Jay Shafer seeks crowdfunding for Bay Area tiny house villages

Famed tiny house movement pioneer Jay Shafer, who’s been heading up the Four Lights Tiny House Company since 2012, has a new project underway. It’s called Tiny Houses for Humanity, and its goal is to establish a series of small, affordable, child-friendly tiny house villages in the Bay Area. Jay’s working with River King, a local resident he met two years ago after she was reduced to sleeping in her car with her two-year-old son due to the lack of affordable housing nearby. Aside from his name recognition, Jay is providing the house designs, which are modified, more efficient versions of some of the smaller Four Lights models. They’ll cost about $20,000 to build and will allow some degree of customization for individual preferences. River is coordinating the effort, looking for a site and for people who can help with the construction. Habitat for Humanity, Sonoma State University’s JUMP community service program, and even a few high school shop classes have expressed interest. Sonoma County officials seem inclined to give everything a green light, too. Jay and River are planning an initial 5–6 house village with a common area and garden, and they estimate they’ll need about $100,000 for materials and landscaping. They’ve already raised over $22,500 on the crowdfunding site Hatchfund; you can show your support (and get an autographed copy of Jay’s Small House Book) by helping them reach the target by September 26.

River King with her son, Asa, 4

Jay Shafer

A possible floor plan

h/t Press Democrat

Aug 14, 2017 / by / in ,
Tiny Firehouse Station No. 9

After spending five years in their 300-square-foot Beloved Cabin and founding the United Tiny House Association along the way, John and Fin Kernohan still had one tiny house box to check off: a THOW. Here it is, and it’s as unique as its owners. The couple built Tiny Firehouse Station No. 9 in just five weeks (with help from Free Range Tiny Homes). It’s apparently the first firehouse-themed tiny house ever, and as good as it looks the style isn’t just skin-deep. Putnam County (Georgia) Fire Rescue Chief Shane E. Hill was a consultant on the build, and John and Fin are now on tour in the THOW doing fire safety education and fundraising.

Tiny Firehouse Station No. 9 has several fire safety features other tiny house owners would do well to consider – three escape routes, a smoke/carbon monoxide detector, a readily accessible fire extinguisher – and it’s decorated with memorabilia like hoses, helmets and parts from a scrapped fire truck. It’s every bit as livable as a real fire station, too, with a kitchenette, bathroom, sleeping loft, and, of course, a vintage brass fire pole. (As Fin says the last item makes for super-quick nighttime bathroom trips, that might be something else to consider for your own THOW!)

The fire hydrant on front actually works – it’s adjacent to the bathroom and connected to the plumbing.

A fire escape ladder leads down from the balcony, which is accessible from the loft.

Large French doors, windows, skylights and an open-plan interior make Station No. 9 a pleasantly airy place.

h/t Today

Jul 13, 2017 / by / in
The Big Adventures of Tiny House

Exciting news for tiny house lovers with tiny family members: The first ever tiny house book for kids has arrived! The Big Adventures of Tiny House, written by Susan Bernardo and illustrated by Courtenay Fletcher, won’t ship until April 25, 2017, but you can preorder now through Once Upon a Time Bookstore. It tells the story of Tiny, a THOW created from a reclaimed farmhouse who travels all over the USA behind Big Truck, befriending a variety of other tiny residences along the way (including an Airstream, a school bus conversion, and a houseboat). Along the way he visits the Tiny House Jamboree and comes to understand just what ‘home’ really means.

Here’s author Susan Bernardo with a vehicle that looks suspiciously like Big Truck from the book:

A publicity shot of artist Courtenay Fletcher, who did the illustrations below:

The Big Adventures of Tiny House is being produced on recycled paper by a small-town printer.

The cover and a few details from inside:

h/t Tiny House Blog

Illustrations © Courtenay Fletcher

Apr 13, 2017 / by / in
Free KC tiny house village for homeless veterans

Kansas City nonprofit Veterans Community Project has created a 50-unit tiny house village where homeless veterans will be able to live rent free. Food and other necessities will also be provided, and counseling and classes at an outreach center on the next block will help residents get their lives back on track. The village is funded by donations from organizations and individuals (you can make one here), and the VCP seems to be spending the money very wisely. Their cost for each house is only about $10,000, and while they’re neither large nor fancy they do include perfectly serviceable kitchen and bathroom facilities as well as climate control.

h/t boredpanda

Mar 16, 2017 / by / in ,
Wheel Pad THOW helps new wheelchair users through the transition

Life-changing injuries are never part of the plan, and houses are not in general very wheelchair accessible. That goes double for tiny houses, of course – think lofts, ladders and cramped bathrooms. But after a disabling accident, adding a handicapped-friendly tiny to the yard could be a lot easier than retrofitting an existing residence. There have been a few accessible tiny homes already, like the studio37 prefab and most notably NextDoor Housing’s Drop Home, and now there’s another one: the Wheel Pad.

