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Kathy’s 16′ x 28′ Tiny Cottage in Texas

This is the story of Kathy’s 16′ x 28′ tiny cottage in Texas which started as a storage building and was converted into this beautiful tiny home you’re about to see. I’ll let Kathy tell the story and share what she’s learned from the experience so far.

My first recommendation when building a tiny home after you’ve zeroed in on your design, unless you’re doing all the work yourself (I was not), is to find people who are on board with your vision. I was really fortunate to find folks that understood what I was trying to do and everyone went above and beyond to make it happen.

My home began as a 16 x 28 storage unit built by Sturdi-bilt in Bastrop, TX. These folks worked with my floor plan adding additional and larger windows, a full light door, higher grade insulation all around and a metal roof. The interior finish out work was done by Golden Rule Construction, a father/son team, that accommodated my every wish. They weren’t real sure about some of my ideas, but at the end, the father told me I was a genius!

It was important to me to be able to utilize some of the pieces of furniture from our county home that I had to leave behind. Some of them were built by my husband and I couldn’t bear to let them go. Some were pieces that were very much a part of our everyday life together and I needed to find a way to keep them near and use them, differently. I couldn’t be more pleased with how everything turned out.

In an effort to save as much money as possible, I did as much of the finish out work as I could, and had a lot of help from family. The total cost for my little home comes in under $35,000 and it’s a beautiful, precious refuge for me. See for yourself!

Kathy’s 16′ x 28′ Tiny Cottage in Texas

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I have a full-size stove, but a smaller refrigerator. My husband built the kitchen island using antique pantry doors from a very old house being torn down nearby where we lived. Now, it continues to be the hub of my little home, just as it was before.

The countertop is stained pine 2 x 12’s, sealed with marine grade polyurethane, just like my husband built for our home when we did some remodeling. We didn’t have a lot of money and thought we’d try it. It worked great and was beautiful, so I had it reproduced for my little kitchen. And, it is way cheaper than typical countertop material.

I once had a yoga studio and my husband built shelves for the props. I had the carpenters cut them in half, add casters and drawer pulls and now they are my kitchen cabinets. Behind the bigger one is my tankless electric water heater, very easily accessible if need be. The top of each rolling cabinet was altered to accommodate trays for flatware, knives and kitchen utensils.

The cabinet under the kitchen sink was from a remodel a family member did and they didn’t need it any longer…score!

The rolling cabinets and the one under sink were painted and then distressed. I like things to look like they’ve been around awhile.

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The shelves on the kitchen wall next to the refrigerator are pieces of what was our dining room table. The brackets were used before in doorways of our home. Other pieces of the dining room table are what created the bathroom vanity. We’ll get to that shortly.

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The computer cabinet my husband built is now my pantry/utility closet.

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I used three pieces of what was our deck furniture before, as my living room furniture now. They can be placed together as a couch…

…or they can be separated and make space on either side of the kitchen island for when I have visitors and we all want to cook together.

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Built-in shelves hold EVERYTHING! I designed them to surround the TV on one side and my desk on the other.

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High on my wish list was a claw foot tub. I wanted to recreate our bathroom from before, knowing claw foot tubs are very expensive new, and cost quite a lot to have one restored, I really didn’t think it would happen. But, as you can see, I have a gorgeous antique slipper tub! An incredibly kind woman GAVE it to me, in its gorgeous perfect condition. Another advantage to having folks on board with your vision. The carpenters had done a job for this kind woman and they connected me with her.

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And the vanity made from our dining room table.  I sealed it as well with marine grade polyurethane.


The bathroom sink, kitchen sink and bathtub are all gray water lines connected to garden hoses that can be moved around. I use Dr. Bronner’s bio-degradable soap products for everything so no harm to the earth.

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I opted for a Laveo Dry-Flush toilet….works well, most of time.  Overall, it was the best option for me.

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There is a cathedral ceiling throughout the house, except over the bathroom. I had a regular ceiling put in for privacy and it also serves as a storage loft area. My carpenters built a ladder that easily slides out from next to what was previously an entertainment center but is now the home to clothes, hats, shoes and extra bathroom items.

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I bought an IKEA twin bed with two large drawers underneath that sits perfectly under the window. I opted to purchase a Tuft & Needle mattress, made in Arizona, shipped right to your door vacuum packed in a box. Kinda crazy, but it’s great! It is one of the smartest purchases I made. Super comfortable. I have a view of my deck from the window by my bed. Leftover wood from the dining room table was used to make shelves (aka bedside table space) that are attached to the side of the used-to-be entertainment center.

