Monday, May 13, 2019

"My Tiny Hideout" ~ Simple. Hospitality. Perfected.





My Tiny Hideout's build was really tough, took too long, and I ended up spending almost $5,000 over my $20,000 original budget.  

This 119 square feet of tiny house really kicked my butt; 
emotionally, financially, AND creatively.

And as the designer, I pushed myself beyond my comfort zone, 
both architecturally and aesthetically.

But the results have exceeded even my expectations!



Signage Lettering by Jacob Obermiller in Portland Oregon.
Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

Just like My Tiny Empty Nest, the Hideout's welcome wall includes coat hooks and a removable panel which covers the door to the electrical box.


Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

Upon entry, visitors are greeted with the reminder that a sense of adventure helps when considering this climb to the queen bedroom loft.


Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

The kitchen is well equipped with pots and pans, plates and cups, 
linens and paper products;
and has a lovely view of the forest.


Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

My Tiny Hideout is full of dramatic elements, but the ladder to the twin loft isn't one of them.
Under it is the coffee bar / dining table / work space.
(because you can't have enough multi-purpose areas in 119 square feet)


Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

Storage is always a challenge in tiny spaces.
This circa 1900's Model T Ford trunk serves as storage for the iron and ironing board 
as well as backpacks and overnight bags.

Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

Not everyone who stays here will be on vacation, 
some of our guests need a space to work.
And we bet this is the nicest "cubicle" our guests will ever work in.


Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

My Tiny Hideout is full of light and shadows created by a dozen windows.
Yes, a literal DOZEN windows to trim and wash and cover.
So. Much. Work.
But so amazingly beautiful and we couldn't be more proud.


Signage Lettering by Jacob Obermiller in Portland Oregon.
Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

And speaking of light, we love the way it reflects on the galvanized headboard art.


Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

Looking across from the queen loft, you see nothing but forest.
(and your roommate's loft if they're lucky enough to have come along)

Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

So far, one of the most complemented elements is our led light / ceiling fan.
It is remotely controlled, reversible, and the fan has 3 speeds;
low, medium, and blow-your-hair-around high.

Photo by Mark Sharley Photography
Reclaimed Artwork by Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Because corners shouldn't be boring or under utilized,
at the end of the queen bed you'll find hangers for your clothes 
and these cute little forest monsters to watch over them.


Signage Lettering by Jacob Obermiller in Portland Oregon.
Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

It may be only a twin bed but the new mattresses are soooo comfy!
And the loft "railings" double as bedside tables.

And, if you dare, sit up and slide your legs under the table top, and dangle them below.
You'll have the  best seat in the house and the perfect spot to view the happenings below!

Photo by Mark Sharley Photography
Reclaimed Artwork by Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Here's a little alcoholic astronaut to keep you company because...why not!?


Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

The view from the twin loft is equally stunning, and dramatic.


Signage Lettering by Jacob Obermiller in Portland Oregon.
Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

Inspired by Amelia's build, the Hideout's bathroom doors are also frosted glass.


Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

It's challenging to make a 24 square foot room appear to be light and bright.
The use of two light fixtures and clear cedar T&G was the answer.
It smells amazing and works well for all three guests.

Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

The shower was a big oopsie when I discovered the fiberglass shower I bought wouldn't fit.
Instead we used a custom fabricated galvanized panel for the surround.
Galvanized metal then became a repeating element and created the masculine feel I was hoping for.


Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

The Nature's Head toilet looks right at home
and the vintage backpack adds whimsy and functionality to this tiny space.

Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

Ready for breakfast?
The kitchen cart pulls out for convenient access to your supplies.


Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

The dual burner propane stove is easy to light, and use.
Finding this uniquely sized one, however, was far from easy.


Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

Inspired by the morning light, Tea peeks out from the shadows...


Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

It took over 2 years to curate the collection of items displayed in My Tiny Hideout.
While shopping, every time I would see something I felt evoked the theme, I would buy it.

This collection includes vintage tools, oil cans, medicine and alcohol bottles, a dark room timer,
lantern, grenade, and galvanized salt and pepper shakers with loose lids.
(too loose to use in the kitchen so they became decor!)


