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Andrea’s Mt. Kilimanjaro Tiny House Becomes Home

This is Andrea’s Mt. Kilimanjaro Tiny House that she turned into home sweet home.

We posted this house in it’s “out of the factory” state a couple weeks ago, and Andrea saw it on Facebook and told us it was her house! So now you can see how she made it home. This transformation just goes to show how personal touches really make a house, a home! She added railings, a storage staircase and her favorite books. Enjoy!

Related: Mt. Kilimanjaro Tiny House

Andrea’s Mt. Kilimanjaro Tiny House Becomes Home

Images via Andrea

Related: Little Tahoma Peak Tiny House by Tiny Mountain Houses



Images via Andrea

From Andrea: 

I’m a teacher in an area of California where houses are ridiculously expensive (Santa Cruz and Santa Clara County). A tiny house was my best option for a house of my own. I have it on my cousin’s property, which used to belong to my grandma. I love that my rent helps them keep the family farm and keeps me close to family.

The house was delivered in June, and I had the summer to build and add storage and get properly moved in. I had the builder keep it simple inside and not add any storage or railings so that I could do that myself.

I opened up the loft pass-through and added a longer beam so that I could build the stairs and not hit my head when going up them (I’m glad I tackled this before moving in, because in a tiny space sawdust goes everywhere!). I welded the brackets for a railing/book shelf along the loft, which also hides the bed from downstairs, and welded the posts for a matching railing around the stairs opening. I also built a storage bin on the wheel well near the stairs so that I had a place to stash shoes and jackets, and so the cats could look out the windows.

I know most people in tiny houses just get e-readers, but I’m stubborn and I like the feeling of turning the pages, so I wanted to make as much room for books as possible. The stairs I built to double as a bookcase and my kitchen pantry. The stamped metal doors are supposed to be like an old pie safe. They also let my dog go up to the loft at night to sleep.

The deck doubles the amount of living space, and after my dad and I built it over the summer that ended up being my main living room. I decided that I would rather have a large kitchen than a large living room. The living room seems small, but since I only use it for working on the computer or watching tv, it really only needs to hold a sofa, my electronics, and not much else.

I have a 40ft shipping container with 2 roll up doors as my garage and shop. I keep the tools, welder, outdoor gear, bicycles and motorcycles in it, as well as a little bit of storage for the house. Yes, the garage is technically larger than my house, but I like building things and always have a few projects going on, so it works perfectly.

I have a rule that anything in the house has to have 2 functions. The ottoman in the living room opens for storing my electronics, the train luggage rack under the tv holds tv electronics but also has hooks for coats and bags, and the kitchen stool at the breakfast bar is also the stepping stool. If it takes up space but is only good for 1 thing, I swap it out for something else more functional.


Related: Castle Peak Tiny House by Tiny Mountain Houses

Our big thanks to Andrea for sharing!

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributing writer for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She is a coffee-loving wannabe homesteader who dreams of becoming self-sufficient in her own tiny home someday. Natalie currently resides in a tiny apartment with her husband, Casey, in Scotland.
{ 25 comments… add one }
  • Annette December 21, 2016, 11:47 am

    So, is it technically legal to park on the family farm?
    Great call on that deck.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie December 22, 2016, 7:42 am

      Good question. It would depend on the town, I’m sure. In some places, yes it is. — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Janne Zack December 21, 2016, 4:28 pm

    Great job! I think the shape, though simple is really the best shape for maximum cubic inches inside. The loft is fantastic especially if you have pets.

    Things I like:
    HUGE kitchen
    Spacious bathroom
    Washer/dryer (A+)
    Stairs with storage that varies and the punched tin is cute!

    The only things I don’t like:
    I wish there were just a couple more feet for the “living room” It would be ample for one person, but there’s really no walk-around room, but still, I could live with this, so it’s just a “i wish it were bigger”
    The sink in the bathroom. Personally, I’m not a fanatic about having a separate sink in the bathroom since there is a perfectly great sink 2 steps away, but trying to brush your teeth in that cubby hole of a sink has GOT to be difficult. Better use of space would have been closet or linen space.

