Country Living Small of Fame

The February issue of Country Living magazine is celebrating the best of tiny houses with an article on their personal favorites. Among those included in the list are Deek Diedrickson’s transforming A-frame, Tiny Texas Homes and the beautiful and livable Heirloom Tiny Home by Michelle and Tyson Spiess. Their company is located near Portland, Ore. and the base model 192 square foot Heirloom starts at $65,000 and includes delivery.

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Other homes on Country Living’s list includes the Katrina Cottages, The Crib by Enviresponsible Shelter, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company and Cheng + Snyder who built the 190 square foot “Writer’s Block” a cabin that features storage for a canoe under the bed and workbench space.

Michelle and Tyson are interviewed about their life in their mobile home complete with shower, full kitchen and sleeping loft. Their monthly energy bill is $19, they recommend storing rolled up sweaters in ottomans and bean bag chairs, and have already towed their home over 2,000 miles. The Heirloom contains granite countertops, painted or stained cabinets and cupboards, real-wood or bamboo flooring, a Dickinson marine heater, stainless steel appliances, washer/dryer combo unit, a painted or stained interior, and a basic wind or solar package. If you purchase an Heirloom, the company will fly you to Oregon to see your custom home under construction.

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The “Writer’s Block”

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The Crib

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Relaxshacks A-frame

 

Photos by Country Living, Heirloom Tiny Homes, Cheng + Snyder, Enviresponsible and Relaxshacks

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Güte Shepherd Huts

The useful, mobile and beautiful shepherd hut is slowly making its way over to North America. Thanks to the Pixie Palace Hut Co. and now the Güte Shepherd Hut from Canada, tiny house lovers in the U.S. and Canada can have their own modern shepherd hut on traditional cast iron wheels.

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Güte is a family run company of craftsman and builders originally from Germany, but now they build their exquisite shepherd huts in Southern Ontario. Güte is a German word used to describe goodness, quality, a benefit, or an asset and these huts are handcrafted with elegant details and custom furniture and delivered right to your home.

Güte has two different models: The Classic and The Collingwood. The Classic is 7′ wide and either 12′ or 14′ long and the Collingwood is 7′ wide and 14′ or a 16’6″ long. The 16’6″ long hut requires a building permit. Each hut is insulated with batt insulation, waterproofed and the exterior siding is painted with your chosen color. The roof can be either western red cedar shakes or galvanized steel. The interior of each hut contains painted pine wood floors, beaded paneling or veneered plywood on the walls, thermal pane glass windows and woodwork finishing like nothing I’ve seen in any shepherd hut before. The Dutch door made from solid white oak is the pièce de résistance of these shepherd huts.

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Each hut is also outfitted with Güte’s own, custom modular furniture designs that fit within the small space. The furniture can be made from oak, ash, maple, walnut, cherry and even mahogany and teak. Furniture includes drop down desks and tables, cupboards, shelves, bookcases, folding beds and dining booths with custom mattresses or even bunk beds.

Other custom details include a cast iron wood burning stove or a contemporary ventless ethanol fireplace, a hand forged brass sink with traditional pump, 120 volt wiring with outlets and a solar panel system with inverter and battery bank.

Prices for each hut will vary according to size, customer needs, types of wood used and delivery distance. The version shown here runs around $32,900. The company does have plans for an unfinished pine model of the hut for around $20,000. Please contact Güte for your particular design needs.

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The Classic

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The Classic

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The Classic

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The Classic

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The Collingwood

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The Collingwood

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Photos by Güte Shepherd Huts

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Baking In The Tiny House

Several years ago, even before we built our tiny house, we had heard from RVers, folks in mobile homes, and a tiny house person or two, that cooking – let alone baking – in a tiny house was next to impossible. It was discouraging news as both my wife and I enjoy cooking. I like to bake and she is nothing short of an epicurean wiz! We had seen the photos of miniature tiny house kitchens but figured the lack of ovens and multiple burner stoves was because of lack of desire. We felt like a tiny house design should reflect the person who dwells within and if you enjoy cooking that should be a priority. We therefore designed our tiny house kitchen to reflect our love of the kitchen space and found that cooking and baking was quite easy if you prepared appropriately!

