Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Big dreams , tiny house

The story of our house began with a Sunday drive through the country.  .We put the dogs in the jeep and set out for a little country cruise . We had been casually looking for property for a few months while out on our little weekend cruises. Alex always wanted land , he has always dreamed of building a big barn with a woodworking shop and a place to rebuild motorcycles . I was up for the idea but hadn't put much thought into it. We  stumbled upon a 7 acre clover field about 5 miles from our house at the time. Immediately we were drawn to it , completely surrounded by trees and a creek to the right , it was really beautiful , we did a little off -roading and drove the jeep all over the property to take a closer look. The next day we called our realtor to make an offer . It didn't seem very promising at first, we made our offer , the amount we were comfortable with and they didn't accept, knowing that might happen we didn't get our hopes up and accepted that it might not happen. A few days passed , it was a  Thursday I remember, I was out in the garden with the dogs and our realtor called and said the lady changed her mind and accepted . We couldn't believe it .
And so it began..now we knew building the house wasn't goin to happen right away, even though we wanted to , we knew the right thing to do was save and pay down the property before we built. At that time we had a mortgage payment at our current house we weren't happy with and always felt like we were wasting money.  We knew we wanted to be almost debt free when we started to build the new house. we saved for years .. extra money we put into our savings, knowing we had a lot of things to pay for before we even started to build.. septic , electrical . driveway etc..
We always knew that when we did build it would be a smaller house than we were  currently living in (2000 sq ft) we wanted cheaper and smaller, little did we know at the time ,that would be the most challenging part of the whole process.
In our county the minimum sq ft for as new build is 1400 square feet,  we had to get creative . Many months I spent at the planning department working out permits and drawing the plans ,trying to reach the requirements, since the tiny house was based off an idea in my head and there was no official drawing or prints it  was challenging and completely exhausting might I add.. We managed to work it out by splitting up the square feet.. 728 for the house . 728 for the garage.. Now in the meantime we set out to collect things for the new house. We knew we had plenty of time to hunt for just the right pieces. I wanted the house to tell a story rather than buy everything all at once from the big box stores. Character is what I wanted for the small abode.. so we started scouring flea markets , garage sales, architectural salvage stores, and local barns..We kept everything in 10x10 storage unit. The big barn lights(above) are from a local flea market .. they hang in our main room now. I sanded them and painted them white to get the look I wanted. Our tub is a cast iron tub ,we found it at an architectural salvage but had to hunt down the matching legs at a local flea market.  Alex spent an entire  weekend working on getting it back to its original patina. The shower rod and faucets were all custom order to fit the tub.. we think of it as a skimp and splurge build... save on some things from garage sales .. splurge on some custom faucets... Our intention  was always to build on to the house eventually, a bedroom and a bathroom, so we made sure to leave room for that in the future.
Olive watching them dig the foundation..
Before the house...
Bug , building supervisor 
The loft 
The tub
The kitchen . The cabinets are from Ikea as is the faucet. Counters are Quartz from Lowes. Our wood shelf that sits above these cabinets now is from a barn in our town.

The house was definitely a labor of love, especially since Alex and I took on the challenge to finish most of the inside  ourselves ( without a lot of prior experience) it was one of the hardest things Ive ever done. Totally exhausting mentally and physically . No weekends off 12 -13 hours a day.. learning as you go..  sacrificing  for the bigger picture....I always tell people to follow through with your dreams no matter how big (or small) or challenging it seems. If you really want something and are willing to work hard , you can achieve anything you put your mind to.. when I think of all the challenges we faced going into this one phrase always comes to mind, Big dreams , tiny house..


  1. This is a wonderful Angie. Loved reading more about the process of your beautiful home. Bring me a lot of joy seeing ya'lls dream come true.
    Hugs and blessings,

  2. What an amazing outcome to your hard work and your dream. It's completely perfect. Thanks for sharing your story and inspiring the rest of us.

  3. Love following Angie! .. Your style is my dream!

  4. Love your home Angie!! Could we see a rough sketch of a floor plan sometime!

  5. I am totally in love with your story and your house. How do you like your IKEA cabinets? We are thinking about them.

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