During a trip to Portland last week, I was fortunate enough to meet up with Deb and Kol of Caravan — The Tiny House Hotel in the cool and funky area of Alberta Street in the Northeast part of the city. Most readers know about the couple’s selection of tiny homes for nightly rental in the middle of the city, and now the hotel has a new addition. The 160 square foot Skyline is Caravan’s newest tiny house available for guests and reflects a rustic, Western style with a cozy interior and some great details.
Skyline was built in the Portland driveway of Eric Bohne and completed this February. Eric works full time as a craftsman and also built his own house on the Oregon coast out of recycled materials. His company, Metalwood Salvage, sells salvaged metal pieces and his design and carpentry business, Alter Areas, focuses on re-purposing unique building materials.
The Skyline does not have a loft, but a bunked sleeping and living area. The typical ladder has been replaced with a short, metal staircase. The main part of the house has a bar style eating area and a kitchen with a roomy farm sink and storage. One of the most unusual parts of the trailer is the bathroom. It includes a shower and angled toilet that fits just perfectly into the tongue of the trailer. An ingenious folding ladder sits above the toilet in a metal bracket. It can be unfolded for accessibility to a storage loft above the bathroom.
Deb and Kol recently had an open house for Caravan and the line formed around the block.They estimated about 1,000 to 1,500 people from all walks of life visited the hotel. When I visited on a warm, dry evening (unexpected in Portland during the spring) we sat in the courtyard around a metal burn barrel (fueled with scrap lumber Kol gathers from around the city) and chatted about tiny houses, codes and laws, permits and opportunities. Deb and Kol’s own permitting process was “creative and long” but they feel that their hotel is a unique and legitimate staging area as to what is possible in the tiny house industry.
“With the tiny house movement, everything about it is good,” Deb said. “There is no reason not to make it happen.”
Portland is a hotbed of the tiny house movement and the excitement and possibilities for the dwellings are really catching on. During this warm night, the Caboose was filled with four young people, a young couple from Chicago were enjoying the Portland-themed Tandem and the Rosebud was inhabited by a travel writer from New York — all visitors curious about tinier living. The hotel not only seems to be a tidy selection of tiny houses, but a gathering place for interesting, like-minded people.
Photos by Caravan — The Tiny House Hotel and Christina Nellemann
April 5-6, 2014, Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 4pm
Not too late, a few more seats available.
Join us for the first of our Tiny House Classes, a joint venture between Tiny House Blog, Northwest Woodworking Studio, and the Reclaimed Wood Blog. Presented at The Northwest Woodworking Studio, 1002 SE 8th Ave, Portland Oregon.
In this two day workshop you will learn from Master Woodworker Gary Rogowski about furniture design and building techniques as we build The Brilliant Chair.
The skills you learn in this workshop are ones you can take home to use on furniture, woodworking, and Tiny House projects.
- Hand tool use for accurate measuring and marking
- Sawing with chop saws, saber saws, and band saws
- Hand plane techniques for cleaning up lumber, texturing, and prepping surfaces
- Assembly techniques
- Using portable drills and screws
- Wood finishing
This is a great project that you’ll love building and using.
Also included in the two day class tuition are these added values:
Salvage Works of North Portland will also give a short demonstration on how to pick the correct materials using reclaimed lumber.
EB Tools is supplying two of their new KwickGripper nail pulling tools for a drawing. They will also offer 20% off coupons for those who do not win the tool to purchase one from their website. TheKwickGripper is a $30 value.
CeCe of CeCe Caldwell Paints has agreed to come in and talk about her great paints with the class. She is also providing every student with a free quart of paint of the color of their choice.
Plans for The Brilliant Chair come as part of the class from The Northwest Woodworking Studio.
Finally as a bonus you will receive a six month subscription to the Tiny House Magazine in PDF format.
To learn more and sign up click here.
Only twelve spaces available so sign up right away. Go to www.NorthwestWoodworking.com to enroll.
by Michelle in Oregon
If you were to ask me why I am excited about living in a Tiny House, I would tell you that the list is so long we’ll have to sit, and chat for a bit, for you to understand how perfectly perfect the idea is, to me. You see, the answer isn’t simple.
The answer is my life’s story…
I have worked since I was 15 years old. Most of those years have been spent in front of a desk, and a computer, and working for someone else. Problem solving and resource management has always been my strong suit and I enjoy my work, but I have no intention of sitting in a cubicle till I’m 70 years old. (or even 60!) I want to explore more creative, active, and social career endeavors. Having a paid-for Tiny House will give me the flexibility to do just that. It’s finally time that I put my problem solving skills to use for myself.
And I can’t wait to get started!
I have been married and divorced twice. Each time, I designed and then supervised the construction of “our” home. I landscaped, and painted, and stenciled, and mowed, and put all of my emotional and financial self into our new space. With each divorce, the house was left behind, in the pile of carnage, that was once (twice) the plan for my life. I have, since then, vowed to never let the success or failure of a relationship dictate my domestic security. I’ve been on my own, dependent on nobody but myself, for over ten years now. My Tiny House will finally fill that void, the hole in my soul, it will be my emotional security blanket. It will be the end result of my creative and financial efforts.
