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Hip Tiny House Vacation in Austin, Texas

If you’ve ever wanted to take a tiny house vacation I think this is yet another great option for doing just that.

There’s nothing better than trying out tiny before you make the huge commitment to downsize into a tiny house.

It can take a really long time, a good amount of money, and a lot of hard work to design and build your own tiny home.

So it’s really smart to give it a try before you do all that just to make sure that it’s something you can see yourself doing for a long time, don’t you think?

Related: Q&A – How long does it take to build a tiny house?

8’x12′ Tiny House Vacation in Austin, TX

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Images © Airbnb

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Related: 74 Sq. Ft. Mobile & Off-Grid Tiny House

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Images © Airbnb

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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!

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{ 70 comments… add one }
  • Comet October 16, 2014, 12:56 pm

    I think you should label this the STEAM PUNK TINY HOUSE!!!

    Love the lights and plumbing and clever stair design

  • Julie October 16, 2014, 1:29 pm

    I really love the combination of rustic and industrial in this tiny house.

  • Susan Johnson October 16, 2014, 2:17 pm

    This is a really cute-looking little house, very enticing. Is there a weight limit for vacationers who would want to stay here? I can’t help but notice that the loft seems to have no visible means of support for a normal size human being, let alone a swing! The stairs seem to be similarly inadequately supported. I lived in Austin for years, and still live outside it, so I know that gravity is somewhat limited there, so maybe this will fly…. (just kidding, folks)

    • denise eissler October 19, 2014, 1:05 pm

      Thanks for your reply, Susan. The loft is constructed of steel supports, so there are absolutely no issues in terms of “weight limitations”, either for sleeping or supporting the hanging swing/sofa. That said, it is a tiny house, so some larger people may or may not find it to be comfortable or sufficiently roomy, but that’s entirely up to the individual to make that choice. I feel it necessary to note, on behalf of the builder I worked with, that he also holds an architectural degree from a university with a very prestigious and difficult to get accepted to architecture program (UT Austin), so structural integrity has been taken into careful consideration. This is not a DIY project built by a handyman without a ton of knowledge and education about the building process.

      As for limited gravity among Austinites…I’ll just leave that one alone 🙂

  • Susie M October 16, 2014, 3:39 pm

    Looks amazingly similar to the one that was recently for sale in Boulder – but with enough tweaks to differentiate – bathroom sink – some window placements etc. It might be ok for a very lightweight person – with good balance (would hate to mis – negotiate those steps in the middle of the night) which makes the “try before you buy” attitude a very prudent one. If you are thinking about tiny living, but are still on the proverbial fence – maybe a mini vacation is the way to go before investing all that time, money and effort – after all – it’a always better to learn by OTHER people’s mistakes if you are open to it.

    • denise eissler October 19, 2014, 1:29 pm

      Hi Susie – it sure does look quite a bit like the “Boulder”, since it was designed and constructed by the same builder – Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses. I was inspired by that home during my search for a builder, and am extremely happy with the elements that remained from the initial inspiration, as well as the special details and “tweaks”, as you put it, that make this home unique in and of itself. The Boulder was designed with full-time living in mind, whereas the “East Austin Tiny House” was designed specifically to be a short-term vacation rental.

      I certainly think that staying in an extra small tiny house will provide a great glimpse into tiny living, but I agree that full-time living for more than one person would likely be best achieved with a slightly larger version. The intent here, however, was to provide a unique getaway experience to tiny house lovers as well as others who prefer a different type of vacation stay than the standard hotel room. I do believe that has been achieved, as my first few guests have raved about their stays and truly enjoyed the tiny house’s ambiance, combined with the lovely backyard setting that extends the living area far outside of the standard four walls to encompass the entire natural environment outside the front door. So far, in terms of the intent of this house, I don’t believe there have been mistakes made…but I suppose that just depends upon one’s perspective.

  • Marsha Cowan October 16, 2014, 4:29 pm

    Oh my gosh! I love it so much! I love the swing, and I doubt that those rafters are under too much strain given their apparent diameters and the fact that they look like steel. It is so full of charm and warmth! So cleverly decorated and designed. Thanks for sharing it with us. It is chocked full of good ideas for us to put on our wish list!

