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Not Teeny Just Tiny: Lawyer’s Mint Tiny Home

Emily is a lawyer in North Carolina who *just* moved into her gorgeous tiny house built by Mint Tiny House Company. She wanted her own thoughtfully-designed place, without needing to keep up with a 4-bedroom home — so she chose a tiny home!

She’s only been in it now for eight days, and the builder included everything she wanted, including a dishwasher and huge soaking tub! Her dog, Tipper, lives with her and is already finding himself at home.

We got to do a Q&A with Emily (@notteeny_justtiny) about why she went tiny and some advice she has for others. One big thing? Make sure you have parking lined up before you get too financially committed — she nearly lost her deposits when she couldn’t find a legal spot to put her home.

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Emily & Tipper Go Tiny in North Carolina

The stove/oven were an important feature for Emily

Her dishwasher fits in that open spot!

Here is her living room (before the furniture, of course)

She really loves the open shelving.

Here’s the secondary loft over the bathroom.

Stacked washer and dryer for easy laundry days.

Wow! What a tub!

The back room with an awesome skylight which she’ll use as an office.

Her bedroom loft with another skylight.

Tipper lounging at the stairs.

Tipper napping in the kitchen.

Tipper on the coolest orange couch.

Love the rug she chose for the living room.

View from the loft!

Take a quick tour of her tiny!

Q&A with Emily

How many people (and animals) are living in your home?

One person (me) plus one giant puppy (Tipper).

How long have you lived tiny?

8 days!

What do you do for work? Or do you travel full-time?

I’m a lawyer and I work for a law firm. I’ve been working remotely since March 2020 and expect to go back to the office in the next couple months.

What are you hoping to get out of living tiny/small?

I think living small really promotes intentionality around what you consume and how you spend your time (and money). It also allows some geographic flexibility which was important to me because I bought the home before moving back to NC and finding a job here. I wanted something really high quality and thoughtfully designed but as a single adult I didn’t want to own a 4 bedroom house. Lastly, by limiting my indoor space, I’m hopefully incentivizing my preference for spending time and attention outside in the world.

Describe your decorating style and philosophy.

I’m a minimalist and prefer to have fewer, higher quality things. I like bright colors. Also since I have a six month old I look for things in materials that can get chewed up a bit, or at least things that I won’t be devastated if I have to replace.

What inspired you to choose a tiny house (rather than say an RV or a bus)?

I wanted a washer dryer, dishwasher, and bathtub!!

How did you acquire your home? Did you do a lot of renovations?

I purchased it new from Mint Tiny Homes in Canada. I haven’t done any renovations, but will need to do a few basic upgrades like adding shelves in the closets. It came in perfect shape.

Before going tiny, what was life like?

Two recent living arrangements were great for tiny living prep: I lived in an apartment in Manhattan New York for 8 years prior to moving back to NC last fall. Also, I backpacked the Appalachian Trail for 6 months in 2019. That experience really underscored the point of how little you need to live happily.

Is there anything from your old life that you miss?

I’m really happy with my bathtub and wouldn’t trade it out BUT it makes keeping my dog (and, thus, floors/walls/furniture) clean a lot harder.

What benefits are you experiencing after going tiny?

It hasn’t been a massive lifestyle shift for me (yet). The biggest difference is that I’m now on rural farmland in the middle of kind of nowhere, versus living in a big city and then for a couple months in a urban neighborhood of a smaller city.

What about some challenges?

Biggest challenge so far is trying to keep my floors even a little clean. But once I make a few changes (building a deck, putting down rugs), I think that will largely resolve itself. Also, I’m temporarily using a composting toilet–basically a 5 gallon bucket with a toilet seat on top–while I wait for septic to be installed at the new site. That’s been completely fine, but it’s certainly a reminder that I live on wheels!

What makes your tiny home special?

Me of course.

What is your favorite part of your tiny home?

I love a lot of parts of it. My favorite is probably the kitchen–I love the gas stove and the open shelving.

What helpful advice would you give to others interested in going tiny?

I’d suggest finding somewhere to “park” before getting too committed financially. I almost had to pull out of the whole project and lose my deposits because I really couldn’t find a viable (legal) parking place. When I found the community I’m in now, it was a huge relief and I feel very lucky. It could have just as easily not worked out for me, since I’m relatively limited geographically by my job.

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Our big thanks to Emily for sharing! 🙏

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Natalie C. McKee

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 two little kids. She and her family just purchased a small fixer-upper and are starting a self-sufficient homestead on their happy little acre.
{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Jade W
    April 29, 2021, 10:28 am

    Tipper fits in perfectly with this home. That tub is luxurious!

  • April 30, 2021, 12:31 pm

    I love the wood floor and ceiling, although I would have preferred a much lighter stain color or no stain at all.

  • Avatar Victoria Banaszak
    May 3, 2021, 3:00 am

    I think that dog is a professional sleeper agent. Sleeps everywhere. LOL I’m not sure how she doesn’t trip over that big furry rug all the time.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      May 3, 2021, 3:18 pm

      Haha he does seem to like to move his “bedroom” around.

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