One of the best aspects of designing your own home is being able to infuse it with your own sense of style and personality, which is exactly what Nicki Davis did when she began her tiny project. One day while perusing the Tiny Green Cabins website, she came across a model called “Ravenlore” which immediately caught her eye. From that point on she knew this was the model for her, and she began working with Tiny Green Cabins owner Jim Wilkins to transform her dream to reality. As this build nears completion we took some time to learn more about what inspired the architectural details and also catch up with Nicki to explore her motivations behind the design.
The bright colors are the first thing you notice – purple, pink and green hues adorn the exterior, bringing a certain playful attitude to the house. A closer look however shows incredible attention to detail, with Gothic-inspired design elements adorning this tiny house on wheels. Carpenter Gothic represents a little known style or architecture that preceded the Victorian style that became so prevalent in the United States. Many homes in New Zealand and Australia display this style, which is marked by ornate details such as “corbels” which are structural pieces of stone or wood that emerge from a wall. Corbels and “consoles” as they are known have been used in Medieval architecture and in the Scottish baronial style. Carpenter Gothic windows, often seen in churches, have also been built into Nicki’s Ravenlore. These elements, combined with intricate siding patterns mix to add further detail and interest to the exterior.
Some of the siding detail inspiration came from a picture of Scott Garlock’s victorian home build in Scotland Neck, NC. They also decided to mimic the castletop style roof shingles shown below.
Another example of Gothic inspiration can be found in the horizontal decorative molding that crowns the top of exterior walls.
As the completion of Ravenlore approaches, Nicki is due to accept delivery of the finished product in the first week of November. No doubt she’s excited to make the transition to tiny living, and as this will be her first tiny house, we caught up with her to ask a few questions about her experience so far.
TH4US: What inspired you to build your tiny house?
Nicki: I have always been drawn to small spaces, and the idea of making my home in a small space. I think I was inspired by The Boxcar Children as a kid. As an adult, I pondered for years the idea of living in an RV. Once my children were grown, I started researching the idea in earnest, and that’s when someone asked me if I had seen Tiny Houses.
I immediately fell in love! Living in a tiny house will allow me massive amounts of free time and money so I can pursue the things that are really important to me. My daughter lives in Hawaii, my son and my parents are in Ohio, my brother is in Washington state, and I want to have the capability to visit often. I also have about ten different hobbies I would like to pursue. A tiny house seems like the answer to all my problems. Finally, it also reduces my carbon footprint, which is a fantastic side effect.
TH4US: Tell us about your tiny house – plans you used, why the bold colors, what else about it that makes it unique, special?
Nicki: I looked at assloads of Tiny Houses online. While perusing the website for Tiny Green Cabins, I found a model called the “Ravenlore” and I knew that was the house I wanted! Jim Wilkins worked with me to modify the plans to meet my needs. This little house is a work of art, for sure. It looks like a perfect little gingerbread dollhouse and I adored it instantly.
The exterior is totally unique from other tiny houses I’ve seen, and the floor plan just made sense to me. I don’t think Jim intended the house to be painted like candyland, but I figured I may as well make it uniquely suited to my personality.
TH4US: What was the biggest challenge you faced during the build?
Nicki: I was never interested in building my own house. I don’t have the time, the patience, the know-how, or the inclination to do it myself. So, the hardest part of the build? The house is 1400 miles away from me, and I only get to see it in pictures for now! It’s slated for delivery the first week of November.
TH4US: What do you think you’ll miss about a larger home?
Nicki: I don’t know yet. I will have a washer/dryer combo, but it will be small. I won’t have a dishwasher. No bathtub. Not nearly so much room for clothing. A tiny fridge. I *think* it will all be fine, but only time will tell.
TH4US: What is one piece of advice you would tell others looking to pursue a similar path?
Nicki: Don’t skimp on good, solid construction. You can really have the best of everything in a tiny house, because you only need supplies in teensy tiny amounts.
We look forward to following Nicki’s journey as the time approaches for her to adopt her new house and hope to follow up with her after she has adjusted to the new living situation down the road.