    • denise eissler October 21, 2014, 5:53 pm

      Thank you very much for your kind feedback, Marsha. I’m happy to hear that you enjoy the highly debated swing, as well as the other fixtures. I took great care in trying to create a cozy and appealing space that is also functional (and, of course, safe) for my guests!

  • Rich October 16, 2014, 7:26 pm

    Enjoyed the unique craftsman details. Before I’d sell or rent something like this to others I’d contact a structural engineer. Steel structure of the loft is probably OK but how many lbs will it take to extract those screws? And as Dan has pointed out, why a swing when it can’t? 😉

    • Greg Parham October 17, 2014, 12:02 am

      Dan and Rich,
      The client requested the hanging couch not only for the cool look, but to free up the floor space underneath. This leaves room for a coffee table to pull out and place your feet or a laptop on.

      • denise eissler October 19, 2014, 1:47 pm

        Thanks, Greg, for explaining the intent of the hanging seating option. Since this house was specifically designed as a vacation getaway, my guests have also enjoyed being able to easily slide their suitcases underneath the hanging bench. This would have presented more difficulties if a standard sofa had been used, with four legs on the floor that would have limited the length and width of items being stored underneath. Functionality as well as aesthetics were taken into account with this furnishing decision.

        Also, a fabric covered “bumper” has since been installed on the wall to allow some swinging capabilities without incurring damage to the wall behind it, so I wouldn’t necessarily call it a “swing that can’t” anymore. I’ll take responsibility for providing a few updated photos that will address some of these questions as this adorable tiny house continues to evolve.

    • Greg Parham October 17, 2014, 12:11 am

      And there actually was a little engineering and “testing’ involved for the loft structure. Each screw holding the vertical steel piece to the ceiling at the top has a pullout rating of about 225 lbs. There are 6 of them. That vertical piece of steel, which is welded solid to the frame at the bottom, is only carrying half the weight of the loft since the wall is carrying the other half. Hope this clarifies.

  • james October 17, 2014, 8:00 am

    I love the stairs and bed. Don’t like the swing. I was wondering if the reason for the slopping roof was just aestheics. I think I would prefer a level roof so I would have more space in the kitchen area. You could have cabinet or closet space up there.

    • denise eissler October 19, 2014, 1:59 pm

      Hi James – please remember that this house was designed to be a vacation rental rather than a full-time residence, and actually the amount of storage has been more than adequate for my guests up to this point (see above comments). In addition to how the sloped roof apparently helps with drag during road transport – which won’t be an issue with me since it’s permanently parked in my backyard – it also makes rainwater runoff a lot more efficient. Plus (and I’ll freely admit it), as a part-time artist I really do appreciate certain aesthetics, and the sloped roof and funky shape look awesome in my backyard. IF this were built to be a full-time residence, where additional storage was a premium requirement, then I agree that would have made more sense!

  • Denise October 18, 2014, 12:24 am

    I absolutely love this. What a perfect little house to take with you on trips. Another Incinolet instead of composting toilet is a plus. This is very cozy with it’s warm rustic interior and I really like those pulley lights.

    • denise eissler October 19, 2014, 2:59 pm

      Thanks Denise (rare name…we must think a bit alike too)! Incinolet toilets seem to be rather unique in the tiny house world, yet the company has been around for 20 or so years making portable toilets for small mobile environments. Makes me wonder where most of their thousands of units are installed (???)…or rather, plugged in.

  • Tammy October 19, 2014, 12:58 am

    Absolutely magnificent Greg! You are very talented! Love it! Brilliant!

  • sc October 20, 2014, 5:55 pm

    Beautiful, quirky and clever! it seems to have a glow about it! I luv swings to death! Fantastic design!

    • denise eissler October 21, 2014, 6:03 pm

      SC – you seem to be exactly the type of guest who this type of tiny house appeals to. Thank you very much for your lovely feedback – Greg and I put a lot of creative effort into designing, building, and decorating a cool, quirky, funky, and inviting vacation getaway! So far, the feedback from guests has been phenomenal!

