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Earthen Dome with European Soaking Tub

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This cob structure sits at the Saoirse Learning Center, where the owner wants others to learn and experience tiny and alternative living styles:

Offering professionally conducted workshops and wellness retreats along with unique accommodation options, Jen and her crew are on a mission to help more people free themselves from the stresses of the modern world, to live in harmony with themselves and their surroundings, and learn how to live life more sustainably.

She has two other homes on her property, but I just love this dome and all the character inside and out!

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Saoirse Learning Center Sustainable Vacation

Earthen Dome with European Soaking Tub 8

Images via Airbnb/Jennifer

This picture was taken before the new glass window was installed.

Earthen Dome with European Soaking Tub 7

Images via Airbnb/Jennifer

Now look at the artsy window!

Earthen Dome with European Soaking Tub 6

Images via Airbnb/Jennifer

Love all the curves in the kitchen!

Earthen Dome with European Soaking Tub 5

Images via Airbnb/Jennifer

A queen bed welcomes you to rest.

Earthen Dome with European Soaking Tub 4

Images via Airbnb/Jennifer

What you need for some simple meal prep.

Earthen Dome with European Soaking Tub 3

Images via Airbnb/Jennifer

What an awesome tub/shower.

Earthen Dome with European Soaking Tub 2

Images via Airbnb/Jennifer

The mosaic on the floor looks stunning.

Earthen Dome with European Soaking Tub

Images via Airbnb/Jennifer


Our unique dome retreat is nestled on ten acres of lush, shaded property. We are just off of Hwy 281 and within 1 mile of historic downtown Blanco. This unusual style of living is offset by the rustic feel of a relaxing, quiet country stay.

Our dome comfortably sleeps two guests on its queen size bed, has a well equipped kitchen and a European soak tub that doubles as a shower if you prefer.

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Our big thanks to Jennifer for sharing! 🙏

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.
{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Sharon Gail Buchman
    October 14, 2021, 9:03 am

    Is it a possibility for you to send me specialized emails of only “Earthen” material? Also, are there any known books I can purchase on the subject as well as how to create ones that will last?


    • Eric
      January 26, 2022, 3:08 pm

      Sharon, if you go to the website you can probably search for Earthen built homes.

  • Sharon
    October 14, 2021, 10:08 am

    I think it’s ADORABLE. I Love the front door the glass window with the flowers on it. I Love the kitchen too but I prefer a stove in it. The tub was unusual never seen one like it but I Loved it.

  • Linda Tracy
    October 14, 2021, 2:34 pm

    One word…HEAVEN!!!

  • Cathie Dunk
    October 15, 2021, 9:52 am

    This speaks to my inner Hobbit. Luv it!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      October 17, 2021, 6:04 am

      Yes! Now just to find a suitable shire…

  • David Pedersen
    October 15, 2021, 11:02 am

    That is not a European soaking tub. Though it looks really nice. Seems like some Americans do not know a lot about European or Scandinavian interior design – but keep claiming design similarities. Please stop trying to claim similarities unless you actually know.

    • James D.
      October 15, 2021, 7:39 pm

      Actually, European-style bathrooms are just typical of what’s otherwise often referred to as “transitional design,” which simply means that they combine elements from different eras and design movements, which this design does incorporate with the artisan mosaic tiling, Ofuros inspired soaking tub that has become fairly popular in Europe, making the tub the center piece of the bathroom, next to a pedestal sink, etc are all European design influences…

      Seriously, designers these days are drawing upon centuries of history and a multitude of cultural influences, but as long as those elements are drawn from Europe, past or present, then they’re going to be called European… It’s just how that works, even when an American takes the idea and runs with it with something completely hand made, because it’s giving credit to the source of the design/inspiration!

  • Shirley M Potts
    December 9, 2021, 10:48 am

    Was this dome hand made on site or is it manufactured and can be ordered? It is beautiful! Or is there plans that can be purchased?

    • James D.
      December 9, 2021, 12:48 pm

      Earthen structures are typically hand made on site, with mostly local materials… Though, Appendix U is being introduced with the 2021 IRC update for adding Cob houses to the building codes and there’s starting to be companies in states like Texas that are developing machinery to do things like process the local materials into bricks, etc. to make the process easier and quicker… Along with some developing standard designs, if not actual plans…

      This is also part of an update to the Appendix Q (AKA Tiny House Building Code), which was first introduced with the 2018 IRC update and now for the 2021 IRC update they’ve made changes like…

      -Braced wall lines must be placed on a physical wall or placed between multiple walls.
      -The rated separation for two-family dwellings is 1 hour whether or not a lot line exists between units.
      -Emergency escape and rescue openings require a clear 36-inch-wide path to a public way.
      -An engineered design is required for storm shelters.
      -A habitable attic is limited to one-half the area of the story below and the dwelling requires sprinklers.
      -Updated Wind Speed maps match IBC and ASCE 7 maps.
      -Deck design now considers snow load, tributary area for footing and post height, and guard details.
      -Specific requirements for deck guardrails were added.
      -Component and cladding wind pressures in Table R301.2(2) are updated for new design wind speeds and hip or gable roof profiles.
      -Minimum footing size tables are revised to more accurately reflect current practice.
      -Cripple wall requirements apply only to exterior cripple walls.
      -A 30 percent reduction of airflow is permitted for balanced ventilation systems.
      -Commercial gas cooking appliances are prohibited.
      -The head pressure for a water test of DWV systems increased to 10 feet.
      -Air vacuum testing is now permitted for plastic piping DWV systems.
      -Section P2904 for dwelling sprinklers is expanded to more closely align with NFPA 13D.
      -An emergency service disconnect is required in a readily accessible outdoor location.
      -A surge protective device (SPD) is now required at the service panel.
      -The number of receptacle outlets required for peninsular and island countertops in kitchens is determined by the area of the countertop surface.
      -GFCI protection is now required for damp and wet locations not included in the other 10 areas requiring GFCI protection.

      And besides the Cob House Appendix, they also introduced Appendix AW for 3D printed Houses, which is also something being seen in states like Texas, who recently did a whole neighborhood project, ranging in size from 900 to 2000 Sq Ft homes…

      So, information may still be hard to find but there’s going to be a growing number of options and ways to go about it going forward as it becomes more wide spread…

  • Diana
    January 25, 2022, 5:47 pm

    My dream of living in an earth structure, this is a bit small but right up my alley!

  • Donna Rae
    January 26, 2022, 1:21 pm

    Be still my heart! If you don’t immediately think “Hobbit” you need to get out more! This looks very much like the domes and homes built using earth bags. There is a whole village built out in Hesperia, CA that is worth a look-see. You can buy the earth bags there and I might have read that you can learn their technique there, too. Don’t hold me to that, though! I have seen videos on the technique so maybe that is all that is needed to get started. Some of the structures are quite old and have withstood more than an earthquake or two, as well. Some of them are quite spacious but would still qualify for a “small” designation. Love this!!!

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