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300 Sq. Ft. Barn to Tiny Cabin Conversion

This 300 sq. ft. barn to tiny cabin conversion in Indiana used to just be a simple storage barn.

Now it’s a gorgeous little cabin with a full kitchen, bathroom, living area, and two lofts.

It’s artistic, functional, and lots of reclaimed materials were used to build it.

Woman’s 300 Sq. Ft. Barn to Tiny Cabin Conversion

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Images © Kim Mackey

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Images © Kim Mackey

Our big thanks to Kim Mackey in Southern Indiana for sharing her beautiful and inspiring tiny cabin with us!

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 61 comments… add one }
  • Steve_S November 27, 2014, 8:55 am

    I love it… I could certainly hang my hat in that little “home” with great ease. The Moose certainly has a character of his own :). The Stumps with carvings are a truly wonderful touch of detail… Now I have more ideas for the little place that I am building (temporarily paused due to old man winter & mother nature having their annual blowout).

  • Jeremy November 27, 2014, 1:37 pm

    Not my style of decor, but I love the ingenuity to transform the barn into a little home. I could be very comfortable in a conversion that size, with full kitchen and bathroom. Kudos to the owner!

  • Cahow November 27, 2014, 3:33 pm

    Being that this was posted on Thanksgiving, you could certainly be THANKFUL to live in such a delightful, creative, plush and lush tiny home such as this one!

    LOVE the individual touches of luxury: the marble counters in the kitchen and loo; the custom cut out ‘fish’ railings; nice rugs; chairs so comfy they BEG to be sat and lounged in…the list goes on and on.

    Normally, I’d have some comment about the “lack of windows” but this is done so well, I didn’t even notice how few windows there were until I looked at the outside walls again. The unusual design of the flagstone patio is also a winner; what a wonderful place to hang out and watch the Indiana sunset.

    One word: PERFECTION! Happy Thanksgiving to ALL of Alex’s followers and to Alex & Andrea, too! 😀

    • Kim Mackey November 28, 2014, 6:19 pm

      Thank you all for your very gracious comments – I am smiling and my heart is so full to read the wonderful thoughtful comments. It was my dream and it become so much more. I think it probably shows the most in the decor I use and artistic impression. But most of all its truly a living art piece inside and out. I am truly humbled and warmly thank you all for your words. I hope I was part of a grassroots beginning to help others follow in our steps dreams really come true mine took 10 years. But look at me now ! Ha

      • Laura February 19, 2015, 5:13 pm

        Beautiful job, well done! Any chance I could see floorplan, layout?
        I’m hoping to do my own version
        Laura in Bend

      • Sandra February 19, 2015, 5:45 pm

        Love it! That is exactly what I am hoping to do over the next few years, while living in a tiny travel trailer on the property. Kudos to you 🙂

      • ann May 1, 2016, 3:38 pm

        Kim,
        I like what you did with it. I had thought about getting one of those before getting a travel trailer (I just might still do it in the future).
        Do you have a video that you can share of it?

        Thank you,
        Ann

      • Vicki F. July 28, 2016, 6:09 pm

        Kim, love your tiny home. Would you please tell me the size of your building, length and width? I have seen these building and had thought of doing exactly what you have done. But I would have to have my bedroom on the ground floor, no loft, due to my disabilities. Thank you so much for sharing and also your info. God bless you.

  • Ladyne Shelton Kelley December 2, 2014, 8:50 pm

    Great job just a question in the loft can you stand up? I thought about putting a platform about half way up the stairs if there is not standing room(then you can set on the floor to get in the bed) thank you

  • Randy December 3, 2014, 9:43 am

    I’ve been watching tiny houses for the past 5 or so years and this is the first tiny house I’ve ever seen with full-sized kitchen appliances in it. There was no mention (or pictures, anyway) of a washer or dryer. I really don’t like going to public laundromats so even if it were a combi unit, a W/D is a must for me. For my personal needs, I’m not sure I could justify large full-size appliances. But, hats off to the owner! Great job.

    • TerryW November 30, 2015, 10:29 pm

      You could always place a small storage shed nearby that’s turned into a laundry room. Like apt buildings have small laundry rooms, my grandmother had her ‘laundry room’ in a tin shed outside of her mobile home. You could attach a small shed laundry room to this large converted storage shed. Must use your imagination, like Kim did!

