This is the story of Brenda and Marvin’s Tiny Cottage that they designed and built themselves. They did it for only $25,000 and they built it in less than a year.
You can actually see how they did it below, you can look at their floor plan, constructions costs, and you can even inquire with them about buying a set of plans so you can build one just like it for yourself.
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Couple Design/Build Tiny Country Cottage in Less Than 10 Months for Less Than $25k
We built our tiny home in 10 months and moved in it on the 5th of June.
We still have cosmetics to finish but more money and time can resolve that once the ship comes in!
Every inch was thought out for maximum storage and usage. We love it and it feels perfect to us!
Tiny Home enthusiasts, Brenda and Marvin’s Tiny Cottage – They Built It For Less Than $25k!
We did use recycled doors and wood for the counter tops. And it really only took us 8 1/2 months to build.
I hope that the floor plans will be what folks want to see. We also figured up our costs to build our cottage.
Images © Brenda and Marvin
Good morning Alex!
I hope that the floor plans will be what folks want to see. We also figured up our costs to build our cottage. We did use recycled doors and wood for the counter tops. And it really only took us 8 1/2 months to build. And what only a handful of people know is that towards the end of getting the roof on Marvin fell off of a walk board and was knocked out, received a concussion, and hurt his back. He slept in a chair for 5 weeks or more. We had no idea how he would be able to finish, but he is the most determined, and hardest working man I have ever known.
Our costs for materials were $24,630
Thanks for this wonderful opportunity to showcase our Gift from God!
We feel blessed beyond measure.
Brenda and Marvin
Our big thanks to Brenda and Marvin for sharing!🙏
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OMGosh……this is the best thought out home in quite a while, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. Bravo to you guys…..geeze it is sooooo nice. love the porch…..love it love it……
Thanks Hunter glad you like it 😀
Oh this is too cute! Am I missing something? Are there more pictures? I really want to see the sleeping space and well just more of everything please!
There is a photo of the bedroom. Looks like there may be a loft room also. I am a Realtor/Appraiser. For a hobby, I computer sketch and always work 2 main level bedrooms into small spaces. I think combo kitchen,dining and living rooms are fine, but many like a main level bedroom to wind down, read, watch favorite TV shows, or just chill till bedtime. If I can work two BR’s in, I do, main level preferred.
Brenda and Marvin wrote: “Every inch was thought out for maximum storage and usage.”
100% true! Although I ached for more photos, the ones posted were a feast for the eye! One gorgeous detail that I adored was the ‘Jadeite Green’ paint they choose to highlight the background of their cabinets, providing the perfect showcase for their dinnerware and stemware. 😀
This home reminds me SO much of “true/actual homes” from my childhood. These type of homes, in Duluth and the Iron Range Area of Minnesota, were called ‘Widow’s Nests’; no disrespect was meant by that term. That simply described a small, nest-like home that widow’s of men who worked the mines/ship yards/and cleared timber lived off of their pension and limited means. They peppered the steep slopes of Duluth, having a stellar view of the Harbor and two of my great aunts lived in one, each. They were always the coziest, coolest, most loving of home environments that didn’t spare a lick of comfort: clawfoot tubs, BIG kitchens for Tea & Sympathy, and a lovely lounge to have your “Lady Friends” over. There was always a cottage garden out front and out back, plus that loooonnnnnnng front porch to watch the ships come into the Duluth harbor.
I’m SO glad that I stayed at Alex’s site long enough for me to witness (by my mind) Tiny/Small Homes that are NOT allergic to beautiful and decorative items. I find those small-spartan homes where the owner is ‘allergic to clutter’ to be utterly depressing. (Oh, and YEAH! to the Oriental Rug in the Loo…let the Great Rug Debate rage on! tee-hee)
Thank you Cahow for that gorgeous description of the Window’s Nest houses. I hope that some have survived the development that seems to rip the hearts of a lot of cities these days.
Bahahaha…oh yes, the great rug debate lol however that one appears small enough to be cleaned very regularly! ♡♡♡
I always love your comments, Cahow. You’re a hoot, in a good way!
I too miss the days when a “true” home had everything one needed in a modestly sized space. I’d love one of those Widow’s Nests myself.
Love that tub….I believe I come down firmly on the “rug” side of that debate.
Lake Lili: Ah, I’m so glad that you and Rue enjoyed my description of my Great Aunt’s homes. <3 And that both Rue and Lynette remember the brouhaha over Oriental Rugs. ~snicker~
I hope and pray that some of the Widow's Nests have survived the discovery and gentrification of Duluth in the 90's. I haven't been back there since the early 90's, though, so Yuppie's and their $$$$$ may have eradicated them. (I pray they haven't, though.)
See, back in the time frame that I was describing, RICH folks built on the few flat acres of land on the actual shores of Lake Superior. The hills were for "Po' Folks" and the HIGHER up you built, the poorer you were! Why? Because cars, in those days, were stick-shift, only, and it took a seriously skilled driver to go Up & Down those San Francisco-like hills. I remember, as a child, seeing many a man chasing his careening car down those hills, all to no avail, as they picked up speed and ended up crashed into what was below!
And what where the HIGHEST of the HIGH 'Widow's Nests' called? Why, 'Crow's Nests', of course. 😀
Then, with the advent of 4-Wheel Drive cars and automatic transmissions, modern people could zip Up & Down the slopes with no difficulty, hence the destruction and construction of much-much larger homes, taking advantage of those jaw-dropping views. Now, the RICH have the hills and the POOR have the city, itself, and the flatlands.
Still, I have my memories of playing with my Great Aunt's 'exotic' seashell collection from that far away place called 'Hawaii' and smelling fresh Snickerdoodles as they emerged from her oven for an afternoon treat. God Bless Memories of Time's Long Past.
Alex, do you think you could ask Brenda and Marvin to post more photos?
Oh, it is lovely. Just a good old fashioned little house. So many of these across the south, whole neighborhoods. Even those that have been added onto are still small. Ours was originally 4 10×10 rooms, you entered the living room on the front right, there was a bedroom front left. Kitchen was back right, and another bedroom back left.
