Why We’ve Been Re-designing the Tiny House

Take a scroll through my Instagram feed and you’ll see that we have made a TON of changes to the Tiny House lately. Almost every corner of the house has undergone some kind of change, and we finally built an outdoor space of our dreams.  I’ve also taken up plant collecting (did you know that 20+ plants can fit in 210 square feet?)  Read on to see what changes we made, and why!

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Kitchen

One of the first changes was the kitchen.  When our tiny was built on Tiny House Nation almost four years ago, our sink was about the size of a dinner plate and our refrigerator was far from keeping up with our love of beer and wine.  The original upper cabinets were dark and had glass doors, and let’s face it, when storage is limited, what’s behind your cabinet doors is not pretty.  We replaced them with white cabinets to hide everything and brighten up the space.  We also switched out our RV fridge with a counter-depth 3/4 size fridge.  The RV fridge was able to run off propane, which was cool, but we weren’t using that feature since we are on grid, and the electrical components took up a lot of precious refrigeration space.  The cabinet took some cutting and pasting, but we used a full size cabinet from IKEA.  We also moved the convection oven up top and redid the under-counter storage to include drawers and maximize storage for pantry items which were previously disorganized and scattered around.

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Washer/Dryer Storage

Right around the the time we did the kitchen, we also replaced the storage above the washer/dryer.  The original construction used a cubby shelf with fabric drawers, and it just looked kind of cheap.  After lots of measuring, I picked out various wall cabinets from IKEA that we could put together to include a balance of drawers and shelves.  We gained more storage and it looks much better.  Again, I’m a fan of hiding messy items behind doors!  I really love IKEA’s line of cabinetry; you can really customize the storage so easily.

Closet

When the house was built, the closet was one of the first things that needed to change, and it’s undergone several versions.  The original closet included two open shelves.  That’s IT.  Needless to say, that was not going to suffice.  Our first closet remodel included adding a shelving system to add more organization and an actual closet rod for hanging clothes.  We also retro-fit two Komplement drawers from IKEA for folded clothes.  We basically built the closet around these drawers. During this first remodel, we left open space on the bottom for Tim’s brewing carboy and dog food.  The second time we remodeled, it was because I had brewed up a way to use the opposite wall for more storage, leaving us able to move the dog food over there.  We moved the carboy to the shed (we live on a farm and have access to that storage).  We just weren’t brewing that often and it wasn’t worth using up that valuable real-estate.  We took the IKEA drawers all the way to the floor and added hardware to class them up a bit. I also switched to a more low-profile velvet clothing hanger (instead of bulky wood ones), and we can fit more clothes on the rod now.

Office

When the house was built, the show had taken my idea for a makeup desk that opened on top and went with a wall-mounted cabinet high on the wall.  While this was a cool concept, it meant I had to stand while doing my makeup, and for whatever reason, I’m just not down with that!  Also, there was a lot of wall space that wasn’t being used, and it just made sense to take advantage of the real estate.  So we added more cabinets, drawers, and a mirror for me.  The cabinets, again, are IKEA, and we built the desk by hand.  We also built a cabinet to hide the A/C unit and painted the back wall white to brighten the space.  We gained a ton of storage, and still don’t even use it all.

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Entry

Our most recent (and much simpler) remodel was the entry.  We started out with two open shelves, and remodeled to include another cabinet and hooks.  We were able to move everything from the shelves into one cabinet, and the hanging bag is empty.  Maybe some day it can hold kids’ books?

Deck & Door

Even though this was something we’ve wanted for a long time, it took us four years to do it.  To be honest, we never wanted to impose on our land-owners, and it took a while for us to be comfortable even asking, since we try to be generally helpful and pleasant to have around, but also make clear that they can boot us whenever it’s not working for them anymore. However, the deck has been hands-down the best addition to the tiny house, as we’ve essentially doubled our living space, and our friends/landowners have joined us for many a night of scotch on this deck.  We went with a floating deck, as we didn’t want it to be a permanent fixture on the property. I’ve also been dreaming of a full glass door for years, so we made that happen.  The installation was a complete debacle, being that the original installation was completely jerry-rigged, but its done (correctly) now.

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Changes on the Way

I’m dropping off the couch cushion to be re-upholstered soon with Crypton fabric.  I chose a fabric with variation in color to hide dirt and dog hair, and supposedly, this Crypton stuff is un-stainable.  Why anyone would think it was a good idea to give these two fools and two pitbulls a white couch is beyond me.  Everything in a tiny house takes an extra beating, and gets extra dirty.

Tim has declared that there will be no more projects in the near future, but I’m planning on pulling some birthday strings in October to move my snowboard to the ceiling with his, and add some clever storage (and plants) to that wall.  I also want to redo the lighting, but haven’t completely figured out what I want yet.

Why all the Changes?

Obviously, a lot of these changes were in an effort to add storage.  To be honest, when your house is built on a TV show, they are more interested in making it “TV ready,” which, unfortunately, doesn’t always mean practical or even what you want.  They aren’t concerned about making your closet functional, it’s more about staging.  Because they use things they get for free, you don’t get to pick your finishes.  You don’t get the glass door you dreamed of and you don’t get the reclaimed floors you dreamed of.  Even though we’ve spent a lot of time and money making it our own, I don’t regret being on the show.  We got a great tiny house built VERY quickly (a week), and it’s been fun (for me) to rethink the house and figure out what works for us in this space.  Plus, I’m a glutton for change in any form, so it keeps me occupied.

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