Dreaming about your tiny journey, but don’t quite know how you will get there? Tiny home owner Nicolette dreamed of owning hers from the moment the trend surfaced.
When she met her now fiancé, Michael, she found the perfect partner to jump heart first into her vision. And together they made it happen.
We interviewed this dynamic tiny house duo to find out just how perfect tiny home life really is.
Nicolette came across the tiny house movement in 2015 and knew, right away, that this was for her. She says: “I was not the type to work a 9-5 to pay for a house I would hardly live in. I love the minimal life, but at that stage I had no idea how I was going to make it happen. I met Michael 2016 and right away knew that we would be doing this together.”
They were the perfect match – She had the ideas and he brought the ideas to life.
The challenges really hit once they started building.
The hardest part for them was realising how overwhelming the process can be. “You have the complete image in your head, but to get there is extremely overwhelming. We realised we had to take it step by step and day by day.”
Her advice is to do plenty of research before you get started for the day, slow things down and then do more research when you get stuck. In the end it took them 7 months, with the last month seeing them put 14 hours a day into building due to Michael being accepted into the University of California Berkeley to complete his undergraduate degree.
In a minimalist life, things are not important. Some things, though, are indispensable. So which things could they not live without?
“Books!” She exclaimed immediately. A big part of the design is centered around the bookshelves, filled with books and Nicolette’s art and craft supplies for her business.
They also incorporated a little reading nook – a 3 foot bump out of the main frame that allows hours of happy reading in the sun. Functional plants were also quite important, as was desk space, as Nicolette works part time, runs a business and Michael is busy with his studies.
We love the desk by the huge open window! What better place to spend those working hours?
Any sacrifices made in the design of the house?
For more room in the kitchen and making space for a desk big enough for the both of them, the bathtub dream had to go! The kitchen was designed to be open shelved for practicality. It also gives a bigger illusion of spaciousness.
Tiny living getting real!
For those that may have a romantic view of tiny living, the biggest challenges Nicolette and Michael think people might face are things like not being able to go into a room and close a door when you really need your space or privacy.
“You can’t change the scene you are in very much, it remains one space, one style.” She cautions.
Although she loves being 10 feet from couch to kitchen, there may be some who won’t be able to live with that. “You need to realize that you cannot escape the space. . We designed it to be open and white, so it is light and we don’t feel like we are stuck in one spot with this in mind. It works for us.”
Some advice for couples:
For couples who want to live in a tiny house but are nervous about living up close and personal, Nicolette advises:
“We are far from the perfect couple, but it brought us closer, having to figure out how to live in a tiny space. Remember you won’t always be together 24/7 and for those moments that you need to be apart, go for a walk, a bike ride, or whatever you need to do.”
With so many ideas, How to decide what you want?
“The biggest thing is to take time with your research in the beginning. I have known people who jumped in and halfway realized it was not what they wanted. Like an A-frame roof, or two lofts instead of one, which are expensive design changes to make.”
She advises spending a lot of time looking at designs before deciding on one. “Research this online as well as in person if you can. Follow groups on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and all the media you can.”
“Get a feel for the space”, she says. “We taped out the space to feel what it felt like before we started the serious planning.”
You could also go glamping to experience part time tiny-living at first.
When asked if there is anything about the design they’d like to change:
“Nothing.” She states. “We love it, and wouldn’t change anything because we really thought about how we wanted things. We planned around the essentials and then added what we loved. We love the loft. We also love having the kitchenette instead of traditional cabinets”
Their favourite feature of the house
Nicolette had no hesitation answering this. The reading nook. She knew he wanted that from the beginning. “This was the one thing Micheal didn’t know how he would achieve at first, but we did it, and we love it! It makes things bigger! And it’s a lovely sunny spot to get our reading done.”
The best thing for this couple about Tiny Living?
“For us it’s financial. The amount of money we have been able to save and the freedom of having time is really valuable.”
Not having to pay a huge mortgage enables Nicolette to work part time as well as on her business. Which is everything she wanted from the start.
For more about this Duo’s fab tiny life, you can visit @nicolettenotes.
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