home: dreaming big, living small (tiny house teacher)

or PIC 3I could never have successfully done this Home series without having at least one Tiny House featured. For the last year, I have considered these little houses to be the ideal form of home ownership. I find nothing more desirable than to not only live mortgage-free, but to be able to move your lovely abode at a moment’s notice. Coming from someone who is able to commit, but also loves to change her mind, I dream of one day owning a Tiny House. When I do make the decision to build one, I will turn to one of the best teacher’s around, Lora from the blog The Tiny House Teacher.

For some reason, the most compassionate souls seem to follow HSB. Lora is no exception. I have been in contact with her for a few months now, and her goodness, coupled with her knowledge regarding Tiny Homes, never ceases to astound me. It is apparent that she truly loves her life in her tiny abode, and strives to share that expertise with audiences both near and far. She was brave enough to make a major life change, and for that, I am thrilled to share her home story on my blog.

<3

Emory

PIC 21. Where is your home located?

Currently my Tiny House and I reside at an RV park in Georgia. I chose this location because it was close to work, but I am loving it because of everything it has to offer.

It is perfect for the outdoor activities I enjoy, with great hiking trails, a couple of small lakes and stables nearby.

PIC 3But one of the best things about my Tiny House is that I can park it wherever I want in the future! The freedom of knowing I can move anywhere is incredibly liberating and exciting.

2. What are your thoughts on the idea of ‘home’?

My idea of home has always been more about the “feelings” a place evokes rather than the actual building or space. I have lived in 13 different states, 22 cities and 28 houses over the years. I have loved something about each of these homes, but I realize it’s my family and the experiences that I have had in each that made the house feel like a “home” to me.

PIC 4I know a lot of people think about an actual location when they talk about their “home”…and I have always wondered what it would be like to have one place that came to mind. I guess for me, my home is a place that reflects who I am at that moment in life. Right now, that moment looks like a Tiny House!

PIC 5“Home” is the place that has room for all of the things that are important to me. It has a cozy bed to sleep in, a place to cook, a bathroom for showers, and space for all of my passions and hobbies. Which right now include reading, writing, photography, triathlons and ballroom dancing!

PIC 6Home is also a place where I can share memories that are important to me. One of my bucket list items is to run a half marathon in all 50 states. Last year for Christmas, my sister bought me an amazing medal board to showcase all of my race “bling.” When I started making my “must have” list for my Tiny House, it was at the top!

PIC 7Overall, home is a place that feels like me. A space that represents all the things I love. A space that is organized and functional, but also comforting and relaxing. Most of all, my home is a space that encourages me to be thankful for what I have.

3. What kinds of things influence your design style?

My grandfather was an architect and my mom has always loved the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright. I grew up in a home that had clean lines, lots of windows and organized spaces. All of these things stuck and influenced my Tiny House design choices.

PIC 8As I got older, I found myself pulled towards items that were functional and comfortable. I like things to look “clean,” but I don’t connect with spaces that feel too modern or sterile. I want the words cozy and relaxing to come to mind in my home. To me this means a lot of natural materials and comfy furniture.

PIC 9A lot of people ask why I didn’t just move to an RV when I decided to go Tiny. The answer is always the same, “they don’t feel like home to me!” I don’t get a sense of comfort when I walk into an RV, they feel cold, impersonal and kind of cheap.

In fact, I stayed in one for a month before my Tiny House was delivered…and I hated it. Not because of the space, but because it didn’t really feel like me. It was dark, flimsy, and had limited storage. It was all of the things that didn’t appeal to me from a design standpoint.

The final item that influenced the design of my house was my strong need for organization and limited visual clutter. I have always been OCD to a certain extent, and I wanted to have storage spaces for all of the things I wanted to keep. I am not really a minimalist at heart, but I am an organizing fan (in fact, I had my own professional organizing company for 7 years). So as I started looking at designs, I knew I wanted to use all of the space I had effectively.

PIC 10My design list looked something like this…I want a bright space, with lots of windows. It needs to be well constructed and feel like home. I want lots of storage, a functional kitchen and a loft bedroom. Because I knew what I was looking for, I was able to pick a design that met my requirements for light, comfort, quality and storage. And I am thrilled with the results!