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I have a great closet with space above it for additional storage. The entire interior walls and ceiling are actually outdoor siding that looks like old barn wood. Much less expensive that dry wall and it looks fantastic. Everything was painted Polar White, except the kitchen wall and the beams, which I white-washed. I stained and sealed the plywood floor instead of laying another floor on top. Looks great!


I have a Mitsubishi HVAC split unit system and it’s fantastic! So efficient and quiet.

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I am very fortunate to live near family that lets me use their washer and dryer, but I could make room for it if need be.

Alrighty….that’s my little home. I’ve had so many folks tell me they don’t even know how to begin to do this and have asked me for help. I’m apparently pretty passionate about it because I light up just talking to folks about how this can be done. And, how you really can have your special things from before, just differently.

Our big thanks to Kathy Collier for sharing her tiny cottage with us!

You can share this tiny cottage with your friends and family for free using the e-mail and social media re-share buttons below. Thanks.

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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!

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{ 106 comments… add one }
  • Varenikje January 20, 2016, 2:43 am

    This looks great! Wish I could convince my children that doing something like this is practical. It sure looks practical to me! Great job, Kathy. I am sure that you really like it!

    • Alex January 20, 2016, 11:14 am

      I agree, it’s super practical and very smart! It’s efficient in many ways :)

    • Kathy January 23, 2016, 11:15 pm

      Hi there Varenikje! My little home is perfect…AND practical. Way practical. I love it!
      Thanks so much for commenting ~

  • Rue January 20, 2016, 5:48 am

    I love how beautifully individual this just-right home is. Being tailored to her specific needs and wishes gives it such practicality and charm!

    Also love the re-use and re-purposing of so many beloved items, finding a new way to keep them close. And the built-in living room shelves are great….all the things on them give the room such character. I know going tiny is supposed to free you from the tyranny of Stuff, but some of those uber-clean micro-homes are so minimalist that it looks like no one lives there.

    Of course, I’m one of those who believes a clean desk is the sign of a sick mind, so take my views with a large grain of salt. ;)

    • Kathy January 23, 2016, 11:18 pm

      Hi Rue! I couldn’t agree with you more about the uber-clean micro-homes minimalist thing…not for me. I’m not all about “stuff”. I’m about memories. And there are some things that you just need near you to remind you of those beautiful things in your life. Also, my desk is usually a giant mess….we’d get along just fine. ;)
      Thanks so much for taking time to comment. I appreciate it.

  • jo chanin January 20, 2016, 5:49 am

    Your house is so beautiful. Lovely storage units.

    • Alex January 20, 2016, 11:11 am

      They did great, didn’t they? Thanks Jo!

    • Kathy January 23, 2016, 11:20 pm

      Hi Jo ~
      It really is a beautiful little home. I love it!
      Thanks so much for taking time to comment. I appreciate it.

  • PaulaV January 20, 2016, 8:50 am

    One can see how much thought you put into everything including the layout and furnishings. Lovely job!

  • Meg January 20, 2016, 9:07 am

    What a lovely home! Well thought out & a great re-use of items.

    • Alex January 20, 2016, 11:09 am

      Thanks, Meg, glad you like it :D

    • Kathy January 23, 2016, 11:23 pm

      Hi Meg! It really is a lovely home….I’m so grateful, everytime I walk through my door.
      Thanks so much for taking time to comment. I appreciate it!

  • Lynn January 20, 2016, 10:13 am

    This is most charming, perfectly thought out tiny home I have ever seen. Its owner’s creativity and resourcefulness is amazing! How many of us would think to repurpose our existing furnishings in such innovative ways? Kudos to Kathy for her vision and for sharing her extraordinary home with us!

    • Alex January 20, 2016, 11:09 am

      Thanks Lynn I’m so glad you love it too!

    • Kathy January 23, 2016, 11:25 pm

      Hi Lynn!
      Thanks so much for your very sweet comments. I hope you are inspired to think out of the box if ever you have the occasion of repurposing items that are special to you.
      Thanks again!

  • Mary January 20, 2016, 10:39 am

    Thank you for the inspiration and possibilities! Did you insulate the house? Thank you.

