Jamie and Shawns Tiny House

I am so happy to present this tiny house today. Check out the tour here.

[adrotate banner=”30″]Oh, the fun of a tiny house. Even though SmallHouseLife.com is mainly about downsizing to a smallish (1200-1800 sq. ft.) home, I like to feature the tiny houses sometimes as I know ya’ll like to see them!

This house is owned by Jamie and Shawn, designer-drafter for THE small HOUSE CATALOG.. and they have lived in this tasteful, functional 200 square foot tiny house for approx. two years.

tiny house exterior

tiny house entrance

This cutie is about 200 square feet. 🙂

tiny house living room

The couple designed and built the house themselves to live in as a builder’s cottage while they decided what and whether to build on their lot.

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Check out their kitchen!

tiny house kitchen sink

Are you inlove yet? I so am! 🙂 You know, the house is sitting on their own land and hooked up to a sewer/septic system.

tiny house kitchen

It’s a small house but why does it look sooooo comfy.. right?

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tiny house cupboards

Isn’t it clever? Space saving, indeed.

tiny house pathway

You can never have too many jars – that’s what I always say.

tiny house shelves

… and there’s even room for books! Lot’s of ’em!

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So here’s how this tiny house looks at night..

tiny house exterior at night

Jamie and Shawn have lived in this house for approx. two years. Unfortunately, local zoning, like most places, does not allow you to live permanently in a tiny house since it’s technically considered an RV. Their county and special district will only allow a tiny house like theirs for temporary living for up to two years if they are building a “real” house. 

The house they are building right now, the Beekeeper’s Bungalow  is roughly a 750 sq. ft. one and half story small house. Can’t wait to see that one. 🙂

Quaint 1600 sq. ft. townhome near downtown Austin TX

Quaint town home near downtown Austin, in a neighborhood called Clarksville, this 1612 square foot small..

Quaint town home near downtown Austin, in a neighborhood called Clarksville, this 1612 square foot small house gives great ideas of downsizing to a small space.

Remember, downsizing does not mean cheap!  I can attest to that in our downsizing story. It’s simply scaling back to create a home that works for you.

Front View

Simple, traditional architectural style that is timeless.  Not sure what’s up with the grill in the front because they have an absolutely tropical paradise in back.  But when considering a townhome or condo, do ask about grilling (if that’s important to you) because there are sometimes restrictions  on where you can barbeque.

Outside View

Here’s another view of the front façade. The outside furniture is tasteful to the town house exterior. Ahhh, ok now we see why the grill is in front.  Makes much more sense.

Living Room

Lovin the wrapped corner windows in the small living room.  Cozy, but gives a good visual with the windows.  A nice feature you don’t often find in Texas is the trim out of the windows.  If you can’t have wood windows, I personally think it’s a must.

Dining Room

Again, light and bright with the dining room windows.  FYI, bring that picture down about six inches.

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Very open plan.. A little too open for me, although I like the floating bar in the kitchen.  This is a very efficient design for a small kitchen to get the most use out of a smaller space.  Several elements of this bar that I like. One is the granite itself.  Universal color that would appeal to most people.  It’s a great contrast to the rich, hardwood floors.  And I like the slight curve which makes it better for guests sitting at the bar.

[note color=”#EBEBEB”]Note: If you’re building or remodeling, don’t let the Builder get cheap on you here. It’s not that much more $ to add a little knee room (I like 12″ minimum) with a bar.[/note]

Living Area

Here’s another angle of the main floor. I love the feeling that this photo represents. It’s cozy yet uncomplicated – simple and inviting… although they do need a little help with picture placement.  Gorgeous walnut wood floors.


The small bedroom has enough space for an amazing bed which goes to show you can have big living in a 1600 square foot house.

