight are many trees and lying in bed at night reading with the twinkly white lights and then turning them off to see glow stars and the dark silhouettes of trees out the window has made for very magical transitions to dreamland.  I have outlets on either side of the bed and I keep my phone charged there at night, and tucked between the futon and the wall are a fire extinguisher and 2 story fire ladder in case of an emergency.  I sleep like a child in here.
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The foyer.  An area of the house that I put exactly zero thought into.  It is created by the walls of the bathroom and the closet.  I use this area a surprising amount… one of those things I just didn’t foresee during planning.  I keep coats, scarves, dog leash, backpack, raingear, bike helmet, purse, and keys hanging on hooks (not enough hooks!).  I keep my Xtra tuf boots here.  I keep things here that are going to be removed from the house when I next leave (recycling, trash, Goodwill donations, compost).  I’m not sure there was anyway that I could have realistically expanded this area, but I wish there was at the very least more space for boots.  It will be better when I get more hooks, I think.  Also once I get a covered front porch built, then I can keep boots and raingear and most of this stuff outside the door.
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the view from my desk. 

Tiny House Living, the first two weeks

I know I skipped the whole last two months of building, and I’ll take some good pictures of how it turned out and explain what I did at some point, but I want to get the experience of moving in and getting used to the tiny house while it’s still fresh.

I moved in the bulk of my stuff and started sleeping in the tiny house on January 3rd.  The first few nights were a dream; I’d only moved the stuff that was absolutely necessary so the house was clean and organized and it was all fresh and new. Washington was having unusually cold weather that week and my hose was frozen, but I was happy to hand haul water from the spigot on the main house and heat it on the woodstove or the Origo cookstove.  We were in the Honeymoon Stage, Wild Rose and I, and it lasted about three days.  The heating water thing was fun in the way it’s fun to go camping and cook on the propane stove and sleep on a sleeping pad.  Because you know in the back of your mind that in a few days you’ll be back in a big warm house with hot running water, 4 burner oven and a comfy mattress.  After three days it began to sink in that I’m not glamping here, this is my life now, and going from that big resource gobbling American middle-class house lifestyle to 15 amps of electricity, a 2 gallon hot water heater (Two.  TWO), 18 gig of internet data per MONTH (it takes 1 gig to stream 1 hour of video.  Do the math) is going to be a really harsh transition.  I knew this, it’s not like I didn’t… I did design the house myself.  But the reality of having a tiny homestead in the middle of a mud pit with 160 square feet is something a little different than the hippie off grid self sufficient dream life that I’ve been imagining for years.  I know for an absolute fact that I am equipped mentally, emotionally and physically for that life and every day I learn the quirks and kinks of Wild Rose better and eventually, at some point, I will be living that hippie self sufficient dream life, but that life includes mud, setting off carbon monoxide alarms, a pissed off extremely large extremely hairy dog, mud, a smoky woodstove, a freezer that won’t stay closed and barely keeps things frozen, mud, and a sink/bathtub that barely drains AND leaks.

 

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gave myself a black eye with a bungee cord too

Here are some of my adventures the first week:

I have an Origo cookstove that burns denatured alcohol.  I have a big 70 gallon (?) stock tank as a combo kitchen sink/bathtub.  I have a 2.5 gallon hot water heater.  In order to have enough water for a proper bath, I need to heat water up in a 3 gallon stock pot on the alcohol cookstove, as well as smaller amounts on the woodstove.  It takes about an hour for 3 gallons to heat up on the Origo stove.  The first night I had running water (after the temp came up and the hose thawed) I decided to try to take a bath and got the water going while I was doing other things.  After 30 minutes I got the smaller pots and teakettle going on the woodstove and the second alcohol burner.  15 minutes later I was in the kitchen and noticed I was feeling a little light headed and headache-y.  I’d read that alcohol stoves can put off a lot of carbon monoxide so I have a carbon monoxide alarm.  I moved it into the kitchen area under the loft and within 10 minutes it went off.  I had the ventilation fan going and the window directly over the stove open.  I turned it off immediately, of course, and opened all the doors and windows.

After the house aired out a bit I poured all the hot water into the bathtub and ran water until it was cold.  This gave me about 6 inches of hot water.  I got in and it was actually quite pleasant, the woodstove was cranking just behind my head and the sides of the tub are so tall that it kept the heat in.  I have a piece of wood that sits over half of my tub most of the time for dishes and things, and when I pulled that over the top of the tub it was a little bit like being in a sauna and was cozy and I sat for a bit reading and felt like it was all ok.  I ran the hot water to wash my hair and this triggered the hot water heater and tripped the breaker and all my power went out… me, naked, wet hair, in a big stock tank in the middle of this weird little house that I built myself, in the dark.  Luckily my landlords were still awake and they flipped the breaker and then moved my connection to a circuit of my own, so it hasn’t been a problem since.

I continued my bath and noticed the water slopping around a bit when I was sitting perfectly still and could hear the wood in the stove moving around… a small earthquake?  Or an hallucination from carbon monoxide poisoning?  I sat still, waiting for the house to either roll off the ravine behind us or to keel over from the poisoning.  Honey Bear was acting really weird and restless too, anxious, and I didn’t know if she were poisoned or knew there was an earthquake coming or just hated me for making her live in this weird little house I built myself.  It was all a bit much for me so I finished washing my hair and got out… noticed the tub was leaking on the bottom in two places… gave up for the evening and crawled up into the loft to sleep away my anxiety and doubts for one night.

There was a lot more stressful figuring out the last two weeks… I blew through 5 of my 18 gig of internet data in 4 nights and the tub not draining is an issue, it’s crazy how much clutter takes up space in 160 square feet including and especially trash, I overflowed my urine jar onto my own feet one morning, etc etc etc… but let’s fast forward to the good part.

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I was dating someone the last month, someone I felt really good about, and he came over a few days ago and broke it off.  I’d still been feeling really uncertain about my house up to the moment he left, but I turned off all the lights, turned up Father John Misty and crawled into my little reading nook to cry.  It was dark inside with no noise but the music, and outside I could just barely see the trees rising placid and stalwart from the ravine and through their canopy the cloud shrouded moon and I cried and I could feel the house closing in around me with comfort and security and it clicked, finally, that feeling of Home.  I stopped crying and just sort of looked around the house in wonder, not seeing anymore all the problems and stress but a frickin’ HOUSE, that I BUILT, that suits me and my needs exactly and I can’t believe it’s real and I love it even with… maybe even because of… all the quirks and problems and things I have to learn.  I’m really truly inhabiting this house in a way I never have truly inhabited any place I’ve ever lived and by extension, truly inhabiting my life because I chose it and I worked hard for the freedom and choice that it gives me and I’m so fucking proud of myself and grateful for whatever strange force has been driving me to do this for so many years that I could just curl up in the reading nook and cry again but this time from joy.

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