Photo by Mark Sharley Photography

We think the large deck and the forested setting are really important features
used for not only setting the mood
but also for increasing the functionality of the space.

At night, the windows glow and the deck beckons guests outdoors to dine and drink and relax.

~~~~

"I'M DONE!"
After 15 months of building, no two words in the English language are more welcome than these.
Oh wait....maybe there are....I just thought of two more....
"BRING WINE!!!"

~~~

Now accepting reservations for Summer 2019.

~~~

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this STUNNING creation!

THANK YOU...

...to Mark Sharley for framing, siding, trim and the completion of many other projects that are too numerous to count.

...to Mark Sharley Photography for his photographic talent.
(Yep, same guy as the framer)

...to my boyfriend Mark for his patience while I whined, and blundered about, and pushed myself.
(Yep, same guy as the photographer)

...to Jacob Obermiller for his artistic lettering contribution to the headboard art.

...to Derek "Deek" Diedricksen for his funky sense of all things reclaimed and artsy.
(aka: The Reclaimed Art Boards)

...to my numerous and amazing friends and my children for being patient while I was MIA for weeks at a time, either buried in tasks or taking a nap.

And above all, a HUGE THANK YOU to my material sponsors
for their enthusiastic and ongoing support.

I seriously couldn't have done it without you!



























Thursday, April 11, 2019

Mr. Plywood Sells Ship Lap!? Paneling Installation - Part 1

Ship lap has been around for a looooong time....

When we were building My Tiny Empty Nest in 2015, Mark and I tore down an old cottage that had been built on his parent's property in the late 1800's. We carefully "harvested" the ship lap that was used for the walls and then used it on my loft walls.

However, it wasn't until Joanna Gains started featuring ship lap in most of her remodels, that the rest of the decor world caught on to the unique look and easy installation of ship lap.

My Tiny Hideout's Dedicated Sponsors
Without them, my builds would not be possible!

For each of my tiny house builds I try to use different materials so I become familiar with the installation and attributes of each type. To make a long story short, if I ever install dry wall again it'll be too soon.

And, at the risk of preempting the conclusion of this article: I LOVE SHIPLAP!!!

Step 1: Decide on a finish or paint color or stain. Whitewashing or painting ship lap all white is a trend that doesn't appear to be waning any time soon. And, while this does cause the space to feel open and bright, I wanted to do something entirely different than everyone else. So, I chose Navy Minwax Stain from Sherwin Williams.  I tried it on a sample piece and although I was nervous it would be too dark, decided to just go for it.  

My Tiny Hideout will be a masculine space, cozy, with flannel curtains, and black floors.  So I knew the look would blend well with the overall theme.


Step 2: Install the ceiling first. I chose plywood for my ceiling and maybe I'll write another blog post someday about why that install was pretty easy and I love the results!  The short story is, if you have Mr. Plywood cut them to size length wise, set the ceiling joists 16 inches on center, and have help to life them into place; there's only a few pieces to the entire project. (not including trim of course)  

Installing the ceiling took my son and I only 2 hours.  Painting, on the other hand, took 4 days due to the very wet weather and the number of coats it took to get the dark paint to cover properly.

To say I am in LOVE with my ceiling would be a gross understatement!

I used my neighbor's garage to paint them BEFORE I installed the ceiling panels.

Step 3: Find a reputable source that can help you measure and estimate your material requirements. For this step I also used Mr. Plywood. I approached Bret with an idea and he ran with it. Not only did he do all the estimating and arranged for delivery, but he also gave me some install tips.

As a side note, using pieces that are 12 - 16 feet long means you'll get much better utilization of materials. So, with that in mind I decided to have the material delivered. The $100 delivery fee was well worth it!  I totally avoided the hassle of loading, strapping the load, sweating on the freeway and hoping something doesn't fall off, and then unloading.

Delivery via Mr. Plywood's fancy new truck!!

Step 4: The first piece is the most important one and will set the tone for the rest of the wall.  So, start at the bottom, and set the first piece on a flat piece of material to ensure proper spacing from the floor. Also, when cutting the boards to length, always cut a hair long to ensure VERY tight seams and work clockwise around the room, finishing one wall entirely from bottom to top, before starting the adjacent / next wall.