At one point, a tiny modern kitchen, and modern bathroom, had been extended off the old kitchen, making it a busy diningroom/hallway. It was a lovely house for raising two little kids.
Had same design in England back in the 1950s. First house we rented was that design but there was an entrance hall with the bathroom and separate toilet at the back of the hall. The kitchen/breakfast room had a solid fuel Rayburn which heated the kitchen, bathroom and toilet plus the back bedroom and back hallway (was divided in half by glass door and panel) while a parkray in the living/dining room heated that, the front hall and the front bedroom. Quite the best design I have found, fairly common here in Ireland as well. Mainly cottages used by agricultural workers though many are now much bigger with better bathrooms and more bedrooms added. My landlady lives in one, in the family since 1820s, only extension was to add a bathroom and a bigger kitchen. Great design and very versatile.
This certainly does need more pictures and a layout would be nice, too! Love the decor and glad to see a good space was offered up for the bathroom. Too often in tiny homes the bathroom seems to be no more than closet space. Thank you for sharing! ~ krs
the layout is above
The layout doesn’t exactly match the photos. At least in the bathroom. I would also like to see a photo of the “upstairs”….
Loveliest home yet!
Would love to see a video tour.
(I love tiny houses, however, I have a piano that must be considered.)
I would love to see more of this home!!! 🙂 Just perfect!
More photos please. I need to see more!!! What I’ve seen so far has me palpitating.
I love it! Tiny is too small for me, but this place is the perfect size and I love how you have worked with storage areas. Like other commenters, I find many of the houses here are too antiseptic. Who wants to live in a place so impersonal? This house, though, is the perfect balance of small and homey. Like others, I’d love to see more photos.
Wished there were more pictures as well. It’s that nice big open roofed porch that sold me on this little gem.. as well as the sq footage . It all looks so perfect for me so far.. who could ask for anything more?
What an awesome house! May tiny homes are just not the right fit for us. However, the size of this home is perfect. I love the layout and would love to see more photos and also the floor plan. Excellent job!
I’m sure they’ll send us an update in a few months when they have more details finished. Can’t wait to see more of it too!
Great looking tiny house. Love the style, color and porch, but also would love to see more pix.
I agree, this is a charmer! The porch was: Aaaaaah.
The photos drew me in, but stopped abruptly.
More pix, please.
Excellent construction of a lovely design; evocative of the country farmhouse. But where is the kitchen sink? In the island?
Love it. Also would like to see more pictures plus the floorplans with dimensions.
Please MORE PICTURES!
I want one!
I would love to see more of this home! Also the layout and builder would be nice. This home is a dream.
Ooh, if you please… Would you share more interior pics? I love how this looks! 🙂
I’ll try to get more ASAP! 😀
I agree, more pix would be nice. Love the porch and the kitchen layout. Not fond of the toilet near the door in the bathroom though. I would lay it out differently.
Lovely, but I have to agree with everyone else: MORE pictures PLEASE!
Love the porch and everything. Would have chosen stairs with storage underneath for myself, otherwise; I love it.
Absolutely adorable! This is the way to do a tiny home. I think I can speak for a lot of us when I say that we are so smitten by your wonderful tiny house that we would love to see more pics. Is there a washer/dryer?
This is the best I’ve seen so far. Nice design and porch adds soooo much. Is love to see the bed area and sitting room?
Your home is adorable. It really looks like home.
Gorgeous and very well thought out. So glad to see you have a bathtub and roomy bathroom. Quality not quantity shows up in your design. Ten months is quick turn around. Congratulations on a job well done.
Very nice little house. The “Country” style appointments reminds me of my sister’s old house.
Just so I’m clear on this – 384 sq.ft. is 16×24.
Is the porch included in that 16′ width?
I really do like what you have done here, the porch is a keeper, but I have to admit, that climb up the stairs/ladder looks a bit steep and I am still in my 40’s, I better get in some better shape sometime soon so I can get me one of these great looking models. This looks really great on the outside which, for me, is half the battle of being an acceptable domicile for me and the wife.
So many questions, as I suspected there might be….I will do my very best to reply.
Huge thanks for all of the wonderful comments and compliments!!!
I just took more photos that hopefully will help you understand the space better.
This was our original plan with the building inspectors stamp of approval. We did everything by ourselves from the ground up!
Our bedroom is downstairs, the loft is for storage,etc.
W/D is in our barn utility room,the hookup for the future is in the house behind the bathroom corner cabinet.
Marvin will try to get together a cost analysis and floor plans. Honestly, we are behind on things since we put our life on hold as we built this little dream house,so please be patient while we get back to a paying job! We build wooden boats.
We moved from a 2000 sq. ft. Victorian house into a really teeny RV while we were building, and THIS feels like a mansion NOW!
Brenda and Marvin,
Your home is fabulous! It is always interesting for me to see what is most important to people in the Tiny House world as that is what they put much of in their home, things that aren’t as important get smaller spaces. It appears that cooking is the main thing in your house as your kitchen is incredible! You have literally everything you need in one small bundle! The setting is fabulous!
I design homes which are sold and built all over the country, and we design lots of things like this for clients who either want to downsize, have an aging parent live close or who want to live tiny. Most of the small things we have designed are more like Guest Houses or Pool Houses.
I would love to help you get your design on paper, then you could sell the design to people! I can be reached at “jz at jannezack dot com”. Email me if you want to chat about it (or anything!) Great job on your beautiful home!
Thank you for the compliments as well as the offer! I will try to contact you so we can talk.
Brenda and Marvin: Gee, it’s always nice to hear from the owners of a tiny/small home.
Congratulations on ALL the Oooo’ing and Awwwwww’ing of your sublime little house.
As you’ve read, there are scores of folks who are begging for blueprints and or plans. I have NO idea what this home cost for you but this might be a wonderful way for you to recoop some of your costs!
