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Not Teeny Just Tiny: Lawyer’s Mint Tiny Home

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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 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.
{ 15 comments… add one }
  • 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.

  • 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
      May 3, 2021, 3:18 pm

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

  • Sam
    May 22, 2021, 11:08 am

    I love this tiny house! Finally, railings on the stairs that I think are very sturdy. With my dogs and klutzy me, open stairs are scary. Love how she put a railing next to the counter/stove. That would be great to keep curious noses away from the food. Also love the office area. I love the designated space and that she can sit in an office chair to work at a real desk in there. Her ideas are pretty awesome. Glad the builders were able to incorporate so many of them. Only thing I don’t like, and agree with her about is the tub. It’s great for humans, but I would have needed either an outside shower for my dogs or a different tub for bathing times. Overall, love the design and the dark wood accents. Her pops of color are just perfect for it too!

  • Marsha Cowan
    May 22, 2021, 11:55 am

    We are a labradoodle family. Tipper looks like a labradoodle, but I may be wrong. They are affectionate dogs and just want to be where you are. They are also great working dogs and love to be herding sheep (or kids), pulling a small cart, or any work where they can use their smart brains and get something done alongside their masters. Great dogs! That said, your house is wonderful! I love the stained wood accents and the way you organized the space, especially the bathroom area. The stained ceilings and woodwork add warmth and charm, yet the white walls and cabinets open up the spaces and make them “roomy”. It’s a great tiny house : )

  • vee
    May 22, 2021, 3:05 pm

    Another example of a marvelous tiny house. I really like it and would buy one like it if it came with Tipper!!

  • Brenda Foster
    May 22, 2021, 4:18 pm

    Well, I just love everything about it. The floors, the ceilings, the use of dark stain combined with painted wood. Interested to know the dimensions. The price is always of interest, but understand that is a personal question.
    The soaking tub, the dishwasher, kitchen, stack laundry, etc., etc. …all great to have. Wish you years of joy and happiness. Dogs do add life and spirit to the home. I have 3 Tippers who follow me around and plop down wherever my feet are.
    Congratulations, you and your builder did a wonderful job. Brenda

  • Wiz Zard
    May 22, 2021, 6:31 pm

    Love this place! Have two suggestions:
    1) Its very easy to instal an OUTDOOR SHOWER which will also function as an excellent Doggy Wash station for Tipper! We suggest adding a portable folding screen for added privacy for people-showering AND at least 12″ of a rock basin on the ground that includes n irrigation type drain that empties into a garden area to recycle the water, AND use only organic, biodegradable shampoo/soaps.
    2) To help maintain (and de-dirt-i-fy) the floors inside, buy the automatic round vaccum that cleans by itself and run it ONLY when you and Tipper are out walking! (Lots of different brands available, you can even get many of them second hand and on sale so I wont list brand names here) Those things are the BOMBE, ….BUT… ALL of our dogs hate them. Fortunately your place is small enough that it can easily clean the entire downstairs floor area two or three times while you are out taking a single walk 🙂
    Congrats on a lovely place! Thanks for sharing!

  • Beverly Fuller
    October 4, 2021, 9:34 pm

    Your tiny is gorgeous. I’d greatly appreciate it if you could contact me. I live in Greensboro and very interested in owning a tiny. I don’t own land and haven’t been able to find out much info about tinys in N.C. I have a small dog and at the moment walk with a cane (car accident) so I’ll need a tiny without a loft and with a first floor bedroom. Not sure where to even start. Please email if you have a moment, if not I understand and wish you and Tipper a wonderful life!
    Beverly Fuller, R.N.

  • jordi
    October 8, 2021, 8:30 am

    Lovely! Adding a deck will bring more useable space to the home. It’s a keeper!

  • Donna Rae
    March 4, 2022, 12:55 pm

    A very lovely home! The white and wood go nicely together…I might have gone a bit lighter on the wood but the darker color does add drama. I like the roominess of the kitchen with plenty of space to work without too much juggling. I know many people like the open shelves and I understand that they are meant to give a feeling of spaciousness…and they do to a certain extent…but I would like to see designers use some enclosed upper cabinets. Yes, there is one over the fridge but that isn’t enough. Open shelves can be nice to display pretty dishes and glasses, but we all have “cupboard clutter” that is best hidden. You don’t want to have to be careful and organized everywhere! 😉 The tub is nice but I’ve had a clawfoot tub of a similar shape and taking a shower in one is a challenge because the shower curtain has a tendency to billow in toward you when the shower is going. Aesthetically, the tub they chose is much more beautiful than a standard tub but I’d choose the spaciousness of a regular tub to avoid being attacked by that curtain. And with a regular tub, you can create niches where you can put your shampoo, etc.. It’s just my personal preference based on experience. Overall, this is a well thought out THOW and I could see myself living in it. Kudos to the designers.

    • James D.
      March 4, 2022, 1:33 pm

      You can just get weighted curtains or add weights, or magnets, to keep the curtain from billowing… It’s a fairly common problem, even with showers. So there’s a number of commercial and DIY solutions…

    • Natalie C. McKee
      March 4, 2022, 2:03 pm

      I agree about open shelving. I have one area for display and that’s it! I am simply not tidy enough to keep up with open shelves hehe.

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