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592 Sq. Ft. Hummingbird Cottage for Retirement

This is the 592 Sq. Ft. Hummingbird Cottage built for a family’s mother-in-law by Ralph Jones Home Plans, LLC.

Janne Zaccagnino created the plans for the home and normally doesn’t see the finished product, but because she knew the owner she was able to take pictures of the completed home, which she shared with us!

We are located in the Memphis area and have been in business since 1964. We’ve designed houses from about 400 sq ft up to about 10,000 sq ft. I, personally have designed several tiny houses on wheels but have yet to witness their construction. My philosophy regarding Tiny Houses is that it’s NOT about the square footage of the unit, but it’s all about the cubic inches!!

At almost 600 sq. ft., it’s certainly a “small” house rather than tiny, but I think it could make a great retirement cottage. Contact info on the last page!

Related: Little Lilliwaup Cottage

592 Sq. Ft. Hummingbird Cottage for Retirement

Images via Ralph Jones Home Plans, LLC

With the deck to be added, this looks like a stellar location!

Here is the floor plan

Beautiful kitchen. Refrigerator will be installed later.

I really love the lighting fixtures and bar area.

A simple induction cooktop with microwave and range.

Lovely living room with French doors. Love it.

Another angle. I like the windows above the doors for added light.

The bedroom has a stunning blue color and great windows.

Bedroom leading into the kitchen.

Hey! There’s even attic space in this house.

Luxurious walk-in closet for either pantry storage, clothing or anything!

Look from the inside!

Great bathroom with lighting fixture to match the kitchen.

Spacious walk-in shower with glass shower door.

Nice shower fixtures! What kind are your favorite?

Related: 200 Sq. Ft. Zen in Law Tiny House with Murphy Bed in the Loft


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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributing writer for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She is a coffee-loving wannabe homesteader who dreams of becoming self-sufficient in her own tiny home someday. Natalie currently resides in a tiny apartment with her husband, Casey, in Massachusetts.

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{ 56 comments… add one }
  • Steven Jude May 2, 2017, 1:34 pm

    This is a very lovely small house. Any idea what the price range is?

    • jannezack May 2, 2017, 4:38 pm

      This house cost approximately $45,000 to build (on family property). Some high priced items were used (cabinets and flooring), but otherwise, most of the other things were pretty budget friendly. The builder used 1″ closed cell spray-foam insulation with bats on top of that to create a great seal, provide R14 walls, R32 ceiling (bats only) and used other cost saving items, such as “ventilated shelving” in the closets to keep the price down. The owner intends to build in an entertainment center with shelves and dual use/fold-down table or other items in the niche in the main living area as well as add the deck in the near future. She gets her inspiration from TINY HOUSE TALK! Thanks Alex!

      • Jo Garner May 2, 2017, 6:42 pm

        Great plan, Janne! You are a superstar when it comes to designing tiny houses.

      • Janette Gamble May 2, 2017, 7:54 pm

        Approx $45,000 to build — did that include both materials/supplies AND labor costs to build/construct? Or did owners build it themselves?

  • Becky Holm May 2, 2017, 1:42 pm

    I love this home. I could live there for ever and ever… the desk/tv area is perfect for my piano! YAY… my dream come true house!

    • jannezack May 2, 2017, 5:16 pm

      That’s the perfect spot for a piano (shelves all around for music, if you are anything like me)!

  • Sondra May 2, 2017, 4:11 pm

    If I am living in a tiny house for retirement ? I’m having a dishwasher 😉

    • jannezack May 2, 2017, 5:20 pm

      LOL!!! That is definitely within the realm of possibility with a unit of this size!

  • Mike H May 2, 2017, 4:15 pm

    A walk-in closet–what a great addition! I’ve had reservations about most of the tiny/small houses showcased here, but this domicile is really, REALLY nice! It’s well thought-out, and quite well organized as well as very lovely. This , in my estimation, is the best home you’ve featured. Thanks for sharing it with us 😊

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 3, 2017, 10:22 am

      Thanks for letting us know! I’m glad you love it — go Janne! (the designer)

  • Lori May 2, 2017, 4:18 pm

    I’m also curious what it would cost to build this house. Would love to see a ballpark figure. Thanks!