Bedroom 2
I’m tellin you, the abundance of windows is a huge plus for me with this townhouse.  Notice how this small bedroom multi functions to include a small study?  Double duty rooms are usually a must with smaller spaces.  Most likely this is a guest room.  A little crowded in here but nothing some IKEA furnishings couldn’t take care of.. [highlight bg=”#DDFF99″ color=”#000000″]See some of my fav IKEA picks below![/highlight]



OK, so I was 100% wrong on the patio.. That tropical paradise I was referring to is actually in the front here.  Hmmm, I’d have to see it, but I might be fine because it appears there’s still a lot of privacy.  It is lush don’t you think?

Pictures courtesy of Austin Land Company – MLS# 4146105

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Southern Small House Built in 1941

Tour this delightful southern small house built in 1941. Just 1633 square feet, but this small home packs big living in small spaces.

Our first small house tour of the new year and it’s gorgeous!  Beaufort, South Carolina, where this home is located, is one of my favorite places to go soak up architectural style..  There is just something about the classic southern design elements that warms my heart..  I may be a Texas girl, but I was born in Savannah, you know.

Quick particulars: This lovely southern beauty sits on approx. a third acre, was built in 1941, with three bedrooms and two baths; approx. 1633 square feet..  OK then!  Now, it’s time for this small house tour!

Front View of Small House

When you say small house, it doesn’t mean that it cannot look grand, right? The circular steps welcoming your visitors, along with the archway framing the charming front door.   Simple yet elegant.  Lovin’ the wood windows.  How about the weeping moss hanging from the trees?  Only in the south!  Now let’s peek inside this lovely home.

Living Room

We begin with the living room.  Notice there is not a foyer.  Now, I personally am not big on foyers in a small home.  I think it wastes valuable space that can be used elsewhere.  The living room furniture is arranged to compliment the direct entrance into the room.  Ideal for movie night or just hanging around with family/friends enjoying easy conversation by the fireplace…

Quick comment about the TV over the fireplace.  It’s a very popular way to go these days but I always wondered how that played out in real life.  I mean does your neck get sore when not watching TV straight on?  We just moved into a house with the television set up like the one in this small house, and I’m here to tell you it works fine.

Tips for Hanging TV over Fireplace

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  • Hang TV as low to the fireplace mantel as possible. The TV you see in the living room above could be placed about six inches lower.
  • If you are building, select a fireplace with as low a mantel as possible that still works with your room proportion.


Kitchen 2

The kitchen is a good size for a small house. Remember we’re talking just a little over 1600 square feet. Looks like a total update, and very well done. When you’re considering a home that’s been remodeled, make sure the quality is up to par.

Streamlined flat-paneled cabinets with slick stainless appliances.  Note with the cabinets, they installed old fashion style knobs to balance the semi modern kitchen with the older home. The country kitchen sink is a very expensive addition. FYI, I’ve never seen one less than about $1700. Also, they splurged on a refrigerator cabinet for a polished, finished look.

May I complain for a minute here? One of my pet peeves is this:  If someone is taking pictures of your house (for any reason, but especially to sell) get rid of the clutter! The dishes, and dishrag, and junk on the fridge, MUST GO. Pheww, ok now I feel better.


Ok, another view of the kitchen.  I’m diggin the range and vent.  Oh, and hardwood floors!  You noticed those, right?

I also want you to note how the cabinets go all the way to the counter.  We also did this in our big house.  Scroll down to the kitchen picture here and you’ll see.  I liked that and would probably do it again, but my kitchen had extra counter space next to the cabinets, while these do not.  The only reason that matters is if you have stuff on the counter and want to open the cabinet, there’s no place to scoot it.  Just remember that if you decide to build.

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Dining Area

Oh yeah, smart, smart how they opened up the space from the dining room to the living room.  And the sleek dining set is perfect for this small house.

Bedroom 2

Onto the light and bright master bedroom.  I love that the windows are situated strategically so when the sun shines in and it’s time to wake up in the morning, you’ll get the full benefit.

Even though this is a small bedroom, they got all the important pieces into the room and it looks great!  The white is a perfect compliment to the warm tones of the bed and hardwood floors.  It’s unusual to have hardwood floors throughout a home because they are more expensive than tile or carpet.  This is a perk you’ll sometime find in an older home.


