Tiny House

Beautifully Handcrafted Heirloom Tiny House

When constructing a tiny house on wheels, we are presented with a unique opportunity to add materials and fittings which we may not be able to afford were we constructing a larger home. Reducing the size of a home also means reducing the amount of materials which are required to build it and therefore gives us an opportunity to use higher quality, longer lasting materials. Putting hard wood floors down in a 5 bedroom family home would be an extreme cost, but when you’re only placing them in a tiny house on wheels, then all of a sudden that becomes achievable. When Alex and Emmie, a young couple from Ojai, California decided to build their tiny house, they chose to truly craft it as an heirloom, utilising high quality, sustainably sourced materials to build their home in a way that it would stand the test of time, and be a treasure which they could pass down to future generations. 

Their home was constructed by builder, Ryan of Humble Handcraft who was featured on the show before in his own incredible eco tiny house, which incorporated many of the same design principles as this later model. When I first met Ryan, he told me that every dollar that you spend in the world is a vote for the kind of world that you want to live in. The materials that you chose to put into your home matter and we all as consumers have the power to positively impact the world simply through what we chose to consume. Immediately I was enamoured by this philosophy and his skilful use of reclaimed and recycled materials in his builds.

Of course, it’s one thing to use reclaimed and salvaged materials. It’s another entirely to put them together in a way which truly brings the home to life in an expertly handcrafted style which would make the most avid of the wood butchers tear up a little. This home, like so many of Ryan’s builds uses an unusual and visually striking combination of timbers and brings them together using timeless carpentry techniques to create a building which is just as much a work of art as it is a home.

Upon entering the tiny house, you’re greeted by a plethora of wonderful, warm timbers. Many of which were reclaimed from an old wine stave, still stained by the red wine which was once ageing within it’s walls. The tiny home’s walls have been lined, not entirely with timber, but also with skim-stone, a product similar to what is used as a tiling substrate, which gives the walls an almost concrete-look finish, but also carries enough flexibility within it to ensure the walls won’t crack when the home is being transported.

Immediately to the left of the entrance way is a dining table and entertainment area. This functions as an space for eating, entertaining and can be converted into a comfortable day bed for relaxing and watching television. The stairs next to the couch hide the television and entertainment devices away nicely out of sight when not in use. The area can also be completely transformed into a guest bed when needed.

The home’s kitchen is large enough to comfortably prepare meals and again is crafted from beautiful selections of tree slabs which have kept their character though use of a live-edge finish. There is a large solar-fridge and an Origo ethanol stove is used for the majority of the cooking, meaning the couple don’t need to rely on gas in the kitchen. In the winter, the home is heated by a charming wood stove, which is also large enough to heat water and cook simple meals.

Through an ornate door next to the kitchen, with a beautifully crafted stained glass window depicting a scene from Big Sur (one of the couples favourite places to escape) is the bathroom. Skim-stone again adorns the walls of this room, which has a stunning white and grey river-stone floor. A natures head composting toilet eliminates the need for black-water hook-ups, and also allows the couple to conserve water, something which is especially important in Ojai, which is currently experiencing severe drought conditions.

Upstairs, the sleeping loft is a cosy space for the couple to retreat at night. Abundant windows imbue the space with enchanting views from the surrounding landscape, especially over to the Ojai hinterland. A skylight above the bed gives views of the sky and the stars at night and also cleverly provides access to the roof, which can be used as a fire-escape in emergency, but ultimately enables the couple to extend their living space on to the roof and take advantage of their wonderful parking spot.

Solar powered and completely off the grid, the wonderfully crafted tiny house is a true heirloom which will undoubtably serve this couple long into their future. It gives them a safe and secure place to call home, with everything they need as-well a flexible option for the future as their home is on wheels and can easily pick up and move with them. Be sure to watch the full video tour above for more information on this wonderfully handcrafted home.