  • Joseph May 2, 2017, 4:35 pm

    Love this. It is just the kind of small home that I could live in.

  • lushly May 2, 2017, 4:37 pm

    Excellent! As a person who loves clothes, most tiny homes are awful on closet space. This is great!

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 3, 2017, 10:22 am

      Yea the storage here was wonderful!

  • Kathy Hurley May 2, 2017, 4:45 pm

    Absolutely fabulous! I wouldn’t change a thing.

    Thanks for posting!

  • Steve May 2, 2017, 5:31 pm

    Now that’s the only Tiny House I’ve ever seen that I could move right into and call HOME!
    Great job.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 3, 2017, 10:20 am

      Wow! Glad you loved it 🙂

  • Kris May 2, 2017, 5:36 pm

    I really like it too. I still work full time, but at age 69 , I want something that may be my last home ever. However, looking at it through the eyes of a nurse (me) and an older individual, I would prefer a shower head that also has a handheld shower head with the hose. I’d also love to see one that has an extra bedroom and/or 3- or 4-season screened porch. Yes…I know with those additions it definitely wouldn’t be considered “tiny” or maybe even “small.”

    • JanneZack May 2, 2017, 7:06 pm


      The sky is the limit when it comes to “products” (a different type of shower head, or as mentioned in another comment, a dishwasher). As we age, (I’m no spring chicken either) we think about those types of things. They are easily accommodated. The sky is the limit as far as room arrangements and number of bedrooms, the real only limiting factor is your construction budget and location (code requirements, etc.). If you want to talk, my contact information is on page 2 of the Tiny House Talk post.

    • James D. May 2, 2017, 7:11 pm

      You could always have the guest room be a one room guest house you can place in your back yard instead of being a direct part of the main house… You can even get creative and make a guest tree house or other creative ways to have guest space that you may even want to use yourself from time to time… Along with a good size back yard and it can be a place to entertain friends and guests without needing a bigger home…

      While, generally, porches and decks aren’t considered part of the house total square footage because they’re not part of the interior space… Besides, one of the reasons to go tiny is to spend more time outdoors… So big porch and back yard are perfectly acceptable options when going tiny or small…

  • Lynn McDonald May 2, 2017, 6:00 pm

    Wow! What a lovely home and so well displayed with these pictures. It is so very well-thought out. What a great design and designer. Thank you for sharing what is an ideal solution for a growing population!

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 3, 2017, 10:19 am

      I am so glad you liked it, Lynn!

  • Rusty May 2, 2017, 6:14 pm

    I love this home, everything about it. Wish builders would take an interest in creating small house villages for retired people that would be affordable. I was told by one contractor not enough money can be made. Greed is why there is no affordable housing. Most senior housing caters to the rich.

    • JanneZack May 2, 2017, 7:01 pm

      Rusty, You are absolutely correct! Greed is what kills a lot of great ideas. In our area, it’s the TAX BASE (or city government) that rules what can be placed on a lot. If the city can make more money by requiring that you build a 1500 sq. ft. house rather than a 500 sq. ft. one, they make more money for taxes. It is unfortunate.

      HOWEVER, in my city (Memphis) I recently discovered that SOME areas of town where there was, say a $12,000 valued old house that needed to be torn down because of neglect/age, an individual created a PUD (Planned Unit Development) which has different setbacks than typical subdivisions (our typical lot setbacks are 25′ front, 25′ rear and 5′ on each side). If you were to re-sell pieces of a lot to, say, 4 individuals with the requirement for say, a $50k small home to be built on each of 4 PUD lots, the tax base just went from a $12k unit that no one could live in to 4 x $50k units that can be taxed. That is a LOT more tax income for the city. PUDs are often hard to develop, but many cities like them for this reason, the old house, that wasn’t worth much gets torn down and now you have multiple units with a combined value WAY above the former.

