Jenine’s and Amy’s Open House

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

27 Comments Jenine’s and Amy’s Open House

  1. Deborah Ercole

    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!

    Reply
  2. gill

    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.

    Reply
  3. Tim

    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

    Reply
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  5. alice

    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 . . .

    Reply
    1. Kent Griswold

      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.

      Reply
      1. jenine alexander

        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!

        Reply
        1. alice

          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!

          Reply
    2. Amy

      Yes as Jenine said, there would be a fan light, appropriate for wet environments, and the circuit is GFCI protected.

      Reply
  6. Daniel

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

    Thanks for sharing!
    ~Dan

    Reply
  7. Deek

    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?
    -Deek
    Relaxshacks.com

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

    Reply
    1. Kent Griswold

      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.

      Reply
  8. Elizabeth Goertz

    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!

    Reply
  9. Bev Feldman

    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!

    Reply
    1. Kent Griswold

      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.

      Reply
      1. Lisa

        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.

        Reply
      2. Sarah

        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::

        Reply
  10. di

    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.

    Reply
  11. Lester

    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?

    Reply
    1. jenine alexander

      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).

      Reply
  12. Stan

    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.

    Reply
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  14. Sarah

    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!

    Reply
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