It’s basically a simplified THOW whose floor area is divided between a sleeping/living area and a giant bathroom able to accommodate a wheelchair. There are no kitchen facilities, because the Wheel Pad is conceptualized as a temporary living solution for new wheelchair users who will have assistance from family or friends while making the transition. In fact, there’s a provision to connect the unit to a larger house to make that easier.


The prototype Wheel Pad in the photos is called the Norwich Model after Vermont military college Norwich University, whose students and professors helped out with the build. It was designed by Joseph Cincotta of LineSync Architecture and will be made available free to area residents in need (an application can be found here).

Future units will be marketed by a company called Wheel Pad L3C for sale at $50,000 or lease at $1,500 per month. They hope to help out wounded veterans and other newly disabled people while also benefiting the southern Vermont economy by providing jobs at an employee owned factory.

h/t Tiny House Talk

Jan 18, 2017 / by / in ,
Teenage brothers build tiny house for homeless man

Portland’s Dignity Village is an intentional community with a number of tiny houses – but it’s also a homeless encampment, and there aren’t enough real tiny houses to go around. Many residents make do in tents or shacks, and that’s what Ray Broaddus, 56, had been doing since he moved there three years ago. His jerry-rigged dwelling couldn’t keep the rats out, though, and he was on the waiting list for a more solidly built tiny house. He was actually assigned one last year, but when it arrived it turned out to be a loft model. Because of a stroke, Ray can’t do any climbing, so the house ended up going to someone else.

As of August 5, 2016, Ray has a home of his own, thanks to 17-year-old Henry Morissette and the volunteerism requirements of his school, Oregon Episcopal. Henry, who’s going to be a senior this year, needed to do a certain amount of volunteer work to graduate. He decided to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, Ted, 20, who’d built a tiny house for another Dignity Village resident last year. Ted helped on this project as well, as did Henry’s 16-year-old younger brother Jack and a few of his classmates.

The 120-square-foot house they built is now sitting on concrete blocks in the village, keeping Ray warmer, drier and rat-free – and making everyone involved happy to have had a part in helping out:

“I’m just really glad. I never thought I could help as much as I did.” – Henry Morissette

“I’m super happy.” – Ted Morissette

“When I saw the guy… getting the house, it made me feel really great.” – Jack Morissette

Ray’s pretty pleased, too:

“The kids are awesome. It feels good. It feels really good.”

Ray Broaddus 1

New tiny home dweller Ray Broaddus

Ray Broaddus 2

Ray’s house on its way to Dignity Village

Ray Broaddus 3

The construction crew inspects their handiwork

Ray Broaddus 4

17-year-old lead builder Henry Morissette

Ray Broaddus 5

All set up and ready to move in

h/t KGW

Aug 9, 2016 / by / in
Microbe & Gasoline brings a tiny house to the big screen

While there’ve been a couple of popular tiny house documentaries – TINY: A Story About Living Small and Small Is Beautiful – Michel Gondry’s Microbe & Gasoline seems to be the first feature film to feature a tiny house as a prominent plot element. The story of the French-language movie focuses on two high school misfits whose nicknames form its title. Gasoline’s an amateur mechanic and has put together a rattletrap vehicle for a planned summer road trip; when it’s pointed out that his creation isn’t exactly street legal, the pair decide to disguise it as a tiny house on wheels. Microbe & Gasoline was released last year in France, where it didn’t do too well despite getting fairly good reviews (it’s rated 75% on Metacritic and 90% on Rotten Tomatoes). However, it’s now on limited release in the US, hoping to find a bigger audience in a country with a stronger tiny house community.

Microbe & Gasoline 1 Microbe & Gasoline 2

Microbe & Gasoline 3

h/t Everett Herald

Jul 30, 2016 / by / in
12 Ingenious Tiny House Design Features We Love

One of the best parts of building your own home is catering the design to your personal needs, but with limited space, a tiny house doesn’t always provide endless options to accommodate your every wish. Yet even with a small footprint, plenty of folks find creative ways to embed their own unique touch into the layout, and as you’ll see below, they can be pretty darn creative!

