For a tiny space within our tiny home, I got pretty trigger happy. So enjoy the many snaps of the much awaited bedroom tour.
I created the head piece from foraged silky gum leaves. As I brainstorm ways of making more income from home, doing something I love, with my beloved son, I am looking at incorporating items like this in a future online decor store.
Hand stitched curtains
The bed is fairly high so that we have extra storage underneath.
The cupboards on top of the bed are inspired by caravan storage ideas. This has been a great way for storing books, electronics, bits ‘n’ bobs without the place looking cluttered. Which is easily done being such a small nook.
Bed doubles as a sleeping zone, where the washing gets dumped most days, a wrestling pad for my little lad, cat bed and so on. I think this is fairly typical to most homes though.
our smallest window of the home, making it quite cosy.
a full length wardrobe that doubles as a divider between the bedroom and the living area.
and… a full length mirror, which my son absolutely adores because he knows just how cute he is.
There is so much detail in this small corner of our home. The curtains were hand stitched with a newborn strapped to me.
All 2.4 x 2.4 meters of sweet, comfort and love making space.
*see previous posts for tour of kitchen and nursery
** living room, bathroom/laundry and outdoor tour to come
So much detail in such a small space. My kitchen has to be my absolute favourite room in our tiny home!
Robin propositioned me many times for space saving ideas in the kitchen. Such as a camp fridge that opens from the top, a convection over with a single stove top burned, a mini sink. But our little kitchen was one of the few areas in our home where I was not willing to compromise on comfort. Because.. of course… its where the magic happens. So much pleasure is to be found in creating tasty dishes. Especially with the family.
So Robin got innovative and imaginative with my endearing requests and created me the most pleasant of spaces.
Here is the build before, during and after. We were gifted the cupboard door timber which was from old wall lining, they had a yellow tinge, which didn’t go with anything in the home. This is why we decided to paint over them. Due to their natural and beautiful imperfections, we simply shabby chiced the doors to embrace the earthy, shack like, rustic look.
The wall colour came around interestingly… I knew we wanted a fresh light look to open the smaller space. So we started with white undercoat and then to save a cent, purchased a mix of paints from the dump shop and found some left over paint in the shed of the rental we lived in at the time. So this warm, off white colour is a mix of all that we scrummaged together.
Our house is wired with 24Volt, which is how a caravan or a boat is wired. This way Robin could do it himself. However, we do have one outlet that provides 240Volt that came with the Solar System we purchased from the incredibly helpful and quality Rainbow Power Company. Our biggest power consumer is the fridge and we had to get this LG Inverter Linear fridge from the mainland as it has the best power consumption in terms of the surges that is available at this time. We decided it was financially better to get a more expensive fridge than it was to upgrade the solar system to run a typical fridge. I love that its a normal family size fridge. Though I did want white, (not an option for this type of fridge)… can’t always have everything.
Robin made me some great space saving storage tucked behind the fridge, so the home looks tidy. This is where we also have our power pack to charge all our appliances.
Speaking of electrical, as the lighting is 24Volt, we have had to use boating switches. I love the novelty this presents for fun and creativity in the home. From the back of our house, the Stern (bathroom) to the front where our bedroom is, the Cockpit. I love the unique hardwood box he made me to store it all, it’s just gorgeous!
Oh our sink. I love our sink! I always have loved the Butler sink and we searched high and low to track it down. There is a certain class I was seeking and our sink feature brings about exactly the look I wanted. Its Valley bath, one of my favourite times of the day. We don’t have a bath in our bathroom so it was an excellent two in one option for the kids.
Every corner or our tiny home has details that I adore. One thing with owning our home is that we had the freedom to make it what we pleased. BUT… having a tiny home, meant we could afford to get creative in every section of the home. There are still a few minor details I need to tend to but in time they will come.
Keep a eager eye out for my upcoming blogs on the rest of our home.