      You should look into doing this (Creating a PUD and claiming one of the lots for yourself!

  • Mary Jo May 2, 2017, 6:58 pm

    Agree with Rusty, would love to see similar small homes, not tiny, not on wheels, just small AND within a community of small homes.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 3, 2017, 10:18 am

      We will keep sharing them as we find them 🙂

  • Karen M May 2, 2017, 7:16 pm

    Nice; but, I don’t understand why people do NOT use pocket doors. Much wall space is lost with all of these doors.

    • Alison May 2, 2017, 7:52 pm

      I grew up in a house with lots of pocket doors. I like them, but they tend to make noise when they slide, and they don’t seal as well as most swing doors. But they are definitely space savers and a great idea in many situations.

  • Nanny M May 2, 2017, 7:31 pm

    This is totally cute!

  • Karen M May 2, 2017, 7:46 pm

    JanneZack, I grew up in Memphis. Where are these being built there? Also James, I plan to have a huge backyard with nanawall opening up into the backyard …no front door..with attached oversized one car garage at the front of the house. Mine will be around 640sq ft, but I will also put a mexican kitchen in the backyard, & later a small small bedroom and small plunge pool. I am so excited. Just have to find me a small lot now.

    • James D. May 3, 2017, 12:55 am

      Yeah, NanaWalls has a great range of products from Bifold doors to Folding Glass doors. I like that they offer options for high durability and can be used in extreme weather environments…

      I’d go for their kitchen transition system, so the kitchen can become part of the outdoor area…

  • katiei May 2, 2017, 8:31 pm

    A retirement home should be handicap accessible. Wider halls and doorways in case one may need a w/c, maybe post surgery or fall. A shower without a lip is essential- either roll in or not have to step over. Grab bars and elevated outlets to name a few more. Way easier to add /w the build. The roll under bar in the kitchen is great.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 3, 2017, 10:15 am

      Good points! The designer has tons of homes and I’m sure she’d be willing to adjust it to your needs.

  • Sherry May 2, 2017, 10:13 pm

    Love this adorable little cottage….perfect for retirees…..with one exception……need a mudroom entry space for Mn. winters! I found when I put an air-lock entry on my home it saved me over one hundred dollars in the first winter.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 3, 2017, 10:11 am

      Mud rooms are awesome, for sure!

  • Patty May 3, 2017, 2:47 am

    Really do like this. Very nice for retirement, or for anyone.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 3, 2017, 10:04 am

      I could certainly live here, that’s for sure.

  • Cris Y-D May 3, 2017, 5:06 pm

    I LOVE THIS!!! I am moving from a two bedroom apt to a one bdrm apt in a Community Home. It will be a relief, because the rent will be only 1/3 of my SS check, instead of nearly all of it. The apt I’m moving into will be 600 sq ft, and is laid out similar to this cottage. I wish I could move into the cottage. It’s adorable!

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 4, 2017, 4:14 am

      Oh I’m so glad you are moving to a great place!

  • Jolene Cardwell May 4, 2017, 12:14 pm

    I love love this. Is the cost of this really only around $45,000. I would totally retire in this home. Can I get more information.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 5, 2017, 5:35 am

      Hi Jolene — You can contact the designer (who sells the plans) with the email address on page 2 under the pictures 🙂 Her name is Janne.

  • Donna Rae May 5, 2017, 11:16 am

    A really fun little cottage! My only complaint is that the Street View is very unappealing. I would flip the kitchen to the corner where the front door is and put the front door in the middle of the Street View with a larger dormer above it and a larger porch. Add a couple of windows and it would be adorable!

    • Matt July 22, 2018, 8:33 pm

      I’m assuming, the front of the house probably faces an back-alley, so that probably why it’s minimalistic. And with that assumption the back of the house probably faces the main house on the lot… so that probably explains the way it was designed.

