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Retired Couple’s 50 Sq. Ft. DIY Vardo


Emily fell in love with tiny homes after reading a book by Deek Diedricksen, but it took going to a tiny house festival with her husband, Dan, to get him on board. After that, they spent a week camping to see if they could do it, and decided tiny living was for them!

That’s when they built out their amazing 50 square foot vardo, which holds absolutely everything the couple owns. It includes a composting toilet (made from her old hope chest!), an induction cooktop, and a residential ac to keep things comfortable.

This is such a lovely couple, which you’ll see from the video from Tiny Home Tours.

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Empty Nesters Make a Home in their Micro THOW!

Their rustic vardo is too cute!

Here’s the lovely couple.

VIDEO: Retiring Into A Micro Tiny House

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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)

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Michelle Torres
    June 22, 2021, 5:21 pm

    They are adorable and I love that they did this. However, the bathroom situations in these always stop my fantasizing about this lifestyle dead in it’s tracks. That toilet under the bed is a big NO for me. And I thought it hilarious that they are crapping in her gampy’s ‘hope’ chest!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      June 24, 2021, 5:24 am

      I thought that was pretty funny too!

  • June 22, 2021, 6:24 pm

    Nice job on the vardo, guys!

    My free vardo plans are here: https://www.simplesolarhomesteading.com/microcabinplans.htm

  • Marsha Cowan
    June 22, 2021, 8:41 pm

    Oh, so cute and comfy! I love this! Painted plywood is a great substitute for expensive finishes and looks just as good. The floor is very clever, and I would not have know it was plywood until you told me. I cut plywood into strips, too, to finish my interior so it would have that beach cottage look. I love your windows, especially the way they open. Looks like a cottage! The kitchen counter is lovely, and the whole place is so organized. I have used composting toilets in every tiny house I have lived in for the last 9 years. It is so easy and manageable, and keeps us from flushing our crap into the town drinking water, right? I have tried different things with composting, and in my present tiny house I am using Arm & Hammer All Natural kitty litter made from corn plant fibers, other plant fibers, and baking soda. It has been the easiest medium to use so far whether you’re leaving it in the potty as composting material, or cleaning it everyday like a kitty litter box. Absolutely no odor, and very absorbant. Horse pellet bedding, made from condensed pine shavings, is even more absorbant and is less expensive. I think your Gampy would be very happy to see his chest put to such good use. Your home is wonderful! Your story is even more wonderful, and I wish you a very happy retirement!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      June 24, 2021, 5:23 am

      I never would have thought about using strips of plywood. I thought that was really brilliant!!

  • Sheebe
    June 23, 2021, 1:20 am

    Cosy and has warmth. Really love this and the couple are glowing with happiness and content.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      June 24, 2021, 5:17 am

      Contentment is so beautiful!

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