Sarana House

Sarana House is named after a word in Pali, an ancient Buddhist language, that means “safe place” or “refuge. It will be the ultimate refuge when moved from its current location in Los Angeles, where it’s being built, to its final home on a private 23 acre forest retreat, named Sarana Park, in Northern California.

The tiny house on a trailer is being built by Juko and Jerry, not only as a new home, but as a way to respond to the Great Recession. Following the foreclosure of their home in Santa Monica, the couple decided to downsize and live more simply. Their first tiny house, the Huling Halfway Hut, was featured in  a Tiny House Blog “Tiny House in a Landscape” post. During this time, Juko and Jerry became stewards of Sarana Park and wanted to make this new land a place for reflection, restoration, and transformation. They think of it as a “re-boot camp” – a place where their friends and guests can take some space to recharge, rest, and be inspired.

Sarana House is being built with as many reclaimed materials as possible. They are using reclaimed white pine from Ohio (Juko’s childhood home) and Pennsylvania; and Juko is building a larger kitchen by re-furbishing an IKEA freestanding kitchen. A long bench will be the focus of the dining room. It will be large enough for several people to sit or for one person to sleep. Bamboo flooring has been installed and  a stock door from Lowes has been cut down to fit the entrance.

The original tiny house, the Huling Hut, will be the couple’s bedroom and that is being run by a 60 watt solar system. Sarana House’s kitchen will have a propane boat stove, a small refrigerator and a six gallon hot water heater. Juko and Jerry are still working on what electrical system would be best for Sarana House.

The ideas for Sarana House came from two different sets of plans and was influenced by Japanese architecture. The approach to the space was less about maximizing and more about placing things to encourage intimacy without feeling crowded. Juko and Jerry will be sharing their home and 23 acres with friends and family, as well as their three dogs.


Photos courtesy of Juko and Sarana Park

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

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Laura@SuburbanTownhouse,CountryCottage - October 17, 2011 Reply

Love the IKEA kitchen.. looking fantastic!

Virgilstar - October 17, 2011 Reply

Looks great, but why put the floor down first? That’s just askng for trouble damage during the rest of the build. Any home improvement job I do, the floor is always left until last, because even covering with plywood it can get damaged.

    Josh - October 17, 2011 Reply

    …why put the floor down first?

    I wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t pointed it out, but that does seem like a good point! It looks like a nice floor and I think it would be a miracle if something doesn’t get dropped on it or scratched along it while finishing the interior.

steve - October 17, 2011 Reply

Love it. Hope you post more pictures as it’s finished. Thanks for sharing.

Gabriel - October 17, 2011 Reply

Love the design, but find it somewhat confusing to figure-out how many houses are in the scope: The inside has more windows than shown on the outside photograph, and the “log-style” has the entry in the center while the other pictures show it on the rear.
But I loved the functionality of the design, roomy interiors and the stairs leading to the sleeping loft and which have cabinets underneath.
I guess the toilet and shower are on the sides of the entry?

By the way – “sarana” in Pali and “Serene” in English almost share the same meaning and sound much alike?

    Josh - October 17, 2011 Reply

    By the way – “sarana” in Pali and “Serene” in English almost share the same meaning and sound much alike?

    “Sarana” in Finnish means “hinge” in English… how beautiful.

    Josh - October 17, 2011 Reply

    Love the design, but find it somewhat confusing to figure-out how many houses are in the scope: The inside has more windows than shown on the outside photograph, and the “log-style” has the entry in the center while the other pictures show it on the rear.

    I should have included these two posts together, but wasn’t paying enough attention.

    If you click on the link in the story where it’s talking about their first house, that appears to be the one with the door in the middle, and is included in this story just to confuse people. 🙂

April - October 18, 2011 Reply

This is BEAUTIFUL! I love tiny houses made with reclaimed material! Way to go!

Steven - October 18, 2011 Reply

23 acres? I’m jealous. Lots and lots of room to explore.

Randy - October 19, 2011 Reply

I’m inspired with the way Juko and Jerry took a devastating situation and made it into something wonderful … and perhaps better. More like Huling Heaven! 🙂 Way to go!

Richfrog - October 22, 2011 Reply

Make a video so we can all get a better view ofyour wonderful work!!

Eva - October 22, 2011 Reply

I love all of the windows L:IGHT!!!. It make a tiny space feel large.
Other that that..I’m confused too…what stairs…sleeploft? I’m not “getting” it.
I think IKEA furniture are really nice for a small space. They are efficient and also durable. Regular American furniture are bulky, heavy. I’m 64 and used to sleep in a loft – but I was always concerned about going up and down a ladder. I was wondering if anyone uses one of those fold down beds, which could be put up during the day to open up floor space? I bet they could be self made. Would have love to see the bathroom. I’m thinking of using a self composting toilette with the “canister” under the tiny house – keeping the bulk down. Anyone who has their tiny house off the grid? I haven’t figured out the water for shower, etc Anyone using solar panels (home made) or magnetic generators (also home built). I bet in NC the electric company would not run a pole to a tiny house. Does anyone know?

Helen - October 24, 2011 Reply

I’d like to know how you got that land! It’s absolutely beautiful! How do you become “stewards” of land?

    Krisan - October 25, 2011 Reply

    There are many different scenarios to become a steward for someone else’s land. Usually it’s an absentee owner looking for someone to live on their property permanently to take care of it and to have a presence there to avoid vandalism. Stewardship usually involves conforming to certain ideals of the owners. Check the web for caretaker site ads. When I was traveling, I found caretakers/stewards for my farm thru a women’s RV club. They were independent,responsible and knew how to fix things. Other “applicants” from other sources turned out to be unbelievably bad: ex-cons whose families were booting them out,naive teens with no skills,and of course no one had enough money to get here. If you want to be a steward,have some skills to offer and be realistic about living in a rural area where you do have to be self-sufficient. It can be a great way to learn new stuff. P.S. I have plenty of room for a tiny house commune and am always looking for some help around here 🙂

Joe Chasse - June 24, 2012 Reply

Best of luck to these survivors!

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