  • Nancy November 25, 2014, 10:43 am

    I really like this. I’m curious about the shower – it doesn’t look like there’s a shower curtain. Is the wood in there treated to hold up to the water? What kind of maintenance is involved?

    • Denise January 1, 2015, 11:19 am

      I haven’t been back to this site in a couple of months and didn’t realize there were so many new comments and questions, which I’ll try to answer now. Nancy, the professional photos were taken before all the finishes had been delivered, and as the weeks and months progress I continue to add or change things around when new inspirations pop up. The shower currently has a clear shower curtain that keeps the water inside the stall. I opted for clear so the small space wouldn’t seem too confining. A few days ago I found another clear shower curtain online that has some square “pockets” attached – hard to describe but brilliant for tiny houses because the pockets are designed to store small shampoo bottles, sponges, soap, washcloths, razor, etc…all those items that usually require a shelf or shower caddy or take up space on the floor can be tucked into the shower curtain itself – freeing up the entire stall area just for the person showering. Can’t wait until it arrives to try it out!

      And yes, the wood has been treated with multiple layers of waterproofing (Greg would have to tell you what product he used). After three months of use there’s been no indication of wood rot whatsoever.

  • Brenda Russell December 30, 2014, 2:55 pm

    Swing? What swing?!?

    Oh, you mean the porch swing acting as sofa? How cool! Love it – but are there enough cushions?

    • Denise January 1, 2015, 12:40 pm

      So many different opinions about The Swing! For the record, from the very beginning I viewed this as a “hanging couch” without the intention of people necessarily needing to swing in it. A lot of TH people prefer the traditional built-in benches with storage under the seat, but I don’t think they look very relaxing if you can only sit straight up on them. Also, the built-in storage is limiting in shape and size, so if someone has a large suitcase that won’t fit then where else would they put it in this super tiny house? I wanted a seating option that is comfortable and didn’t have to be integrated into a wall, leaving more options for as many windows as possible, while also maximizing the space underneath for storage of large suitcases or other oddly sized items. This hanging love seat is comfortable, usable, and I haven’t received a single negative comment from anyone who’s stayed here.

      Additionally, even though the house is only 8×12, there are large windows on every wall, including the kitchen, bathroom and front door, plus two more in the loft that make the queen-size bed area feel extra “open” and roomy (one above the sleepers’ heads that slides open/closed for fresh air or emergency escape, and the other running the length of the bed that doesn’t open but adds to the open feeling). So many people comment on the claustrophobic look of TH sleeping lofts, but that can not be said about this one. Overall, for such an extremely small square footage, this TH feels amazingly spacious because there are no continuous walls to create the sense of confinement that is another common complaint on some sites.

      The seat is actually a memory foam crib mattress that’s infinitely more plush and comfortable than a standard outdoor porch swing cushion, and it’s covered with a high-end custom made 100% linen crib sheet that makes the seat look and feel more like indoor furniture than anything someone would hang outdoors. There are 5 or 6 comfy throw pillows that create a very comfortable back to lean against, plus 4 more throw pillows on the loft bed, so there’s no shortage of extra cushions throughout the house – in fact, maybe even more than needed by some, as one clever guest actually tucked some into the storage nooks under the stairs. I love seeing the various creative ways that my guests personalize the space for their own enjoyment during their stays!

  • andy December 30, 2014, 4:42 pm

    VER
    Y NICE !!! thanks for sharing..

  • Kathleen December 30, 2014, 5:52 pm

    Love all the work with the piping. What brand and model of composting toilet is that? Looks more affordable than the $1,200 models I have been finding online.

    • Denise January 1, 2015, 12:59 pm

      Thanks, Kathleen. I wish I could tell you that I’d found a more affordable toilet option, but this is actually an Incinolet…which incinerates waste rather than composting it. A quick check on their website confirms that the prices still start around $1,800. Unless more electric incinerator toilet manufacturers enter the market, there’s no competition to drive down prices…so those of us who still feel a bit squeamish about disposing of composted human waste and would rather toss a pan of ashes in the trash once or twice a week continue to have only two expensive options (and Incinolet is less expensive than the only other vendor I’m aware of who sells these).