For me the answer is rather simple. The pros outweigh the negatives by a long shot. But before I answer, perhaps a journey down memory lane is in order.
My parents were nomads, missionaries and entrepreneurs. In my childhood I went to 9 different schools, move 10 times, lived in Australia and abroad, been raised in remote communities and cities, lived in three sheds, homes that dad built with his own hands and perhaps the greatest adventure was spending almost a year on the road with my three siblings and parents in a horse drawn wagon. Which, in hindsight, makes me realise this is not the first tiny home I have dwelled in.
Throughout my childhood I saw my parents tremendously free, wildly adventurous and debt free. We never had lots, Dad was too much of change/adventure seeker to be in any stable job for too long. Change was normal… even exciting!
Regardless of our income, because my parents raised me thinking outside of the box and making materialistic sacrifices, I saw my parents free from mortgages, free being bound in a consumeristic mindset and enthralled by life
I grew to love living uniquely, learning money does not buy happiness and learning that I can be extremely content living differently than the status quo.
At 17 years old I was swept off my feet by my South African Mountain Man. He was my soulmate from the moment my eyes set upon him and as my soulmate he is likeminded, being grounded and adventures all at the same time. By 18 I became his wife and we started to dream and build a life together.
So why a tiny home?
We want to live debt free and we’re willing to live alternatively to do so. Since moving into my our tiny home i’ve had people have compassion on me, stating sympathetically, “everyone has to start somewhere”, “it’s just a season”, “it’s ok you live in a tiny home, don’t worry about what people will think”. I assure you, I don’t. I saw the quote “it’s ok to live a life others don’t understand”. And it really is ok! Being debt free means that we are able to have freedoms that many aren’t privileged to. For me, debt is like depression. A yucky black cloud sitting over your head that you can see but can’t shift. And I am not interested in the cloud.
We are lovers of the earth. We have been made responsible to be caretakers of this beautiful planet and unfortunately as a whole, us humans aren’t doing so good. The hunger for power and money has led to the destruction of our planet and it hurts my heart. I want to be a faithful steward with what I have been given, as does my family. So we adjusted our lifestyle. We are off the grid, have a compost toilet, a self created garbage disposal system. Every item we purchase has to have a purpose and is kept to a minimum. Even the footings for our home is designed not to leave a permanent mark is we leave this abode some day.
We want our children to know money doesn’t buy happiness. Some of my happiest years were when I did not have a lot. However, it doesn’t take long when living back in mainstream, western society for bad (or normal to most) habits start popping up and becoming the norm. This is the main reason even before the tiny home, we have been television free. My Valentine will see the world differently, will think critically, challenge the status quo and find content in simplicity… because that how he will be raised.
We like having a home. Home is a sanctuary. Home is where you can come and rejuvenated so that when you leave home you have a full cup to invest yourself into other humans and the world. I’m a proud homemaker and keeper. Plus, when it comes to our vocational choices, both my Mountain Man and my passions lie in supporting and connecting with other humans. To have real eternal purpose and value. So to do this, we need a sanctuary that can support our personal and spiritual growth.
Plus renting sucks. Having people own the four walls surrounding your existence means you can’t live freely and proudly as I hope to. Being scrutinised at inspections and having to fight for bond though you left a place cleaner then you arrived is not my idea of fun. I always struggled with renting. You can’t put a picture on the wall, have others coming through your home to make sure you’re kept accountable to the owner. It just isn’t the same without being yours. With a tiny home, I can paint walls, take ownership and do what I like. I like that.
So we spent our small fortune, took 6 months off, had a baby and built a tiny home. And we are so glad we did.
Living in a tiny home is a adjustment to“normal” western society living. I refer to it as ‘conscious living’ rather than ‘unconscious consumerism’. Every time we turn on the tap, use an electrical appliance, make a purchase or even receive a gift, we have to do it mindfully. I love the CHOICE we made to live tiny. I love that my son will learn money does not buy happiness. I love that I am happier now then I have ever been, in my <26sqm home.