Crisp, clean small bathroom right here.  I seriously love this bath!  I can’t tell id there’s wood on the walls, but I think there is.  The window brings in lots of natural light.. and speaking of light, how about the fun light fixture above the pedestal sink!  You know me, I’d probably tear up the floor and replace it with the black and white tiles that we did in our black and white bathroom here.

Bedroom 1

I’m telling you, this small home has fabulous windows to enjoy the natural light.  And see how they are even all cased out to give a more finished look. (Cased out means they have wood trim around them)  anyway, this is quite a large bedroom for this modest square footage.  Cool.


Speaking of windows.. Just look at this screened porch!  And the garden!  It’s really inspiring, isn’t it? Imagine reading your book here while drinking some iced tea on a hot summer day… It’s fantastic to have extra living spaces like this that extend the indoors to the outdoors, and double our enjoyment of our home.


Which brings us to the backyard of this lovely home.. You don’t always get such a generous outdoor living space in small houses, but this one over-deliverers.  Plus it looks so peaceful and private with the thoughtful use of hedges along the fence line.  Again, I have to say if you’re selling, move the boat!  Although I guess it does imply there’s water nearby, now that I think about it.  Hmmm. OK

So, this country cottage is actually still available to buy (photos from Realtor .com) at the time of this post.  Check out MLS#127651 or call listing agent Neil 843.252.2121.

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IKEA – Small House 376 Square Feet

IKEA Small House pictures show us how to get a whole lot of living out of a tiny 376 sq. ft. floorplan. Get small house design tips along

[adrotate banner=”30″]Here is our first IKEA post of a small house.. There’s a big IKEA in Austin, Texas right off Hwy-35, as you go towards Dallas. Hubby and I went there to purchase cabinet drawer pulls and thought it would be fun for our viewers at SmallHouseLife.com to see some of IKEA’s small house decorating. So the small space you’ll see today is a 376 square foot small house with living room, kitchen and small eating nook, bedroom and small bathroom. Oh! and loads of storage.

IKEA Store Texas
Just had to show you the outside of the Austin IKEA because, number one, it’s pretty darn impressive.. you can see it for miles, but also I wanted you to get a good look at that gorgeous Texas blue sky. This picture was taken Dec. 2011.

IKEA 376 Floorplan
IKEA 376 Square Foot Floorplan

Check out the photo above to get the small house floorplan. This will help you visualize the space as we move from room to IKEA room!

IKEAS 376 Bedroom
OK, so first up is the small bedroom. A brilliant way to get the most living out of a small space. Basically the bed is built in by surrounding it with storage compartments. You have the compact bedside tables (with drawers) and hanging storage units,along with full size clothing storage units. And notice the bedside reading light attached to the wall so as not to take up precious table space.

IKEAS 376 Living

Moving right along into the small living room. You’ll have to excuse all the IKEA tags. Obviously there’s nothing I could do about that. So just try and tune them out! Again, storage units mounted overhead to take advantage of the dead space over the sofa. See how the ottoman doubles as storage?

Smart, and you can now get an array of different sized and colors of ottomans almost everywhere these days.. Marshall’s, Ross’s, TJ Max.

IKEAS Living Room

Here another view of the small living room as you look to the kitchen. I like how they used one floor type for continuity into one space from another. This is an easy trick to use to extend the feeling of space when you actually have practically none. 🙂

IKEAS KitchenAhhh, we’re at the galley kitchen. Who would have thought they could even get dining seating in here, but they did! Run the major components against one wall..

Fridge, sink, stove, with complete storage cabinets. Then the other side of the small kitchen is utilized for the dining space and even a butcher block table for additional prep space. The next picture is a close up of the storage space you see over the dining table.

IKEA Kitchen shelfAs promised, a closer look at the storage unit over the dining table. Even though IKEA went for a more decorative look, you could use the storage cubes for cook books, dishes, etc.

So, there you have it.. our first ever IKEA small house tour. We’ll have more soon!