SELL THE BLUEPRINTS for the standard prices on the market (you can find these prices in the back of any home plan mag.) and start getting some of that money back that you invested! I’m sure that ANYONE that is truly serious about building this home realizes that they’d have to pay for the work that went into designing the plans.
Just a suggestion; I’m an architect and I know how much time went into this design! All the best to the both of you and thanks, again for sharing your charming home with us. <3
I’m not sure how I missed your very kind remarks,but I did. Thank you so much!
I love the exterior and was wondering if you purchased the home plans from someone or had them custom made..This is exactly what I’m looking for to build on my property. Thanks, Kevin
I would LOVE to see a floor plan!!! Please!!!
Really love what I saw, but more photos, please. Is the bedroom reached by ladder? Would like a floor plan. Thanks!
Thank you! Our bedroom is on the main floor.
Nice looking house. Great job.
Please, please tell us where we can find more information and plans. This looks unique and wonderful.
To my eyes, this is the perfect tiny home! Well done! Can you please post more pictures, and perhaps make a floor plan and cost for materials available. Are you in an area where a cold winter is a consideration. is this tiny house winterized. I see the house is not secured from cold with a skirt at the base– are all the water line run on the inside? so many questions!
Thanks! There should be more photos up soon. Everything is winterized. We will try to get floor plan and cost analysis up soon.
would like info on plans , price…
Could we get drawings of the layout of this cute house? I’d be very interested.
This is my idea of living small. Love the porch, inside (what we saw) looked well made. More pic please!
Keep watching, there are more to come!
Will you please share more pictures and the floor plan? This is so close to what I’m wanting to do myself. Thank you so much.
Thanks SO much for the interest in our home and all of the wonderful compliments!We are trying to get more photos,etc. loaded for you.
Thanks for your patience.
Brenda and Marvin
Thank you Brenda. Many here are dizzy with anticipation of further photos and floor plans.
Who said a tiny house can’t have a tub? I did the same, with the same wide horizontal window at the roof line. Nice. Beautiful job.
I had to have a clawfoot tub….couldn’t make compromises there!
What a charmer & exactly what I’ve been looking for. More pictures & details please!!!
Love the house. Could you share more pictures. Can you share about cost?
Again, great job Brenda & Marvin. If your boats as well thought out as our house you are going to be very busy. Let us know when the plans become available for sale.
Thank you very much!
Our bedroom is downstairs, and we added a half bath. Your home is lovely!!!
I would love to see a simple floor plan of your home. Looks very nice. Thanks.
Hopefully we can get one up for you soon.
Hey everyone! Just now added a bunch more photos thanks to Brenda & Marvin so come back and refresh the page to check them out since many of you were hoping for more 🙂
Thanks for more pics! The rest of the house is beautifully done as well! 🙂 Love the bedroom storage and the kitchen table/work space. 😉 Would love to have this in my in-laws’ backyard to live in.
You are welcome!
Nice work you two, lots of character! Good job!
Thank-you so much!
Love, love, love your house!! So cozy.
It is the sweetest little nest!
At some point I would want a bigger lounge/living space, but this is perfect in every other way! Great job designing and making it come to fruition! Impressive to say the least.
Thank you! We actually designed it so that if in the future we wanted or needed more space we could add on to it.
Right now cleaning it is a breeze, and it feels just right for us!
Oh I didn’t think I could fall in love with it anymore than I already have. Well with the additional pics I have. Thank you for sharing your lovely home with us.
These incredible comments are making my head swim! Thank u sooooo very much for loving our home!
Really love the kitchen island. Does the table tuck into the main unit? I’d love to purchase plans for this. I’ve been looking for a design I like, and love your solution. The attention to detail in your home is amazing. I’m blown away. Beautiful job once again!
Yes,the table slides inside of the island over the microwave and drawer.
Thank you for the new photos…love it. what are the diminsions?
Thanks from me too, Alex. The additional pictures give me a much better idea of how the house laid out.
Love the wood work done in the kitchen and bathroom, too. Very cool.
The house is 24′ x16′
The porch is 24′ x 6′
The loft will be finished in the future for an additional 10′ x 8′ room.
The house is 24 x 16, porch is 24 x 6 and the loft will be 10 x 8 of usable space when we finish it in the future,right now it’s great for storage!
I would love to purchase the plans as well for the table and the island from this one. Beautifully done. Well thought out.
We appreciate your interest! We are talking to an architect about our design. Stay in touch.
I see many tiny homes on this site that I like,but its not very often that I see one that makes me pick up the keys.I will just say this house is my speed,hope the owners dont mind but I pinned it,its a awesome little house.
Thanks for saying that!!
As others have said would love to be able to get total plans. It is amazing how you have managed to fit it all so perfectly into such a tiny space.
I love this house! You have found a way to put everything in so nicely – even a tub! I also love the island with tuck in table. Beautiful
Thanks so much!
I absolutely love this house. It is my favorite of all I have seen. Really diggin the front porch.
Sorry, I hit comment and I should have hit reply.
Thank-you for your comments!
Hi Brenda & Marvin! What a wonderful surprise to see your new “tiny home” in the lime light. Marvin, it looks like you’ve used your boat building talents to finesse compact storage and beautiful finishes. Makes me wonder what you’ll be design and build for the kitty cats. I’ll be sure to share your photos with Noah. We’re planning a trip to NC and plan a surprise visit at CLB 8/13. Wish we could see you then. Miss ya’ll much. <3
Hi Lorene! Thanks for your sweet remarks. We do love it! It’s our tiny countrycottage/boat/cabin!
Hope all is well for you and Noah. Would love to see you but I don’t think it’s possible. Have fun!!
What a charming, comfortable, nostalgic home. I feel at home there already.
I absolutely love the layout and roominess of this little cottage. It seems so…livable. Congratulations. It is wonderful.
It is hard to write everyone back, but don’t think for a minute that we aren’t truly appreciative for all of your encouraging remarks!
What else can I say: WOW,WOW,WOW!!!
