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an evening concert

Asheville NC, just experienced its rainiest summer on record. I recall last year being a bit wet as well. Both seasons included a few days where we needed run our generator to supplement the solar power and recharge our batteries until the sun decided to make its reappearance.

I’ll be honest; a rainy day in our tiny house is not our favorite kind of day. We designed our home to make use of the outdoor space by building an outdoor kitchen and a deck so we could enjoy our mountain and our woods. When it rains for several days straight it can become quite frustrating. So, we needed to be good at figuring out ways to keep ourselves from experiencing extreme cabin fever. Here are the top 5 things we do on rainy days in our tiny house.

Photo by Laura M. LaVoie

Photo by Laura M. LaVoie

Play table top games. Other people not as nerdy as we are would just refer to these as board games, but we are that kind of nerdy. They key with games in the tiny house is that they should be small and easy to store. Large game boards and boxes are not as conducive to the tiny life as a deck of cards. Games we enjoy are Fluxx, Munchkin, Gloom, Apples to Apples and the not-safe-for-work-or-children Cards Against Humanity. Many of these require at least three players but there are lots of two player games that only require a traditional deck of cards or even a digital chess board.

I encourage you to click below to read more ideas.

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This weekend marked the first day of autumn for 2013. Like many people, I love this time of year. As you probably know from reading Tiny House Talk, I live in a tiny house that we built in the Appalachian Mountains near Asheville North Carolina. As you might imagine this is a majestic place for leaves and other fun fall activities. I thought I might share some of the reasons I love my tiny house in the fall.

1. The Leaves. We didn’t build our house at the top of the mountain ridge. Instead, we chose a small clearing nestled in the middle of our 15 acres that is surrounded by all kinds of amazing trees. Our fall starts with the unexciting Tulip Poplars common in the region. Their leaves simply turn brown and fall off with very little fanfare. But once the Tulip Poplars are out of the way there is room for the rest of the Appalachian trees to shine. It is truly gorgeous.

My tiny house in Autumn

My tiny house in Autumn

I encourage you to read more below:

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As you know I have been happily living in my tiny house for nearly a year and a half.

Matt and I started this project a very long time ago and I thought maybe I would go back to the beginning to share some of my own tiny house building advice.

If I were to talk to the 2007 me who had barely touched a hammer in her life, what would I say? This post covers the top 3 tips I think you should know before building tiny.


1. Throw away your time expectations.

I realize that our tiny house experience was different than most. We were building on a fixed location that happened to be over three hours from where we lived.

This meant that we were only able to work on the house for a very short amount of time each visit. With the exception of a few week long vacations most of the construction was done on weekends.

We would arrive around noon on Saturday and work as long as we could before we had to leave sometime in the afternoon on Sunday to make it back to Atlanta. It was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time.

When we started construction in 2009 we had an expectation that we might be done by winter of that same year. Having never built anything before, we quickly realized that it was best if we slow down and be more cautious about the process.

In the end it took us three years to complete the house. Even for someone building a tiny house on a trailer in their yard I would suggest that you not adhere to some dogmatic time estimate. Instead concentrate on doing an exceptional job and the house will be finished when it is finished.

I encourage you to read my other 2 tips if you’re thinking of building tiny below:

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Today, this post by Solar Baby was brought to my attention. While she and her husband do not live in a tiny house I would argue that they do live intentionally and having solar power is a big part of their identity. I love that she takes on the myths of solar power systems and shares her insight on what solar power isn’t.

Since I do live in a tiny house which happens to be off the grid, I thought I might chime in on some of her topics here.

It is not camping. I love camping. I go camping frequently. I would say that my experience camping influences my tiny life and vice versa, but they are not the same thing.

Living in our tiny house is not in any way “roughing it.” Some people might argue that it is because of our air pressurized shower and our outdoor kitchen, but I would argue back that these are value judgments. One person’s “roughing it” is another’s luxury. I don’t rough it when I camp either.

6 course dinner at recent camping trip. Photo by my friend Lamyka.

6 course dinner at recent camping trip. Photo by my friend Lamyka.