    • Alex January 20, 2016, 11:06 am

      Hi Mary glad you like it I’d say yes I’m 99% sure they insulated it :)

      • Kathy January 20, 2016, 12:51 pm

        Hi Mary,
        Thanks so much for commenting.
        Yes, it’s very insulated! Including the floor. My electric bill is so low. The monthly set rate is about $33/month, so it’s always going to be that. But, after usage, the bill I just received yesterday is the highest one yet at $55 and change. And this winter, when I go to bed, I turn the split system off and it stays just right for sleeping. I only had a few warmer months in the house before it turned cold, but it really stays very comfortable. My electric bill for the summer months was about $50 as well. Go big on insulation…you’ll be glad you did.

  • Nancy h January 20, 2016, 10:40 am

    Best of all homes I’ve seen on here. So much care and so many thoughts went into it. Filled with loving, meaningful treasures. Thanks Alex and Kathy for sharing this home.

    • Alex January 20, 2016, 11:05 am

      Thanks Nancy I’m so happy you like it so much!

    • Kathy January 23, 2016, 11:28 pm

      Hi Nancy ~
      Thanks so much for your comments….really sweet of you.

  • Ellen January 20, 2016, 10:54 am

    This is the best layout I have seen. So many amazing, functional ideas. And I agree with Rue that it is so nice to see a home that actually looks like a home. And a bed a “Granny” can get in and out of (and make).

    • Alex January 20, 2016, 11:01 am

      Thanks, Ellen, I’m glad you like it too! :)

    • Kathy January 23, 2016, 11:33 pm

      Hello Ellen ~
      Yes, my home actually does look like a home and not a display from Ikea. Not that I oppose Ikea, they have some really smart plans. My bed and a ladder and the window fabric came from Ikea and I couldn’t be happier with them.
      Thanks so much for taking time to comment. I really appreciate it.

  • seakeithrun January 20, 2016, 11:01 am

    Do you have a high level floor plan that you could share? I am having trouble visualizing how you have fit your kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom in the space.

    • Kathy January 20, 2016, 5:30 pm

      Hello there, seakeithrun! I do not have a proper floor plan to share, I’m sorry. That might be something I should think about doing. Seems there is some interest in that from others as well.

      Thanks for commenting!

      • Kelli January 20, 2016, 6:11 pm

        Hi Kathy,
        I just wanted to say that I would also be interested in your floor plan too. Nothing fancy… even just something drawn out by hand on paper and that you took a photo of would work… just to give us that 2D perspective of where things are in relation to each other. It can be so hard to get a handle on things from just the pics. Or, maybe you’d want to shoot a house tour video? Those can be very enlightening as well… I’m sure people would love it.

        • Kathy January 23, 2016, 11:35 pm

          Hi Kelli ~
          I have some time carved out this weekend to get a floorplan down on paper and will be submitting it to Alex ASAP.
          Thanks so much for your interest….and for commenting. I really appreciate it.

  • Joel January 20, 2016, 11:10 am

    Such an incredible story. This house is truly amazing. I think what separates this from the other tiny homes I’ve seen is the personalization; it looks so warm and even though it’s newly constructed, the house is bursting with character. Love your innovation to maximize what you had to work with. So incredible!

    • Kathy January 23, 2016, 11:36 pm

      Thanks so much Joel. Glad you like my little home….I do too!

  • gale January 20, 2016, 11:14 am

    Lovely home. You have a lot of things which usually makes a house cluttered but your storage ideas keep this from happening. Most of us have these same items we use daily or are deeply attached to and it gives us ideas on storing them. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kathy January 23, 2016, 11:38 pm

      Hi Gale ~
      Thanks so much. You are right…I do have a lot of things. But they are cherished things and so there you have it. Gotta keep them close.
      Thanks very much for taking time to comment. I appreciate it.

  • Lori January 20, 2016, 11:28 am

    I LOVE this house! It’s perfect in my eyes. Best one I’ve seen yet!!!
    Do you have a floor plan to post-I’d love to see it. I want to build something very similar to this. I have a pie safe, small hutch, and corner cabinet I do NOT want to part with (I built one, a now-passed friend built the other two), plus 5 bookcases of books I can’t part with (I’ve let at least 10 bookcases worth go though). I also am a creative type so I can really appreciate all the repurposing you’ve done in your home.
    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your house Kathy!

    • ean January 20, 2016, 7:30 pm

      for all you books you might consider an accordion style cabinet you can find the idea in pantry storage aon most home supply websites

      • Lori January 25, 2016, 10:51 am

        Thanks, I thought of something along those lines that might work. Ever see the sliding narrow mini pantry online? Like a skinny bookcase on wheels you pull out from between the wall and the fridge just big enough for cans. anyway, how about my bookcases put on casters with a handle on the side and you pull it out like that pantry? Or would that be too heavy to move with all those books?