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Quaint Cottage – Small House has it all

Come along to tour this quaint cottage. This small house has gorgeous curb appeal.. The three bedrooms and one bath lives big at 1560 sq. ft.

Come along as we tour this quaint cottage.  Talk about curb appeal in a small house!  And behind that pretty face, are three bedrooms and one bath contained within 1560 square feet.   This small house makes it into our small house gallery because of the spaciousness of the living space.  Photos courtesy of Realtor.com MLS# 776566

Front Elevation of quaint small house

A very nice facade for a home, isn’t it? It’s almost like a dream home of young lovers starting out in their first home…. But this, I think, can be turned into a family home overflowing with children.. or maybe the perfect place to retire.   Quaint cottage.

Front 2

I included this picture so you’ll have a closer look of the front elevation..  
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Before we even step inside, we can see that they did a great job on the exterior part of this small house. The color is classic (for a classic home) and the wood front door gives it just enough interest.

Main Floor View

The main floor view above: I like that the main floor is quite spacey.   It is a bit cluttered.. at least for my taste.. but this area is roomy.  The hardwood floors are perfect and in great shape.. I love wood floors. It gives you the ‘homey’ and simple feeling.  Nothing quite like them for classic decor.

Living Room

This photo of the living room gives you the idea on what furniture and other décors you can put in. I like that the windows are all over – makes the whole room well ventilated and light and bright.  Personally, dark rooms are just too depressing for me.  Let the sun shine in!

Dining Area

Oh yeah, we definitely have a formal groove here in this small house.  But I’m still amazed that even with a ‘fussy’ look, there is still a lot of space for only 1560 square feet.

Alright, even though our quaint cottage is way too formal for my taste, I kinda like this master bedroom. 
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In fact, I like it a lot.  The green and white is fresh, and compliments beautifully with the wood furniture.

Now here’s a treat!  Cozy back yard deck surrounded by an English garden.  The only way you can get away with an uncovered area like this is if you either live in a cold area where you need that sun, or if the back of the house does not face west.

A broader view of the deck and garden.  This is really a gorgeous, spacious back yard.  Notice how they used greenery to create a privacy hedge waaay at the back of this picture.  While you can still see the neighbors over sized backyard building, it’s not unsightly due to the thick trees.

It sure is nice when your small house has an outdoor living space such as this quaint cottage.. It’s something to think about when designing your perfect living in a small house.

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Cute as a Button Small White House

Come along for this small white house tour that we just added to our Small Home Gallery. Only 1450 square feet but it packs big living in..

[adrotate banner=”30″]This cute as a button small white house joins our Small House Gallery!  Even at approximately 1450 square feet, it manages to pack in three bedrooms and two full baths.

A quaint home built in 1949, but recently remodeled, as you’ll see from the pictures. 

Speaking of pictures, all images in this post were obtained from Realtor.com mls#2583761.  OK.. so let’s get to it!

front of house

“Charming” is the word of the day on this small house. White is always a good choice. Maybe black or red shutters would add a little spice to the exterior. And a painted front door could dress it up too.

VERY nice job on the small kitchen!  Sleek and modern but not overdone.  Natural wood cabinets and under bar adds warmth and is a balance to the slate floors and stainless appliances.  Retro bar stools coordinate perfectly.

Notice they have a combination of closed upper cabinets and glass cabinets.  That’s a nice touch, and if budget allows, it’s cool to have lights in the glass cabinets.  I see they did put in under the cabinet lights in this kitchen.  It’s hard to tell about the kitchen counter-tops, but they are Blue Pearl granite.

Dining Room
Above, you get a different view of the kitchen with the dining area.  I like that the homeowner was not afraid to blend two separate floor materials in basically one space.  If it’s done right (like here) then the different floor elements can help define the space and look fabulous.

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In this case, the kitchen enjoys slate floor tiles while the dining area has light to medium toned Hardwoods.