Will await plan and layout
Again, I really love your house. The bathroom is so beautiful, as well as everything else. Love the butcher block tops. Really great job! Thanks for more photos.
Absolutely love it!
Brenda, would you be willing to share your floor plan? I want a kitchen, a BATH TUB, a real porch and a bedroom downstairs…yours is the best design I’ve seen so far.
Thanks for your comments!
I think my husband is going to try to get that together so I can share. He has been sooooo busy trying to catch up on paying work,lol! Keep checking back!
Absolutely love the counter tops!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, AND THANK YOU!!!!!! With such a wonderful “hot” topic such as this adored small home, being able to read ALL 94 comments at the same time is deeply appreciated!!!
Thank you for listening and responding to your fans request to bring back the former format. 😀
Yay! You’re welcome!! So happy you’re happy 😀
I, too, am glad to have the comments listing reset to the original.
Good home to share too as it is very flexible for different and changing needs.
Well done to them both.
I accidentally pushed the “report comment” tab on one of the comments. So sorry.
This tiny house is ADORABLE and very livable. Yes please – plans would be great, as well as an approximate costing for the project.
I’m in love with the porch, kitchen and bath.
Thank you for sharing.
What are the dimension of the house?
Overall good design. Is fridge undercounter? I would need larger one like stove. Brillant island/table design. I would put plate hanger by sink and commode in bath not showing from kitchen. Also do you have walk-in shower. Is laundry in bath…can’t see.. love house exterior.
There is a big black fridge in one of the pics in the right-hand corner. Should be near a window or door. Sorry, I don’t recall.
The “Big Black Fridge” is in photo #5 and#7. It’s hidden by the blue glass vase of flowers and also the reflection from the window obscures it.
Great house! A lot of thought was invested in the planning of this miniature paradise . Question, What are the counter tops? They are awesome! They look like they might be granite, or maybe butcher block!
Totally awesome, You should be very proud!
Thank you for sharing!!!!
Thank you!! I spent more hours than one could even begin to imagine on designing my sweet Tiny Home. A lot of nights I simply couldn’t shut down with ALL of the creative juices flowing in my mind. I actually felt sad when I had it perfected and the designing was over, but joyous at the same time!
But beyond all else…. what helped was having an amazing wooden boat builder to do almost anything that I would request! We worked really well bouncing ideas off each other, and of course, compromising.
The counter tops are various pieces of old wood that he had saved through the years,and they finally got made into the prettiest tops available,in my opinion.
I guess you can tell….I am very proud of our accomplishment!!
It’s a labor of LOVE to grow old in.
We are looking for a tiny house plans that would work for us. I really like this one. Thank you
For those who haven’t read ALL of the Q & A, here is Brenda’s answer to the size of the house, porch and loft
“Brenda June 27, 2015, 8:00 pm
The house is 24′ x16′
The porch is 24′ x 6′
The loft will be finished in the future for an additional 10′ x 8′ room.”
This Tiny House is adorable! I would change one thing, however. I would make the window near the stove shorter and add counter space with storage underneath. Even as an after thought, a smaller “island” on wheels could be made to fit that space and then you could wheel it anywhere you wanted…perhaps a table that could be used in the seating area. Just some personal preferences adding to an already fabulous little place. Congratulations!
Thanks for your comments!
The window being shorter wouldn’t have worked to add more counter space because of the fridge. Believe me I worked every angle possible. I actually have more storage than I can fill.
Also, the island was thought to roll at first,but what worked better for me, was it to have outlets for the microwave and appliances on top when needed. The table rolls out with ease for dining and we eat on our front porch the majority of our meals anyway. In the winter we will put glass panels in for solar gain and continued dining on our porch.
Well Brenda you have something to be proud of.muy bonita.
This looks like a charming and very comfy house ,very nice craftsmanship also . Good luck In your house
I love this little house! I’m inspired even more that the same could happen for me and my little family. We are on our first steps to build a small house of maybe 500-650 sq ft. But we have no building experience.
Could you please tell me if you had any professional help in the actual building of the house (Such as foundation, framing, etc…)? I’m concerned about cost, but want a sturdy house.
P.S. I’m in love with those countertops!!! Congratulations on a gorgeous home!!
Thanks for loving our home!
We did do all of the work ourselves from the ground up, and am unsure what it would cost for you to hire the job out.
I do hope your dreams become a reality for a small home…we never want to go back to our monstrous house with all the maintenance and upkeep…we DO NOT miss it! Life is good!
All the best,
Hi Brenda – you and Marvin really do have a terrific home! I was interested to read that you use the porch as a heat sink. We used our porch in a similar manner although ours was 10’x 20′. Instead of using glass windows we used rain shields – big heavy marine grade plastic sheeting that rolled up like a roman blind into a casing that looked like an upside down rain gutter. We had them for ten years with only a few tears (tornadoes will do that) and highly recommend them as a fast easy option that means you never have to go running to bring in cushions in a rainstorm. Mosquitocurtains.com out of Atlanta sells them in a variety of styles for both domestic and business uses. We were living in Ontario then and they worked well day to day living for all but January and February and even then the uninsulated space remained well above freezing. So… another option.
We will look into those panels for sure!
I like it, I really do, but now that I’ve seen the floor plan, I realize that the living space is 90% kitchen and 10% relaxing space. I think this space could be better laid out for more entertaining & lounging. I cook a lot and I want LOTS of kitchen space, but compared to the relaxing space and seeing as how only a small portion of our days are filled with cooking and eating as opposed to other activities, (TV, Computer, Work, etc) I think too much space is dedicated to kitchen.
I DO love the big bath and bedroom though. I may borrow from the gist of this one and put some of my own ideas down on paper.
Thanks for sharing.