    • Kathy January 23, 2016, 11:42 pm

      Hi Lori ~
      I will be submitting a floorplan to Alex this weekend. Quite a few folks have expressed interest. Probably should have thought of that, just didn’t think there would be this much interest. My little home is really sweet though. So…best of luck to you as you find creative ways to make space for your cherished items. You can do it! If you need help, or some fresh ideas, I’d be happy to help.
      Thanks so much for taking time to comment. I really appreciate it.
      P.S. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my little house too!

      • Lori February 10, 2016, 12:36 pm

        Thanks so much for the floor plan!!! Helps a lot for me to see in my head where everything you have is located in the pictures and how it all fits together. Excellent layout! If you save up the cash there’s a washer/dryer combo available now that might fit in your lovely little house (they run about $1000). Did anyone else notice the old rake head holding her wine glasses, ready for use, on the kitchen wall above the fridge? Great example of repurposing something that would’ve been thrown away.
        I saw a cute trivet on another tiny house story online two weeks ago…it says “Dear House you are so very small, just big enough for love is all”. I immediately looked online and miracle of miracles…found one and bought it. Now to build my own tiny house to hang it up in. :-D FYI: there are embroidery kits with that saying too.

  • Tess January 20, 2016, 11:50 am

    It sounds as if two people live here, but that the bed is a twin bed frame from Ikea. Did I misunderstand something?

    • Kathy January 20, 2016, 5:16 pm

      Hi Tess,
      Sorry if I confused you. It’s just me in my little house.
      Thanks for your question!

      • Tess January 21, 2016, 10:43 am

        Thanks for clarifying, Kathy. I especially appreciate seeing examples of tiny houses that are practical, have no ladders to climb and are not on wheels. Yours is one of the most livable and sensible that I have seen.

        • Kathy January 23, 2016, 11:44 pm

          Thanks so much Tess. Practical, livable, sweet…as in home sweet home.
          Thanks again,

  • alice h January 20, 2016, 12:18 pm

    One of the most charming and practical houses I’ve seen yet. Love the roll out cabinets.

    • Kathy January 23, 2016, 11:45 pm

      Hi Alice~
      Thanks so much to you for taking time to comment. I love my little roll out cabinets too. I love everything about my little house.
      Thanks again, so much ~

  • Gmh January 20, 2016, 1:07 pm

    Oh, this so totally floats my boat. The kitchen is my fave, and I love all the thoughtful storage. Plenty of room to hang with friends as well!
    You could probably sell your design to the rest of us tiny home dreamers.
    From your statements regarding the things your hubs built, I gather that they stand as a memorial to him. He would be proud of your accomplishments.

    • Kathy January 23, 2016, 11:53 pm

      Hello gmh~
      I love my little kitchen too. It just feels so good to be in this space with my family and friends. Intimate, comfortable, welcoming…we have great times around the “island” my husband built from pantry doors out of a very old farmhouse that was being torn down. That piece was truly the gathering place of our home. You are right in that it and the other pieces stand as a memorial to him. He was a precious man, very sweet and very talented. I’m so thankful I have these things that keep him close. And I agree with you…I think he’d be proud of me.
      Thanks so much for taking time to comment. I really appreciate it.

  • Marsha Cowan January 20, 2016, 1:08 pm

    Really beautifully done. I love the seating arrangements around the lovely island, and the touches of stained wood and colored fabric against the white background. The bath sink is precious! Good job!

  • Kathleen January 20, 2016, 1:50 pm

    Is there a chance Kathy could show a floor plan – it is hard for me to imagine the configuration with the photos & description? Thanks

    • Kathy January 23, 2016, 11:56 pm

      Hi Kathleen ~
      I will be submitting a floorplan to Alex this weekend! I didn’t expect this much interest…but yay!
      Thanks so much~

  • Debbie January 20, 2016, 2:19 pm

    Hi love your home. Shows so much thought put into it. I have a question about the Laveo toilet. I know the cartridges are $54.00 for a pack of three15-17 flushes. How many do you use in a month? If it is just urine , can you use the same one over a few times to make it last longer?
    Thanks have been very curious about these.

    • Kathy January 20, 2016, 5:21 pm

      Hi Debbie…this is a funny topic to be discussed, but a necessary one for sure. I maybe use two cartridges per month. I am not at home alot during the day, so of course, that cuts down on usage. But yes, since it’s just me there, I don’t “flush” after every tinkle. It’s not the most perfect solution, but it is by far…way far…the best one for me.

