Jenine’s and Amy’s Open House

Jenine’s and Amy’s Open House

Open House visitors checking out the new home.

Sunday I spent four hours at Jenine Alexander’s and Amy Huto’s Forge Ahead open house here in Healdsburg, California. I had a lot of fun getting to know a bunch of local tiny house enthusiasts that I had not met before.

I enjoyed visiting with Louise who was not a local and had come all the way from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Mark from an eco-village lives in a park model home, a friend of Jenine’s and her daughter live in a converted 20 foot storage container that Jenine helped her convert. Amanda, just bought a teardrop trailer and is planning to spend six months crossing the country starting in September. Just to name a few.

Open House visitors checking out the new home.

It was really neat to see the contrast of designs, between the modern lines and open concept and the 70’s hippie/cabin style of Jenine’s home. I loved the light and openness of the modern home but found that we tended to stay longer and socialize in Jenine’s more rustic house. Maybe because hers is lived in and felt more like home.

Louise and Amy discussing the design and construction
Granite counter top and sink
Bamboo floors and siding and masonite walls
Shower plumbed in unfinished bathroom waiting for buyers final specs
Sleek modern lines with yellow trim
Jenine's rustic style cabin on wheels
Jenine's cozy bed
Rustic kitchen and ladder to loft
Jenine's entry way


  1. These are awesome. I so wanted to go to the Open House yet can’t drive long distances with my broken ankle. Do you know if there is a small house movement group in Sacramento? I am so ready to live rent free!

  2. Entire right side of loft (in photo #2) appears to be fastened to sheathing material with nails or screws. The ledger board should be fastened with lag screws into any structure elements within the wall, as the nails/screws would not be rated for this amount of shear.

    Floor joists appear to be faced nailed without a supporting ledger for the joists or hangers on the joists. May want to add something more there to ensure the loft does not separate into pieces or drop a joist.

  3. Wow, love the kitchen with the bay window! Sink and counter top look great! Very well done! I love the fact that the loft has lots of headroom, looks much roomier then the narrow peaked loft in most homes without gabels, very nice there to! Shower looks nice, is there a toliet as well? Overall this looks very nice you two, good job on this, it is obvious you put a lot of thought, and hard work into this, I hope you get an offer soon! Tim

  4. While I love the look of the modern home I can’t help but get nervous about that open bulb light fixture in the shower area. Is that temporary? Something about electricity and water . . .

    • Hi Alice, I know the bathroom is a temporary setup as Amy and Jenine are waiting for the buyer to decide the final setup. I think the light was put in to show the area for the open house, though I can’t say for sure. I’m sure Amy or Jenine will chip in soon on the details.

      • Yes, Kent is exactly right. If a buyer wants the area as a closet, it can be finished as so. However, if someone would like a wet bath, that light would be swapped for a fan/vent and light combination in it’s place.

        Thanks for all the interest!

        • That makes perfect sense, thanks for clarifying. I love the look and that bay window is just perfect for a little herb and salad garden. I could definitely picture myself in a place like this. The metal siding is a good low maintenance choice. I love the rustic place too. So many design choices out there!

  5. These look Great! I like the lived in look of the Rustic house. The inside of both look very roomy.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Great to see some additional photos! Nice work= and the whole event sounds like fun! Wish I could have made it- but 3000+ miles is a bit of a haul….I’ll just have to get a few likeminded people with structures out there and host my own event….anyone? MA, RI, NH small houses/trailer owners?

    Just shot another “Tiny Yellow House” episode up in Maine…a few other shorts too….hopwfully all will be up and running soon!

    • Hi Deek, I really think there is an interest and you seem like the perfect person to pull this together. Keep me posted if something comes up as I would want to make sure everyone knows about it.

  7. Wow!Very nice work. It seems very open and airy, of course it has not been filled with stuff. It will be a challenge for the new owner to keep things hidden away and paired down. I have a feeling that any tiny house that is lived in, will look more like the “rustic” tiny house.
    Deek, We need an east coast thing, I am in west virginia. Let me know what you get going!

  8. Nicely done! Handsome, both of them in different ways. I’m sitting near the ocean in Samara, Costa Rica, where indoor/outdoor living is a way of life, thinking about tiny houses in a spectacular landscape like this. Would like to hear more about the Park Model ecovillage (or whatever it’s called) in Sebastapol. I think THAT’S the Next Big Tiny Thing!

    • More info on that coming soon. Mark and I are planning to get together sometime in the near future and I will feature their eco-village.

      • My husband and I would be interested in moving to a tiny house village if one appears in Sebastopol or Santa Rosa etc. I hadn’t noticed this mentioned before. Where can I see details? We’ve been holding off buying a tiny house only because we weren’t sure where to put it.

      • That’s exciting! If you know any friends or like-minded people in the Orange County area who are interested in eco-village living… Well, just keep your ears to the ground!

        I live in Huntington Beach (in the poor area!), and this area (all of Orange County, really) isn’t friendly to tiny homes; Which, truly is unfortunate: There’s such a large artist/artisan population down here… ::Sigh::

        • Hi Sarah, This is 3 years later, but I am wondering if you have heard of any changes in the Tiny Home scene in Orange County? Has it got any more open minded? Many thanks!

  9. To create spaciousness, try recessed lights, light-colored walls and more windows.

    Store everything away. Try a set of curtains over shelving. Rather than cupboard doors, try a set of small curtains on a round, spring-loaded curtain rod under the kitchen sink. Support the rod with cup hooks. Recycle your favorite fabric – curtains are easy to make, clean and change.

    To make use of daylight, create an under-counter kitchen and add windows across the entire counter area. For extra work space, try a standard-sized, single-bowl kitchen sink with a tall hook-neck spout. Cover the sink with a large cutting board. A portable stovetop can be stored when not in use. Dry dishes on a dish towel. Dry dish towels on simple hooks under the sink.

    Limit kitchen storage with a simple diet, such as plain oatmeal for breakfast and a plain peanut butter sandwich for lunch. Try grains, legumes and veges in a one-pot recipe for supper. Drink only water. Try using just a bowl, mug, spoon, fork and large knife. Reuse a jar for leftovers.

    For underbed storage, try pull-out cardboard boxes. Cover the bed and storage area with a quilt. Store extra blankets in pillowcases on the bed.

    In a loft, add skylights for summer ventilation and rapid cooling.

  10. I like both of these designs. Overall, though, I agree that Jenine’s occupied home imparts a greater sense of being at home. Here is an off-topic question: In the ninth photograph, is that a set of human vertebrae (or a model) hanging from the kitchen ceiling of Jenine’s home?

    • Hi Lester, it’s a model of human vertebrae I found in a garbage at a home of a woman who was getting rid of some lumber. I met her via Craigslist, and left with some structural lumber, tongue and groove fir flooring, this vertebrae model, and a treasure box of local love letters from the early ’70s she had found in her attic (also in the garbage).

  11. This house looks great. The first article that was posted on this house I couldn’t figure out how it ‘worked’ inside, but I really like this house. I might have to copy some of the ideas on this house.

  12. Hey, there! Does anyone know the dimensions of the cute “modern home”? 8 ft (roughly?) x 20? :/ I have no clue. My spatial skills suck!