4. What do you consider to be one of your favourite items in your home? What could you never live without?

This was the toughest question. Downsizing requires you to do a lot of self-reflection on the things that are important to you, but it’s hard to limit my “favorite” items to just one.

I will say that one of the first things on my “must-keep” list for my Tiny House were my books. I love to read! When I started thinking about downsizing one of the things that made me most nervous was the idea of getting rid of all of my books. I did end up donating over 200 to a local library near my old house, but I also had a custom bookcase made to hold all of my favorites.

PIC 11I also realized that I wanted technology to be part of my Tiny Life. I use my iPad and Computer daily, in part because I am a technology junkie and partly because they allow me to pursue my new found passion for writing and blogging.

I also couldn’t live without my Monkey…he is my traveling buddy and awesome pal. And as you can see, he is quite fond of our Tiny House Life!

PIC 125. Please share any ideas/stories/pictures that best highlight your home.

The first night I climbed in my bed in my Tiny House, I knew I had made the perfect choice. When I climbed up into my loft and looked out at my new space, I felt like a little kid with a treehouse. It was the best feeling ever!

PIC 12AA lot of people asked me what it’s like living with my dog in my Tiny House, and I can say it’s awesome. I own a two year old Australian Shepherd named Rocket and he has lots of energy! But we take lots of walks in the evening and he is adjusting well.

PIC 13About a month after I moved to the RV park, I noticed that some people named their RV’s. I didn’t want my Tiny House to feel left out, plus I really liked the idea of giving my house some personality, so I decided to go on a quest for a name. I posted my challenge on my Facebook and Twitter accounts, and I got tons of great ideas.

I decided on Ma’alahi…which means simplicity in Hawaii. This name resonated with me because it was unique, sounded pretty and because I read my first book about Tiny Houses on a trip to Hawaii. It just seemed like a perfect fit! Now I just have to get a sign for the outside. :-)

PIC 14Lora

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If you would like to take part in this series, entitled Home, please email me at helloscarlettblog@outlook.com.

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stairway to heaven, or something like that

e5556d9f070dcb71dbfdfbde1c06d0f9(Image via Pinterest)

The day is getting closer for when we’ll be able to move into The Little Barn. I would say in two weeks, to be exact. This also means that the decisions are becoming finer in their details and much more rushed at that. Our contractors are scrambling to finish last minute projects, both little and big, and we are calling them almost on a daily basis asking when it is that we’ll be able to bring our belongings over. The only other time that I’ve felt this nervous during our house building was in the beginning, when we were waiting to hear back from the bank regarding our mortgage. It’s torturous!

Anyway, that’s not the point of this post. What is the point is that we were asked to pick out a railing for our staircase. Actually, I was texted that question. My first response was that I didn’t bloody know. My contractor then told me that I had to pick something. Obviously, but what a vague question. Who thinks about railings? Didn’t they just appear when the staircase was installed? What are the different kinds of materials that can be used? How would I know what would look good and what wouldn’t?

In a desperate attempt, I had asked my husband to pick out a railing. He was about as shocked and overwhelmed as I was, and asked me what look we were going for. 

“I don’t know,” I said. “Just type in rustic staircase.” 

So he did. What we came up with was a reclaimed wood railing.

dd14c481e8c7a8520a2b38efd2c3612b(Image via Pinterest)

671a060c2fdcd58b6bfb9d3df8325f29(Image via Pinterest)

038f7fd977cb5472824f871e11babdc0(Image via Pinterest)

What would you have chosen for your own house?

<3

Emory

the not-so-reclaimed siding

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetHi friends, and happy Saturday! Are you enjoying it? I hope so! I’m spending mine working at the store, which in my eyes, doesn’t really feel like work at all. So I’m pretty happy. :-)

Before we examine the siding and the title of this post, I’m going to backtrack a little. It was only 10 days ago when I revealed our metal roof to you. While I initially liked it, a tiny part of me did question if we made the right decision in going with brown. It didn’t pop the way that I had hoped that it would, yet at the same time, that’s exactly why I did choose it. Putting my emotions aside, I told myself to just wait until the siding comes. I knew that everything would change once that was up. Boy, did it ever.