      Thanks so much for commenting!

      • Shelia February 12, 2016, 12:44 pm

        Re the Laveo – I have pretty much settled on this one too. Is it just the expense of the cartridges or have you had other problems? Looked like it would be perfect to take van camping as well.

        • Kathy February 12, 2016, 1:27 pm

          Hi Debbie ~
          The expense of the cartridges is a bummer, but like I said, it is the best toilet option for me. The one other problem, which doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, it’s aggrevating for use. So…from time to time, the “flush” doesn’t secure the contents. Meaning that it kind of leaks out. And so you have to flush again and in my mind, that wastes a flush. Since you only get approximately 17 flushes per cartridge, I’m pretty frugile with the flushing. I called Laveo about this problem, early on and was told that it is a “weight issue”. If there isn’t enough weight, the flush won’t twist the bag enough. I don’t know how I feel about that explanation. To sum it up, you just have to work with a bit. Still, all in all, like I said, it is the best solution out there for me. And yes, it would be great for van camping. Have fun!

  • Valerie January 20, 2016, 5:05 pm

    My what a home is sweet organize and loving. I would love the plan too.

    • Kathy January 23, 2016, 11:58 pm

      Hi Valerie ~
      Thanks so much for your comments…it really is a sweet home. I’ll be submitting a floorplan to Alex this weekend. Didn’t expect so much interest or I’d been more on top of things!
      Thanks again, so much ~

  • Dennis Reynolds January 20, 2016, 6:36 pm

    I really like this home ! I’m glad you got your tub. I have a bad back, hardware all up and down it. Two things I’ve always said about my own my home when I build it. 1) I will not sleep in a loft, I’m disabled and crawling up and down a ladder to go to the bathroom 3-5 times a night isn’t happening ! 2) I will have a small 5′ Jacuzzi tub in my bathroom, with a shower in the tub also. Again, my back is terrible. I’d also put a small fridge in but not too small. I’d want it up high so I never had to bend over every time I needed something in the fridge. I believe tiny house living isn’t about giving up everything. Keep what means the most to you. You will be happier in the long run ! A tiny fridge that you can only keep 2 days of groceries in, may not be the best decision if you like to cook. Or only having a tiny shower when you have back injuries like mine won’t make you happy in the long run when soaking in a tub helps relieve your back pain. People, never settle, follow your hearts, you’re dreams. Maybe tiny isn’t for you but really small is ? I don’t know. I’ll follow my dreams.

    • jean January 20, 2016, 7:33 pm

      also a small dishwasher that is raised and a drawer underneath is helpful when we have bad backs and if possible a wall oven and cooktop

    • Kathy January 24, 2016, 12:00 am

      Hi Dennis~
      Thanks so much for taking time to comment. Whatever you do…make it yours!

  • Mimi Nugent January 20, 2016, 8:43 pm

    This house is wonderful! Kathy, you have done a fabulous job on everything. I love the way you have multi-purposed so many pieces. I would love to be half as creative as you have been if I ever have my dream of a tiny house. Best of everything to you in your happy home.

    • Kathy January 24, 2016, 12:03 am

      Hi Mimi ~
      I hope your tiny house dream comes true. My journey on this path was so rewarding, every single second of it. I learned so much, met the most amazingly generous people and now live in my very special little home, surrounded by memories that are what make me, me.
      Thanks so much for taking time to comment. I really appreciate it.

  • Lillie January 20, 2016, 8:51 pm

    Excellent! A lot of thought and good planning went into this home.
    As for the floor plan, it appears when facing the front of the house the kitchen is on the left along the end gable wall. The bedroom and bathroom are on the other end with the bedroom behind the computer storage wall and the bathroom behind the TV storage wall. It works beautifully.
    I love the re-purposing of meaningful possessions.
    At 448 sq ft this is one of the larger tiny homes, but one more people could visualize actually living in.
    Congratulations to Kathy.

    • Kathy January 24, 2016, 12:04 am

      Hi Lillie ~
      You are exactly right…that’s the set up. And it works so perfectly for me.
      Thanks very much for taking time to comment. I appreciate it.

  • ~ Lesa January 20, 2016, 9:18 pm

    I appreciate the tiny houses, but I am more fond of the cottages.
    This is one that is perfect in so many ways.

