Living Tiny. Now that’s a BIG change. I can get from one side of my house to the other in 21 steps…to put things into perspective for you. Take a deep breath and get ready for this. It’s 160 sq. feet! Everyone gasps or shrieks a bit when I say that. I can’t possibly understand why. I own M3 Makeup and our studio is downtown Orlando. My place of business is 300 sq. feet, practically twice my living space. It’s basically like the big girl playhouse that I never got. I’ve been living here full time, minus the minor health scare back in March-April, since the end of December. I absolutely love it. It’s the little things in life that matter the most and it’s VERY little.
Why Go Tiny??
This is actually a funny story. Obviously, how could it not be? I started watching the Tiny House Shows on TV and would laugh. I would crack up at the ones smaller than 100 sq feet. (Still do.) But somewhere along the line the laughing turned into admiration and consideration. I started being in awe of what they could do with such limited space and how adorable the tiny houses were. We are all on our own journey and have a story. I found myself needing to find living arrangements for my cat and I last year. (I couldn’t keep staying with my parents in Ocala forever.) Realizing how much rent was going to be after looking at places and even just rooms; it was ridiculous. A light bulb went off. “What if?” That ‘what if’ began the process of finding a local company and having a tiny house custom built.
Being able to work with the owner of Trekker Trailers on the house from start to finish rather than settling for a house as is was definitely the way to go. I am blessed to have very supportive parents that have been by side…forever really. But especially since my cancer diagnosis. Without them, none of this would have been possible. So with my vision mixed with my mother’s input and the builder, everything came together nicely.
The Makings of a Tiny House
For the outside, I wanted grey and white. I loved those shaker shingles so eventually Andrew, the owner, incorporated those into the house and they worked perfectly. As far as the inside of the house went, I wanted a vintage feel. I found my wonderful and favorite piece of the house, the refrigerator, first which was NOT an easy find. Perfect size and “mint” colored. (More like aqua we later would find out.) The guys painted the walls mint green…according to what the fridge was going to be. It showed up looking blue. We just went with it!
For the walls, mint green stripes with white in between for most of the house and then one whole wall with just mint green. The bathroom we decided to go with a gold/champagne color. This room for me was a struggle. As a makeup artist, I like a lot of room to spread my products out. I asked the builder for as much counter space and shelving as possible since the room was rather “tiny.” He made the space work as best he could.
When we were doing the build out and Andrew was showing me the bathroom in its beginning stages, he showed me my closet. I burst out laughing. I couldn’t control it. At first the width was 18 inches long. After he saw my reaction he said that we could cut into the kitchen a bit and give me 24 inches. Still laughing I said, “Yes, let’s go with the second option.” So that’s my closet.
Obviously storage is a BIG deal in a Tiny house. The refrigerator is sitting on a raised shelf so there’s storage under there. Same for the couch. There’s also storage in the steps that are hidden under one of the seats at the dining table. Plenty of nooks and crannies. Trust me, I put them all to use!
Where the Hell do I Sleep?!
This reminds me of the good ol’ days…college. I sleep in a loft. It’s slightly bigger at least than the one I had at RU. One of my requirements was to have steps over a ladder like you often see in tiny houses. Even with the steps though, it still feels a bit like climbing so getting up and down is a bit rough especially in the middle of the night. Making up the bed is funny however; changing sheets is a different story. I actually have to sit on the bed while attempting to make it up. That is not funny. That is a workout. It takes about 20-25 minutes and there’s at least 3-5 head bumps on the ceiling. Depending on my mood, sometimes I laugh sometimes I curse. The coolest feature about the loft is that it’s on hinges. It is directly over the “living area” and if you want it up and out of the way all you have to do is just push it up. It allows for more air flow and feels like there’s more room in the Tiny House. (God knows I need that.)
Another cool feature that I wanted to make sure I had available in my TH is that my couch folds out into a full bed. That was important since my parents and I are close as well as having any guests being able to stay. Anyone fancy a sleepover?!
Now let the fun begin! Designing the inside of the house. Deciding where everything would go. Envisioning what it would look like in the end. It was so much fun. Finally putting the final touches in the house; everything from the kitchen back splash, pioneer woman dishes, the refrigerator and matching retro microwave to the ‘home sweet home’ clock and chandelier. My parents were nice enough to let me go crazy and do whatever I wanted to do with the house. They just wanted to see me happy after everything I had gone through. For the first time in a really long time, I was able to create my living space. I think it is so important to feel like your home is your sanctuary. An escape from your daily life. A place of safety. It welcomes you with open arms and you feel a sense of relief when you open the door. A sense of calm. I come home to my 160 sq. foot tiny house and have never been happier to be coming home.
Stay Tuned for Part II – Living Large!
Gail Ganzlin says
Michele, I think you should be on that show!
Michelle you are a prolific writer!!!! Many many congratulations!!!! Your home is beautiful & charming & inviting!! Andrew will be my builder too. We will be meeting in the very near future…..by the way I WANT THAT CHANDELIER TOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! Where did you get it?
Michele Mann says
Thank you very much for such a wonderful compliment! I do loving here. The best part is making it yours so I wish you all the best with your Tiny House. It took a lot of searching but I finally found it on amazon. Happy Hunting!
karen jones says
love the pale aqua appliances! congrats for staying healthy and hola from ashland, oregon .. also ajijic, jalisco, mexico [where i winter]