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Mollie’s Tiny Home in Teton Valley, Idaho

Meet Mollie and her adorable tiny house on wheels. She lives with her two adopted dogs in her THOW in Teton Valley, Idaho.

She just moved in at the end of February, and has lots of time to enjoy decorating and making it home due to the shelter-in-place order! She plans to add metal skirting and a deck to the home once the weather warms up.

Enjoy the photo tour of her great home and be sure to check out the Q&A we had with her at the end of the post!

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She’s Living Tiny With Two Dogs in Teton Valley, Idaho

How cool is this super tiny wood stove by @cubicminiwoodstoves!

I love the knotty pine interior and the full-sized appliances.

What a perfect tiny kitchen that’s functional and compact.

Wow now THAT’s a view I could get used to!

Love that she found space for a washer/dryer combo in the bath.

Mollie says falling asleep with her dogs snuggled in with her is one of her favorite things!

Good morning! Be sure to read our Q&A with Mollie after this picture.

Q&A with Mollie

What are your name(s)? My name is Mollie Houkom.

How many people (and animals) will are living in your tiny house? I live with my two adopted dogs, Alfie and Huck.

Where do you live? Teton Valley, Idaho

Why did you decide to go tiny? What are you hoping to get out of living tiny? I’ve been looking at tiny houses for years because I love small spaces, but I finally took the plunge when the monthly rent prices around here have passed the point of what I feel good paying. Buying a house here is out of my price range as well, plus the houses for sale tend to be larger than I like. I found a beautiful, affordable lot to rent with a septic tank, well, and electrical hookups. My dream is to buy land here soon. Land is still pretty affordable. I also love that my house is built on a trailer so I can move it at any time because I am a nomad at heart.

How long did it take to finish your tiny house? I didn’t build my house. I spent all of last year researching tiny house companies and designs. Once I ordered it, it only took two months for it to be built. I have it mostly decorated the way I want it inside, except I’d like to get a few more plants, closed cell blinds on some of the windows, and to tile my shower walls. There was a lot of snow in late February when I parked it in this lot and the snow is still melting, but when it dries, I plan to have the lot graded and a gravel pad put down. I’m working on a corrugated metal skirt and plan to build a wrap around deck this summer.

Are you comfortable sharing how much you spent on your tiny house? What are utilities/costs like month to month in comparison to your former life? I wanted to be very comfortable in my tiny house so the design was important to me and I wanted all the appliances regular sized houses have and a full sized tub. It was surprisingly hard to get all that for under $100K, but I managed and that was my goal. I have monthly loan and lot rental payments, but it is less than I would be paying in rent and so much nicer. I pay a little for electricity as well, it is also less than I would be paying if I had a bigger place.

How did you find a place to park and live in your tiny house? I saw a local ad on Facebook posted by the land owner. It is in the county and the house is technically considered an RV and they are allowed to be parked here.

Before going tiny, what was life like? I owned a condo for a while but found that to be too claustrophobic and then I have lived in a lot of little rental cabins in Colorado and Wyoming. I found I am happiest in small houses because they are cozy and efficient. I hiked the entire 2,640 mile Pacific Crest Trail in ‘05-‘06 and I learned how little I need to have to be comfortable. This knowledge translates well to tiny living.

What benefits are you experiencing after going tiny? It takes about 15 minutes to vac and mop the entire house! I love not having a big house to clean and maintain. It frees up time to do things I am passionate about like my wholesale kombucha business @AscentKombucha, playing music in @balsamrootsband, and hiking in the mountains.

What about some challenges? The most challenging thing has been figuring out how to do home workouts in my little space. The other was finding a design that would accommodate a big upright bass!

What makes your tiny house special? I had to carefully consider everything that went into it because space is limited. The result is everything is meaningful and useful to me. It is a reflection of my personality, style and values.

What is your favorite part of your tiny house? I love everything about it, but a sleeping in the loft with my two dogs cuddled next to me, listening to rain on the metal roof is pure cozy bliss.

What helpful advice would you give to others interested in going tiny? Keeping clutter to a minimum is key to not feeling crowded in small spaces. I also think lots of smaller windows helps too. I find large windows can feel kind of claustrophobic, as well as no windows.

What’s been the hardest thing about quarantine in a tiny home? I have never been happier to live in a tiny house out in the country by myself. It feels so safe. Stocking up on food is the most challenging part due to limited space.

What have you been doing to stay sane? I’m always pretty good at entertaining myself and I’m introverted so I’m enjoying myself for the most part. Now that I’m a month into it, it’s getting a little long. Daily long walks with my dogs is the best medicine for cabin fever.

How does a tiny home make social distancing either more difficult or perhaps easier? I think living in a tiny house has made it easier since I can afford to live here without roommates and there isn’t a lot of room for socializing indoors.

What new things has quarantine in a tiny house let you do? Since I just got my house at the end of February, it has given me a lot of time to settle in and decorate. I have spent a lot of time measuring and online shopping. Now that it is mostly done, I can’t wait to turn my attention outdoors to this unfinished lot. I’m going to install a metal insulated skirt, have a deck built and a storage shed for my bikes and skis and set up an outdoor table. I can’t wait to expand my living space outside this summer.

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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)

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Sherry
    April 17, 2020, 12:55 pm

    Wow, now this is one cute tiny home………I love it! Just my size for my dog and me if only……..the bank account will not agree though. Love the furbabies and the land.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      April 17, 2020, 1:46 pm

      I thought it was pretty precious!

    • Mollie
      April 18, 2020, 6:41 pm

      Thank you!

  • Rydaartist
    April 17, 2020, 3:27 pm

    You would think that with 2,000plus miles hiking she would know that heat rises…so with her wood burning stove at head level her bedroom will be very hot and her feet will be freezing. Please think about it people.

    • Mollie
      April 18, 2020, 6:41 pm

      I do know that and I did think about it and the placement works very well for me. I have other sources of heat in the house, including force heat coming out of floor vents. ✌️

  • Eric
    April 17, 2020, 10:45 pm

    Just curious to know, what is the black device next to the blender, and what is the model name of your stove.

    Real cool house you have, and I’m not generally liking the style and wood, yet in your home it seems to work, well for me visually anyway.

    Congrats on you, and your furbabies, home.

  • Roxanne
    April 23, 2020, 11:25 pm

    I’ve got to ask — how do the dogs get up and down that ladder-like staircase?

    • Natalie C. McKee
      April 24, 2020, 2:24 pm

      Ooh good question! I guess they’ve figured out how to climb? They seem too big to carry!

    • Pamela Kirkpatrick
      October 22, 2020, 4:31 pm

      There’s a staircase beside and above the fridge, in the second photo.

  • Raylan
    April 28, 2020, 9:16 am

    Hey Mollie,
    I’ve been into Tiny Homes for 10 years and have built 2 in n GA mountains, stick-built on foundations (480 sf) I am moving to Southern OR this summer and plan to buy a Tiny Home from Idahomes or Backwoods Tiny Homes. My frustration is that for the last year I have not been able to find a small affordable lot with power and will allow a tiny cabin per covenants/restrictions etc. I see in your photos that you are on a small lot with power. How did you find it and can you give me any suggestions on how to find a lot. BTW, my daughter is getting married in Nov. in Ashland OR and we are provided Kombucha on tap if we can find a local vendor that will seel by the keg. How cool is that!!

  • Eric
    October 23, 2020, 11:32 pm

    What is the right angle device on the wood stove underneath. Look like its made out of PVC.

    • James D.
      October 24, 2020, 12:32 am

      Fresh air inlet to feed the wood stove when it’s being used…

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