Grandmother’s Tiny House

A grandmother named Monica Smith worked on her tiny 8 x 10 shed in her back yard. Her neighbors laughed when they realized she was converting it into a tiny cabin. It was very strange that she was putting so much effort into this small space. However it was not just a hobby this grandmother had a plan.

Her youngest daughter and her five children had lost their home and needed a place to go. Monica decided to give them her large home and she would move back into the shed cabin and call it home.

Is that not the most generous grandmother or what?

See the original post with more photos here.

Anna Wallace
living room
Anna Wallace
entertainment area
Anna Wallace
dining area
Anna Wallace
stairs to bedroom
Anna Wallace
living area
Anna Wallace







30 thoughts on “Grandmother’s Tiny House”

  1. This loving grandmother/mom is an inspiration to me. Thanks for sharing this example of love and hope.Neat how she used the space efficiently and made a lovely home for herself using ingenuity and thinking outside the box.

  2. Dear Grandma…
    You can come and decorate my tool shed anytime you’re in SW Utah. My shed does not have the charm and character that your home has. It definitely could use your tender touch, love and creativity.
    Thank you for inspiring me.

  3. This is an example of EVERYTHING a wonderful grandmother can be. Oh, and she’s got GREAT taste and design capabilities too:) This home is SO adorable, I’d move into in a second. A lover of old design (we’re living in a 113 year old farm house that’s been in the family for 63 years), there’s never enough lovely linens around. This time this lovely lady found the “perfect” balance. Now if only ALL of this nation would listen to this lady. I’m positive we’d see a lot of our social problems evaporate before our eyes. Families helping families is the ONLY way to go. My prayers and good wishes will be with you forever more…….

    • Yes, I am wondering how old this “grandma” is or was. I know I would not want to plan on needing to climb up a ladder to go to bed, and especially to get up at night to go to the bathroom. By the way, a bathroom was not shown. Does her cabin include one?

  4. This is the sweetest tiny house story ever!! I am sending a virtual tin of cookies to this sweet little lady right now 🙂
    I see that she has grown wise in her old age as well- she realizes she doesn’t need all that space, but she does need her own personal space. She is brilliant.

  5. This is the way to go for today’s families! I’m guessing that the main house is still being used for bathing etc…but this creative use of the tiny space is excellent and the perfect solution to her family’s situation. As to climbing those stairs…it’s pretty obvious that this ‘grandma’ is one of the 21st century kind – agile-active and awesome. What’s more, as both she and her family get older, or if those stairs do become an ‘issue’, she can trade spaces with the teens when they’ll be needing more independence…

  6. What an example of love, kindness and generosity! May we all aspire to the example she’s set, likely unintentionally. God bless you grandma:)

  7. Having had three sisters with children who have selfishly depended upon my parents to provide for them housing, food, money, anything and everything, several times over, without showing anything in the way of appreciation, I’m not sure I can be too stoked over this article or what this woman has been compelled to do for her daughter and five grandkids.

    This is a selfless act, to be sure. And I commend that woman for her actions. She’s generous and big-hearted. But I’ll wager that this is not the first time this woman’s daughter has depended upon her to provide for her, and I doubt it will be the last.

    This didn’t happen overnight. This was planned. That means that this woman’s daughter had time to at least try and do something in order to avoid having her mother pushed out into the back yard to live in a tiny shed while her daughter and grandkids take her home. I’ll bet that her daughter didn’t do a thing to try and avoid this situation. I’ll bet she didn’t even help this woman build out her shed.

    If this were my mom, I would have killed myself trying to avoid putting her out like that. I would do whatever it took to avoid doing that to her. If it were one of my sisters that I mentioned, they wouldn’t even think twice about it, but would happily take my mom’s home and let her live out in the shed.

    So I worry that this woman is probably in the same boat, and has a selfish and irresponsible daughter who feels entitled to whatever she can get without giving anything back or trying to improve her lot in life.

    I am not trying to be rude, at all. This is just my two cents, but very much based upon real life experience. I hope I am wrong and that this family is happier than happy. But I doubt it very much.

    Kudos to Grandma and her big heart. And to her daughter? Get your life in order and let your Mom live in peace. I’m sure she’s earned that right many times over.

  8. Way to go, Grandma Monica! What an astute and generous thing to do! She kept the family together, and gave everyone a home that suited their needs. Kudos!