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetNow to discuss the siding. The plan for the siding on The Little Barn was always to be reclaimed wood. So my husband and my brother-in-law began to spend their weekends tearing down old barns and outbuildings across the province. They were not hard pressed for these types of structures given that we live in Saskatchewan. Yet, it was backbreaking work and extremely time-consuming to do so. It didn’t take long before we began to rethink our decision. Upon assessing the quality of boards, mulling the idea over amongst ourselves, and finally discussing it with our contractor, we chose not to put that particular wood on our house. We were just too afraid of leaks and dry rot.

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetIt was our contractor that came up with the perfect solution. He was able to get wood siding that had been sitting on a distributor’s lot for a few years. No one had wanted it because it was beginning to look reclaimed. It had already turned grey, and best of all, they were selling it to us at an extremely low cost. In the case of miracles, this was a big one. I still cannot believe how lucky we were to get this amazing material.

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetIn the end, our not-so-reclaimed siding is one of my favourite things about The Little Barn. Well, one of many.

<3

Emory

up on the roof

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 9.58.13 AMHey guys! The day is finally here for me to reveal our metal roof to you!

2.jpgIf you can remember this post, I had enlisted your help in choosing a colour for a new roof. Most of you thought that red would vibrant and beautiful, which I agreed with. However, given that our previous metal roof stood out, this time, I wanted one that would blend in with its surroundings.

4.jpgMaybe I was playing the devil’s advocate, or maybe I was just stubborn in my vision for a weathered-looking house. Whatever the case, I am so thankful that we chose the colour that we did! 

1.jpgI think that the brown looks great here, but honestly, you should see it with the reclaimed siding that is now up. Honestly, it is absolutely gorgeous. 

3.jpgDon’t worry, the siding post will come soon. :-)))

<3

Emory

the little barn dance

1.jpgAn important matter has recently come to my attention. I have never showed any of my amazing readers photos of The Little Barn’s construction site! Not once! How did this happen? I have been freely discussing moving since January, and blogging my room ideas for our new home on a weekly basis, yet I have not been including photographic updates on our property.

The last time that any of you saw pictures of our lot was on June 4. That was nearly 4 months ago! Actually, that is a bit of a lie. I have been giving my Instagram followers little peeks of TLB. So maybe you should all join the @hello_scarlett_blog bandwagon already. It’s time to get back on the wagon!

Ok, enough chit chat. I’m really excited to present to you the progress so far. So dust off your computer and smartphone screens, get settled in your seats, and most of all, get ready to do The Little Barn Dance with me!

01.jpgWe officially received our lot on June 30. After spending Canada Day there with Holly and Truman, we had to wait nearly a month to have our mortgage and building permits approved. After that, we went out there one day with Ellie, and saw that not only had all of the trees been cleared away, but the screw piles and septic tank were put in, and we had a foundation! That was the day that we felt as if we really were building a home.

2.jpg 3.jpgThe contractors worked away at the foundation for the next week, and put up some pony walls. The flooring came next, and drawing out each wall on the main floor. Passerbys kept asking them if they were building a garage.

4.jpgAfter the walls were drawn out, it took only a few days to erect them. At this point, the bathroom, mudroom, spare bedroom, and pantry are all framed. The kitchen and living room walls are still laying down. Progress!

5.jpg 6.jpg7.jpg8.jpg9.jpgAfter the framing of the main floor was complete, the second floor went up merely days later. Now our neighbours were asking if it was a church that was being built. I have to agree with them. It’s divine.

10.jpg 11.jpg13.jpgThe addition of the roof occurred over a few days, and the windows and doors were installed in only one. The photos of our house, as you see it here, were taken just this past weekend. The metal roof, soffit, and fascia, should be installed by the end of next week, as will our electrical and plumbing. By then, our home will be approximately 50% completed!

02.jpgI love our Sunday drives out to the lake to check on The Little Barn. I’ll never forget turning the corner and seeing for the first time our house with a second storey. It was such an imposing structure standing so tall against the trees. It was so shocking and gratifying at the same time. I was so proud of our new home, and so grateful for all of the positive reinforcement that we had gotten from my side of the family, friends, coworkers, and even our contractors so far. What started off as a somewhat rocky affair has now turned into such a natural and smooth housebuilding experience. We have honestly been blessed. Maybe it is like a church after all.

<3

Emory

  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to three (two on earth and one in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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