Our first month in our tiny home took a bit to adjust to but gave us many memories.
My mountain man sweat day and night to get the home done by the time our rental was up. However, due to the wait time for our solar to arrive, we were without electricity. He couldn’t install the pump or turn on the fridge, which left us waterless and powerless for the best part of four months.
In this time, I got lots of comments about how impossible it is to do without water with a baby. But I found, if life gives you lemons, make lemonade. In my experience, when life offers discomfort or difference, that’s where the memories are made. While I walked with a friend twice a week, I did my washing at her place. The bed sheets and towels got quite neglected but hey, we had clean undies. And for this short season I had to use disposables because MCN (modern clothe nappies) were far too much washing. Thankfully, now we have water I am able to turn back to cloth nappies (good for the pocket and the environment).
We would cart our drinking and washing water in with a bucket and showers were mostly done with a wet wipe.
Actually, a funny story was, because it’s summer here, we were able to swim in the dam for a “shower”. I say shower with quotation marks because it often was more of a mud bath then a cleansing bath. This one time, I came out of the dam with two leeches attached to my leg! Some shower that was.
The second hurdle was we had no power too. Luckily we were only in an esky for 10 days and you realise how much you appreciate and rely on a fridge until you don’t have one and are not camping.
Having no lights wasn’t an issue as day light saving and being so far south meant we had extended periods of light.
Charging phones were done on the road in our cars. But all in all, we survived the adventure, and came out thriving.
It’s nice to be living on the land, with our now fully functional tiny home. We still have doors to install, gardens to plant and the exterior to paint, but I am so happy living in my work in progress home.
With the raging rise of social media it has put a unprecedented pressure on the expectation of self-image. I’m the first to promote a active and healthy life but have myself been sucked down the vortex of expecting a myself to look a certain way especially in light of ‘bouncing back’ after childbirth.
Because of being fit before pregnancy I have had a number of people tell me how quickly I’ll bounce back. That I’ll be in a bikini in no time. That by the time Valley is 12 weeks and I got to the Whitsundays for a wedding I’ll be bikini ready.
I have loved getting my blood moving and being active again with my new found postpartum energy BUT I want to say a few things:
1. ladies, as hard as it is, do not listen to the voices of those who put pressure on you. And don’t beat yourself up over comparing yourself to other mothers postpartum because like my picture above, it may not be realistic. I encourage you to overcome the expectation that you need to be different than you are. You are beautiful. You just created a human. You’re pretty much a superhero.
2. To those who intend to be “encouraging” or just have an opinion about someone body, don’t say “oh you still look thick around your waist”, “you’ll loose it all soon enough”, “you’ll be like before in no time”. It’s unrealistic to think that women who have birthed a human will ever be free from the marks of childbirth.
In fact, society should celebrate these marks rather then wish them away as it’s make feeling confident far easier. Which brings me to my final point.
3. Society as a whole need to rethink how we view mothers. Mothers shouldn’t HAVE to justify why they look different, why they struggle to look like they did beforehand and how much time it takes to look ‘socially acceptable’.
Mothers are incredible.
Oh and the background and dirty mirror is just another beautiful reflection of motherhood where a child is put first before presenting a perfect household.
It’ so great to have my mojo back. Pregnancy was like “blahhhhhhh” but postpartum is WONDERFUL. I hear Mum’s say “I can’t wait until they are walking, walking, this or that” but for me, I am so relishing in every moment of my little, not so newborn son.
He is 6 weeks old now. Already wearing cloth for a 3-6 month old, using his legs, head and vision with strength. And he has just about been dragged across the countryside, handling it like a trooper.
I hear a lot that women struggle to get out of the house with their newborns. And by no means do I criticise that because breastfeeding is hard, having little sleep is hard, working out what to wear is hard and for me most days remembering to eat is hard. But boy oh boy is it nice to feel like I have energy again.
