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Woman Rehabs 450 Sq. Ft. Duplex Units: Smart Simple Living

Hi Alex and Tiny House Newsletter readers, I thought you might enjoy seeing some pics of my 450 sq. ft. duplex units.

I’ve been renovating it for the past year and a half and I’m closing in on the finish line.

These units are reverse floor plans of each other and are approximately 450 square feet each of living space and each side has a one car garage.

It’s a bit of a senior citizen, built in 1948 and has kept me on my toes since getting it.

At this point, I think I’ve touched, or had someone touch just about every square inch of the place. Enjoy my home. 🙂

450 Sq. Ft. Duplex Units Remodeled

2. entry

Images © Karen P

3. garage

4. driveway

5. front

6. front again

7. pond

8. pond from above

9. side yard

1. Aerial

Unit B Interior

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Side A (This is the Unit I Live In)

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Images © Karen P

Thank you so much, Karen, for sharing your home with us! It’s proof that to benefit from the ideas of tiny living, you really don’t have to go tiny. You can go small, as you did. And you’re a great example to lots of us because with your duplex you can earn income by renting out your other unit to help pay for yours. I say that’s smart! Really smart. Thanks again for inspiring us!

There are so many ways to live simply. How do you plan on simplifying your life? Or if you already have, how have you simplified your living situation? Just curious if you’d like to share in the comments we’d all love to read it.

If you enjoyed these 450 sq. ft. duplex units you’ll absolutely LOVE our free daily tiny house newsletter with more! Thanks!

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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!
{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Audrey September 3, 2014, 12:59 pm

    Karen … Very inspiring. I love that you have a separate bedroom on the same floor. The kitchen is tiny … and it seems that there would be some space in the main room that could be temporarily used for larger projects like prep’g for canning, etc.. The use of white in cabinets helps keep it feeling open. Thank you for sharing! AD

  • liz n. September 3, 2014, 2:44 pm

    I am digging the (laminated?) wood flooring and the painted paneling.

  • davidvonalst September 3, 2014, 5:22 pm

    very very nice duplex

  • Comet September 3, 2014, 6:07 pm

    In the US “Duplex” is used either for up and down or side by side and semi-detached is used–never! A strictly Brit term.

    Very cute but I would see if the kitchen might be brought a bit into what looks like the much larger LR/Dr area—just for me tho perhaps it is the small room and camera angles that won’t allow us to see the true dimensions.

    Altho I have seen fridges sitting IN the LR/DR area!

    For those looking to do LARGE cooking projects like canning–where it is a time intensive need but not an all the time thing–see if there is a Community Kitchen avail. We have an old historic Jail where the kitchen has been re-habbed and for a small fee you can rent the room–with ALL cooking equipment!—for however long you need–you can even get a group together for this to combine produce and resources. I know other places have similar or maybe a Co-Op might offer to advert for a group to do this–or a Church–any place with a decent size kitchen.

  • Dawn September 3, 2014, 11:42 pm

    Can I live in Side B? 🙂 What a great set-up and a really nice job on the rehab! You should be proud. Love the architecture of the building as well.

  • Jen Lum September 4, 2014, 4:03 am

    Why didn’t they just switch the doors on the fridge to open on the other side? Then it could be placed properly. They are usually easily swapped.

  • Sandra Napier September 4, 2014, 5:49 am

    Alex,
    If possible, could you list where the homes are located, city & state? It sometimes adds a great deal of perspective to the article.
    Thanks,
    Sandra

    • Alex September 4, 2014, 9:33 am

      When it’s shared with me I’ll definitely do it Sandra I just like to keep folks privacy ya know. Thanks.

  • Karen P September 4, 2014, 11:05 am

    Hi all, thanks for all the positice feedback. There have been a couple of questions I thought I could answer.

    The sideways fridge; this was completely intentional. The kitchens are super small. Their footprint is 6×7. If you put the fridge so it faces the other counter, no matter which way the door swings, you lose almost half the floor space to stand in. Most people put a dish strainer on the rhs of the sink so the area of the counter for food prep is in front of where the fridge is. With it facing the way it does now, it doesn’t get in the way as it opens to the back wall allowing the chef as much area as possible to move about the kitchen.

    Painting the ceilings; I originally wanted to do that too but it had been stained and they aren’t flat…which means it would be a nightmare to get it to look right..even w a good primer there is a good chance of bleed thru and the crevaces of the woodwork design would be conducive to dripping etc. So, ultimately I decided to just live with them the way they are.

    Dawn, I’m sorry but it has since rented. 🙂

    As for location, it is in the mountains below the silicon valley in California.

    Thanks again for all the positive comments. I’ve really enjoyed reading them.

  • earthandink September 5, 2014, 7:12 am

    This is great, you can see all the work. I love older homes as they always have features that are generally left out in more modern homes. Nice job.

  • Sue September 8, 2014, 11:21 am

    You did a great job renovating these homes. I grew up in a duplex and our grandparents lived on one side.
    I like how you thought of a new way to accommodate the fridge. Sometimes trying something totally different works out in an unexpected way.
    I live in a 464 sq foot cabin and although I have room to can in my kitchen I have started canning outside. I use a two burner propane stove and have a table made from a pallet. I made a counter to sit the stove on and have work space. All made from upcycled wood. It’s nice to work outside and keeps the heat out of the cabin.
    Lots of ways to expand living space when you live in a small/tiny house. Such as your nice outside sitting area!

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