    • Kathy January 24, 2016, 12:06 am

      Hi Lesa ~
      I agree….this one is perfect is so many ways. Really perfect for me.
      Thanks so much for taking time to comment. I appreciate it.

  • Marta Santiago January 20, 2016, 10:10 pm

    Kathy, you have made my day, I am in love with your home. Love you the fact that you think out of the box, instead of new you found a different way to recycle different items. Your my kind of person. Thank You for sharing.

    • Kathy January 24, 2016, 12:07 am

      Hi Marta ~
      I’m in love with my home too ! Thinking out of the box gets all kinds of creativity flowing…it’s great!
      Thanks so much for taking time to comment. I really appreciate it.

  • Jacque Johnson January 20, 2016, 11:07 pm

    You said that you used sidng for the interior walls: what kind of siding, type of material and name of the product. I am an artist and have planned and worked on small house designs as a hobby to years, but you have trumped the design and nailed it. Good for you!!! Thank you for letting us see your work.

    • Kathy January 24, 2016, 12:14 am

      Hi Jacque ~
      The exterior siding that I used for the entire interior came from Lowe’s. It’s called “Beige Engineered Untreated Wood Siding Panel (item#15601/Model#27905). It really looks pretty cool left unpainted. It has a weathered look. But, I wanted it lighter so I opted to paint everything the same color….Polar White. It’s not “white white”, just a barely off white….really pretty. The carpenters that did the finish out weren’t at all sure about it when I said I wanted the siding hung horizontal instead of vertical. But it is gorgeous! And the horizontal lines make things look more spacious.
      Hope this helps as you continue to plan.
      Thanks so much for taking time to comment. I really appreciate it.

  • Nanny M January 21, 2016, 1:59 am

    Like everyone else, love this home. Especially all the storage. Absorbs so much but arranged and organize so it’s not clutter. Having 16′ wide opposed to 8 makes a huge difference.

    • Kathy January 24, 2016, 12:16 am

      Hi Nanny ~
      Thanks so much for the kind words. I love my little home too. And yes, 16″ as opposed to 8′ is a HUGE difference! I’m very very happy I chose the size I did.
      I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Thanks so much.

  • Gabrielle Charest January 21, 2016, 3:54 am

    Kathy, you have done an amazing job in creating a very personal home by recycling, re-using and re-purposing. I am curious to learn how long it took you to plan this space, and what were your inspirations?

    • Kathy January 23, 2016, 10:49 pm

      Hi Gabrielle ~
      I began pondering the idea of a small home probably about a year before I actually made the decision to go with it. Once I made my decision, planning to beginning construction was about six months. I looked at so many websites and read a ton about tiny houses and cottages. I knew “tiny” wasn’t my thing. But my 440ish square feet is perfect…so happy I made the decision to go with 16X28. I finally zeroed in on a few pictures of small homes, then ran with it and developed my own little space. My inspiration was my love for our country home as well as furnishings, etc., that were built by my husband. Also, things that were very much a part of our daily life together. It was imperative that I find a way to have these things close to me, I just knew I had to come up with a way to use them differently. And….I have A LOT of pictures that are precious to me as well. I had to find a way to be able to still have them present in my world everyday. And it all came together.
      Hope this helps. Thank you so much, Gabrielle, for your comments and your question.

  • Mary J January 21, 2016, 5:24 am

    gorgeous, and I would love one, just like this. You have done an amazing job and there’s so many new innovations to the tiny house scene in your small house. :) I do hope that we’ll see a rough drawn plan of it, just to get into the brain how the rooms all work together. Happy living in your small house

    • Kathy January 24, 2016, 12:19 am

      Hi Mary J ~
      Thanks so much for the kind words….really sweet of you. I didn’t expect this much interest or I would have been more on top of things…like a floorplan, which I am working on and will submit to Alex this weekend.
      Thanks again so much for taking time to comment. I really appreciate it.

  • Bonnie January 21, 2016, 6:53 am

    Love all the items your husband built and you found a way to preserve…my husband is a builder and we keep talking about downsizing from the family farm…but I realize it is something I will do after he is gone. Love your storage ideas as well. Floor plan would help, but love the photos.

    • Kathy January 24, 2016, 12:22 am

      Hi Bonnie ~
      Thanks so much for your kind words. Downsizing is a challenge, but it really gets you in touch with what’s really precious to you….good luck!
      I’ll be submitting a floorplan to Alex this weekend. Didn’t expect so much interest, but this is great!
      Thanks again so much for taking time to comment. I really appreciate it.

