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Marsha’s 8×8 Shed-To-Tiny-House Conversion

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Marsha Cowen has been a loyal THT reader for a long time, and she’s also done her fair share of tiny living!

We first featured her Darling Tiny House, then her Nest THOW, next she bought and renovated an awesome bus. She sold that and built another tiny house on wheels, and most-recently, her truck bed tiny home she used while moving cross-country. Now she’s settled in on her son’s farm in North Carolina, and transformed her 8×8 storage shed into her home!

All of her awesome cottagey essentials made it into this latest build, and it’s such a gem. She said she had plenty of help from her “crew” (a flock of adorable chickens). Enjoy the photos below!

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Her 6th Tiny House! Marsha’s Shed Home

Marsha’s 8×8 Shed-To-Tiny-House Conversion 21

Images from Marsha Cowen

Cutest mailbox ever!

Marsha’s 8×8 Shed-To-Tiny-House Conversion 17

Images from Marsha Cowen

Here’s her front door!

Marsha’s 8×8 Shed-To-Tiny-House Conversion 20

Images from Marsha Cowen

She has an off-grid sink here by the door.

Marsha’s 8×8 Shed-To-Tiny-House Conversion 22

Images from Marsha Cowen

And here’s her mini kitchen hutch.

Marsha’s 8×8 Shed-To-Tiny-House Conversion 11

Images from Marsha Cowen

Here’s her cozy bed/couch at the back of the tiny house..

Marsha’s 8×8 Shed-To-Tiny-House Conversion7

Images from Marsha Cowen

A fan keeps her cool, and twinkle lights luminate the room.

Marsha’s 8×8 Shed-To-Tiny-House Conversion 12

Images from Marsha Cowen

She has the best assortment of cactus accents!

Marsha’s 8×8 Shed-To-Tiny-House Conversion 8

Images from Marsha Cowen

How cute is this?

Marsha’s 8×8 Shed-To-Tiny-House Conversion 10

Images from Marsha Cowen

Her creative storage headboard.

Marsha’s 8×8 Shed-To-Tiny-House Conversion 15

Images from Marsha Cowen

Space heater, lovely art, and some hanging storage.

Marsha’s 8×8 Shed-To-Tiny-House Conversion 13

Images from Marsha Cowen

She found a spot for all her favorite things.

Marsha’s 8×8 Shed-To-Tiny-House Conversion 16

Images from Marsha Cowen

Here’s the deck she added to the shed.

Marsha’s 8×8 Shed-To-Tiny-House Conversion 4

Images from Marsha Cowen

The shed, right after it was delivered.

Marsha’s 8×8 Shed-To-Tiny-House Conversion 3

Images from Marsha Cowen

The rain must sound lovely on that tin roof!

Marsha’s 8×8 Shed-To-Tiny-House Conversion 2

Images from Marsha Cowen

Here’s her crew of adorable chickens!

Marsha’s 8×8 Shed-To-Tiny-House Conversion 1

Images from Marsha Cowen

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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.

Latest posts by Natalie C. McKee (see all)

{ 54 comments… add one }
  • PMorrisHTX
    September 26, 2020, 7:38 am

    Love the simplicity of the little shed setting. Makes for a nice little she shed, playhouse, storage, etc.

    And ‘the crew’s is great.

  • PMorrisHTX
    September 26, 2020, 7:39 am

    Love the simplicity of the little shed setting. Makes for a nice little she shed, playhouse, storage, etc.

    And ‘the crew’ is great.

  • Linda Baker
    September 26, 2020, 9:30 am

    This Granny. gets up to go to the bathroom at night, don’t know if she has her own outhouse or uses facilities at her son’s but a bathroom and running water are a must for me. Decorating is cute and every inch is certainly used!

    • September 26, 2020, 4:39 pm

      A 5-gal bucket and a compost bin take care of body waste disposal.

