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Shellmate Island: Tiny Octagonal Vacation Home!


Remember the owners of Tiffany the Tiny House and how they had purchased an island and were building a tiny octagonal foundation home to use as a rental? Well, the house is now complete!

Tim & Sam temporarily moved into the vacation spot on Shellmate Island (@shellmateisland on Instagram) so they can work out the kinks and get it ready for guests. Soon enough they’ll be putting it on Airbnb (we’ll keep you posted!) and you can enjoy a piece of their island paradise! You might also like to hear that they got approval to build the home and worked with zoning/building regulators to get it “legal.”

The 320 square foot home structure came from Deltec Homes. According to the couple, “Its unique octagon shape and custom truss system has given this home design a 99.9% success rate in the last 50 years to all major category 5 hurricanes throughout the world, making this the strongest tiny house on a foundation in the world!” Wow!

They are moving Tiffany this week from the campground where they’ve been parked and are bringing her “home” to Shellmate Island!

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Tim & Sam’s Octagon Home on Shellmate Island is Complete!

Here’s what you see when you first walk in.

The home is split in half: Bed & Bath/Kitchen & Living

The counter here doubles as an eating space.

Pocket doors separate the bedroom from the rest of the home.

I love that they kept the decor simple and tasteful.

Windows provide such great natural light.

Here’s the view from the corner of the room.

A perfect place to relax on vacation.

The mini-split helps keep everything cool.

Love the French doors leading into the interior.

Love that kitchen wall!

The cabinet color is super “beachy.”

The old-fashioned sink is such a nice touch.

Here we are in the bathroom now.

This is the mirrored closet door.

Regular flush toilet and a washer/dryer combo.

Yes! A rainfall showerhead. Luxurious.

They did the tilework themselves. Looks great!

Such a spacious bathroom!

Love this place! Looks great in the dark, too.

Here’s the island! What an awesome locale!

Soon Tiffany the Tiny House will be there too.

Learn More:

Related: Three Years Later: Following Up With Tiffany the Tiny Home

Our big thanks to Sam & Tim 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.
{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Avatar D. Pedersen
    June 6, 2020, 6:45 am

    Nice house. But missing some storage possibilities.

    Besides, this website is an annoyance in pop-up click bait add. Please stop these pop-up annoyances. I do not mind adds at the side or below texts. But the pop-ups makes the site annoying to navigate.

    • Avatar PMHTX
      June 6, 2020, 10:21 am

      I don’t see popup ads here courtesy of my news reader and browser add-ons but I do see ads after & between every photo and/or captions for every photo or paragraph in addition to footer ads that obscure what little content there is to read. Some of that could be due to page formatting but otherwise I agree that ads have crept in and become a nuisance.

      I don’t begrudge content providers a way to recoup for their time and expenses and even earn a living but I already pay for access to some sites via my news reader and paying outright for some content on other sites with different subject matter.

      This is a niche market without a lot of sites devoted to tiny or small house living so you have to decide the importance of the content to you. If we don’t like a site, its content, theme, layout, font, admin, etc we have the option of going elsewhere.

      • Avatar Garth
        June 6, 2020, 1:23 pm

        My AdblockPlus says it blocked six ads on this page, and makes it pleasant.

        The shape of the house makes for a greater ratio of floor space to outer wall area, which is more efficient for A/C & heating.

        • Avatar PMHTX
          June 7, 2020, 7:11 pm

          If I was on my desktop or notebook my Adblock Plus would likely tell me the same but add-ons are limited at best on mobile devices due to memory & bandwidth restrains.

          I have had an octagonal aviary in the past and while it was efficient to heat the floor area made arrangements of anything inside and wasted space.

    • Avatar CJ Burlingame
      June 6, 2020, 9:43 pm

      I’m glad you commented on the ads between photos. Very annoying and I totally agree with you that the ads should be down the side. I understand that you need to be compensated for your time but you will continue to lose subscribers if you keep this up and I will be one that will leave sooner than later. You are already repeating your homes way too often. The photos on this octagonal home do not give the viewer a true sense of the space. Why so many people photographing tiny homes insist on using this type of lense is beyond me.

      • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
        June 7, 2020, 5:37 am

        Hi CJ — in this case these photos are taken with a normal camera lens (no fisheye).

  • Avatar Michael L
    June 6, 2020, 6:38 pm

    I’d want to live on the island full time!

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      June 7, 2020, 5:38 am

      Me too!

  • Avatar jerry dycus
    June 6, 2020, 8:59 pm

    While Octagon is a nice party room shape, as a house other than an open studio, just doesn’t work well as you can see. It’s also best raised with a lot of windows. Same problem with a Yurt on layout.
    . A few less pics, 6 should be enough and just link us to the site if we want more.

    • Avatar Garth
      June 6, 2020, 9:50 pm

      I suppose selecting suitable furniture could be a challenge. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a house with walls angled like this, so I really have no idea how I would like it. Inside walls can still be at any angle of course.

    • Avatar Alison
      June 6, 2020, 11:17 pm

      I like to see as many photos here as possible.

  • Avatar CJ Burlingame
    June 6, 2020, 9:51 pm

    You both have a bad habit of not telling us where some of the homes are located re; state or nearest city if it’s in a rural area. If we have to look up everything because we might be interested, it all becomes a waste of precious time.

  • Avatar Maria
    June 8, 2020, 7:12 am

    Well There are no hurricane shutters. They are on an island which can flood. I also see another building on the back of the island. Who owns that? How much did they pay for the Island and home? How do they get power and water?

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      June 8, 2020, 2:04 pm

      They own the entire island and the buildings on it. Not sure what they paid for the land, but I believe they had power and water brought in.

    • Avatar Eric
      June 14, 2020, 5:48 am

      Did you take any notice of the pictures further up the page? There’s a picture showing houses on the land surrounding the lake and the yurt home. That land is visibly LOWER than the island… so methinks the island is a tad bit safer than the land surrounding it.

  • Avatar Mike Manchester
    June 12, 2020, 6:55 pm

    One of our satellite offices is octagon shaped like this. The octagon shape looks whimsical and cool but for useable floor space it is terribly inefficient, not to mention a real pain to finish out the inside. I would never do one like it again. I am a tiny house builder and there are just a lot of better designs to choose from.

    • Avatar James D.
      June 15, 2020, 5:09 pm

      Something to keep in mind is options are sometimes limited and interior layout is not always the only concern, for example circular or octagon shaped buildings do have the benefit of being naturally much better at high wind resistance because most of the wind can flow around the building instead of against it, which in areas that can be hit by a hurricanes may be a deciding factor…

      Building on land/foundation can also impose minimum clearances/offsets around the property, which may limit what shape and size building you can fit on the property… Restrictions can be especially cumbersome/prohibitive near bodies of water and building on a small island can really limit options even further…

      So a lot can depend on what you have to work with, what location rules apply, budget, etc. and what compromises/trade offs also have to be considered to make it work and fit the intended purpose of the property…

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