Portland is the tiny home mecca. Unlike some states which are handcuffing the tiny house movement, Oregon is allowing it to thrive. In fact, the Portland Serenity home is located within a community where a bunch of tiny home owners park and share responsibilities amongst each other – a novel concept.
Karin is the owner of the Serenity home. Her story is a lot like others in that she came to Portland for a job transfer but found the housing prices laughable. She had $50,000 in surplus from the sale of her home in North Carolina and set out to build a way to live comfortably on her own terms.
Looking from the front door to the back you'll notice the Serenity has everything Karin needs to be happy. Admittedly not a big clothes shopper, her wardrobe for the season fits behind a curtain in the great room. An open staircase leads to her loft and the rest of the rear of the home (kitchen, bathroom) is for function, function, function.
As she should be Karin was adamant on having a place in her home where she could relax. The name of the house is Serenity after all. She wasn't a big fan of the boxed in window couch/benches that are incorporated in many tiny homes so she allotted space for a pull out futon. This 'let free' two birds without any stones by creating a spot for guests to sleep on the futon and leaving the secondary loft above for storage.
Karin has ample room to relax, unwind, and watch movies on the computer after practicing medicine a bit down the road.
Open staircases and ladders can be a space hog in a tiny home. By making it almost an extension of shelving the ladder area can be a nice spot to show off knick knacks, ornaments, trophies, and other things that give you serenity.
The homeowner's thesis behind her kitchen is that it's functional if need-be. When you live in a tiny home community you might be called upon to cook a meal but you also might spend a lot of time “casseroling” at your neighbors.
Tiny home communities also often have 'the big house' which although it sounds like a jail, is actually a place where people can go take a hot shower or lounge around. This homeowner not only has access to the big house, but also her medical clinic which has a private bathroom. She doesn't need shower accommodations at the moment, but the area is plumbed and ready for install if her situation changes.
This particular 'loo' is fashioned from an old kitchen table that was in her previous 'big' house. It kind of serves as a nice metaphor for what people thought about spending thousands of dollars in mortgages and city taxes before making the tiny house jump.
Karin did most of the construction herself and one tip she offered was that it is possible to have too many skylights. One in the loft like shown here is nice but others are hard to access, provide leak possibilities, and “cut you up because they are sharp”.
Another great tip that's always stressed is to build the house for yourself (and your pets). In this case she found a couple 'pet pop' windows to install in her loft. They don't have much (any) insulation properties, but it gives her guard cat an opportunity to stay in the loop on the outside surroundings.