  • Trish December 30, 2014, 11:36 pm

    I have looked at this design for the future, but on a longer trailer. I do not lie the kitchen and bath next to each other, so this means a side door. I get the aerodynamics possibilities when transporting, and I feel like I’d be moving with the seasons — maybe as far north as Alaska in the summer. (I was stationed there for three years. The scenery is to DIE for!!!) I have lived in small barracks rooms and was able to arrange the available floor plan and furniture into a sort of tiny house, with a microwave, small fridge, coffee pot in my room and some bathroom necessaries shared, depending on the location.

    My main thing is to try the different toilet options. I have read good and bad on several, but have not actually used any, much less seen with my own eyes.

    Wish I could stay at one of the many tiny houses out there for vacation, or at least see/use the various “facilities” available. Only have used the traditional flush toilet or various type of outdoor facilities during my military days.

    Happy, healthy 2015 to everyone here!!!!!

    • Denise January 1, 2015, 1:31 pm

      Trish – I’m right there with you! Researching and deciding on a toilet was the single most difficult decision for me to make in this entire process. Without a viable way to “try out” the various options, I had to rely on combing the internet for reviews, comparisons, and comments on too many sites to remember. Every option has its pros and cons, and there are seemingly just as many people who either love or hate a particular type or brand of toilet. In the end, I simply had to go with my gut instinct and choose the option that worked best for me (the one who has to dispose of what’s left) and my situation (permanently placed in my backyard with electricity always available).

      I don’t think anyone can really tell another person what the right choice is on this matter, because we all know what our own tolerance level is in terms of how “personally involved” we want to be when it comes to dealing with waste disposal. Good luck in your research, and try not to let anyone shame you into making a decision you’re uneasy about just because you may not be as comfortable taking a close-up and personal hands-on approach to waste management as others. Everyone should be respected for knowing their own “gross-out” limits and not made to feel apologetic as a result. Happy new year, and happy toilet hunting!

  • Eroca Brawne December 31, 2014, 1:25 am

    Cool! There are so many similar tiny house interiors – and this one really stands out. If you want standard, go to a motel, if you want a unique experience – this would be something to talk about.

    • Denise January 1, 2015, 6:57 pm

      Thanks, Eroca! My goal was to create something unique and find a builder willing to think outside the box without charging a fortune in the process. I’ve received my share of negative comments about the house on some sites, which I try not to take personally. I’m just not the type of person who would insult someone’s design ideas or decorating taste on a website just because it doesn’t appeal to me, so I don’t understand what purpose these critics are hoping to accomplish beyond just being rude. Why would anyone want to diminish someone’s excitement about their new tiny house by pointing out everything they personally dislike, especially when the owner just wants to share it with others in the TH community?

      I think all of us who post photos of our tiny houses and endure the inevitable insults truly appreciate positive comments like yours even more…in my case it’s lovely to know that there are many others who acknowledge creativity and individualism as positives.

  • Craig December 31, 2014, 3:57 pm

    Hi, Denise & Greg. Could your tiny house be adapted for tropical or subtropical climates where termites are a major pain in the behind? (Translation: How easy/expensive would it be to shoot for a 100% wood-free structure?) Other than this sole concern, I love everything in your casita: the swing, the steps, the futon, the exposed plumbing, the clever design, etc. So I say, respectively, brava and bravo.

    • Denise January 1, 2015, 7:05 pm

      Wish I could answer your structural question, Craig, but that’s one to defer to Greg (you might get an answer more quickly by contacting him through his website http://www.rockymountaintinyhouses.com). Glad to hear you like the house design – thank you for the thumbs-up!

  • Marc Swainson December 31, 2014, 4:35 pm

    My wife and I love the swing idea. We are currently in the planning stages of our tiny house dream and looking for good ideas. She is a huge fan of swings and would have a swinging bed if it were a good option. We are going on this journey to become financially stable and be able to provide a better life for our autistic child who loves the outdoors and trees!!