You can see here that doing this will also ensure the corner pieces match PERFECTLY!

The first wall was installed and stained before I installed the 2nd wall.
 I REALLY wanted to see the final look before I went too far into the installation process.

Installation of the ship lap in My Tiny Hideout went faster than I thought it would (another reason why I really love it) but this step still took over 2 weeks to complete.

Step 5: You certainly don't have to do it this was but Bret recommended this spacing method to me and I really do like the look.

Use a paint stick between the pieces, on each end of the piece, to add some dimension to the wall. Installing them without a spacer is an option but will yield a wall that is merely flat with horizontal seam lines. It will totally be easier to paint or stain but the look is defiantly more traditional than I would prefer.

Using a paint stick will also, again, help with the corner plank matching and spacing.



Step 6: Paint or stain prior to trim installation. Since I used a gel based stain, I worked in 3 foot x 3 foot sections to stain, wait, then wipe off the excess.  It was pretty hard to control the saturation of the color since it seemed to act differently depending on the weather, humidity, and temperature. And, I also worked on this step for several days so doing small sections at once was really my only option.

Here's a pic of one of the loft walls once the stain was dry.

Next: Installation Part 2 - Paint Touch Up, Window and Door Trim, and Cedar Bathroom Walls Installation














Wednesday, December 19, 2018

My Tiny $1,000 "House" On Wheels

As a manner of practice, every week or so, I go on craigslist randomly and type in “tiny house” just to see the boots-on-the-ground trends for tiny houses. (Or I see what people CALL their “tiny houses” which doesn’t always match my definition….but I digress…)

What I mostly see is people selling shells built atop trailers that cannot bear the weight of the house they built.  Interestingly enough, they hardly EVER mention this in their ad but it is likely that they might not even know or are too embarrassed to be that transparent.  And, of course, I see ads posted by builders and am always astonished to see them occasionally listed for $100K or more and wonder….do they ever sell a tiny house worth that much on craigslist?


The chassis was originally constructed for a 1959 Nashua Single Wide Mobile Home.

Last month I expanded my search to include the entire state of Oregon and found my newest project.  It was originally listed for $1,750 but had been listed for a month. It’s almost as if the project was literally waiting for me to find it.  

And, to be honest, sometimes “destiny” can be fun to imagine.

I made an appointment and showed up to meet the owner and hear the story behind what used to be a cook shack for a local club. The Cottage Grove Gold Miners and Prospector’s Club is a group of lovely, community minded people who get together on the 3rd weekend of July to make and sell pancakes on the top of a mountain, 40 miles outside of town.  They then use the money raised to establish scholarships for local students, and contribute in other ways to their community and its less-fortunate members.

The interior before they removed everything, per our agreement, prior to pick up.

Behind the scenes, they accomplish this monumental task by first loading up the “cook shack” with propane and supplies. They head up the mountain, flip down the ramps, flip open the serving windows, fire up the four cast iron grills, set up the chairs and tables, and have a breakfast party every year since 1964.

The metal frames mounted to the sides were flip-down ramps for hungry customers!

I had been participating in a tiny house build workshop in Roseburg, not far from Cottage Grove, so in order to go see it I had to sneak away for a couple of hours. I didn’t know if I was going to buy it but I knew I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity.

After I met with the President of the Prospectors, and the keeper of the cook shack, I apologetically offered him $1,000 in cash on the spot.  Even considering buying another tiny house with My Tiny Hideout already under construction was pretty crazy.  It may not sound like much, but scraping together $1,000 in cash was tough to justify.  

He asked if I would be taking the propane tank that was strapped to the back. I said “Nope”. 

He asked if I would like to take the cast iron skillets.  I said “Nope”.

The frame isn't too shabby, with openings that will accommodate 5 windows and 2 doors.
He accepted my offer and next I went about making plans to move it. 

