Tiny Tea House

by Todd Miller

After much ado, Oregon Cottage Company is proud to christen our latest Tiny Cottage. Based upon the “Alsek” cottage the new “Tiny Tea House” is now complete.

I hope you enjoy the photos! We will let the pictures do the talking for us! If you would like to see other Tiny Home designs visit us at oregoncottagecompany.net

The “Tea Room” with shoji screens, (3) tatami mats, a sunken tea warming hearth, two pull out drawers for storage under the raised floor, a “guest” 28.5 in. x 28.5 in. entry door, a honoring alcove, and a traditional tea serving chest.

We choose to use black walnut accent wood around the guest entry door, loft edge trim, alcove slabs and ladder catch. This allowed us to express the stark contrast against the knotty pine walls.

interior 1

The small efficient 5 ft. long counter with large 36 in. x 36 in. awning window allows enough room for the dining area on the opposite wall. Our client wished to have as much natural wane wood exposed as possible as seen on the shelf above the kitchen sink and cabinet door rails. The thick upper black walnut shelf allowed us to recess puck lighting for tasks at the counter. We also installed a two-burner gas recessed range in a red oak butcher-block counter.

interior kitchen

We used 3 tatami mats with a pine and black walnut frame. Since our client will be living here full time she wanted to feel at home in Japan like where she was brought up and sleep on 2 ½ in. thick tatami mats did just that. We also provided 2 fixed skylights to allow ample light from above. The red oak sliding ladder runs on a black walnut track and can be stored in an upright position hung next to the counter.

interior 3

To remind her of her childhood bathing routine, we installed a Japanese soaking tub with stainless steel surround for our client to soak and shower in if desired. The Nature’s Head composting toilet is compact, durable, self-contained, and vented. Above the toilet we installed a takagi gas on-demand hot water heater.

soaking tub

composting toilet


interior and door

exterior daytime

exterior evening

62 thoughts on “Tiny Tea House”

  1. BEAUTIFUL! One of the best I’ve seen. Love the soaking tub idea, (though I’d be a little worried about water and mold issues between the tub and the stainless steel). Gorgeous woodwork and light!

    • Thank you so much Esther,
      We had a wonderful time building the “Tiny Tea House”.
      We spent a lot of time scratching our head figuring the water shedding /drainage of the soaking tub. The stainless steel that you see is in essence a custom built low shower surround with an integral drain. The soaking tub simply sits in the ss surround and can be removed to clean the surround.

      • Makes sense! Did you do anything special to the wood to protect it? We’re considering using stainless steel and cedar in our shower, maybe with a spar marine varnish. Anyway, well done! This house looks amazing.

      • I love the low shower surround for the Japanese soaking tub and wonder what I should order to do this ( I have an amazing builder who does kitchens and would like to give it a shot) in my daughter’s large shower stall. This is a newer home with a very small en suite bathroom…any info would be greatly appreciated…Cindi

  2. This is beautiful, and I went to the site, and the Ynez model is insane. Prices are very good compared with some others. What great work this company is doing!

  3. What a remarkable job you did! It really is beautiful. The attention to detail is apparent.

    My wife and I have had the privilege of seeing one of your cottages on wheels in person a few years ago. If you are going to be working on another, we’d love to tour it.

    • Aaron,
      Thanks for your compliments. We appreciate the feed back.

      I would love for you to come back to visit us! We are currently building two more “Ynez” Tiny Homes for clients right now and will be building a long anticipated show model so that we can have one on site permanently. We love returning and new visitors and freely show our construction process as well.

  4. Wow, I’m amazed at how much room is inside. Don’t think I could ever get my wife to move into something like this, but I could. Great job guys, excellent work.

  5. Todd,
    Exquisite! What an elegent, gorgeous and culturally respectful design. I love your use of beautiful contrasting wood and the clean lines, as well as the soaking tub. If only I could stuff my husband and two teenagers into it as well. Thank you for setting such a high standard.

    • I agree about the water heater being exposed; it’s the one jarring note in an otherwise elegant symphony.

      (Yeah, I know–bitch, moan, complain…) 😉

    • Thomas,
      We do agree with you. We are now mounting our tankless water heaters in a cute exterior cabinet over the trailer tongue. I will be posting this addition to our next “Ynez” blog update on our website.

      This is an extra cost however. We attempt work closely with our clients budgets to accommodate all of their needs and sometimes there are compromises that need to be addressed.