      • Randy December 1, 2015, 6:22 am

        This isn’t an issue of imagination, it’s an issue of practicality. If you own the land the addition of a “wash house” would be an awesome solution, but if you are parked on leased land or in a park where that isn’t allowed that imagination quickly becomes a dream. My comment was directed to having everything all inclusive within the structure.

  • Wendy December 23, 2014, 11:42 am

    Absolutely love this! What was the cost please!?

  • Fred Bremer January 31, 2015, 1:15 pm

    I just bought a 14’x 24′, same style and mfgr. I plan on doing the same. Good ideas, thanks for the pictures!

    • Laura February 19, 2015, 5:14 pm

      Address, site of Mfgr???

      Please and thank you!
      Laura in Bend

    • Richard McGarry May 1, 2016, 5:37 pm

      A great floor plan for your 14th can be seen by go ogling escape classic RV. Their plan is longer because it includes a large screened in porch but you can modify their plan and layout to fit your need. The classic is one of the best floor plans I’ve seen yet. A lot of thought went into this design. Have fun.

  • CathyAnn February 19, 2015, 8:41 pm

    La Mar has made a video where he talks about using a barn/shed like this for a cabin. It’s entitled: How to Convert a Shed to a Cabin!

    I think it’s a great idea. This one is well done.

  • Chris February 20, 2015, 11:23 am

    I also live in IN but was told that tiny houses were not allowed. How did you get around all the ordinances?

  • linda l bourdeau February 20, 2015, 12:18 pm

    Seriously considering a tiny house one day. Many advantages.

  • Kat M February 20, 2015, 4:56 pm

    I don’t love all the bark decor – they look too much like antlers, but I LOVE the actual stairs to the loft, and the rock entry path, and I happen to have that same picture of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe in MY living room! I will have my own tiny house one day – it’s what I’m working toward. This one is great!

  • Bdubz March 12, 2015, 4:17 am

    Great build. I’ve been pondering something like this for a while, however I can’t seem to figure out how you could get it “coded” for a dwelling in most counties and cities?. This is a great build though. I may have to do some more research and go talk to my county and see if I can take two of these “barns” combine them and make one house that’s legal.

  • Tara Aumend March 18, 2015, 7:48 am

    Absolutely LOVE it!!!!

  • mike April 27, 2015, 1:59 pm

    could i please get your dimensions of your cabin. does this include poorche. if so, what is dimension of poorch. I am trying to get an idea of space you used for inside. thanks, mike

  • Chloe May 1, 2015, 8:18 am

    Its sad that there have not been more replies from Kim, as this was a sweet conversion. I am looking at converting this style of barn as well. My biggest question, is what they did for insulation and condensation. I would also love to see some of the other questions posted here, answered! 🙂

    Again, lovely !

  • Marcy May 1, 2015, 6:47 pm

    Oh, nice! Having that tall house with the roof shape really makes nice lofts and provides lots of nice floor space for the bottom floor.

  • Jane May 1, 2015, 9:57 pm

    This is just awesome and I love all the wood.

  • susan July 13, 2015, 11:15 am

    I think I’m in love.

  • Hope July 13, 2015, 11:25 am

    I don’t care for the decor, but love seeing a staircase that doesn’t scare me!

  • Lenora July 13, 2015, 1:32 pm

    I love it! I was just looking at the storage buildings the other day, and figuring out, if I just couldn’t buy one of those,,,,and make it into a home! You answered my question! Thanks so much for sharing! I love your entire home, porch and yard! 🙂

  • Kim Mackey July 13, 2015, 1:33 pm

    I will try and answer all questions – the design was my own with the help of master builders I was able to convey my design that they built. It is up to code and inspected. The zoning was as a ADU on private land in the country which I own. There is room for a washer and dryer but I chose not to install at this time. The appliances are full size. The wood on the inside was recovered out of the local river and used inside out as a living piece of art! You cannot stand up in the loft but there is lots of room. I am completely on grid by choice the cost of heating and air is low. It is totally insulated and keeps the air cool or warm for days!! I had two amazing master builders who were able to build from my description and I was on hand during the entire process. I want to encourage all to consider what is important to you. For me I chose everything I wanted from the marble and granite to the full kitchen. There is a full bathrm off the kitchen. Thank you all for your kind comments I am sorry it took so long to answer them. I hope you will be inspired as I was. It is my happy place. I totally use it year round!