LOL. Anyone that knows me on this board will know that the ratio listed: 90% kitchen and 10% lounging is PERFECT FOR ME! LOL, again. 😀
But, JanneZack makes a good point that I didn’t “see” until the floor plan was listed. I guess it just depends upon how you spend your time at home as to what ratio each person would need. Here, in Michigan, our weather is usually SO miserable that you could NEVER rely on lounging outdoors; for instance, June’s stats just came in and we’ve had the RAINIEST June since 1893 and only received 47% of the available sunshine out there! We are also running 15 degrees below normal temps: our low last night was 52 and our high today is 63 chilly/cloudy degrees! Doesn’t make for much comfortable lounging on the chaise, outdoors!
Just happened on to this post. Agree this cottage is great.
I am in MI too. I think that you could face this cottage south (porch side), bump the front porch from 6 ft. deep to 8 ft. deep, and then close in the portion of the porch adjacent to the sitting area. That would give you the bigger sitting area (maybe room for a little wood stove), and with the living room to the west/bedroom to the east the closed in living space would shield the open section of the porch from the cold northwest wind we get in the winter.
Hi Katy, Thanks for your comments.
Just wanted you to know that our house is facing south, and the Living area is west,bedroom is southeast. You are right when you thought that it would work better. An 8’ft. wide porch would certainly add some extra space. We do plan to close in the southeast part of the porch with removable glass panels to take in the solar gain in the winter and open it back up for springtime. We actually will use that space in the wintertime for extended living space.
It all works out quite wonderfully for now.
Perfect proportions for Florida. I would screen in the porch and substitute the tub with a large walk-in shower. Those are personal preferences, but I love the huge kitchen, it is where I am when not outside or in bed anyway.
Thanks so much for sharing!
Thanks for the comments!
It truly comes down to a personal preference. I realize that what works for us may not be for everyone, and that’s ok.
We enjoy the beautiful outdoors at least 3/4 of the year and we chose to not have a TV or computer in our home. We relax with music or a good book, which requires very little space…. and once the upstairs loft is finished we will have a wonderful bonus room to enjoy as well. What is important to us is a nice size kitchen where I can prepare a bounty of wonderful food, I LOVE to cook…and we adore sitting on our porch looking into our beautiful meadow while we appreciate our life,and it’s simplicity, over a great meal.
Our house and home is absolutely perfect for us!
Brenda & Marvin, your home is absolute perfection! Every inch sublime! A real kitchen for nourishing the body and soul. A downstairs bedroom and real size bathroom. Congratulations on realizing your dream and sharing it with us! I look forward to the architectural plans. Thank you!!
Thank you so much Sonja!
It seems a bit surreal some days. We keep telling each other how very much contentment our TH is giving to our lives. We have ALL the things within these walls that we could ever possibly need, and an absolute appreciation for the blessings of our wonderful home!
When it comes right down to what we THINK we need… good health, and the basics for being happy are pretty much it!
Hunter and Jennifer said it! Wow. This is the plan for me, too! Great build and thank you so much for sharing and providing the rest of us with such an inspiring story!
Thank- you,Trudy,Hunter,Jennifer and everyone else that has loved our Tiny home design and showered us with such fabulous feedback!
For those who would put the plate rack by sink instead of stove, I think that’s a personal preference. I would imagine since they eat most meals on porch, they probably don’t dish the food up from stove, but rather serve themselves from stove and take plate outside. Therefore, for that purpose I would rather have plates handy by the stove if it were me. Maybe that was the thought process going on for them as well. Just a thought. Very lovely small home with everything two people could possibly need. I do watch a very little amount of TV so would incorporate a small one somewhere, maybe bedroom, but I would also rather be sitting outside reading, so I can appreciate their use of space. Great job you two!!! It’s beautiful!!!
I do believe you have us figured out!! The other reason was the shelf by the sink is smaller and would’ve only held 4 plates.
Happy Independence Day to All the Tiny Home Enthusiasts!
Wonderful job! Great big kitchen and bathroom. The front porch is the icing on your cake. The kitchen island is a must in the cooks world and you guys nailed it. I can see you built this beautiful home to fit your needs and personality. Nice place.
Hello. This is by far the most beautiful ‘tiny house’ that I’ve seen, you must be so proud of it. It’s perfect, I could move in now!! Thank you for sharing your home with us and I hope you enjoy living there.
Thanks Sarah! We have settled right in,and honestly I don’t think we could be more pleased with living in our tiny home!
We really designed it around our needs and haven’t missed a beat thus far!
Great house. may barrow the design but make it closer to 500 sqft.
Thank you! Good luck with that extra sq. footage!
I have a 16′ x 20′ cabin with a 6’x 20′ covered deck and an 8’x 20′ loft. 600 sq ft in total. Your pictures have given me lots of idea on how to finish ours as we are struggling with how to position a kitchen in it and to make the best use of our space. The cabin is open concept. We’ve made use of some butchers blocks as counter tops but want to put in a sink and a small fridge. At present we have no fridge and use a propane camp stove. Mostly we bbq when we are there and are outside the majority of time . We are off grid so making use of limited power but that suits us fine. We have a composting outhouse which works great, and have plans to put a composting toilet in the cabin at a later date. I don’t see a wood stove in your pictures so how do you heat your cabin?
We are SO insulated that we could almost use a candle. We heat with 3 small Conservetech Envi Heaters, they are electric. We didn’t have money or space for a wood stove….we will be building a Fire pit outside!
Good luck on yours!
Looking forward to some pics on here once you finish.
Brenda, I love you beautifull home. It will be perfect for me. Iam looking forward to when you have the plans for sale and I will be your first customer. Stay in good health.
Thanks so much, Hope!!
I guess I need to check back from time to time. Sorry that I’m just seeing your post.
We are really super happy with this decision!
Stay in touch if you are interested in plans.
This (plus a real living room) = perfection. Too small for me, but so very happy the owners got exactly what they wanted and needed, and then got so many pats on the back for their ingenuity and hard work! Much deserved.
Please show us what is up in the loft? It’s such a lovely home-and I love the green walls too!
Hi Cheryl, thanks for liking our home!
Our loft is unfinished right now. I will try to send pics. We use it for storage at the moment. Our desire is to turn it into a reading nook with comfortable seating. We have the space for a daybed or two comfy chairs.