      Thanks for your observation.

  6. So much thought and care went into every aspect, and all was masterfully executed. The lighting accents are especially beautiful. Simply stunning.

  7. AWESOME!! I would love to have a tiny cottage like this, and if possible, it would be nice to add some ‘engawa’ (wooden strip of flooring) outside somewhere, perhaps foldable in a mobile home like this.

  8. This is so gorgeous!!! I love tiny houses like this. I wish I could have something like this to live in…with the japanese style elements. Beautiful work and I am very jealous of the lady who you built it for!! 😀

    • Ditto…where do you put clothes,linens & dishes(pots pans)Is that a fridge/freezer or a double drawer dishwasher? I guess since there are no shelves or dishes…….
      That complaint registered: the place is lovely!!! I need real furniture: 65&82yr olds have just a tad issue getting up and down.
      This design is so pretty could you think about a real staircase not a ladder. I’d LOVE that!!!

  9. I love the look of this. Going to check out your other designs too. I really love that tub. It’s just what I’ve been looking for. What make is it, please?

  10. Third photo from the bottom, right hand side. Exactly what is that ? I’m having doubts about anyone showering with all that wood getting over spray. What is used to protect this wood ? I love everything about the design and the attention to detail. Great craftsmanship. Your price is reasonable for such a work of art. Great job Todd Miller

  11. I’m half Japanese, and have been thinking of doing something like this myself. Thanks so much for posting these images, they really inspire me!

  12. This is such a beautiful house! Everything that I have seen pictures of that your have built looks amazing. Couple that with affordable prices, and you will be in business for as long as you want to be.

  13. That is an amazing price, does it include everything (trailer, light fixtures, tub, water fixtures, instant hot water heater, composting toilet, appliances….)? I like simple functional design, just change the tea station into a coffee station for Portland Oregon and you are set;)

  14. Wow, Todd!!!!! I am in awe of your craftsmanship and creativity. Your houses are just getting more beautifully simple and Zen -like.
    Now I can see what you have been doing since last summer. Are you interested in building a Caribbean, off the grid, version of the tea house in Honduras? A coconut cabin? Let me know, Cheryl

  15. This is a beautiful home. I’m just wondering if the electrical plugs are safe right behind the gas stove. Don’t mean to nitpick, this is just lovely and I would thoroughly enjoy living in this space.

  16. This is a great little house. I just seen someone had mentioned the cost of the unit and even that looked great. You can’t really by a camper…a really nice one…for that price..love the bathroom set up. Is this hard to move around? Moving to different places? Or is it best to leave in one spot…sooo very nice!

  17. WOW! Now THAT’s what I have been searching all over the internet for! I want a HOME not a Motor Home when we are away. We live on the Beach! And the View, & Open floor plan is what we need. Plus extra head space in the Loft! LOVE this home!.
    Todd can we have it with a Flat roof? And would you make one 30′ long? Can we finish the interior ourselves? I am so excited you are in Cottage Grove! My husband grew up there. And LOVE your prices too! We will be talking to you soon!

  18. I am a Japanese tea ceremony student as well. This is absolutely amazing. I love it. Swooooon……

    I am also building my own tiny house on wheels but decided not to go this route because I have cats but they wont be in the loft so I’ll have my tatami mats upstairs. One side of the loft will be the tea room though and the other side the bedroom.
    I love the way you did it down stairs.

  19. I love it, it is wonderful. The woodwork is beautiful. The craftsmanship and the plan are great. For a tea lover it is very inspiring.

  20. I have the perfect spot for it. Now….how to get one? Will you do more? I am in KY. Would one be feasible for our climate? How do I find out more?
    Goes without saying that I love it!

  21. Hello! Could you share the make and model of this soaking tub? What a wonderful idea. I’m embarking on the design/build of my own tiny house here in Cambridge in 2015 and this looks like just the thing to fulfill “bathtub” on my tiny house wish list!


  22. This is still one of the most beautiful tiny houses I’ve seen. Are the loft joists 2×4 on 2′ centres? It’s hard to tell from the photo. Similarly to this design, I’d like to put my entrance on the side and under the loft. Thanks!

  23. I like the tiny house. Does the Japanese Soaking Tub have lead in it. Bathtubs are known to contain lead which leeches in the water making a person sick.

    Thank you

    Psalm 23


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