    • Janet July 27, 2015, 8:10 am

      I have the barn style too…I am in the plumbing part of all this..i too am using full size appl…I have a stackable washer and dryer.and a full tub with shower…I too am connected to electric..boy was that a chore…hope to be as nice as yours..i went with peg board instead of wood..so we will see how that works out..thanks kim

  • Mimi July 15, 2015, 9:21 pm

    Beautiful! Inside and out! I love all the little touches of the outdoors you put up inside! Love it all! 🙂

  • Joel July 16, 2015, 10:25 am

    Oh man this rocks. Very cozy feeling. It always blows my mind how folks can take a before structure like this and make it into a nice living space. Good luck to them in the space in the future.

    Thanks for sharing was a great article.

  • Tracy July 17, 2015, 2:19 pm

    LOVE it thinking of doing something similar… 🙂

  • Linda Schmidt July 17, 2015, 4:01 pm

    just started to notice these charmers. Enjoy seeing how the look inside

  • Ken July 19, 2015, 2:35 pm

    I want this!

  • Frank j polizzi July 20, 2015, 10:41 am

    building one now in upstate new york

  • Bluesgirl November 30, 2015, 6:19 pm

    Looks like a bonfire waiting to happen.
    I’m sure you’re prepared if a fire were to happen.
    That building is all wood.
    Take care

    • The Truth November 30, 2015, 6:54 pm

      Are not most houses made of mostly wood? Are log homes bonfires waiting to happen also? Great job and I would totally live in that.

  • Sandi B November 30, 2015, 6:57 pm

    What a terrific place and an excellent Job!! Love the decor — one can tell you put your heart into it.

    There is a company located, I believe, in Wisconsin who builds sheds. Part of their offering is both barn and cabin structures. You can purchase a cabin structure, built on skids, which could be easily anchored to a trailer if one wished. The 40 x 12 lofted cabin sells for just under $8,000 fully finished with 5 windows a covered porch and door and you finish the inside yourself — I believe the loft framing is done as well. They will custom build if you like. They deliver at no charge within a certain range of states and outside that area they start adding moving costs, but will set it up on your property etc. I am going to have them do a 10 x 40 for me — I will be buying a trailer and delivering it to them to have the unit set on and I will see that it is attached and hurricane strapped appropriately to the trailer — then I can tow it back to California myself with appropriate trip permits and no need for lead and trailer vehicles — Then I am going to finish it myself. The units come with siding, floors (obviously LOL) and a metal roof. This way I can chalk outlines etc. and see what I can and cannot live with in the way of space appropriation — I will also be using full size appliances in the kitchen and bath and will be putting in stack washer/dryer — I have the washer, need to still get the dryer. I think this is a great way to go — I was worried about getting a unit framed, everyone wanted so much money to do that job — this will work perfectly and has a Gable roof. I will be using a composting toilet and doing full solar — but this way I can finish the inside exactly as I want — I have my Ikea kitchen all picked out. If anyone else is interested I can supply the company name, address and phone number. Again, your little home is wonderful and may you have many years enjoying the fruits of your efforts.

    • Mafiama November 30, 2015, 7:17 pm

      I too am in WI and would like to have the name and address of the company that builds these sheds. We are planning on venturing into this sometime next summer. We already have a home on 10 acres and want to set this up out back in the horse pasture.

      • Debra Prince December 2, 2015, 8:45 pm

        Google these buildings. I found quite a few different places that offer them. Some places have affiliates in different areas.

    • Lori November 30, 2015, 9:09 pm

      Sandi , I wish you much luck in your endeavor, with years of research on issue of mobility of tiny houses, the size for legal towables was, is max. 8.5 in width without permits and escorts front and rear, throughout the American states. If that has changed please let me know where to find that legal change as it would be to many of us enthusiasts benefit. Just would hate to see you invest in that size and find the increase cost to tow and requirements necessary bringing you castle home to your kingdom. If I have missed the new size options to legally tow ten foot wide myself, again excited to find that info, please let us all know where that info is documented. Thanks again and best of luck.