  • Rhonda January 21, 2016, 8:13 am

    Love everything about your house! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Alex January 21, 2016, 9:55 am

      Thanks Rhonda!

    • Kathy January 24, 2016, 12:23 am

      Hi Rhonda ~
      Thank YOU for your very kind words! I love everything about my little home too!
      I appreciate you taking time to comment ~

  • Barbara January 21, 2016, 9:15 am

    Home is where everything knows your name, and I can see how it is stamped on every square inch of this very charming, much loved home where many old things were made new again by a lady who didn’t let beloved things slip away from her. That’s something so precious it brings tears to my eyes! There are things I refuse to relinquish, too, and the builder of our next home must make accomodation for them. Kathy, you are an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your home with us! It just shouts, “love”!

    • Alex January 21, 2016, 9:51 am

      Thanks, Barbara, I’m so glad you enjoyed Kathy’s cottage too!

    • Kathy January 23, 2016, 10:52 pm

      Thank you Barbara, so much. You are exactly right….home is where everything knows your name. I love that.
      You will find a way to keep the things near you that you need too, I’m sure of it. If you need ideas, just let me know. I’d be happy to help you.
      Thanks again, very much ~

  • Cathy January 22, 2016, 7:05 am

    I really like the idea of using outdoor furniture as a sofa. So many times the built-in sofas in tiny house look incredibly hard and uncomfortable. I can actually see myself sitting on yours long enough to watch a movie without my butt going numb! And the fact that it can break apart to become a conversation group – so smart.

    • Kathy January 23, 2016, 10:54 pm

      Hi Cathy ~
      I know! It has worked out so well using the deck chairs…very versatile indeed. And, they are super comfortable…none of the butt numbing action going on here!
      Thanks so much for commenting ~

  • pat January 26, 2016, 6:04 pm

    How much did it end up costing. And how long did it take. I really need a small house but the park models are so expensive if u buy on

    • Kathy January 27, 2016, 2:47 pm

      Hi Pat,
      Total was just under $35,000. From the date they started construction on the storage building to move in date was about 3 months.
      Thanks for your questions!

      • pat January 27, 2016, 3:36 pm

        Thanks Kathy for your fast response, love your home. I am recently widowed so have no on to help me build. Your house is the most awesome house I have seen a a very good price. The ones the companies build. Are $50;000 and not as nice. Enjoy your wonderful hous

  • Lynnette January 29, 2016, 4:02 am

    There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY I could love this anymore. ♡♡♡

    • Kathy January 29, 2016, 8:12 am

      Lynette…I know….I love it so much too.
      Thanks very much for commenting.

  • Carol January 31, 2016, 7:48 pm

    Hi Kathy–Your little house is adorable! Just love it! Can you tell me if there were any problems with the size of your home and the community that you live in? As far as square footage and meeting zoning requirements? Thank you, and wishing you all the best in your wonderful tiny home :)

    • Kathy February 1, 2016, 5:38 pm

      Hi Carol ~
      Thanks so much…it really is adorable. I love it too.
      You pose a good question. My house is located at the back of property that other family members have their home on and the entire back yard is fenced so my little house isn’t just sitting out on it’s own. So, there are no issues with square footage requirements or zoning laws. I know it can become an issue in some places though. Fortunately, I haven’t had any problems.
      Thanks so much for commenting ~

      • Carol February 1, 2016, 7:44 pm

        Thanks, Kathy, for your response! Zoning seems to be an issue for tiny houses and I’m glad for you that you found a solution. And thanks, too, for your responses to all the questions. Your insight is very helpful to those of us looking at this wonderful possibility. All the best!

  • Sue February 16, 2016, 12:14 pm

    I just found this article about your small home. You did a wonderful job and it’s very inspirational. I have been looking on line and found a used building that will work like this. Now I just have to find the land to put it on and I’ll be set to go. Thank you for sharing your home. It has helped me a lot and given me the push to get going!

    • Kathy February 17, 2016, 10:49 am

      Thanks so much, Sue. I’m happy that you were inspired to create your very own little home…you’ll love it! Just make it yours…

  • Gina Louise February 19, 2016, 12:44 pm

    I LOVE your little house! I apologize if this has been asked before, but can you tell me where you got the outdoor siding used for your interior walls?

    • Kathy February 19, 2016, 2:44 pm

      Hello Gina Louise,
      No apologize necessary. The siding came from Lowe’s. It’s called “Beige Engineered Untreated Wood Siding Panel (item#15601/Model#27905).