I’ll finally have my own space in this world that nobody can take from me.
Words can hardly express how excited I am to be moving on to the Empty Next phase of my life. I am a single mom and sole provider and have devoted my life to raising responsible, respectful, children. My youngest is going off to college next year and, as such, there will no longer be a need to maintain an expensive, suburban, three bedroom, two bathroom, yard and garage lifestyle. So far, however, this transition hasn’t exactly been easy for me. Redefining my role with my children (my oldest is already 18 and in college) and redefining my role to the world has been harder than I thought it would be. Who am I? What do I do? “Mom” has always been the answer. Granted, I will always be “Mom” but to a much lesser extent than before. They won’t need me. My job is done.
It’s time for me to find, me, again.
If there is one thing I have learned, it is that nothing in life goes according to plan. My ability to roll with the punches, and get up after being knocked down, is one of my best attributes. I don’t even think about where I want to live when I retire because I know that no matter how I see my future now, reality will be very different. I don’t know if I’ll live in a bustling city where strolls to the coffee shop or farmers’ market will be a part of my everyday life. I don’t know if I’ll live on a farm, and raise animals again, or next to a lake where I can greet the sunrise over the water with my pen and paper in hand. My Tiny House can go where I go, it can be where I need and want to be.
Whether I am alone, or with my love, I will be where I want to be.
My love is one of my biggest fans. While he occasionally feels the need to inject reality into my Tiny House Fantasy (“You have over 50 pairs of shoes! Even they won’t fit in a Tiny House) he also understands that once I get something in my head I won’t be talked out of it. And although the exact logistical details of our future together remain a mystery, the Tiny House will provide us both with options we had not yet considered. Maybe we’ll rent out his houses and pull the Tiny House to another state where we’ll live for 6 months, then move again. Maybe I’ll live with him and we’ll park my Tiny House on his lakefront land for use as my personal escape space or a place where the kids can stay when they come to visit. Maybe we won’t last long enough to know the details but we’ll part knowing that I didn’t put undue pressure on him to take care of me.
Life is full of maybes, but with my Tiny House, I’m not afraid of them anymore.
It has been a few months since the idea of building my own Tiny House struck me, and although I am still in the planning stages, I can already smell the cookies baking in my vintage oven, in my tiny house, in a quiet lot, where ever I land.
Michelle is an outgoing single mom, published author, speaker, patented inventor, blogger, craigslist stalker, enthusiastic Glamper, and Northwest native. Her interest in all-things-tiny-and-old started when she was only 12 years old when she became fascinated with a tiny abandoned farm house near her parent’s home; and she’s been sketching floor plans ever since. With pencil and graph paper in hand she’s more than ready for the next phase of her life. Her Tiny House, aptly named “My Empty Nest”, is the culmination of a life spent dreaming of a tiny reclaimed space, all her own.
by Hal McClendon
Some of you may have seen the article of the little cabin on wheels Kent published on this blog May 29th, 2013. Thanks to all who commented on the post. Anyways, that post drew interest from some folks in Portland, Oregon that own and operate according to them, the first tiny house hotel. They contacted me asking if I would consider building another tiny house for their hotel. As mentioned in the previous post, I’m retired and looking for projects to keep me occupied I jumped at the opportunity.
We met and discussed the overall design. I had been thinking about building a caboose looking tiny house and shared with them my thoughts. We drew a rough sketch and floor plan and decided then and there to get started. They were as excited as I to get this going.
It was built in my driveway, with no plans, just a vision I had for the end results. They picked the exterior colors and pretty much left the interior up to me. Working with them in collaboration on the overall interior floor plan.
The owners, Kol and Deb Peterson described their view of the Caboose for me as follows;
“It has a completely unique design, inside and out. As the name implies, the red exterior looks like a train caboose. The middle section of the caboose has a “cupola,” a second story, bright and roomy sleeping loft with big windows. Beneath the sleeping loft are two twin sized, cozy bunk beds with custom made quilts and comfy pillows and a sitting area for 4-5 people. The custom built benches, cabinets, ladder, fold out dining table, cobbled wood floor, curved roof elements, and copper shelving, make the interior of the Caboose pop with detail. Within its’ 140 sq ft., The Caboose holds an impressive amount of richly designed, unique and artistic features, including the builder’s signature Mason jar lighting and copper piping. The Caboose can sleep 1-4 people, and is a particularly great option for families. Children will love sleeping in the semi-enclosed bunk beds. Parents will love the luxurious sleeping loft in the cupola.”
I had a tremendous amount of fun working with the caboose build. Kol and Deb (owners) were very fun to work with as well. For anyone interested in viewing the build pictures from start to finish I’d be happy to share.
Kol and Deb named it the Caboose, and it was delivered to them from Salem Oregon December 18th, 2013.