    BUT, overall, this is an A+ unit! The deck is absolutely gorgeous. I hope you live somewhere that has mild weather so that you can use it all year long!

    Way to go!

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie December 22, 2016, 7:38 am

      It really is an awesome house 🙂 Funny you like the idea of using the kitchen sink! There was a house that did that and we got so many responses about how much they hated it! — Tiny House Talk Team

      • Janne Zack December 23, 2016, 10:16 am

        I know, most people are creeped out about the need for another sink in the bathroom, when literally 3′ away is a sink. In a commercial bathroom (think theater) the sinks are often 20′ away from the stalls. Does that creep out anyone? I once knew a lady who would FREAK out if you used the kitchen sink (in a big house) as a mop rinsing place. She was apparently unaware that the sink CAN be de-germ-ified.

        As a home designer with regards to tiny houses, you literally need to account for every cubic inch of space. Adding a tiny IKEA sink into the tiny bathroom is fine, but why go through that expense is all I’m saying. I LOVED your house! Really! You did a fantastic job. I’m actually a LOT envious!


        • Natalie C. McKee Natalie December 23, 2016, 10:30 am

          Oh it wasn’t me who was grossed out! I think it’s completely reasonable to go without in a small space. I just remember a couple weeks ago seeing a stream of comments from people upset about no bathroom sink haha, so I liked seeing your different opinion 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

        • Donna January 27, 2017, 11:57 pm

          I don’t get the big deal about a sink either!

    • Andrea January 27, 2017, 9:56 am

      Ok, I secretly do hate the bathroom sink… I have an evil plan to build a little Bay window out over the tongue of the trailer for the sink, and make the current spot a linen closet and possible spot for a tank less water heater. Someday.

      • Donna January 27, 2017, 11:53 pm

        That’s sounds like a great plan, sure beats taking clothes you wear the most back up to the loft when the washer is right there.

  • Claude December 21, 2016, 5:53 pm

    Nice tiny home, like the way to the loft, discreet with a nice stair arrangement.

  • Bruce CG Gallagher December 21, 2016, 8:32 pm

    I like your 2 uses per item rule….does the toilet comply? lol

  • Patty December 21, 2016, 11:33 pm

    A very homey place! I love the bookcases and the large open loft. Nicely done!

  • Wendy December 22, 2016, 8:21 am

    This is a clever and beautiful house. I love the high storage over the couch and the washer as well as the elevated bookcase. They are useful without looking makeshift as in some inhabited tinies. Headroom looks great and the loft is huge. I love the use of the counter to separate living room from kitchen and provide an eating space. I would change locations of toilet and sink so that sink counter could extend over washer. I’d add a door to the blind corner kitchen cabinet under the bar for better access. The couch is a perfect fit and looks like it might sleep a guest (maybe two!) and have storage underneath. Wonderful kitchen too. A great, though tiny, house.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie December 23, 2016, 11:59 am

      Yes she did such an amazing job with the home! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Susanne December 25, 2016, 5:11 pm

    Very nice! And it was pure genius using the shipping container as inexpensive storage….:)

  • Sarah January 7, 2017, 1:56 pm

    Couple’a things stood out to me right away, maybe different from others. LOVED the use of yellow as accent color, yellow and gray are terrific. Also loved the punched tin you used in the doors for storage under the stairs. I don’t really get into the arrangement of the THOW as much as the way that people personalize it, that’s what’s the most fun, to me anyway.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie January 9, 2017, 6:52 am

      Yes those are both amazing personal touches 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

  • david February 2, 2017, 3:29 pm

    One of the most beautiful tiny homes ever!

  • Michael Hsu February 10, 2017, 12:16 pm

    Love the unit. Would like to buy one.
    I live in Santa Clara county. Is it legal to park at residential area?
    Any suggestion about the hook ups?

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee February 13, 2017, 9:09 am

      Hi Michael, You’d have to ask the zoning board in Santa Clara 🙂 I recommend either RV or off-grid 🙂

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