These are the adventures we have been able to embark upon so far:
Evendale markets (1 hr drive) ~ 5 days old
George Town Sight Seeing (half hr drive) ~ 2 weeks old
Deloraine and Liffy falls (2 hr drive and 45 min walk) ~ 3 weeks old
Rock climbing ~ 3 weeks old
Launceston play dates x 2 (1 hr drive) ~ 3 and 5 weeks old
Derby sight seeing and lunch (2 hr drive) ~ 4 weeks old
Holwell Gorge (half hr walk) ~ 5 weeks old
Cataract Gorge (1 hr drive and 1 hr walk) ~ 5 weeks old
I have always had a strong desire to be a mother and absolutely adored pregnant women. I was that person who just wanted to touch bellies that were growing life and could not wait until I had one of my own.
We were super blessed in being able to conceive quickly when the time came that we were ready to have a family. I was strong, healthy, stable and so in love with my mountain man, that really, it couldn’t have been more perfect.
Seven weeks into the excitement of growing life within my body started to evidence some pretty tough symptoms. So many changes rapidly took over my body. My 110% go getter lifestyle took a serious shock to the system. I have been writing out a list of symptoms I have had during the different seasons of pregnancy. Mostly of which as uncomfortable and all of which are foreign. 56 in total to date ~ I added three just today alone.
Though my common response when asked about how my pregnancy was going was “exhausted” or “looking forward to it being over”; I still felt I wasn’t able to be real with myself about how hard it really has been. I felt for several reasons I just had to ‘suck it up’ as I am “tough” or “my mother had a good experience” or “so many women have had it way worse then I am now”. After all, I did complete an Olympic distance triathlon at 17 weeks in 3 hours and was constantly told I got the glow going on.
I had a fairy-tale, idealistic view on what pregnancy would be like. At one stage I felt bitter towards all women for not sharing the reality of pregnancy with me. I remember clearly at 12 weeks, purchasing maternity clothing from a store and the women serving me stated while looking so beautiful and rubbing her belly as if she had a baby within “I remember the joy of growing life and just feeling so fulfilled and wanting to nourish my child with the best possible start. Oh how I loved being pregnant”. To which I replied with silence and smiled however was visualising not so nice thoughts towards her as I was captivated by jealousy of her experience.
If I am real to myself, I think that most of my pregnancy I have felt like a host. I love my little bear but I felt overwhelmed by having little control. This has left me feeling powerless, helpless and at times even hopeless. I researched antenatal depression at one stage and saw myself ticking off every box. I realised that I was allowing myself, which includes at this stage my little bear, to be overcome with emotions that need not be within. This is when I realised something needed to change and started declaring hope, joy and health over my body. I was often told, “embrace the changes”, which at the time, I felt resistant towards. However, since 33 weeks of pregnancy, since I moved 2,500kms across the country to Tasmania ~ away from work, distractions and many of the commitments I had, I have finally allowed myself to not only reflect, but embrace the changes and the feelings I have been going through.
I realised I had never had to learn to be humble, because I was so ridiculously capable at just about anything. I had a ton of energy and my mountain man was my partner, but I didn’t rely on or need his support in a physical sense. So the first time I couldn’t do up my own laces, I sobbed at the realisation that I actually needed help. Those days where I couldn’t get dinner on due to exhaustion, peed myself in public, pushed myself too hard and sprained a rib or pulled a tendon because I forgot my emerging limitations and then required weeks of physical support really challenged me. I have been extremely blessed with support and love all around. And finally, I have learned that relaxing into this wildly unexpected adventure, though my symptoms aren’t improving, has been in fact, the best thing for my mental health, pregnancy and baby so far.
Now, as I am full term and expecting my little bear to come into my life at any moment, knowing full well this next season may present again new challenges, I am moved to tears knowing I will soon be holding my little child on earth side, whom will be showered in deep love and by my mountain mans side, we will be a family.