Carolien is a remarkable woman who we had the pleasure of interviewing! She lives in the Netherlands and travels extensively, since she’s been able to reduce her expenses by living in her off-grid tiny house on wheels.
She built the tiny house with her dad, and used many reclaimed materials to make it a lovely and sustainable home. You’re going to love the tour below and hearing from Carolien about the joys and challenges of tiny life.
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Her Off-Grid DIY Tiny House on Wheels
At the time, I was living in an apartment with only a tiny balcony, but I wanted a garden and more space and quietness around me.
Then I saw pictures of tiny houses in a magazine and it really got me. This is what I wanted! I always feel very comfortable in tiny and cosy spaces and a tiny house was the perfect solution to start living more close to nature.
My dad and I built the tiny house together. In total, the process took one and a half years, from designing to building. We used a lot of second-hand material, for example, a lot of wood in the construction is second-hand wood. Also, the planks on the ceiling are used planks, which gives a very rustic effect.
The design is unique because I did design the tiny house by myself. There is no other tiny house that looks the same. I wanted to do the designing and building by myself because when living in a smaller space it’s very important to have a custom-made design meeting your personal preferences.
For example, I like cooking very much, so I wanted a proper kitchen. And I also like to have a normal couch to enjoy in my free time, so my living area is big enough to do so. But that also means I had less space for a bedroom, so now I have a sofa bed to sleep on. That works fine for me.
Normally, I have a permanent job in the Netherlands, where I live. But at the moment I’m traveling for six months. Currently, I’m volunteering in Lapland, Finland and after that I will travel to some other countries.
Because I live mortgage-free I’m able to take some time off work and travel the world. I like to travel on a budget and try to volunteer work here and there. Because I think living a simple life makes me more happy, I also try to do this when travelling.
Since living tiny I have found a closer connection with nature. I started learning about gardening and about the birds and animals living around my tiny house. I experience more freedom overall.
Also, financial, it’s a bit easier for me as I live mortgage-free. My tiny house is also off grid, so I have no expenses on water or electricity.
As an introvert, I like the quietness of living in nature. Before I always wanted to visit busy places and events but thanks to tiny living I realized I feel more comfortable with easy living.
In terms of challneges, for me, it’s the cold in the wintertime. I have a wood stove, but as I’m working during the day there’s not enough hours to heat my tiny house completely.
When it’s freezing outside temperatures get below 0° (32° F) inside during the night, and if I’m lucky it will heat up above 15° (59° F) during the day. But other than that I enjoy everything about tiny living.
The best part of tiny living is waking up in the morning with the sound of singing birds and having my morning coffee in the sun on my little porch.
- Carolien came across tiny homes in a magazine, and thought that would be so much nicer than living in an apartment with a small balcony!
- Tiny living allows her to spend more time traveling since she doesn’t have a big mortgage or utility bills.
- She built the house with her dad over about a year and a half.
- They used plenty of reclaimed materials to make a unique and cozy space.
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