  • Donna Rae May 5, 2017, 11:25 am

    In my previous comment, I forgot to thank Tiny House for showing homes that are a little larger than the traditional “tiny” abode. There are many of us that want to drastically downsize but need it to be larger than the really tiny houses on wheels. In addition to the changes I mentioned previously, I would put full cabinets in the kitchen peninsula instead of having it open. We can all use more storage! 😉

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 8, 2017, 6:49 am

      So glad you like this variety, Donna! 🙂 We know “tiny” looks different for everyone. What’s important is that you are downsizing and living with what you need 🙂

  • Sherry May 11, 2017, 4:45 pm

    Love this adorable little cottage. This would be perfect for a retired person such as myself. I really like that it gives you enough open space so you don’t feel crowded or that you can’t decorate it with anything but a bed. The closet space looks wonderful as well. Very well thought out.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 12, 2017, 9:40 am

      I’m glad you like it! It is definitely a great idea 🙂

  • Anna zaccarelli June 29, 2017, 9:52 am

    Love it looking to build here on the gulf coast in ala cottage about 600 square

  • LYNDA PERRY July 3, 2017, 11:09 pm

    Not a big fan of the tiny houses but this small home really hit the spot for me. I am retired and this would be just perfect. Been looking for just one story, NO STAIRS OR STEPS, it’s priced nicely and great use of the space. I’m not surprised that a woman designed this. (no offense guys)

  • Sandi mitchell July 12, 2017, 9:58 am

    Retiring very soon and hoping to build a cozy cottage/mini mansion/small house behind my daughter and son in law’s 1892 house they are restoring in Columbia, Tennessee. The price point of this house and the size is perfect! Would definitely like to keep it under 900square ft. for sure. I would be interested in adding a single car garage, a small art studio/bunk room (for my creative urges and my grandchildren sleepovers) and a screened in back porch (bugs are ravenous in Tennessee). I didn’t see if that price was including cost of construction or not?

  • Marcia Czech July 22, 2018, 9:25 pm

    I will be moving to the Myrtle Beach area in the near future. Would you know of builders in that area that would build these beautiful tiny homes? Thanks!

  • Mike Smith July 23, 2018, 7:21 am

    Unfortunately our HOA does not allow building a separate small house on the same lot even though it has multi-acre lots. The rule was made from the concern they might be rented out, another no no. A number of residents have wanted to build such houses for parents so they could live there inexpensively. Frankly, I believe a number of the HOA rules are stupidly restrictive and may even be illegal but cannot be changed except every 10 years.

    • Alex July 24, 2018, 11:09 am

      That sounds really frustrating. I wonder if you can ask about Accessory Dwelling Units which this may qualify under. It sounds surprising to me that with that much land that there are restrictions like that.

  • Marsha Cowan July 23, 2018, 11:04 am

    So Sweet! Really lovely little home, but a little too dark for me. Maybe a couple of skylights over the kitchen and bath? Otherwise, really nice.

  • Karen Blackburn July 23, 2018, 3:00 pm

    With a bedroom area roughly 21’x 12′ it would be easy to redesign slightly and make the space into 2 bedroom’s (complete with clothes storage space)and a bathroom moved slightly into the living area. Having lived in a house with a huge bedroom of 12′ x 13′ including large built in wardrobe and space for a king size bed if wanted it is achievable in this house. My big gripe would be the kitchen. I would want a walk in pantry, the closet shown in the photos as a possible pantry appears to be no where near the kitchen and suitable for a country estate in size, running off the kitchen itself plus a proper stove, ie at least 3 hobs and room to cook a roast at the weekend though no need for a microwave. Nice size and obviously what the new occupant wants so am hoping she will he very happy in it. Given it is a decent size and shape it would be easy for others to move things around to their satisfaction without needing to expand. Great design.

  • judith dale greer August 14, 2018, 6:54 pm

    wonder how this hummingbird would do in florida. what kind of foundation does it require and how sturdy would it be in a hurricane?

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