    • Denise January 7, 2015, 7:33 pm

      Marc – I wish you and your wife and son all the best in this journey! If she’s determined to have a hanging bed, then why deprive her of that one indulgence? Check out the website of the artists who customized my mini-love seat (their main business is hanging full-sized beds/swings for inside and porch use of all sizes…hand crafted, top quality, fantastic to work with, and all too happy to make a custom mini size for me!) http://www.godsrusticworkshop.com

  • Kelly December 31, 2014, 5:02 pm

    I love this! I like the exposed pipes and steel around making for an industrial yet eclectic feel with the surrounding wood. Also like the use of corrugated metal with a wood combo on the exterior. My only complaint is that its not in my backyard in NY 🙂 Nice work!

  • Jean January 1, 2015, 3:57 am

    Overall, very nicely done. I’m wondering about the stairs in the house and a lot of other tiny houses. Why do they go all the way up to the loft if the bed is right up against them. Why not stop at a level where your could naturally turn and sit on the bed?

    • Denise January 7, 2015, 7:42 pm

      Hi Jean – actually, the final “step” in this house does exactly what you just mentioned, allowing you to turn and sit on the bed. The last larger landing area is where the nightstand resides, complete with adjustable extension reading light, alarm clock and plenty of space for personal items (photos were taken before all the furniture and fixtures had arrived)

  • Elle January 1, 2015, 10:03 pm

    LOVE the swing. Another great idea! Thank you for sharing. Darling place.

  • Jennifer Bunting January 12, 2015, 6:28 pm

    I absolutely love both the swing and the lofted bed ideas. I’ve been working on lots of sketches for my future home and when my son saw the swing, he immediately asked me if we could make his sleeping area like that. (And it now solves my final storage problem for his things) I would love to test drive a tiny house like this one some time!

    • Denise January 12, 2015, 10:43 pm

      Don’t know where you live, Jennifer, or whether you have a desire or need to travel to Austin for a weekend or vacation, but I’d be quite happy to host you so you could “test drive” my tiny pad! I need to get some new photos taken, because the place has evolved so much over just the past few months and is infinitely cuter and more functional in many ways. Between feedback from guests, and constantly keeping a lookout for creative new ideas, the evolution of this tiny home isn’t likely to end any time soon 🙂

  • Stephanie January 22, 2015, 1:18 am

    Hi. Love your tiny house. My family & I are possibly moving to the Austin area. I’m very interested the tiny house movement. I particularly like the idea of having no mortgage, less things, more time for family. We have two children (8 & 4). I’m wondering if you know or know where I can go to get the specifics on what you can/cannot build in Austin. Thanks!

    • Denise January 22, 2015, 12:08 pm

      Grab a cup of coffee, lots of water, some snacks, find a comfortable place to settle in, and be prepared to spend hours combing the http://www.austintexas.gov website. Since mine was not intended for full time living, it falls “under accessory dwelling units” or “trailers”. There are a lot of code gaps, though, so much is open to interpretation.

      It’s still not considered “legal” to live in a tiny house full time within the city limits, but there are many efforts underway to change that. Some people still do so anyway, at their own risk. Be very careful which neighborhoods you look at for land purchase, because if an exception is granted I can’t see it being city-wide, but rather in particular census tracts where the local residents would be more supportive of the concept and the city more in need of providing affordable housing options and density/urban infill. Just my opinion…

      • Stephanie January 23, 2015, 5:25 pm

        Thank you for all the great info. Perhaps another option for us would be to look at just buying a much smaller house already there. One that we could live simpler & hope for little to no mortgage. Thanks!

  • Felix Gonzales February 18, 2015, 4:35 pm

    Love it! How tall is this structure from ground to peak?

  • bill April 11, 2015, 12:13 am

    Where in Austin is this house?

  • Katherine June 15, 2015, 3:56 pm

    Does anyone know how to rent this for a weekend?

