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Chicago’s First Tiny House Resident: Toni Shelton

Meet Chicago’s first tiny house resident: Toni Shelton.

Toni, aka “Disco Toni,” owns an event planning/promotions/photography business. She’s a 5-time serial entrepreneur from the Hyde Park area of Chicago and was recently featured on the cover of California Magazine. Now she’s living in an amazing tiny house of her very own in a residential area of Chicago. Pretty cool 🙂

The home was built by Timbercraft Tiny Homes, and it’s their Boxcar Model. See pictures of the house (with a first floor bedroom!) from Timbercraft and Toni below, and read more about her story on the last page.

Related: Harry Connick Jr. Stays in the Pioneer Tiny House

Chicago’s First Tiny House Resident: Toni Shelton

Images via Toni Shelton

Cooking in her new tiny house!

Enjoying family in her comfy living room.

One happy family right there!

Here’s the model from Timbercraft

Related: Timbercraft Tiny House on Wheels For Sale, AL

See the rest of her tiny house on the next pages!

Pages: 1 2 3

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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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{ 17 comments… add one }
  • keepyourpower March 17, 2017, 3:00 pm

    14,000 pounds! Really? Need a hefty truck to pull that!

    • Paul March 17, 2017, 4:15 pm

      What stuck out at me was the “4,500 mile journey” home with it – Guntersville, AL (headquarters of Timbercraft) to Chicago is 630 miles – takes a lot of wrong turns to add-up to 4,500 miles, lol. I moved from the NW suburbs of Chicago to an area 1.5 hours west of Fort Worth, TX and it was only about 1K mile, so 4,500 really caught my attention, haha. Looks like a nice place, though.

    • Raving Lesbian November 3, 2017, 9:38 pm

      10,000lbs is the limit you can pull with a CDL B. Need a CDL A to pull that one! Probably a Kenworth tractor unit too!

  • Richard March 17, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Nice article, however some very important information has been left out.

    – what permissions did she need to be able to live in it, for example did she need a building permit?
    – how does she address water / sewer / grey water / electricity?
    – is it considered an ADU (accessory dwelling unit) or an RV?

    These are all questions I receive on a daily basis by potential clients looking to purchase THOW for use in an urban location. It’s always nice to know how others have successfully dealt with the above.


    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee March 19, 2017, 5:23 pm

      Hi Richard — all good questions. I’m afraid I just share what folks share with me, but I would like to know more. Maybe we will get a follow up.

  • ZACHARY E MOHRMANN March 18, 2017, 5:51 pm

    I love it…! Very nice job, and well laid out…!

  • Sherry Wood March 18, 2017, 8:56 pm

    I like it too ! This is not everyone’s taste, but I LOVE white and light colors inside a tiny home….makes it appear bigger inside !

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee March 19, 2017, 4:52 pm

      I totally agree, Sherry!

  • Andrea March 19, 2017, 8:13 am

    Well done…..love you it!

  • Nancy M. March 20, 2017, 10:02 am

    Love this house! Super livable, lots of storage, downstairs bedroom, etc. And plenty of room upstairs for guest! My daughter also lives in Chicago, so I am especially curious how she managed to meet city regs…

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee March 20, 2017, 11:19 am

      I think there’s a chance she didn’t. She may be flying under the radar.

  • Wendy Anne Darling March 21, 2017, 9:11 pm

    Great article. Thanks, Natalie!
    I’m a Brit, living in the US. How’s the Tiny House Movement going over in the UK?

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee March 22, 2017, 8:22 am

      Hi Wendy! I’m an American living here 🙂 I haven’t been here long enough to see a lot, but I know Tiny House Scotland is working on a homeless village in Edinburgh which is a step in the right direction!

  • Susan April 2, 2017, 10:57 am

    It’s beautifully done! Love the 1st floor bedroom. A very livable home. I do wonder where it’s located, as Chicago is definitely not the tiny house capitols the world. But…it’s a start!

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee April 3, 2017, 8:05 am

      Yea she didn’t disclose (which is probably wise on her part haha — don’t want strangers coming by!)

  • Pete Wilson November 2, 2017, 7:08 pm

    Very nice. Tastefully decorated inside and out; love the outside colors and the porch is a great tough. I like it!

  • Keith Falkner November 5, 2017, 8:04 am

    I admire the simple lines and planes, especially the single-plane sloping roof. Such a roof minimizes cost, weight, drag, and maintenance. It is easy to make such a roof leakproof, and to construct the ceiling inside.
    Such a roof directs snow to one side, and makes it easy to collect rainwater.
    There is much more to admire, but the roof is a real winner.

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