I encourage you to read more of my thoughts on off the grid living below:

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Piglet Working from Home

For 15 years I worked in a career that I was good at but wasn’t feeding my spirit. I knew I needed to make a change but I felt stuck in a rut of increasing expenses.

What I didn’t realize for a long time was that my desire to live in a conventional home was the very thing that was holding me back. In hindsight, I’m not sure why I ever thought that lifestyle was right for me.

Our 2700 square foot suburban home in Atlanta was fun for a little while as we hosted parties and decorated the many rooms but the glamour faded as we dealt with never ending yard work and repairs.

Backyard of our Atlanta house in the fall.

Backyard of our Atlanta house in the fall.

I had always dreamed of being a writer but there was something inside holding me back. I made excuses, I did other things, and I didn’t write. I told myself that I would have an opportunity one day but didn’t realize I was fooling myself. An opportunity doesn’t knock on your door one day and say “Poof, you’re a writer!” You have to make your opportunities.

During this same time, my partner Matt was also feeling restless. He wanted a change and, more importantly, he wanted to build a house with his own hands. I recognized that this was the opportunity I had been looking for. We discovered the tiny house concept and got started.

I really did work on the tiny house.

I really did work on the tiny house.

I encourage you to click below to read more about how I followed my dreams and how you can start.

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Storage in living area of small rustic cabin

Hot on the heels of his e-Cours(E), Small Home, Big Life, Andrew Odom is at it again with a new online offering.

This one is super cool and I couldn’t wait to tell you about it.

Drew is going to teach us all how to decorate our tiny homes in style!

Gourmet kitchen in the Drew's own house.

Gourmet kitchen in the Drew’s own house.

I love this idea that your tiny house doesn’t have to be just a rustic wood cabin. There are so many possible options available and the only thing limiting you is your imagination. Well, maybe the space a little. I would love to see someone put a slide in their tiny house!  (Anyone want to accept that challenge – Deek?)

I encourage you to read more of my thoughts below.

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Any time tiny houses make it onto a non-tiny house blog the comments turn to “oh, I could never do that.” When The Tiny Life Infographic that Ryan Mitchell published early this year made it to Gizmodo on Monday, September 2, 2013, the comments began pouring in. The same old objections came up in several ways.

  • Permitting is just impossible.
  • This is only feasible for one person.
  • I couldn’t fit all my stuff in it.
  • Why not just get an RV?

I thought I might take a minute to readdress these objections. Living in a tiny house is not an untested theory. I have been doing it comfortably for over a year and I know several other tiny house dwellers that have happily downsized as well.

Infographic courtesy of The Tiny Life.

Infographic courtesy of The Tiny Life.

I encourage you to read my thoughts on these subjects below:

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You have probably heard the news by now but in case you haven’t we wanted to share a little information about the new Tiny House Hotel that recently launched in Portland, Oregon.

Tiny house aficionados and entrepreneurs Deb Delman and Kol Peterson opened a three-room (or, rather, 3 house) tiny hotel in the Portland Arts district.

They worked with the city government to acquire the right permitting and spoke with the neighborhood businesses about their plans.


They contracted several tiny house designers and builders to create and lease the three current tiny houses with the hopes to expand.

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joe in april ansons house

Mr. Luker’s Tiny House project is a relatively new blog recording the building experience for new tiny house builder named Joe.

He really doesn’t share much about himself on his blog or on his attached Google+ profile, but just from reading through his blog you can tell that he is passionate and dedicated to the project.

Joe visiting April Anson's tiny house. Photo by Joe Luker.

Joe visiting April Anson’s tiny house. Photo by Joe Luker.

He started the project in April 2013 by explaining his reasoning for building a tiny home. Like many of us he was attracted to the idea of reducing his finances and the positive environmental impact of a small home.

He explained in detail about his trailer choice and even asked for advice on the overall construction in some the earliest posts this year. You can also see his Sketch-Up designs for the building on the website.

I encourage you to scroll or click below for more of Joe’s story and photos of his tiny house project.

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