Thanks for the additional pictures and the floor plan sketch. I had pretty much figured it out but it’s good to have confirmation. Do you use the loft for sleeping, grand kids or guests, or for storage? I think I would love to work around this base structure and add a larger den area and a half bath to the kitchen end. Wife and I agreed we would never be able to co-exist with just a single bathroom. With our little tweaks this is exactly what we would want to have at the river.
Now that we have been living in our TH for 4 months we can’t say that there is much that we would change. We feel so liberated from the clutter of stuff and wasted heated and cooled space! I have to honestly say to anyone thinking of going small…This layout is beyond perfect. We truly are so comfortable and it really doesn’t feel small at all.
The loft is unfinished,but once completed it will used for relaxing, and a place for our guests to sleep. Storage enclosures will be built under the low ends of the roof.
A 1/2 bath would be nice in the future but we actually do fine with one,even when we have guests over.
Thank you Brenda and Marvin for sharing your beautiful home and results of your hard work. I truly appreciate the both of you. I would also be interested to see your site if you have one, on the wooden boats you design and build. Have you designed a tiny houseboat yet? If so I would be interested to see it. Thanks again for your contribution to tiny house talk and to those of us who stick and stay. God bless each of you always. Thanks Alex for a great article and good people. Thanks to God for ALL!!! Happy trails!
Thank you, Glema! That was so sweet to read!
We haven’t built a houseboat as of yet, that would be a lot of fun!
Here is our website
Oh, my! Bravo, bravo! Charming, practical, useful, and affordable. If I could build like that, I’d rush to find land so I could build this very house. Thank you so much for sharing.
Thanks soooo much!
This is perfect all around and I love the way you arranged everything, so well planned out. I lived in a house a little smaller than this when I first got out on my own but not nearly as well laid out. This is now my dream home if I can ever convince my Hubbie to downsize from this too large of home we have now.
Bravo to you
Convince that hubbie,you will be so happy you did!
Nothing has ever made me want to build a tiny home more than yours! Absolutely gorgeous in EVERY aspect… everyone has their own needs, and that would stand to reason for their ‘suggestions’. LOVE the Full bathroom and bedroom and the kitchen is always the heart of the home! Kudos to you! Would be interested to know more on your insulating as living in MI, it gets cold and need more heat than a candle, even with superior insulation….also wondering on your hot water heater??? Location and size. Your home has made me want to go small more than anything I have ever seen. Lookin’ forward to plans, as everyone else is. This is utterly my dream!
Wow Robin, thank-you so much!
We have brutally cold winters here and time will tell since this will be our first in our TH. We have a heater in each room so I think we will stay toasty. The hot water heater had to go in our loft….we wanted a tankless that would have gone on the wall near my corner cab in the bathroom,but it just didn’t work out. It is a 40 gallon capacity. Plenty for my long hot soaks!
I submitted a photo a bit ago that someone had asked for of the loft area,the HW heater is to the left of the doorway.
Hello Brenda, bought an acre of land in the piney woods of texas, just waiting for your plans. I am so happy that you are keeping warm this first winter. Keep safe
I’m sorry we are slow in getting architectural drawings. The architect has ran into a snag with stuff in his life,and consequently is way behind. We sure don’t want to slow you down,what is your timeline for building?
I love this design, all the space savers (or dual use areas) and your wood counters. But – Where do you store your food? All I see are the dishes and pretty things. Or do you forgo baking, canned and packaged foods, and just shop every other day?
Hi Ruth, thanks for liking all the details.
The pictures were right after we moved in and I wasn’t totally organized. But to answer your question,I have tons of storage…some in deep drawers, one drawer is just for flour,sugar,etc. for baking,other dry and canned storage is on shelving in the pantry.
We eat a lot of fresh food as well, and that just requires the fridge. No shortage on space whatsoever in this TH!
This is the nicest cottage yet. Thanks for the price, it’s often a question on what a small house would cost. Rob
Just want to throw in a comment here…
If you think that the workmanship and the exquisite wood finishing on the counters, tables, floors – heck – on the entire HOUSE are beautiful, you should see the boats that this man builds. Check out Brush Creek Yachts. Marvin is a true craftsman, with a painstaking attention to detail that is nearly impossible to find these days. His boats are a work of art!!
That was a wonderful compliment and is greatly appreciated!
FINALLY, a nice sized cottage with a wonderful amount of character in it BEFORE furnishing it in your own manner AND it is in a budget minded sense along with some useful recycling and re-purposing. This style and smart use is what I would love to see more and more on the newsletter versus similar sized places that cost 4X the amount of money. Granted, the time frame might not suit most folks that need a shelter from all the elements around them, but it seems more and more “new” tiny houses are being peddled as vacation/second homes instead of primary residence and I guess that is where all these small builders are targeting, the rich folks that want more than a hotel room down at the lake/beach/mountain, but they don’t care how much it will cost them as they aren’t on a budget per se. THANK YOU for sharing this, I love it and I really want to find a plot of land to build myself something that might take a year or more to source/afford all the materials, but then I would be able to sell this mortgage black hole and live life with what I NEED instead of what everyone else says I need in a house.
I hope you can find that plot of land and build what fits and suits your personality and budget.
All the best,
Where are you located. I want to build totally off grid. And live in NC. I want to do it myself and start with a shell to use as a camping residence for vacations and eventually retire there. I have lots available for people that would have similar interests. I call this creating a poor mans paradise. Build on good ground, with own hands, while camping in the center of your project. Cook out doors, under the stars and sleep in what you own. I need neighbors and have 20 lots available. Will finance to help you get started. I am in Lake Lure Area. Please notify Alax if you have any interest. We can create a community and help each other build exactly what we want. We can plan for community garden, and other good neighbor projects. I am ready to start immediately.
kudos to the creator of this house. Love the well organized closet in the bedroom. but love that big railed front porch the best.. Job well done..
Thanks a lot!!
