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240 Sq. Ft. Tiny Cottage Remodel (Before & After)

This is a 240 sq. ft. tiny cottage in Gabriola Island, BC that was recently remodeled with a studio apartment layout.

What’s neat too is that it has a rainwater collection system, a wood burning fireplace, and you get to sleep downstairs (no loft).

So what do you think? How about living tiny in a place like this?

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The Tiny Cottage BEFORE The Remodel…

240 Sq. Ft. Tiny Cottage Remodel (Before & After)

Photo credit: Marc Herrmann

Tiny Cottage/Cabin AFTER the Remodel…

240 Sq. Ft. Tiny Cottage Remodel (Before & After)

240 Sq. Ft. Tiny Cottage Remodel (Before & After) 240 Sq. Ft. Tiny Cottage Remodel (Before & After) 240 Sq. Ft. Tiny Cottage Remodel (Before & After) 240 Sq. Ft. Tiny Cottage Remodel (Before & After) 240 Sq. Ft. Tiny Cottage Remodel (Before & After)
240 Sq. Ft. Tiny Cottage Remodel (Before & After)

Photo credit: Marc Herrmann

So what do you think? Could you live in this tiny? Would you take something like this over a tiny house on wheels?

Our big thanks to Marc Hermann for sharing! 

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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!
{ 34 comments… add one }
  • Linda Lane
    September 28, 2017, 9:51 am

    A lovely remodel, great for a weekend getaway. The shed roof gives a feeling of spaciousness. As a studio its perfect, as a permanent home it has a major fail in a total lack of storage space and an inadequate kitchen.

    • marc Herrmann
      September 29, 2017, 12:01 pm

      It was never intended to be a permanent home! Only family and friends to stay a few days at a time. One thing the pictures don’t show is the 4 drawer storage under the bed. Hence, no need for a separate dresser/drawer cabinet.

      • Ed Becerra
        October 22, 2019, 10:29 pm

        I like it. Though I do believe that more space could have been saved by using either a pocket door or a rolling door on the bathroom. (The Marriott at the Denver Tech Center uses the “rolling barn door” style on the bathrooms of some of their hotel rooms, and having stayed there, I can attest that it really does save space.)

        • Marc
          October 23, 2019, 12:18 pm

          Thanks for your feedback Ed. I did consider barn door or pocket door but unfortunately in my design it would have been too much of a concession with space due to pocket door or barn door not working because of my small hot water tank under the “kitchen” counter and associated plumbing lines servicing the shower separating the wall between kitchen and bathroom.

      • Ed Becerra
        October 23, 2019, 4:42 pm

        I’d looked at the floorplan above, and thought that a rolling door that rolls to the *left* (as you enter the bathroom) might work. It would have to roll into the main part of the room, meaning a ceiling track, but as I look at the floorplan, it doesn’t seem like there’s anything to get in the way of that. Is there something on the plan I’m not seeing or misreading?

        • Dick
          February 13, 2020, 5:59 pm

          @Ed, I wonder if the issue of having a rolling door going to the left is the placement of the bed. From the floor plan, it looks like that’s a 2′ door, and I wonder if there’s two feet of available space between the bathroom wall and the bed. I know the bed could be moved a bit to the left, but that might cramp the seating space on the other side.

          As has been said, it’s not a full-scale tiny house, but it’s a great way to have a space for guests. I like it.

  • Linda Lane
    September 28, 2017, 10:01 am

    A great remodel, beautifully done. As a studio or weekend getaway, its perfect. The raised shed roof brings in light and adds a feeling of spaciousness. The complete lack of storage and inadequate kitchen would make it a total fail as a permanent residence.

    • marc Herrmann
      September 29, 2017, 12:02 pm

      Not meant as a permanent residence.

  • Dominick Bundy
    September 28, 2017, 10:21 am

    Very nicely done. but I sort of liked the outside before look better..also needs a closet

  • Dominick Bundy
    September 28, 2017, 10:23 am

    the after outside looks more like the front of a small retail store rather than a cottage.

  • Sandy
    September 28, 2017, 12:26 pm

    I agree that it could use a closet – Maybe a small built-in on the left of the bed to the right of the fireplace? But I really like the use of space. I think you did an awesome job 🙂 I could definitely live there.

    • marc Herrmann
      September 29, 2017, 12:05 pm

      Actually considered a closet in the corner next to the bed and to the right of the f/p. However, it would have taken too much space and make it feel cramped, closed-in. Opted a place for hanging coats, jackets or shirts on a hanger. One thing the pics don’t show are the 4 drawers under the bed (2 per side).
      Only meant for short term stay for family and friends. Essentially in our case, a 3rd bedroom with bath!