    • Marsha Cowan
      September 26, 2020, 5:37 pm

      I have a portable potty in one of the baskets under the bed for night time use, and the “big house” during the day.

      • Maria Kentala
        January 5, 2021, 7:46 am

        Well back in the day the settlers didn’t have running water or bathrooms. I could live with a portable potty plus to wash you could use a horse truffe to wash in. Just like the olden days.

        • Marsha Cowan
          January 5, 2021, 8:08 am

          True! We didn’t have running water or bathrooms on the two family farms on which I grew up, but we did wash up in wash basins filled with warm water from the water reservoir on wood stove. As we washed, we threw the water outside and filled the pan up again. My grandmother made lots of lye soap in the fall in a black kettle outside, and we used those small bars of soap for bathing and washing our hair. It rinsed more easily than todays soaps with all the added ingredients and left our hair soft and shiny. Lye is still used in your more authentic natural soaps.

  • Jan
    September 26, 2020, 3:45 pm

    I would love to know Marsha. From the homes she has made she must be a joy to have as a friend. Wish she had a blog.

    • Marsha Cowan
      September 26, 2020, 5:40 pm

      Thank you, Jan. I don’t do anything on social media unfortunately, but I am sure we would have a blast if I did.

      • Jackie
        September 27, 2020, 12:35 pm

        Stay clear of the “social media” It’ll only bring you down. I’m on FaceSpace lol and limiting my time to about every 3-4 days and no longer than 2 hours at that. LOVE THE SHED AND THE ANTIQUES ALL AROUND INSIDE.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      September 28, 2020, 12:50 pm

      Yes! Marsha you should start a blog.

  • September 26, 2020, 4:30 pm

    A bed of crushed stone under and around the perimeter of the shed will prevent dirt from being splashed up onto the exterior walls by rain.

    • Marsha Cowan
      September 26, 2020, 5:41 pm

      That’s a good idea, Kurt, and one I will look into. There is a rock and stone business about a mile down the road. Thanks!

  • September 26, 2020, 4:31 pm

    Interesting, but that’s too small to live in; useful for alone time.

    • September 26, 2020, 4:41 pm

      Did she purchase the shed custom made or directly from a big box hardware store?

      • Jeannedowell
        September 29, 2020, 12:45 am

        I have a space down my hill. How would one get a bathroom in?

        • James D.
          October 3, 2020, 1:17 am

          Depends, on-grid or off?

          What are your local requirements/rules?


          May be able to extend the utilities from the main property or set up a off-grid/portable option but local requirements/rules may limit your options and it depends on budget and how much work you’d want to do for what’s possible…

    • September 26, 2020, 4:43 pm

      Electricity via an extension cord from the main house?

      • Marsha Cowan
        September 26, 2020, 5:47 pm

        I do live on it full time; it’s larger than most of my previous homes. Lol! Though there will always be a place for me in the main house. I bought the shed from a local storage building company, but was able to design some things in it and choose others. I have 2 port plugs, one on each side of the house, and each plug has three receptacles, so I do not have to use extension cords. Everything plugs directly into the port plugs. 14 gauge cords then connect the shed to the outside receptacles of the house.

  • Janet
    September 26, 2020, 6:40 pm

    I have lived in an 8×8 for 6 months while building my 16×16 tiny home. My son myself a 3 pit bulls came to Hawaii to live. We built an 8×8 in 3 days and that’s where we lived until my house was done. Your tiny home is wonderful and an 8×8 would have worked for me. But 3 big dogs and my son was a little crowded.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      September 28, 2020, 12:48 pm

      I’m sure it was!

  • Maria Kentala
    September 27, 2020, 6:29 am

    Cute! Where did you buy the shed from? I have not seen one with that many windows before.