  • Lynnette June 15, 2015, 4:03 pm

    Darling!

  • Patricia Crawford June 15, 2015, 9:04 pm

    The write up she has for the property on airbnb is fabulous. It’s worth the read and she has some great ideas for future airbnb’ers, such as bikes you can rent from her. I love this house! I’m going to contact her and ask her how she likes her incineret toilet. I need this or a composting but I can’t have any smell, none. Looking forward to going to her city just to stay in this tiny home. Seriously, I would go for no other reason than to stay here and hang with her two Sr. dogs, Penny Lane and Muddy Waters!

    • Denise June 15, 2015, 10:51 pm

      Hi Patricia,

      Thank you so much for your lovely words! I guarantee that if you decide to visit you will not only love the tiny pad and my super loveable dogs, but you will also absolutely love visiting Austin. It’s a fun city with so much to offer, and since I’m in such a central location you’ll be able to explore many options with short and inexpensive cab or uber rides, rental bikes, or even just chill in my very walkable neighborhood while trying out tiny living for a couple of days.

      I need to update my listing, though, to reflect that I recently decided to replace the Incinolet toilet with a Laveo Dry Flush toilet. To be honest, when the Incinolet was used according to the instructions it was perfect, and nothing is better than tossing some ashes in the trash once a week. However, when hosting strangers I discovered that every 20-25 guests I’d have someone who opted not to follow the directions. There’s no need to go into details, but the third time this happened I unplugged the Incinolet (amid a flurry of four-letter expletives) and ordered the Dry Flush…which is absolutely dummy-proof, easy to maintain, and non-smelly! The only problem is that the replacement liners are quite expensive and would likely be cost prohibitive for full-time living.

      I posted my contact info in a reply to Katherine below – feel free to contact me with any questions you may have!

      Cheers, Denise

  • CindySue June 25, 2015, 4:16 pm

    I have stayed in Denise’s Tiny House Pad in Hip Eastside Austin and it was FABULOUS! The place, the location, the yard, the dogs, the host … I have only great things to say. This is one of the smallest Tiny Houses out there, but has ALL the amenities. Charming. You won’t be disappointed.

    • Alex June 25, 2015, 5:07 pm

      I can’t wait to go 🙂 One of my good friends just moved to Austin, too, so now I’ve got an even better reason to go visit 😀

    • Denise June 26, 2015, 9:44 am

      Thanks so much for the testimonial, Cindy Sue! You’re one of my most memorable guests who I really enjoyed not only hosting but also getting to know personally. I’m also thrilled to see that you still have such positive memories about your visit (especially since you were on a mission to try out multiple tiny house vacation rentals prior to building your own). Don’t forget to keep me posted when you begin your build!!!

  • Theo June 25, 2015, 6:34 pm

    My small shop is 8X12, and it is not near as large inside as those photos make that seem. And yet another loft bed, and this one seems very close to the ceiling. If I were making something along similar lines I would toss the steps, and make the bed lowerable, to me that would make it at least tolerable to live in. Perhaps put a storage loft over the lifted bed, and use a ladder to reach it, makes sense to me.

    • Denise June 26, 2015, 10:09 am

      Theo – this tiny pad was built specifically as a vacation rental – not for full time living, so there’s no need for a storage loft. The sleeping loft is quite a bit roomier than in most THOWs due to the angle of the shed roof, among other things. My 6’4″ roommate slept in the loft as an experiment when it first arrived, and he was able to sit fully upright in bed without bumping his head…it’s not the least bit claustrophic.

      Your 8×12 shop or shed probably does feel a lot smaller, but this is not a comparable structure. The tiny pad was carefully planned, designed, and laid out with large strategically placed windows on every wall, and careful attention to detail was paid to the dimension of every furnishing and fixture down to the last half inch. There’s no trick photography here, but instead a great example of how a well designed structure can maximize comfort and openness in even the smallest of spaces.

