Would you move into a home less than 400 square feet?
The minimalist in me is loving the charm and efficiency of this whole “tiny house movement” which has been gaining popularity over the past couple years. I first learned about these wee dwellings from a documentary on Netflix properly titled Tiny. (Go watch it, it’s fascinating!) Many Tiny Houses are built on trailers which basically means you could zoom zoom to wherever you wanted to live for the moment. New England in the fall, Seattle in the spring…mmm, the whole idea sounds so intriguing.
Needless to say, when I learned that an old high school friend had built a Tiny, I just had to pick her brain on the details. Everyone, meet old friend/Tiny House owner/happy hour host Meredith:
First of all, where do you live, Meredith?
I live in the Black Hills outside of Rockerville, SD. The Black Hills are a huge vacation destination, plus we are only 5.3 miles away from Mt. Rushmore . This year is the 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and over 1 million people are expected to attend. There are many hiking trails and lakes in the area, and in the winter you can snowmobile and ski. It is so wonderful living here; so much to do and enjoy!
What inspired you to build your Tiny House?
Most of my inspiration came from Pinterest. (I know lame.) I also looked up the hashtag #tinyhouse on Instagram and loved the idea of having more home and less house. Downsizing has been so liberating.
How big is your Tiny House?
The home is 200 square feet and there are 4 windows. (I love my windows.) We did pour a huge patio which doubles as a extra room because I am always outside.
How many people live in the Tiny House?
I live here full time, and my kids Richard, 10, and Sydney, 8, live here part time. There are two lofts. One is above the bathroom/ pantry/ closet, and the other is above the “living room” area which is big enough for a queen sized bed.
Is your Tiny House built on a trailer or a solid foundation?
The Tiny House is built along other cabins which are nightly rentals in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I started working for some friends of mine who own these cabins and they had talked about turning what is currently my tiny house into another cabin. We decided I’d move into one of the cabins to be onsite in case any of the guess needed anything. So then came the idea of a tiny house.
How long was the planning and building process?
We started planning in January. To be honest, it was a “look at this picture/do you like this idea” kind of planning. Officially, we started in late February. Since the Tiny House was already built on a permanent foundation, I didn’t have to face typical tiny house plumbing issues such as a potty in the shower issue.
Who built the house?
The owner and I did a lot of the work, but we were really short on time. Tourist season was coming on fast and we also had 7 other cabins to update, so we hired a contractor and crew to do the bulk of the work.
What is your favorite feature in your Tiny House?
Oh my, how do I pick just one? I love my countertop in the kitchen which is made of a few pieces of rough cut bug wood. We have a huge beetle problem here in the Black Hills so when you cut the wood, it looks blue. We applied a super heavy sealant on the counter and now it’s beautiful and easy to keep clean. Another part of my Tiny House I love are my shelves. I hand picked them at the mill, cut them and nailed them up. Never in my life have I thought I’d do anything like this.
What was your biggest surprise upon moving in?
How much stuff I had. Downsizing has been a huge task. I had started prior to moving, but once I moved in it was a fight finding places for everything. Even after being in the house for two weeks, I rearranged. What was working and not working became apparent real quick. I still would like an island that can double as a table and a couch to double as a third bed. Oh, and we also need to build the second set of stairs to the second loft.
How can we learn more about your fabulous Tiny House?
You can check out more photos on my Instagram at meredith.lea.g or #meredithbuildsatinyhouse. Also, if anyone wants to come for a visit they can check out our website to book their cabin and make their way to the Tiny House for happy hour!
A big THANK YOU, Meredith, for sharing your story. Happy Hour on that happy patio of yours looks like the ultimate way to spend a summer. Best wishes and sunny skies to you!
Do you know someone who lives in a tiny house?