      Thanks for commenting…I love my little house too!

      • Gina Louise February 24, 2016, 10:41 am

        Hi Kathy! I scrolled back thru the comments right after I hit “send” and saw where you had already answered, but thank you again for taking the time to reply. I love the paneling hung horizontal…it looks like shiplap!

  • Lori May 4, 2016, 2:26 pm

    Hi Kathy!
    I’ve commented before but now I am finally going forward with my own little house! The lot is bought, light fixtures (most from rummage sales or reuse-it shops though I did make a few myself), lock sets for the doors, etc. At 850 sq. ft. (the minimum allowed here) it’s a small house, not a tiny unfortunately for me. I don’t have to worry about finding room for my 5 bookcases full of books now. My floor plan is a little different than yours but it is my own, with a nice roomy storage attic and a small dedicated pantry. Planning on a drop down table attached to the wall made from a large, pretty carved picture frame (shored up with 2×2’s behind it)….that frame becomes the legs of the table. When not in use it looks like a big piece of framed artwork. Wonderful extra wide (108″) quilting fabric from Fabric. com will become my curtains, cushions, etc. At only $8+ a yard it was practically a steal!

    I was wondering, how did your contractor handle the joints between your wall panels? Did he fill in the cracks with wood putty, so it looks like lots of one long seamless boards stacked on top of each other going across length of the wall? I’ll be installing those so I really would like to know so the fact that it’s actually 4×8 panels aren’t so obvious.

    Thanks so much for your inspiration….you are the reason I thought to look at sheds/barn kits as a house in the first place.

    • Kathy May 4, 2016, 6:39 pm

      Hi Lori ~
      Congratulations on beginning your new home! You’re going to love it!

      So, to answer your question…there was no need to do anything where the panels join together. They fit like a puzzle. You’ll understand once you see them for yourself. The edge of one slips behind the edge of the next piece. Kinda like tongue & grove. I don’t know if this is making sense. But, I can tell you, there was no extra work involved. The just fit together.

      I’m very happy that you were inspired by my little home. I love it so much. Everyday, I am so grateful for this precious space of mine. I bet you are going to feel the same way.

      If you have other questions, I’m happy to help you any way I can.

      Best of luck to you…and, enjoy the journey!

  • Lori May 5, 2016, 2:14 pm

    Thanks….now to get the contractor off his butt and get this show started! I plan on sliding doors that go inside the wall, not pocket hardware but sliding door hardware and I can do that myself. First contractor I talked too seemed enthusiastic until he figured out he wasn’t going to make a lot of money off me and my house.

    I see the long edges of the panels fit together like a puzzle, but what about the short end since it’s going on sideways? My living room is going to be longer than 8 ft, with an open floor plan those edges butted together will show in areas like above the window and front door. Do the short ends have a tongue and groove too? I can’t tell from Lowes’ picture on their website-and I have to special order it since N. IL doesn’t normally stock it.

  • Lori May 28, 2016, 1:20 pm

    Got a different contractor…finally getting some progress getting my house started! What sort of finish did you use on your floor? I love the color! I’m planning on using 1’x ? width pine is on sale at the time for the floor since I think they’re going to use that strandboard for the subfloor…unless they go ahead with the better plywood (contractor rehabs repossessed houses for banks so I might get lucky).
    How has your roof held up after all this time? Just wondering.

    • Kathy May 28, 2016, 1:35 pm

      Hi Lori ~
      I just read your response to my answer about the siding. Sorry, didn’t see you were talking about the “short” end of the siding. Okay, so, my carpenters just got it as tight as they could. Some I had to caulk a little before painting, just to smooth it out a wee bit. But, yes, you are likely going to see where some of them meet. My carpenters were really good, so I really don’t notice those places.

      Progress is good! I’m sorry you’ve been having trouble getting things going.

      My floor is the plywood subfloor, stained with Minwax stain, in Provincial color. I used a pad to apply it and then rubbed it with rags to get the shade like I wanted it…not too dark and not to light. Then I went over it with Spar varnish in a satin finish, three coats. There’s nothing about the floor or anything else in my house that is pristine or predictable. And that’s the way I like it.

      My roof is great! I’ve had no problems with anything. Truly.

      Best of luck as you continue with your project. Let me know if you need any other info….I’m happy to help.


  • shelby hansen August 15, 2016, 3:37 pm

    Just love it….job well done….such clever use of space!

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