  • Kim W
    September 28, 2017, 3:44 pm

    I like this cottage. I presume the roof was changed to allow the water to drain to the water collection cistern. A very small kitchen area and I am not sure why the wood burner is so high up. A lovely shower room. I would need a wardrobe and a small chest of drawers,mad I don’t think the hooks would provide enough storage. The outside needs tidying up so you have a nice view form the bed. I expect the new windows are more energy efficient than the old ones. There seems to be another property quite close, so it isn’t isolated. I am sure the owners will enjoy their time here and we all make tweaks to our homes as we live there!

    • James D.
      September 28, 2017, 5:04 pm

      Yes, the shed roof allows all the rain water to flow in the same direction for easy catchment without needing to put gutters on both sides and have plumbing wrapping around the side of the building, but it also increases the amount of natural light coming in through the front and that helps make it feel bigger inside…

      While the bed appears to have drawers on at least the left side for clothing storage and there’s a hanging hook rack on the way on that side as well…

    • marc Herrmann
      September 29, 2017, 12:10 pm

      Since it was never intended to make it a permanent “small space home”, the “kitchen” area was only intended to be small and partial for minimal conveniences. Don’t forget the 10gallon hot water tank is under the kitchen counter as well including a mini fridge. So, not much space to play with.
      The reason the f/p is high up is two fold. Firstly to have wood storage under neath and it serves as a side table for both chairs rather than introduce another piece of furniture to clutter up an already tight space. As mentioned above, 4 drawers are under the bed for storage. Closet just wasn’t in the cards due to space constraints. Can only fit so much into 240sf without going into loft space which we didn’t want. 🙂

      • James D.
        September 29, 2017, 9:06 pm

        Hey Marc Herrmann, I figured as much, but have you considered just mounting a Closet Folding Valet Rod in the corner?

        Easy way to add a little hanging space without needing a whole closet, and many of them can fold down nearly flat for minimal use of space.

        Combined with the coat rack hooks you already have and it should be plenty of hanging space for one person.

        A cast iron hot plate for the top of the Kimberly Wood Stove would also be recommended, especially if ever used for cooking… Gives a bit larger surface area to use and easier to keep clean…

        One of those heat powered fans could also be useful to get the heat to spread more evenly and prevent cold spots in the further corners… There’s even thermo-electric generators that can be attached to the stove to generate 15 to 45 watts (they also got them for 100W but that’s usually for bigger stoves) of electricity to recharge personal devices during those blackout periods, as well as LED lamps that are also powered by heat and the pro model can have a battery to also be used to charge USB devices.

        If you’re hot water tank has a heat exchanger, the stove can also be hooked up to help heat that as well for pretty much full self sufficiency and help lower your water heating bills whenever the stove is used…

        Considering the cost of a Kimberly Wood Stove, best to get your money’s worth out of it…

        • Marc
          September 30, 2017, 9:25 pm

          Thank you James for the great ideas especially optimizing the Kimberly. Unfortunately I don’t have a heat exchanger on the HWT.
          Will certainly consider your other recommendations.

    • Alison
      September 29, 2017, 5:35 pm

      I like having the wood burning stove on a raised platform like that. It makes it easier to load, and you can probably store stuff underneath.

  • Steven
    September 28, 2017, 4:59 pm

    I love the way it looks from the outside and it is so bright and open inside. I would have definitely done a murphy bed/sofa combination with closets. I would have sacrificed the window above the bed. Other than that it is really beautiful. Nice Job.

    • marc Herrmann
      September 29, 2017, 12:17 pm

      Hi Seven; If you would see our surroundings, I think you would have stayed with a window behind the bed for late afternoon sunlight. We face NE so any added sun during the winter months are welcomed. Believe me I thought about a murphy bed but it too had its drawbacks due to space requirements to make it all fit. The one thing we wouldn’t go without is a wood burning f/p due to number of outages on our Island in the winter months, we wanted to make sure we have a heat source other than space heating. Thanks for your feedback! 🙂

  • Michelle
    September 28, 2017, 11:55 pm

    A charming interpretation. Well done.

  • Kim Workman
    September 29, 2017, 10:24 am

    I love this. I would totally live in it. It would make a great guest house or studio apt.