1. The Rooftop Terrace

East Coast Tiny Homes includes a rooftop deck, which adds some extra space to stretch out and relax, maybe even host a small dance party.


See more of this home here

2. Climbing Walls

We’ve actually seen a few builds that include a rock climbing wall on the inside, often functioning as an alternative to a ladder in order to reach the loft area.


See more of this home here

3. A Chicken Coop

The same house shown above also includes another farm fresh idea, a chicken coop, which is strategically placed at one end of the home.


See more of this house here

4. Kitchen to Deck Extension

For anyone who likes to cook and entertain friends, a solution like this could be a valuable asset in your design. With a fold-out table and panoramic opening, this pass through window serves double duty.



See more of this house here

5. Popouts for Extra Space

This incredible build already has ample space, but with the addition of some carefully placed popouts, they have a bit of extra room for important things – like dual leather recliners!


See more of this tiny house here

6. Wine Barrel Shower/Tub

Finding creative materials to use in your shower can be a challenge, but a wine barrel makes for a readily available, and awesome looking solution for a tub or shower.


See more of this home here 

7. Feed Trough Bathtub


See more of this home here

8. Sliding Barn Style Doors

Rather than having a door that swings open, a sliding door on rails like this can save space and looks great too.



See more of this tiny house

9. Hideaway Bed


See more of this apartment here

10. Stairs as Storage

Finding extra nooks and crannies in a small space can be a challenge, so make use of things like stairs to add storage beneath, or inside with pull out drawers.


See more of the “Pequod” tiny house here

11. Colorful Siding Patterns

With limited amount of surface space, many designs find subtle yet effective ways to add some visual appeal to the design. One of our favorites is the use of mixed materials and colors for siding.


See more of this tiny house here

12. Catwalk for the Animals

The “Heart of it All” tiny house includes some great design elements, some of which were tailored for their four-legged friends.


See more of this tiny house here 

What are some of your favorite ideas for a tiny house? We’d love to hear from you. Share them in the comments below, and we’ll update the list with more creative ideas!

Aug 25, 2015 / by / in
13+ Tiny House Kitchen Designs We Love

I don’t know about you but the kitchen is one of my favorite, and most important places in the house. A well designed one can make your life so much easier, while a poor design leaves you frustrated and scattered. In a tiny house it becomes especially important to think about the design and layout, from the size of your appliances, to storage for your dishes, gadgets, pots, pans, etc. So below we gathered some of our favorite examples for your inspiration.

Shopdog’s Kitchen

Shopdog 2

See more of Shopdog’s offgrid home here 

Rustic Tiny

Rustic Tiny 5

See more of this home

Hummingbird Cowboy


See more of the Cowboy here 

The Pequod


See more of the Pequod here

Mendy’s Tiny Home



See more of Mendy’s tiny home here

 Ms Gypsy Tiny House



See more of this this tiny house

K10 Tiny House


See more of the K10 tiny house

The Jefferson by Liberty Cabins



 See more of the Jefferson tiny house here

 Fy-Nyth Tiny House


See more of the Fy-Nyth tiny house here

The Leaf House


See more of the Leaf house here

Guemes Island Tiny Home


See more of this tiny house

Little Foot Tiny Homes




See more of this home

The Victorian Prepper



See more of this home

What would your dream tiny kitchen look like? Let us know in the comments below what sort of essentials you’d love to have.

Aug 12, 2015 / by / in
There’s A Hidden Cottage Paradise On This Rooftop In NYC

Like one of those suckerfish that stick to the backs of sharks, this petit cottage atop a roof in New York City seems to thrive in an unlikely setting. First spotted by George Steinmetz as he was flying in a helicopter over the city, the cottage immediately caught his attention as he thought his eyes must be deceiving him. As he got closer, he realized it was indeed a little slice of country paradise, with gardens, grass, and a peaceful patio to enjoy the city view in a country setting.


The cottage is owned by David Puchkoff and Eileen Stukane, who recruited an architect friend to help create his countryside home in the heart of Manhatten. He started by laying down polyethylene liners to protect the roof from leaking and began rooting 2,200 plants to create a 1,200 square foot green landscape. Total cost of the landscaping was only $1,500 including labor.



Photos by George Steinmetz

Jun 23, 2015 / by / in