    • Theo June 26, 2015, 11:39 am

      Hmm, not sure, looks like I have to reply to my own comment to comment. Whatever. Perhaps I’m too literal, but when I read tiny ‘house’ to me it says, dwelling to reside in, not rent out like a motel room. Regardless – have you ever crawled out of the top of a bunk bed in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom? Accident waiting to happen. Especially with no handholds, and one side open. Then, back up, still in the dark, and still no handholds. At a bare minimum, all of these artsy steps to a loft should have a handrail. The only handrails I have seen are in a few of the larger tiny houses, and then only with an actual staircase. If all of you think loft beds are the thing to have well and good, have at it. Me, I will continue to think they suck. And before I get jumped on about my opinion, to let you know, I am 74, with bad joints, and arthritis of the spine, so a trip to a loft would be a major undertaking for me anymore. That is not the however tho, that is the fact that I have hated loft beds, top bunks, and having to go up and down stairs to the bathroom, especially in the middle of the night. Altho at least this place ‘does’ have an indoor loo, which is major in my book, considering that we had only cold water and “no” indoor plumbing or hot water until we moved when I was in the seventh grade, to a house with those amenities, but also with a 2nd story bedroom, and the only bathroom on the 1st floor. So, yes, I am not impressed with loft beds. I also do not eat sushi, but don’t try to talk other people out of eating it. Let me amend that last statemet a bit – I will eat sushi, but only if it is cooked well done.

    • Denise July 2, 2015, 7:47 am

      Theo – a large part of the reason I chose to have this tiny house built as a vacation rental was in response to the many comments I continued to read on multiple sites about people wishing there were options to see a tiny house in person and/or be able to stay in one prior to making the huge life-changing decision of building or buying one themselves. As many people have noticed recently, there is a plethora of tiny homes that have been constructed and lived in briefly before going onto the resale market, perhaps by people who romanticized the idea and then found out shortly thereafter that it just didn’t work for them. What is wrong with the idea of giving travelers the option of trying out a tiny house while on vacation in order to get a sense of what living in one might actually feel like? Who are you to judge that providing this option to curious people, albeit for a short period of time, is wrong in some way?

      Although I myself am not yet ready to commit to full-time tiny living (especially with two dogs and a small vintage bungalow I’m not ready to part with just yet), I have downsized my own footprint dramatically and learned to live in a smaller portion of my 1,000 sq ft bungalow with a roommate (in essence, 500 sq ft each) while also inviting other people to not only try out the tiny lifestyle but also enjoy a cool vacation spot in a fun and vibrant city. This space was not created for a cantankerous 75-yr-old curmudgeon who wants to slam it because it doesn’t work for his own particular needs. Not all tiny houses are intended to be one-size-fits-all spaces for everyone, so people sitting behind the anonymity of their keyboards shouldn’t take pleasure in bashing them for their own personal reasons. This particular tiny pad was created for the 20’ish-50’ish person who wants to try out tiny living while visiting a vibrant city and perhaps prefers not to stay in an overpriced chain hotel room in the process. Most elderly retirees with physical limitations would probably not want to stay near downtown in a city like Austin…I’m sure I’d prefer a more relaxing and low-key setting if that were the stage in life I was in.

      As for the loft bed – I have slept in it, I do visit the restroom in the middle of the night…every night…and I did not injure myself while descending the staircase, which DOES have a secure handrail on the wall to hold on to. I slept here myself, as did my roommate and a few of my other friends, before renting it to any guests, to get feedback on any improvements that were recommended. As of today, I’ve hosted close to 90 sets of guests – some of whom have done some pretty serious partying given the location of this vacation rental – and I have not had a single guest who has fallen out of bed or had difficulties descending the steps in the middle of the night to visit the restroom (and since the majority of my guests arrive in pairs, that covers closer to 180 individual people who’ve survived the perceived treachery!)

      My apologies for being so defensive and bitchy, but I have simply grown weary of the number of people who feel the need to rip apart so many people’s visions of the tiny homes that they are proud enough of to post on a website, simply in the spirit of sharing what they’ve created with others. Constructive criticism is one thing…outright nasty criticism does no one any good and just makes some of the readers of Alex’s site seem like jerks. I have to imagine that he doesn’t like seeing a lot of these nasty posts, because he comes across as an earnest and positive person simply wanting to share innovative ideas with those who are interested in tiny living.