I’d met a contractor at the workshop who offered to pick it up and move it to his shop near Roseburg while I awaited the chance to drive down and get it with Mark’s truck.  A week later the contractor and I met and I followed him for a bit to make sure it was at least somewhat road worthy.  It “tracks” to the left (indicative of axles installed incorrectly) but overall looks great going down the road.

The roof line is still a work in progress but here's an elevation draft of the entry side.

As I write this, My Tiny Wine Wagon, is sitting in a shop awaiting demolition. The same contractor who hauled it there has expressed interest in helping me renovate it and, if all goes well (although I have to admit my confidence changes by the day) it’ll also be done in time to join My Tiny Hideout in My Tiny House Village for the 2019 Travel Season.

The backside will have a lovely window over the kitchen sink.


As I write this, I still can’t believe that I spent only $1,000 on a tiny house shell on wheels with two 5K axles, and if my estimates are any good (which they normally are great actually) I will spend less than $12,000 total renovating it. 

A FIRST DRAFT of the floor plan.

This truly will be the BEST before and after tiny house renovation you have EVER SEEN!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Story Behind My Tiny Bird House - Part One

Two days ago I welcomed my first official guest to My Tiny Bird House. And, in usual style, the last push to get all the details done was pretty brutal. (as is my hang over from our first tiny house village party last night....but I digress....)

This morning, however, I realized that although I have posted pics here and there about this latest addition to my tiny house collection, I haven't really told the back story behind this little, tiny, blue, Glamping cabin on wheels.

Step 1: Get it from the backyard to the road

When I was approached with the idea of designing and building Amelia for the Street of Dreams, I knew I wanted to say "yes" but the only way to justify the time it would take for me to do so, was to use the money I made from Amelia to expedite the build on the Hideout. 


Step 2: Get it off the road and onto the trailer.

As it turned out, however, Mark's work schedule didn't really support the Expedite Hideout plan.  


OK, we're ready to go!  Well, almost......

I am a bit of a craigslist addict and will often kill an hour just perusing what tiny houses are being sold there. And so, on one of these "excursions" I found this little skid-based backyard cottage that someone had originally purchased to offer on AirBnB but was not getting the bookings she had imagined she would.  I already had the money set aside for the Hideout, which wasn't being used, and so in the best interest of making money by spending money, I scheduled an appointment to go see it.

Strapped up and ready to GO GO GO!!

First check was the building itself.  Was it responsibly constructed?  Yep!

Second check was the Return-On-Investment math.  Did it look like a reasonably good investment as a short term rental? Yep!

Once I made the decision to purchase it, the cottage owner and I turned our attention to precisely HOW I could take it off her hands. So, who do you think I called?  Greg the Trailer Guy of course!  He had a somewhat-used 16 foot long utility trailer that he wanted to sell at a good price. The cottage owner's friend then donated his time and forklift and the next part of the plan was hatched.

I love this pic....it was so quiet that morning on the St. John's Bridge.

Next, I called a friend with a free Sunday and a truck.  He brought more strap downs than should be legal to use on a single load (and maybe was!?) and in the quietness of the morning we moved the house the 35 miles to the current spot where the Bird House now sits.

And, in true Oregon fashion, it was raining.

Seriously.  What better way to expedite the build-out of My Tiny House Village than by buying an adorable addition and merely remodel it and add a deck?

However, with only 48 square feet it was, and remains, a bit of a gamble.  

Will people really love it enough to pay to stay?

The worst is over!  Now, onward with the remodel.

The inside is pretty rustic and the paint they used is matte, and looks pretty old, and the trim is raw.  To what extent do I "remodel" it? I couldn't just touch it up. Once I started painting, I'd have to do the entire inside. So I decided to embrace and enhance the intrinsic personality of the space by choosing matte accessories and understated decor items, rather than embark on what would be an extensive aesthetic renovation.

"Add a shower?" You say!  "OK!" said Mark.

The goal: Get this new cottage listed in time to take some advantage of the busy travel season.


So much fun, but what a mess!!


But, exactly how much time and effort and money would it take to get this pretty little building, rent worthy?

Embracing the chaos.