Little House in the Potato Field

by Caroline Stilwell

This is our 24 x 14 foot shed being pulled up the narrow mountain road. It is paved, barely, and about the width of one good truck. The final resting place was a former potato field (1940-1950) and our little house was dropped in place with minimal damage. The house was placed on a gravel pad which we later reinforced with concrete footers and 4 x 6s.

We had purchased the 24 x 14 foot shed the winter before and had the inside modified. We enlarged the windows and added French doors in the back long wall of the cabin. The interior, walls, floor, and vaulted ceiling are wood.


We considered solar, but after much debate we decided to go on the grid for power. We did not a well, which would have been very expensive. So we have baseboard heat, lights, and an electric composting toilet. We bring water in for the kitchen, which has not been a problem, and supplement for washing and showering with a rain barrel. We built an outdoor shower, great for summer, but a bit too cold when it snows!! Winter showering is done at our friends’ house just up the road.

unloading cabin

Above all we wanted the cabin to be easy and accessible to us as we aged. We were almost 65 when we bought the cabin and we want to be able to come and stay here as long as possible. So a loft was out and an outhouse might be a little uncomfortable at 80! The composting toilet, which has a fan to speed up the process, is working great and a source of wonder to our visitors. We are close to the road so we feel that we have years to look forward to enjoying the cabin.

interior 1

We installed a kitchen counter and sink, which drains outside so we do not have any messy sloshing of waste water. We have a small fridge under the counter, a two burner electric hot plate and a much used electric skillet. Everything fits in the base cabinets or hangs on the walls.

interior 2

The cabin has a living area at one end, dining area in the middle and kitchen, bathroom and sleeping in the other end. The sleeping area is currently a fancy electric air mattress but we are considering switching to a built in with a full size mattress. It will take up less room and allow storage underneath.


We have adequate storage with a cedar chest, storage in and above the bathroom and are going to add a storage box of sorts outdoors. Our next project is a deck to sit on and enjoy a view of those beautiful Appalachian mountains.




cabin in the snow

Little House in History

A.M. one of the Tiny House Blog’s regular readers has discovered some really neat historical homes in some old publications and has started sending them to me. I wanted to share with you one that really caught my eye. Here is what A.M. has to say:

This little house is from an 1878 architectural publication, called “American Architect and Building News” that is supposedly out of copyright. (I would imagine anything from 1878 probably is!) It featured illustrations of designs that were actually built in America, including public buildings (city buildings, hospitals, churches), as well as projects that were privately commissioned. That makes this not only cute, but perhaps (assuming this one really was built as well) even a snapshot of history!

This one is from the April 13, 1878 issue of the publication.

little house in history

Little House on the Prairie

Guest Post by Jerry Hambley

In 2004, my wife and I decided to purchase 20 acres in rural Kansas about 45 minutes away from our suburban home in Overland Park, Kansas. With a daughter close to graduating from high school, we thought the best way to transition to the country might be to build a small cottage that would serve as my home office. I sat down and made a list of requirements for the office and decided it might be wise to add a small kitchenette and second floor sleeping loft just in case we wanted to spend the weekends at the farm.

Exterior of the cottage after roofing

After a good deal of research, I settled on a set of plans called the “Weekend Warrior” by Robinson Residential. Using those plans as a guide, I expanded the footprint of the cottage by three feet and added a full second floor sleeping loft. Continue reading