ALL I CAN SAY IS LOVE ,LOVE ,LOVE IT AND CAN YOU BUILD ME ONE TOOO,,,,,,, I CAN BE YOUR NEIGHBOR LOL
I too like this house, however I’m surprised that nobody commented on the fact that there is no real living room. There is no place to ‘hang out’ or read comfortably.
Rebecca,,,If you look there is a place in the front of house with a small cozy couch blue blanket on it, and ottoman, ,,looks like a great place to hangout for me ,,plus that beautiful porch
Carolyne, thanks for explaining that! I am on my computer right now, stretched out,and this is where I spend a lot of time reading. We had to give up something to fit it all in this small foot print,and a bigger living room was the sacrifice.
We may extend things down the road, but for right now…we are two happy souls with what we have been blessed with for today.
Brenda I’m interested in the plans too. Goldie Locks said it all this is just right. LOL ! I love it! I love how you used a corner hutch in the bathroom. Looking forward to the day you have the building plans for sale.
We are trying hard to keep our costs down without architect drawings. So,our plans are just stamped and approved by our building inspector in our county. This is all new to us and we are unsure how we can do this, or what to charge w/o the blueprints.
We greatly appreciate your desire for them and hopefully we can figure this out.
Comments and suggestions welcomed.
You could just email or mail out copies of the to-scale drawings you have. It appears to me that you used the standard 1/4 inch per foot format. Of course this would only be good for those of us who can read them unless we take them to an architect to fill in the more detailed information. At least then you could keep your costs low.
Then all you would have to do is to decided on how to collect the payment (say Paypal for example) and more importantly how much to charge.
Don’t short change yourself on the price as this is an awesome floor plan. I intend to buy it myself and with just a few minor tweaks make it my own retirement home.
Good luck with getting the plan out and please let Tiny house know when it is available.
We certainly appreciate your help.
We will be working on this.?
OMG! This place is adorable, I love it!
Meant to say OMGosh! This place is adorable, I love it!
Is there a loft space and if so how big is it?
Excellent levels of finish on all the surfaces in your home.
Congratulations to you both for your achievements.
We like your different height kitchen-counters for different size cooks.
Although it can darken the interior, a veranda expands the living space… and adds character.
You seem aware of the sun track. That roof is ripe for solar.
Bricks stacked as a post-foundation. Hmmm. Are you thinking, next time, you might go with a traditional concrete footing all around?
Great little home. For me, I’d move the head of the bed to the other wall away from the electrical panel box. All the electricity that comes into your home enters via your Electrical/Circuit Breaker box. This makes your circuit breaker box an EMF hot-spot.
We had no idea about the EMF! We just did some research on it…going to get a gauge to measure it.
Thanks for alerting us.
Hi Brenda ~
I use the Cornet Electrosmog Meter ED78G. They may have a newer model out.
Now this is beautiful, 384 sq.ft. for under $27,000.00 that is what I have been saying all along, and should be an example to every on tiny house talk….! You don’t need to be paying those rip off artists who call themselves architects $40,000.0+ thousands of dollars for 175 sq.ft. … More people should take a lesson from these brave folks page, and resist those con artists who claim to be craftsman and gauge our pockets so that we no longer need pay a mortgage for a big house, to move into a tiny overpriced one…! I want to thank these nice people for sharing their home with us, and I pray they live and enjoy it for many years to come….! Thank you for showing us it can be done….!
Thanks for the comments!
We’ve been in our TH for over a year,and can say without any reservation that it completes us!!!!
To answer your questions….
There is loft space,72 sq. ft.,6ft. high in the center.
The front porch does add a lot of usable space and wonderful shade in the heat of the day. The house is really very bright inside in spite of it. We are hoping that when wintertime rolls around to have it closed in with removable panels and a small wood stove for ambiance! Can’t wait to sit out there and watch the snow come down!
The counter height is all the same,the roll out table may have confused you in the pics.
There is a continuous foundation under the brick peers.
And to Zachary, THANK-YOU SOOOOO MUCH! It’s nice to see it back in circulation and hopefully help folks see that it has a lot to offer when it comes to space and price! It’s so comfortable! We wake up everyday with such an appreciation of what we have designed and how functional it is
When we watch HGTV on Tiny Homes,we CANNOT believe what people pay for way less sq. footage than this. We sure could show them how to live the dream w/o spending everything you have in order to get there!
Brenda & Marvin
Love your home. Plans are well thought out and
excellent use of space. The porch is wonderful. The bedroom is great with lots of storage. All around best tint home I have seen.
Great job! A very attractive small home.
Just came across this one. Had it flagged for follow up in my email from a year and a half ago….boy am I glad! Brenda & Marvin, it’s delightful. I also enjoyed reading all of the comments folks had to say. My husband Brad and I will be building a 400 square foot home on our property in North Western Lower Michigan this summer. Much of what you’ve done fits our style to a tee as well. Kudos and THANK you for sharing it with all of us like minded planners and dreamers!!
Thanks Kimberly I’m glad you came back and checked it out!
Thank you so much!!! I’d love to see yours when it’s completed. Please share,if it’s possible.
I feel like we’ve been living in our TH for years,and we sure do love it! We just put a TV in it and it’s feels kind of strange,but good at the same time. We also are talking about taking down a wall and extending the bedroom onto a 10×6′ portion of the porch. We closed our porch in for the winter months with temporary panels in 8′ sections with 3 windows. It is all removable in the Spring. A job that will take about 4-5 hrs. Its been very nice so far. The porch is a must for this TH!
All the best on your build.
I Love this little home. Reminds me of my Grandparents fishing cottage or my Aunties home on the farm in Wisconsin. Best Home I have seen in quite a while. So much character and warmth. I just want to live there. Makes me feel like I have been given a big hug. ;D
Thank you! It feels sooo wonderful hearing this.
Aww 🙂 That’s a great way to describe it! — Tiny House Talk Team
Kudos on this build! You have created a beautiful, cozy HOME. May you enjoy a beautiful life.
Thanks! So far,SO GOOD!?