Bungalow Kitchen

The above photo was of our first tiny house kitchen. ‘The Bungalow’ as we affectionately called it was our home from January 2011 until February 2012. It was where we lived, I worked, and our daughter was born. At just 180 sq.ft. it came with its challenges but we made the best of it and you can see from the image that we had a Suburban 3-burner stove and oven combo. More than a few meals were made in the oven and quite a few pots of grits were boiled on top. Fed by a propane gas line and using a push button ignitor it was a nice unit for us and for the space.

We we transitioned into our tiny house (240 sq.ft.) we continued on with our desire to have a wonderful kitchen but we decided that the RV style oven wasn’t for us. My wife had come across a beautiful Breville Smart Oven with Element IQ at one of the box stores. She fell in love instantly and with a 13″ cooking capacity (medium sized pizza or 6-slices of toast), 9 pre-set programs, a convection fan, and 1800 watts of cooking prowess (drawing just 16.5A on a 110VAC line), it was kind of a no-brainer. We would give ourselves more storage space in our kitchen cabinetry and use the Breville for cooking and baking using just a minimum of our generous countertop space. So we proceeded with the Breville oven (not shown in photo below) and a 2-burner, drop-in, gas cooktop by Suburban.

StoveBut how does this all prove that you can cook or bake in a tiny house? Well, it doesn’t really other than to say that with the right equipment, the right planning, and the right mental attitude, great dishes can, in fact, be yours for the eating in your tiny house. I don’t want to sound completely ‘raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens’. There are some downsides to cooking/baking in a tiny house.

  • SIZE - Ovens designed for recreational vehicles (often the go-to for tiny houses) are naturally smaller. A number of sticks ‘n bricks pans will be rendered useless. 99% of models are only 19″ deep and at most 21″ wide. You can definitely fit a 9×13 pan in there but you have to prepare if you want to cook two dishes at once. 
  • PROPANE – Just be aware. It is what it is.
  • HEATING ELEMENT –   For the oven to get hot the propane flame comes out from a steel bar that runs from the pilot light to the front of the oven. The bar gets incredibly hot but can make retrieving pans a little daring.
  • PREHEATING –   The oven itself is very analogue so there are no timers, buzzers, or beepers for anything. Therefore, don’t expect a preheating option. The propane runs through the bar, the oven heats. It is that simple.
  • LIGHT IT UP –   They do make electronic ignitors and even a battery ignitor model but 99% of the ovens fit for a tiny house have to be lit manually. In other words, you push the ignitor, lets gas fill up the alcove, hold your flame over the pilot light area, and wait for the bar to catch before your arm hairs do.

Now that we have that out of the way let’s talk about a few tips that can help make the cooking/baking process a more enjoyable and more tasty one. Let me just say though that it has only been a few weeks since my wife and I successfully baked two pecan pies, one sweet potato soufflé, and a family size lasagna in our current setup.

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  • Preheat the oven.  Unfortunately this act is seemingly a waste of propane. However, to get your cooking/baking right and to stick to your recipe you need to go through with it. We use the timer on the microwave oven or a simple kitchen timer and you can even add….well, next point.
  • Use an oven thermometer.  Coupled with a kitchen timer you can develop your own sense of preheating and how long it actually takes in your oven. Not to mention the dial on the oven itself is not historically accurate in my experience. Follow the thermometer and, again, you will develop your sense of cooking/baking times and temps.
  • Rotate your pan.  This just helps cook/bake evenly. With a bigger unit you don’t need to do so and with our Breville convection fan oven you didn’t need to. But with something like a drop-in Suburban oven you absolutely need to so that the propane doesn’t burn hotter on one side than the other.
  • Adjust your wire rack.  You have three sets of heights you can adjust your rack on. Use them. The higher up you can move the rack the less intense the heat is and the more even the cooking/baking is.

So what do you think now? Are you ready to get to cooking/baking in your tiny house? Do you have any small space tips to share regarding cooking/baking? 

By Andrew M. Odom for the [Tiny House Blog]