    • Marsha Cowan
      November 24, 2020, 4:09 pm

      Liberty Storage Solutions in Mocksville, NC makes the sheds, but I actually bought it from a local business here in my small town. In our state and county, anything under 12′ x 12′ needs no permit or inspections, and going through a local business insured that I would know about any other fees or requirements. I have a portable potty I empty every several days, I have a way to fix coffee and even cook a little, I catch water from the well pumpor house in a large enamelware coffee pot, and use my wash basin to wash off and to wash the few dishes I use, but I take showers in the house, and hang out there, too, to visit, and most nights I eat dinner with the family, so I go between both houses, but the tiny shed is my favorite spot and is quite comfortable, so I don’t need or want any other amenities, just the simple things I have.

      • Cheryl
        March 25, 2022, 7:13 pm

        Marsha – I live near Marion, NC and want to use an 8×12 shed conversion for when my mom visits. With only electricity and a compost toilet, are you saying I would NOT need building permits for her to stay in it?! That would be lovely

  • Denise
    September 27, 2020, 9:48 am

    Marsha, you always do such a wonderful job with all your builds, personalizing and giving each one lively character. I always enjoy looking for two things in the pictures of all your builds as the crowning touch: The Sign: Be The Kind of Woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says ‘Oh Crap, she’s up!’, and the second thing is the well worn Bible. You are an inspiration, always thinking ‘outside the box’.

    • Marsha Cowan
      September 28, 2020, 9:58 am

      Thank you, Denise : )

  • Sheila
    September 27, 2020, 1:56 pm

    Way to small for me. Is real cute and decorated with taste. A bathroom is a must for me. Really love this. Look forward to seeing another one built by her. Really do love this.

  • Elizabeth
    September 27, 2020, 2:34 pm

    I’ve always enjoyed your creations and your spirit, Marsha! I’m in Asheville NC in my adored 448 sf cottage, so if you ever need a tiny-enthusiastic pal in WNC, I’m here any time!

    • Marsha Cowan
      September 28, 2020, 10:03 am

      Hey! That sounds great! Maybe we can have an NC tiny house dweller get together in Asheville one day. I can camp out in my truck camper. Redid it to make it really comfy. Let’s think about that! I am sure there are lots of campgrounds in or around Asheville, right? And we can practice Covid precautions.

  • Birgit Kronenbeger
    September 27, 2020, 5:16 pm

    To live tiny can make your heart wide and free and merciful. Congratulations on this snuggling all in one cottage. Birgit

    • Marsha Cowan
      September 28, 2020, 10:04 am

      Thanks, Birgit : )

  • april hunter
    September 28, 2020, 12:25 pm

    I am absolutely loving these shed to house conversions posted lately. Thank you. Please do more! This one is super cute and creative.. Never thought about the wash bowl/sink, but that’s brilliant.

  • janet pierce
    September 28, 2020, 12:35 pm

    I love the ‘rake’ coat hook…as well as all other touches. I’m 75 and living in a new 284 sq ft house that is much more ‘middle of the road’. My son and his wife, who were never able to find an affordable home with a mother in law apt., offered to use their home equity to build next door to them. There are so many varieties of ‘tiny’ houses, their uses and the people who enjoy living in them. I enjoyed seeing your home and ideas even as my new tiny home is larger and has more modern amenities…I still got some new ideas from your photos.

    • Marsha Cowan
      September 28, 2020, 3:02 pm

      Kudos to your son and his wife for doing that for you! They are special people : )

  • Paul Larsen
    September 28, 2020, 8:26 pm

    What can I say? I love it ! the way her home is laid out , It appears so much bigger on the inside!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      September 29, 2020, 1:44 pm

      She’s also so great at creating tiny spaces that work!

  • Chris Hazelett
    September 29, 2020, 11:04 pm

    Wonderful, creative home Marsha. You make it look so easy, but I know u worked tirelessly to get it just the way you wanted it. Beautiful.