Yes! — Tiny House Talk Team
Nice to see a picture of a small home of the same dimensions I’m drawing right now. The hope is to build this year. We are living with my daughter in Utah for the winter. Our camper near Traverse City, MI doesn’t cut it for the winter months. The plan is for a cold roof (12/12 pitch) over insulated attic, 2×12 ceiling joists to get us close to R-45 using Roxul insulation. Planning open floor plan, surface mounted electrical, composting toilet, etc. Fixed income, very tight budget.
Bottom line, I really appreciate what you folks have done and the porch is sweet – keep the entry doors away from snow, rain. Be well. Neil and Nikki
That sounds like a great build! — Tiny House Talk Team
What a cozy place! Such an amazing use of space. Couldnt have been better .
I agree 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team
The exterior looks like a lot of beach houses, on the South Carolina coast.
Oooh yes it does 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team
What a lovely home. I would have liked to have seen more photos especially of the kitchen. Liked the spaciousness of the home.
I totally love everything about this th. What state are they located in, if I may ask? I’m curious because I will be building a th soon, without wheels and this one is very impressive and I thank them for sharing the layout. Also, I like to know what areas of the US are becoming th friendly. Thank you!
Thanks Carmi! We are in Virginia.
All the best on your build.
Hi Carmi — I’m sorry I don’t know the state! They didn’t share 🙁
best and most affordable I have seen. I am too old to build my own but I think I would be able to have someone to do it for me.
That is flippin’ *gorgeous*.
Kind of my dream house (don’t want anything bigger).
Thanks for loving our Tiny Home! We are still madly in love with it!
Hi Marvin. I really enjoy your site. Very informative. I would love to ask Brenda and Marvin though if the bedroom is up the ladder (upper level) or if it i’s on the ground level? I am handicapped so I can’t do stairs. This would be great if it was on the ground level. Thanks so much.
By the way, Brenda and Marvin, love your piece of heaven.
I just read in more detail about your beautiful home in the comments. So i know now that the bedroom is on the main floor. By the way, Brenda and Marvin, love your piece of heaven.
Thank you so much,Vickie! We believe it’s next to what would be paradise, and we have the conversation about it almost daily! Tiny has its rewards if you have nature out your front door.
Just found this – for the first time – through the Tiny House Newsletter (thank you, Alex!). Brenda and Marvin, you have achieved tiny near-perfection. Question: were you ever able to produce drawings or blueprints? I would buy in a heartbeat. You combined most of my must-haves with a design that would be easy to customize. Congratulations to you, and thanks for the inspiration.
Thank you,Wendy! We have let life get in the way of getting our plans for the house out there.
What I will do is make copies of the design that our building inspector approved for us ,and sell them to you, and anyone else that may be interested. Keep in mind that the plans are not drawn by an architect. Give me an address and I will get working on it after the weekend.
I would also be interested. Thank you.
Thanks for the quick reply! Copies will be just fine. Should I email you through the yacht website? (That’s gorgeous, too, by the way!) I currently live in the Seattle area, but am actively looking at acreage in SW Washington. Time to live the dream…
Could I also be on the list of drawings-by-email folk. I can’t afford a large sum, but would love to get more details.
Any pics of your loft space to show as well?
Hi,Wendy and Vickie. I’ve been out of town, but I plan to make copies on Wednesday. Please contact my personal email for the cost,as well as your mailing address.
Thanks, and I hope everyone enjoys a Happy 4th!
Aewsome house and layout. Love the tub!
Please, please can we see the loft space! This is a dream of cosy and practical elegance. Well done guys!
Thank you,Prana! Unfortunately, our loft is still an unfinished space. We are currently using it for storage, which makes for a hard place to photograph.
Thanks, Brenda. Sorry to keep posting here, but – I am unable to locate your personal email since the notifications I receive are do-not-reply. If you can’t see my email on this comment, please use this temporary email: [email protected].
Thanks. I sent you an email with hopes that it made it to you.
No shower, just tub. Hard to wash long hair.
We are now selling copies of our house plans,if interested email me for details and cost. [email protected] yahoo.com
very nice. You can actually see all the “love” they put into the design. The modern look with an antique style in the kitchen. At first thought the stair case might be a bit tough to negotiate yet, up close it looks marvelous. Could have been the initial camera angle which gave the first impression.
This is a very nice place. Hoping they either live in a warm climate or they might be planning to insulate and enclose the underneath part of the house – otherwise those floors will be quite chilly during the colder temps. Otherwise, no need to repeat what everyone else has already written. Oh, the corner cupboard looks like a built-in antique cabinet. Love the design.
I would have shrunk the kitchen way down with much smaller appliances to allow for some living space. It has no living room, so you are either standing up or in the bed all the time. We have has a 16 x 24 with a loft for 20 years and are in the process of adding another 250 sf to it
I LOVE this place, absolutely adorable, so cozy and comfortable looking, very welcoming
Where is the furnace, hot water heater, water pump, etc? This is the nicest little home I have ever seen. I would need room for my “prayer chair” in the living room instead of the “sofa” you have built and a desk for creating art, paying bills, doing Bible Studies, etc. I would/could totally make this work for me with just a few minor modifications. What a blessing this is!!!!
We do not have a furnace. We heat with slim wall mounted environment heaters. Water heater is up in the loft, the water pump is in the barn where our pressure tank is. Hope this answers your questions.
Love the house.
But… omg, those bricks for the piles???? One moderate earthquake and bye bye house. And don’t say you don’t have earthquakes. I recall a few years back an earthquake happening somewhere in the States that had never in colonised times experienced one… so it is always a possibility.
Thanks for loving our tiny home.
We like living on the edge,lol! We are insured and prefer not to worry about every little thing that could possibly go wrong. There are no perfect scenarios in life.
I absolutely love it!
guess im not the only one that cant find pics. see almost a pic of kitchen area and a pic looking down the ladder, and one of the porch? would be nice to see it.
Love this!! To see more pics, look for the large 1,2,3. These are more pages of pics.