Andrea Lippke from the New York Times writes an article about a Seattle women named Michelle de la Vega who takes on the conversion of a 250 square foot garage into a tiny home after a divorce. To save money she takes on the job as the contractor and with lots of reclaimed materials converts this old garage into a beautiful home.
“At that time I was coming out of the ashes,” she said, “and knew I needed to come up with a good survival strategy for starting over as a single person.”
Converting a Seattle Garage Into a Tiny Home at the New York Times website.
Photos: Ira Lippke for The New York Times
Michelle de la Vega, a visual and performance artist, turned her garage into a 250-square-foot house for $32,000.
Ms. de la Vega kept expenses down by serving as the general contractor herself and by furnishing the house with pieces she found in industrial salvage yards, including old lockers from a United Airlines maintenance building that serve as closets.
On the wall in the living area are shadow-boxes that hold paper pillows emblazoned with architectural drawings Ms. de la Vega's father made when she was a child. The metal furniture is all salvaged. "I love the functionality of metal," she said. "It's an extreme and exacting material."
The bathtub was found in a nearby salvage yard and transformed by removing its rusty feet and setting it in a wooden cradle that Ms. de la Vega and her father built together. Industrial latches function as towel hooks.
In the small but efficient kitchen, the industrial sink, ceiling lamp and wooden wine crates are all salvaged items; the metal shelves and countertop are new. A raw-food enthusiast, Ms. de la Vega needs only a blender to prepare food and a camping stove to boil water.
A reclaimed ship's ladder leads up to Ms. de la Vega's sleeping loft.
The slate-floored bathroom was added on to the original garage. It is furnished with a combination of salvaged, fabricated and new fixtures, including a red metal locker and a recessed metal shelf above the sink that Ms. de la Vega recently designed, welded and installed herself.