Jenn-aire glass cook-top with downdraft that I am seriously considering in my next house, and here’s why:  I visited my cousin in Alaska a few years ago and he had the Jenn-aire with a downdraft.  It was in the kitchen bar, and I kid you not, he sauteed garlic shrimp while we sat two feet away, and you could not smell the shrimp.  Now I don’t know if all Jenn-aires are that good but I’ll let you know what I get and if it’s as great as his.

Dining and breakfast nook
I included this extra picture of the dining area above so you could see the efficient built in to the right.  Similar to the built in alcove in our black and white bathroom, in that it illustrates how to carve out extra space in a small home.  (It’s the 7th image down if you go look.)  Every square foot counts, so take advantage whenever you have the opportunity to do so.

Living Room
Great view above of the open floor plan of the living room, dining and kitchen.  Note (to the right) how yet another built in was carved out of a small space and put to work greatly enhancing this small house to live big.  It eliminated the need for a bulky piece of furniture to house the media components or art work.

Another living room picture
This living room view highlights the Hardwood floors that run from living to dining area.  Also, we can see how nicely the windows cased out.

Small bath
Unique secondary bathroom is big on style; glass vessel sink with wall mounted faucet.  Just make sure if you go with this look, that you adjust the cabinet height accordingly.  [adrotate banner=”29″]This type of sink will add several inches before you get to the rim, so if you vote for the higher cabinet height that is so popular now, you could end up with a ridiculously high sink.

FYI, to give you an idea of measurements, we went with a 31″ tall bathroom cabinet with a 6.25″ high glass vessel sink in a house my husband and I built.  The other bathroom cabinets in the same house had typical drop in sinks, and for those we did 34″ high cabinets.

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master bedroom picture
Attractive master bedroom with a continuation of the Hardwood floors.  Nice how the wooden patio doors ties it all together.  I want you to note how the bed is against the windows.  Personally this is not my first choice, but I don’t mind the look at all.  Another way to use a bed against windows is to cover the wall with ceiling to floor curtains.
master bedoormOh my, this view of the master bedroom shows how efficient storage was carefully implemented throughout this small house.  They might of goofed a little on the size of that TV..  🙂 but they did a fantastic job, nonetheless.  The glass closet doors still hide the contents but give us better visual to open up the room.

Smart window treatments, also.  The shades that close from the bottom up or from the top are pretty darn handy.

master bath
Nice how they managed to get two sinks in the small master bath.  Again, as they did in the secondary bathroom, they used ultra fun wall mounted faucets. 

And if course if it’s in your budget, the under-mount sinks (as opposed to drop-in) are preferably for a slick look with easy cleaning.

master bath shower
Roomy shower with tile inset within the tile walls for shampoo and toiletries.. and my bet is the lower tile is the perfect height to rest your foot while shaving.

extra bedroom
Remember our ‘Cute as a button white house’ has three bedrooms.. and the idea is to use the extra rooms in a way that works best for YOU.  In this case one of the extra rooms was regulated to an attractive office.

As we noted in 5 Mistakes not to Make in a Small House Plan, if at all possible go with three bedrooms in your small house.  Generally you can find unique ways to use the rooms that suit your lifestyle perfectly while retaining best resale value.

outside deck and yard
This small house sits on an oversized lot (about a quarter of an acre) and whoowhee don’t you see that here?  This shows the back door view.  I don’t know which way the house faces but if the back faces west, I’d certainly spring for a pergola to filter the hot sun.

deck outside
Back elevation just goes to show that not a detail was overlooked.  It’s truly a charming home front, back, inside and out!

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Hello Neighbors!

SmallHouseLife.com has just launched! The date is September 15, 2011. If you love small houses, design, floor plans, photos..

small house launchThis is the very first blog post for SmallHouseLife.com!

The launch date is September 15, 2011.

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to be here with you. This will be a journey, that’s for sure.

If you love small houses, house design, unique floor plans, photos and fun, then stick with SmallHouseLife.com.  We plan to bring you lots of information and photos; all about small houses.

[note color=”#FFffe0″] If you want to know more about what SmallHouseLife.com can offer you, head over to our About’ page. or if you just want to learn about your humble editor (that’s me!) then head on over there. [/note]