The Tiny Tack House Urban Homestead

If you have ever perused Pinterest or Google images for tiny house inspiration, you have definitely seen the lovely Tiny Tack House. It was built by Chris and Malissa Tack in 2012 before “tiny house” was a well-known term (pre-TV shows).

Back then, only a few plans and DIY resources were available. Malissa decided to design their house herself. She is a highly skilled 3D artist and always up for a good challenge. This lack of available information inspired her to launch a blog about their experience and later to offer their tiny house plans to the other DIYers.

Malissa’s design was very organic. It was continually adjusted on the build site, as layout issues arose. The end result: an exquisitely simple and efficient tiny home. With all the complex and sometimes over-the-top tiny house designs available today, the Tiny Tack House is a breath of fresh air. I was amazed at the how bright and open it felt while achieving top-notch functionality for daily living and working from home.


It served the needs of the Tacks beautifully for five years, tucked away in the Washington countryside. They grew lonely and craved the closeness of others. This sparked a new dream. Malissa and Chris envisioned a small community with a few tiny houses and common house; an arrangement that could offer more flexibility for their changing family needs and a relaxed communal environment. They found a small, renovated house on a big lot, located in a quiet neighborhood, outside Seattle. The house sits on the front of the lot, providing ample space for up to three tiny houses, a large garden and plenty of lawn space. Bonus: the paved driveway is 10’ wide; just enough room to maneuver tiny houses into the backyard. Christian and I recently tested it out with our traveling tiny home. Easy as pie!


After making the big move, the Tack family grew. Chris and Malissa now have a beautiful 11-month old baby girl, Sol. Their extended family now includes their new tiny house community member, Kat. She lives in a sharp, modern Shelterwise home. They all share the common spaces in the main house—kitchen, living room and bathroom. All community members are vegan and often share meals together. The main house features two Airbnb rooms; also occasionally used for visiting friends and family. Malissa’s DIY building skills once again came in handy for the creation of five raised garden beds with a snazzy Shou Sugi Ban finish. After much hard work and TLC, the community is now enjoying the bounty from the garden and the fruit trees. They planted four—Apple, Plum, Persimmon, and a Fruit Salad Tree.


For now, the Tacks live in the main house. Their tiny house will always be their home and will be part of their family. Perhaps Chris and Malissa will live in again when they’re older, and maybe sweet Sol will live in it for a time when she’s a teen or during college. But for now, they rent out their Tiny Tack House on Airbnb to give others interested in living tiny an opportunity to try it out a first-hand. The majority of their guests, from all around the country, are renting it for just that reason.

To learn more about the Tiny Tack House and the Tack community here.

Tiny House Expedition joins the community (temporarily)!


My partner, Christian and I are traveling tiny house dwellers. Together we’ve been on the road two years for our documentary and community outreach project, Tiny House Expedition. We live, breathe, dream the tiny home community every day. This is our life, and our true passion project. We are very grateful to be able experience this inspiring movement in such an intimate way and to be able to share our exploration with all of you.

Alexis Stephens, Tiny House Blog Contributor

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