home decor · tiny home · tiny house · tiny house movement

Tiny House Kitchen Tour ~ where the magic happens

So much detail in such a small space. My kitchen has to be my absolute favourite room in our tiny home!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Keep a eager eye out for my upcoming blogs on the rest of our home.

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Why live in a tiny 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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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My Mountain Man got creative with the electrical box… Our bedroom is the cockpit bahahaha
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My latest edition is the installation of our fireplace.
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Our home is still a work in progress as my Mountain Man is now working and I am getting bit by bit done between baby sleeps zzz

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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.

 

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Moments from our first month ~ A work in progress in a tiny home. 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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We’re moving!

Growing up in a unique way where my gypsy parents allowed the value of extraordinary experience not to get in the way of comfort or traditional schooling and doing life traditionally for that matter, has really shaped my thinking ~ I got to experience living in an African village in the fourth poorest country in the world, traveling the east coast of Australia on a horse drawn wagon with my three siblings, Mumma, Daddy and four beautiful horses, growing my early years in a Australian Aboriginal community in Northern Australia and just about every other adventure from outback living to cities and in between. 15 homes. 9 school changes. This all has taught me to love people, love life, love diversity and think critically about how to do this thing called life.

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Now married to my mountain man, as a young couple exploring our options for starting out in this world, I can’t help but think there must be more options then living at home with parents, renting or tying yourself down in a mortgage. Often I feel different for thinking outside of these three options. In Australia we are extremely privileged in comparison to other parts of the world but also the younger generation are heavily burdened with carrying mortgages of 30 years and astronomical amount of interest paid in this time.

Sometimes putting it out there, having a whole lot of faith and taking a step out of the ‘norm’ is all you need for doors to open in ways you’d never imagine.

We knew that our journey in South East Queensland was coming to a close mid 2017 as my man finishes his university studies, I enter maternity leave and our next adventure awaits. After months of diligently searching for where our hearts are taking us and having faith that we would be guided to our right path, having multiple, wonderful doors being open but not having peace, THE extraordinary has just fell in our laps. A opportunity of a life time to be able to care take someone’s land for a open amount of time where we can build a movable place of our own where we can call home and save for our very own land. Want to know where? … the enchanted Tasmania!

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A new community. A new home and limitless opportunity.

So now we’re working out the finer tweaks… temporary housing… we explored everything from tiny homes, container homes, kit homes, yurts, caravans and school bus conversions. Have you lived in alternative housing before? Comment what you’d suggest and why?

As it isn’t our land and we will need it to be mobile. We’re leaning towards a container home at this stage. I can’t wait to move in the next three months and start the building process. So stay tuned to see our next adventure unfolds.

Did I mention this is 6 short weeks before our first child is due?