    • Scott Hamilton December 1, 2015, 9:33 pm

      Hello,

      I would love the contact info for the shell home product.

      Thank You

    • Large Marge July 28, 2016, 7:01 am

      Sandi B:
      As a supplement to your chalk outlines during your planning, how about some large cardboard boxes to help simulate traffic patterns and views.

  • Madeline Van Dusen December 1, 2015, 11:35 am

    I love this house both inside and out. You have great taste and I love the whimsy. The negative comments are from those who are jealous of your great tiny home.

  • Sandi B December 2, 2015, 12:14 am

    Lori,

    I said I would tow it home with appropriate permits — no you can not tow a 10 ft wide without the appropriate permits, but you can tow it without lead and tail cars. If it were wider and taking up two lanes that would be different — each state has different laws as to what they will allow you to tow and what permits you need — those need to be checked for every state you plan on towing through and appropriate permits obtained. I did not indicate you could just jump in your truck and tow it yourself without permits.

  • Ronna January 7, 2016, 2:57 pm

    This type of living has also been in my brain and heart for far too long. The one question I haven’t seen answered is the total cost of something like this. It is easy enough to figure the base cabin price and I realize interior costs would be subject to the owner’s taste and desires. Ballpark amount of your finished unit would be a treasure, for those of us still dreaming!

  • Sarah May 1, 2016, 10:21 pm

    Love, love, love it! Love all the wood and where did you get that wonderful what is it grapevine round light cover hanging from the ceiling? I would love something like this. Great job!

  • Nancy M. May 3, 2016, 3:07 am

    Curious how you maintained structural strength while removing cross beams so you could have a cathedral ceiling. In the shed that I am about to convert, they removed cross beams. Therefore, the sides are bowing out — going to have to add the cross beams back in! That is why I am curious….. 🙁

  • kim May 5, 2016, 1:32 pm

    Hi everyone Nancy I had the barn reinforced with wood to hold the wait. The light was made from recycled driftwood from my local river as well as the shelves and such. There are no blueprints as this was something I personally designed in my head!! (over many years) and it is located outside the city limit and was inspected : ) I love it!!! Thank you everyone for your kind comments I hope I inspire others!!!

    • Cynthia May 18, 2016, 10:25 pm

      How wide is this unit? I am in Jeffersonville, Indiana and have priced these. Just trying to determine how wide a unit is needed to have a real staircase. Thanks

  • Charlene July 25, 2016, 7:59 pm

    I absolutely love everything about this conversion. Beautiful inside and outside. You had a vision and you accomplished it!

  • ZACHARY E. MOHRMANN July 25, 2016, 10:20 pm

    Not bad for a barn…! Very well done I’d even say…..!

  • Marsha Cowan July 25, 2016, 11:15 pm

    Cool landscaping!

  • Mike Trenshaw July 26, 2016, 9:56 am

    Truly an inspiring transformation. It looks to feel very comfortable and livable!

  • Vicki Frakes July 26, 2016, 10:47 pm

    Love your tiny cabin. Could you tell me the size of it. The only thing I would have to change is the loft bedroom. I’m disabled and can’t do stairs, but other than that, I love it. Thanks for sharing.

  • Large Marge July 28, 2016, 7:25 am

    Men, please take notes!

    (Although designed/owned by a woman) this is one FIERCELY MASCULINE dwelling!

    From the stone entry leading to the heavy beam steps…

    To the dark moody fabric on the two matching chairs…

    To the hunting ‘proofs’ mounted on the walls…

    To the stuffed raccoon on the stairs…

    To the driftwood tastefully leaning everyplace…

    To the ‘disco ball’ chandelier (we hoped it was wild turkey thighbones)….

    To the stone counters.

    Heck, we imagined a Viking ‘longboat’ canoe to the left of the entry in the second photograph.

    Men, listen up! You been too wussified too long. Reclaim your manliness! Stand tall and true to your center! Women will thank you for it!

    Nice job, Kim. You got the whole office cheering. YeeHaw!

  • Jane on Whidbey July 30, 2016, 4:18 pm

    Congratulations on your fulfillment of your dream. We are all wanting that in our lives. It’s a lovely home, and an amazing transformation. I wish you many happy years there.

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