  • Van
    September 29, 2017, 3:31 pm

    Nice remodel. Quite liveable for one, possible for two. Wouldn’t need much to make some storage space available. A nice wardrobe to the left of the bed comes to mind, perhaps some over head cabinets on the bathroom wall, provided that won’t interfere with passing by it to get on that side of the bed.
    Anyhow, simple set up.
    While wood stoves, or gas (?), like that are charming, for my personal taste aren’t the most space efficient especially not in the middle of a fairly large wall surface. That stove make that wall pretty unusable. Also, the space can be rearranged as far as the furnishing is concerned to make more efficient use of the space.
    All in all, looks to be a pretty nice.. offers a lot of possibilities.
    If I were to start building something similar, I would consider a slightly larger version of this.. imagine what can be done if you add just 2 feet in either direction. Make it a 14×22 or 14×24. The bathroom is a good size, but that would add two feet more to the galley and enough length to add a built in closet floor to ceiling on The bath enclosure.
    Anyhow, it’s a nice no frills useable cottage.

    • Marc
      September 29, 2017, 4:39 pm

      Thanks for the comments/suggestions!
      Unfortunately can’t make it bigger due to existing footprint already on the survey plan. Primary reason for the remodel was due to the existing structure being 40 years old and totally infested with carpenter ants. Absolutely not useable in any fashion.
      Keep in mind its intended for family and friends and not designed as a separate long term stand-alone home. 🙂

      • MareM
        September 30, 2017, 2:16 pm

        Marc, you did a great job! Very attractive and looks quite comfortable. Wonder if friends and family come for longer visits now. 😀

        • Marc
          September 30, 2017, 9:27 pm

          LOL…I am sure we will get plenty of visitors now that they have their own space. That said, we don’t want to make it too comfortable! 🙂

  • JB Silver
    October 4, 2017, 11:12 pm

    I’ve looked at many tiny houses. The conclusion I’ve come to is I’d rather have a small cottage with tiny house and or park model RV features. I really like this house but I would only use something like this with no changes as a guest house. Do you have other designs?

  • Karen Blackburn
    February 8, 2019, 3:05 am

    Very nicely done Marc, and ideal for your purpose. However the size could easily be tweaked to make a TH for one person, it is all a matter of deciding o your individual needs and modelling the interior rpto suit the oersdon living there. A huge kitchen isn’t essential, believe me we’ve cooked for 4 in tiny kitchens for more years than I care to think about but it all depends on the layout. As long as you have a fridge, oven and hob plus a bowl to wash up in and shelving for food, crockery etc then you can manage. Again it wouldn’t be difficult to sub divide the room to have a single private bed area with plenty of space left over for fining and relaxing with books, TV or whatever your preference is. I am playing around with a space of 12′ x 18′ and this will include work space as well. It is all a matter of priorities and individual needs. This us lovely Marc, and is obviously designed with your specific needs in mind. The same basic building can so easily be adapted to suit anyone as needed

  • Ani
    February 8, 2019, 12:43 pm

    Why wouldn’t you use a Murphy bed or cabinet for this small space it would allow more freedom of movement.

  • M
    February 12, 2019, 11:02 am

    Love it. Strong work!

  • Jo Nicoletti
    October 25, 2019, 9:03 am

    This is exactly what I need for my son’s back yard. I love it!

    • Marc
      October 25, 2019, 12:33 pm

      Thanks Jo; We certainly love it too!
      It’s not exactly a full on “Tiny Home” but as we wanted a 3rd bedroom with a bathroom, it does the job just fine.
      I’ve got plans that you’re more than welcome to have (no charge). They are engineered approved for our area (British Columbia) but gives you an idea of what we did.
      Look me up on FB (Marc Herrmann) and messenger me if you’re interested.

      • Amanda
        November 12, 2019, 3:13 pm

        Hi Marc.
        Nice remodel. Nice. clean design, especially the bathroom and windows.
        Am planning a tiny cabin project to start next summer. I see you offered your plans to another reader who commented. I would love a set, if you are still willing to share. I have a rural property, and a bit more room to expand.
        Question: How is your cistern built, and how are leaves and other small clutter filtered?
        (I’m not a fan of heat sources several feet above the floor. Am old enough to be a wimp about cold feet – My issue. 😞😝!)
        Thanks much, Marc. I’m glad Alex sent this around one more time.

  • e.a.f.
    February 13, 2020, 9:14 pm

    Perfect place for those of us living in Nanaimo, Victoria, etc. for a weekend get away. don’t tell those in Vancouver about this. they’ll be beating down your door. Love it, perfect.

    The rain water collection system is a great idea because I know on some Gulf Islands water can be hard to come by without spending a fortune drilling a well. I know on Gabriola some wells are shared, so a rain water catchment system is wonderful. Nice fire place.

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