I am so excited I wrote my title in all caps!
I’ve been constantly sketching tiny house designs ever since I decided to do this. I started with designs for houses 350SF and slowly began to shrink my designs down as I learned about new things associated with building tiny houses. I took stock of what I needed, what I didn’t need, and what I wanted. Recently I moved to trying to design the smallest possible spaces and move up, until I got everything I needed into the smallest possible space.
I had to make a few sacrifices in order to get other things, and it really taught me a lot about compromise with myself. It taught me what I need, and taught me to prioritize my wants. In the end I realized that though I was perfectly fine with making certain sacrifices so I could get certain things that I really wanted.
It is a very fine line to walk. Stray too far to one side and you will be unsatisfied as you make too many sacrifices for not enough gain, and too far to the other side you make fewer sacrifices, but you might miss out on the things you really want, if that makes sense.
Without further ado, here is my sketch!
Here is why I made the choices I made:
I wanted a kind of gypsy wagon aesthetic, and through trial and error I realized that having a lofted bed was not something that was going to fit inside the outer shell that I really liked. I also really wanted my house to be shorter than the maximum 13′-4″ allowed, because there are places with bridges that fall under the 14′ standard, there are also low hanging powerlines or branches. So I wanted to go as low as possible, not only to make my house smaller and lighter, but to give me peace of mind when I tow it in terms of clearance. So at just under 11′ I am a whole 2′-4″ beneath the standard clearance.
I also knew I wanted my house to be very small and light, so that I didn’t need a monster of a truck to tow it, and so I wouldn’t have to pay a fortune to have it towed. I wanted to be able to tow my tiny with an average pick up truck. (My dream is to restore an antique pick up, but I don’t know if those would have the towing capacity, more research to be done!). So I sacrificed further living space to make my tiny only 14′ long!
So I gave up my loft bed, and a larger house all for peace of mind and an outer aesthetic similar to a gypsy wagon. For a while there I didn’t know if I would be able to get everything I wanted in so small a space. Then inspiration struck in the form of Riverside Shepherd Huts in Warwickshire, England.
I found this on pinterest yesterday, I saw the fold-up bed over the large seating area and I knew this was the solution! I’d been looking at interior designs of gypsy wagons and vardos and they all had significant living space taken up by a bed with storage underneath. When I saw this option I felt my heart explode.
The small kitchen, which actually has a full on convection oven, the ample seating area which looks like (if the table were bigger) could comfortably fit 4, and tightly fit 6, and with an outer exterior that with a little tweaking could have the gypsy look I’m after, all added up to my absolute perfect living space! (with a few minor adjustments of course!)
From one end to the other…
The bathroom area is small, but that is fine. It will have a corner shower and a compost toilet, with either a very narrow sink, or one that folds down over the toilet. There will be a couple of shelves for bathroom things, but despite being a girl I don’t have makeup or lots of beauty products. So a couple of shelves will hold everything nicely. I’ll probably built them with built in little cubbies behind a closing door maybe built into the wall so they don’t rattle and bounce around when moving.
A small closet next to the bathroom will have my hanging clothes. I could actually hang all my clothes, getting entire outfits on the same hanger. All my clothes should fit in this closet easily, I don’t have a lot. I saw on one DIY show they had a closet where the clothing rod that clothes hang on actually slid out of the closet, and I may try to design something similar. Perhaps have it connected to the door some how so it pulls out when the door opens, which will allow for me to get at all my clothes, and at any storage underneath.
The little kitchen area is smaller than the one in Riverside’s vardo, because I don’t need such a huge sink and a full on oven. A shelf over the counter will hold some dishes and a toaster oven, and I’ll have a 2-burner cook top, and that is plenty enough for me. Beneath the counter will be a small fridge, just enough for a weeks worth of produce. I may end up needing a small cooler under one of the bench seats for extra food, but for just me I think an under counter fridge will do fine. It may also encourage me to eat fresh, picking up fresh meat and produce every couple of days, rather than enough frozen stuff to last weeks.
The rest of the house will be dedicated to this large double-bench seating area with a table. I made mine a bit larger than what appears in the Riverside pictures because I’d like to be able to squeeze six people inside for D&D games. I’d like the mount a projector to the ceiling that can either angle down and project D&D maps onto the surface of the table, or can swivel to project movies on a roll-down screen on the other side of the house. Perhaps the screen will be able to be taken down and have mounting hooks on the side of the house outside too, for outside movie nights.
The table will fold down, which will allow the Murphy bed to fold down. It will either be double or full sized bed, for just me I don’t need a huge bed. The bed could also be more comfortable seating for movie watching than the benches. Beneath the benches will be storage.
There are some things I still need to figure out. Such as where will the on-demand water heater fit? I’ve seen tiny house builders put them under kitchen cabinets, will it fit under the sink or in the closet? Or will it have to go in one of the benches? I’ll also need a clean water and a grey water tank. Those might also have to go inside the benches. Also some kind of water pump will have to go somewhere to pump water from the tank to the shower and sink(s). Where will that fit?
I can build a bump out over the tongue of the trailer that can hold some stuff, but I’ll need a propane tank for cooking. I’ve also got a little spot picked out for a small woodstove that I’ve seen on some DIY tiny house shows. I’ll need to look into what kind of space those need and how they work.
I’ll need to get actual measurements for things. I’ll need to know how thick the walls will be once their up with siding and such on them. I’ll need to know how big the tanks will be and where to put them. I’ll need to decide where to put outlets, and find out how much power I will need to run lights and other electrical things, and charge my laptop and cell phone. I’ll need to measure how big the compost toilet is, how big the shower is, how big the counters will be, how big the water heater will be, how much space the electrical box will take up, where I’ll put shelves for dishes and other things in the kitchen area, where will I display my books. I wanted to make a cat walk all around the roof for Angel (my cat) where will I put her litter box?
So I still have a LOT of work to do, but I’m super excited for getting this far. I really like this layout and I think it will work amazingly for me!