      My intentions with this build were pure, and if renting out a tiny vacation home in my backyard provides this divorced middle-aged woman with some extra income to offset her property taxes and other “regular house” bills prior to going tiny full-time herself, then what is the harm in that? Seriously…why does that concept bother so many people?

    • Theo July 3, 2015, 10:31 am

      Don’t need to get all huffy, I was invited to ads my comment, so I did. And not nasty either, if I wanted to be nasty you would definitely know the difference. Also you got my age wrong, and as far as the cantankerous and crumudgeon cracks, I am neither. Actually, probably to your amazement, the place is nicely made, an do like most of it. However, I have lived in tents, a log cabin, shack with cracks in the walls, tarpaper shack, been on two troop ships, barracks, a home with no inside plumbing, and on the second floor with the toilet on the first floor. Some of these had no indoor toilets or plumbing, yours does. However, a goodly percentage of those meant sleeping in the top of bunk beds or cots, usually on top. I didn’t like that then, so no reason I would like it now. If you’re happy with it, then great, I never questioned that. And if you can rent it out, and people want to rent it, good for you, I have no problem with. What I do have problems with are, the stairs, and the loft bed. Regardless of the bannister, the stairway is narrow, the steps are tricky at best, and one side is open. To get up in the middle of the night and safely navigate those steps would mean I would have to be at least 3/4 awake. On a usual night treck to the loo I am probably closer to 1/8 awake, an accident waiting to happen. The bed overhangs on one side, with no safety rail. I tend to slide my legs over the edge, and just stand up, on my nightly journey, again, accident waiting to happen. So now you are thinking this feeble old man can’t make it up and down the steps, so he is bashing them. Hardly so, 20 years ago, even 40, I would have thought the same thing. I could make it up and down there, IF I wanted to, and I definitely do not want to. That is my choice, so do as you will. And have a nice day.

  • M June 25, 2015, 10:42 pm

    You had me at porch swing. Every summer as a young girl my took us to the library and I’d spend hours on the porch swing reading and running off to imagination land. The whole house has a fun almost Spanky and Gang feel to it. I for one like the stairs. Think of the inches you can wear off with little Watusi twists made going up! Oh…did I just date myself?

    • Denise June 26, 2015, 10:22 am

      What an adorable picture you painted of simpler times long ago! (Buckweat was my favorite, by the way)

  • Sherry June 25, 2015, 11:20 pm

    What kind of toilet have you installed?

    • Denise June 26, 2015, 10:20 am

      Sherry – I replaced the Incinolet with a Dry Flush toilet by Laveo. The toilet itself is inexpensive, has a small footprint, looks just like a regular toilet, can be plugged in or run by battery, and has a simple push-button-to-flush operation (and swapping out the waste cartridges takes less than 5 minutes). The downside is that the cartridges are extremely expensive, only handle 15-17 flushes prior to replacement, and would likely be cost prohibitive to most for full-time living. For a vacation rental, though, it’s probably the best option available in terms of ease of use for guests.

  • Eric Williams June 26, 2015, 10:10 am

    Am I the only one who would be afraid of rolling out of that bed? That first step would be a lulu. I like the swing. Fun idea.

  • Shelia May 5, 2016, 2:30 pm

    I’ve seen this house before and have communicated with the builder because I love the plan. I guess I never noticed that yours is only 8×12 – how marvelous! I’ve been working on micro-house plans for some time. Can’t believe you have fit as much as you have in yours. Do you think a rocking chair would fit somewhere – maybe in the kitchen area? Thinking of maybe a horizontal murphy bed to save space, but really need a rocker. :o) I’m not far away (in Dallas) so I’ll definitely take a trip to stay in yours. Good job!

  • Gabriella June 17, 2016, 6:31 pm

    As children we were unknowingly happy, as adults the unbridled pursuit of objective reality gives us only anxiety and stress. Try to Minimalist Living back to be Carefree as Children.

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