Tiny House Design Thoughts

I wrapped up my week of house and cat sitting at Sweet Pea yesterday. Spending more time in a tiny house was helpful in getting more of a feel for the space and to notice more details. 

Having access to a kitchen with a sink and cooktop was also a benefit since I am still living with a basic setup at my house. Cooking with gas was a pleasure though a little unnerving that the burner (and flame) was close to the bathroom wall. I had wondered if it would be a good idea to design an arrangement like this, and it is probably fine, but in my house I would want the burners in a more open space. The range hood helped vent the steam and gas fumes but I also opened a window to let more fresh air inside. I do like gas for cooking but I am considering using alcohol as a fuel or possibly even go with electric because I feel like it would be a better option in a small space (and for other reasons which Logan has written about in this detailed blog post). 

I still do not really like L shaped kitchens because the space in the corner is often wasted. In Sweet Pea, placing the water heater below the counter instead of above would have saved counter space and better used the space below in the corner. Since the interior space is wider than some tiny homes, the kitchen beside the bathroom and closet works, though I think it would feel more open if the bath and closet were at the one end and a galley style kitchen over the wheel wells, which is what I am planning for my tiny house. Since I used the chiller box outside for food and had the refrigerator unplugged, it was nice not to hear the fridge hum. It is strange that something like that can be bothersome but I know I am not the only one in thinking so. While I do not plan on designing my home without a fridge, I might experiment with using it less, especially during the colder months when a chiller box works just fine.

I do like the light that the French doors permit inside although I would want doors that are taller than 6 feet and wider than 4 feet. A two foot door is kind of narrow when you are carrying things in and out. Standard French doors usually start at 5 feet wide and 6’-8” tall. While that could possibly work into my design, I think I will likely go with a single 30" or 32” wide glass paneled door. I found a 36” wide door for $75 at the ReBuilding Center today which was tempting but it seemed too wide and had some deep scratch marks on the lower half that would require some serious sanding and refinishing.

Climbing up and down from the loft was no problem for me though I think my shed roof design with a permanent “ladder” will suit me better for getting up there. I liked the option to rotate the bed since the loft is 8 feet deep which I had also planned. Sleeping under the skylight was cool and probably more awesome if in a rural location without light pollution so you could see the stars more clearly. This bed placement works better for one person since you really need to have your body aligned with the skylight or when you get up in the middle of the night, you could hit your head on the sloped ceiling (which I did by myself anyway). I also sleep better with complete darkness and am going to have a blackout shade on my loft clerestory window. I liked that the loft light had two switches, one down and one up so I didn't have to climb up in the dark.

I think I have finalized my design enough (design is never finished) to order a trailer this week so it will hopefully be done by May and I can start building!