    • Marsha Cowan
      November 24, 2020, 4:17 pm

      Hi Chris!! I didn’t realize that you posted a comment way back in September! Sorry I missed it. I get emailed when people comment on my comment, but not on the originals. Anyway, yes, you had an almost day by day account of everything I had to do to accommodate some things and watched the progress along with me. You got pics of the “bare bones and the sinew” before the tiny house was finished. Thanks for your sweet remarks! Miss you, man! Take care : )

  • Theresa Perdue
    September 30, 2020, 12:55 pm

    I love this! I once had something similar when living in my big house got to be too much for a while (7kids & cranky husband helped) and I stayed in it for weeks. The kids loved it as they took turns staying with me. The only problem I see is insulation. How does she stay warm?

    • Natalie C. McKee
      October 1, 2020, 2:45 pm

      Now that’s clever!! I may need one.

    • Paul Larsen
      October 1, 2020, 6:48 pm

      If there is insulation and depending on where she lived, a small electric heater would work.

      • Marsha Cowan
        November 24, 2020, 4:28 pm

        I have a tiny electric radiator heater that can be seen in one of the pictures. I pull it out a little to use it, but the tiny house stays so warm at night that I have only used it two nights so far (both nights freezing or below) and then had to keep turning it down and eventually running the fan before the night was through. So now I leave the heater on low and run the fan on low which seems to keep things just right. I think that because the sun warms the walls during even a cold day, and the lights put out enough heat keep them warm in the evenings, and the tiny refrigerator also puts out a little heat, and I emit my body heat, that the walls really warm up. I think the insulation then keeps the heat in and the walls gradually radiate that back into the room during the night. Most mornings, it is 68 degrees in here at 7 AM and that is with no heater at night, only the fan running. On the two nights I added the heater to the fan, it was 64 degrees by 7 AM. So it is a pretty comfortable little house at night. During the warmer weather, with the fan on and all the windows open, it stayed cool and comfortable in here and got cold at night! Lol!

  • Annette
    October 8, 2020, 3:26 pm

    Well Marsha, you’ve done it again! You’re a real inspiration, brave, original, with a ton of get-up-and-go! Thanks for sharing another cute tiny.

  • Fran Marie
    October 11, 2020, 3:56 pm

    Oh, I love this this! It;s so cozy. I bet it must be gorgeous snuggled up during a nice snowstorm.

    • Marsha Cowan
      November 24, 2020, 4:29 pm

      Hello Fran, I haven’t had snow yet, but on a cold rainy night it is very nice snuggling up in here with a good movie.

  • Michael L
    November 24, 2020, 9:01 pm

    Marsha… It’s awesome! So glad you got to settle in by your family. You’re truly living my dream… A tiny house in NC!!

    Thanks for sharing another one of your awesome creations.

  • Mr Dan Malloy
    January 17, 2021, 12:09 pm

    Just love this house! And I don’t think it is too small! Great job!!

  • Marcy
    January 17, 2021, 12:54 pm

    Marsha always comes up with the most useful spaces, no matter what she designs it in.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      January 18, 2021, 1:14 pm

      That she does!

  • Mary
    January 17, 2021, 1:35 pm

    A wonderment of simplicity. What an inspiration! Thank you Marsha.

  • Fran Marie
    January 17, 2021, 7:53 pm

    I’ve seen this tiny house in a few different places. It’s incredible how homey you can make such a tiny space. I’d never leave!

  • Pat
    March 18, 2021, 2:52 pm

    Marsha! I don’t know how I missed this post. Your new tiny is perfect, and I’m so glad you’re home in NC. Congratulations on the new home. You’ve done a great job tweaking the little house. Hope you had a good winter and are ready for spring. Looking forward to seeing you here on THT comments. Pat

  • Jeana Riley
    July 5, 2021, 5:29 pm

    Love the place! Curious about the fan being used. What kind is it it and how/where is it mounted?

  • Mary McLain
    November 1, 2021, 7:42 am

    So cute and looks very efficient.But I didn’t see any place to go to the bathroom.

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