  9. What a charming little cabin. I loved all the little touches – particularly the sweet garden gnomes peering out on the kitchen shelf.
    It is apparent Grandma has a wonderful sense of humour and great generosity of spirit. Here’s to you Grandma!

  10. As we become wiser, which often comes with age we do not need, nor crave, for bigger and better, but our loved ones are still precious and we look after them. What a gift to have the courage and ingenuity to creat a little haven to live in with grace, dignity, charm and love. May you sleep with joy in your heart….and a smile on your face

  11. “Hmmm” – you made some valid points but I think you may be projecting your own experiences into this situation. We don’t know what the circumstances are and certainly there are many, many families who were impacted by the junk mortgage crisis, etc. who have lost their homes.
    I applaud this woman’s efforts- at least this family has not ended up on the government housing dole. If more families took care of their own, our current budget crisis would be a lot more manageable.
    I’m also interested in the steps. Everyone says “older” people can’t climb stairs. At 60 myself, while not particularly agile or athletic, I have no problem going up and down ladders and stairs. If you’re used to doing it on a regular basis you keep those muscles in shape- in fact they say one of the best ways to stay active and agile is to have a stairway in your home.

    • Wendy, you be sure and stay as active as possible, and never stop. You can build strength and muscle at any age, and the more physically active you are, the brighter your mind will be.

      There’s an old fella that walks the park near our home, every single day, regardless of the weather. My wife and I see him there early in the morning when we run the track. He’s there early, around 5:30 or 6:00, and he walks his butt off, with a smile and a wave. He’s an inspiration to me and he must be going on 90. And he’s darn fast, too. I really like that guys – makes me smile to think of him.

  12. Don’t be so quick to presume, Hmm, based on the predatory experiences of your own family. I live for the day that one of my nieces or nephews decide to bring their families to live in my larger home so that I can retire full-time to my TH. As we age, we tend to use less space, and it would be a BIG relief to turn over the big place. In today’s economy, I can’t sell it, so the next best thing is to let someone in my family have it. And yes, I’ve been making preparations for that day, and live in my TH most of the time (on the same property). I doubt if the delightful grandma in this article is banished from her own home, and is probably happy to have a separate place to relax at night after visiting with the grandkids. I am sorry you have parasites in your own family, but not all multi-family homes are bad. In fact, isn’t it the way we used to live, if not the same home, three generations we all lived on the same road? Cheers!

    • I understand what you’re saying, completely. And it is quite obvious that I am speaking from my own experiences. But I am not the only person I know to have experienced similar trials – I know of several others. In fact, within my parents’ church, they know of several older couples who have been similarly put upon by their ungrateful children, and who can relate to my parents’ experiences.

      Again, I admire this woman’s heart, as I admire my own mother’s. She’s the most generous and selfless person I know, and that’s one reason she has been taken advantage of. Sometimes, it’s just too difficult for a parent to practice tough love, though that would be the very best thing for all involved. And sometimes, there’s just no real choice in the matter and you gotta do what you gotta do. Obviously, it is better to provide shelter than to toss your kids and especially your grandkids out in the street.

      If and when your nephews, or whomever, asks to stay in your house, so that you can retire to your own shed, will you expect any kind of compensation? Or will you simply let them have it, gratis? I assume the prior, and that would be more than fair for all parties involved, if that’s what you guys want.

      None of us can see life without viewing it through our own filters, whish always leads to assumptions/presumptions. For example, you assume that I am wrong about what I said, and you’ve created your own scenario, but I am as likely to be right as you are. Regardless of how they’re raised, too many kids these days just aren’t like they once were, and too darn many go through life expecting things to be done for them, instead of doing it for themselves.

      But like I said, I hope I am wrong, and that this generous woman isn’t being taken advantage of. The thought of her living out in a shed doesn’t sit well with me and I wish I were her neighbor so I could help her finish the build-out – I’m handy that way and I’ve done some reasonably good work in the past.

      If I am wrong, I do not mean to insult anybody.

      • Hmm, I’m an old broad so I can say this: I didn’t assume you were wrong, I was just amazed by your incredible rage. Perhaps you didn’t mean to insult her, but you did indeed launch a barrage of personal judgmental jabs in response to the article. (“I’ll bet this” and “I’ll bet that,” not to mention “If it were my mom…”) Wow. The lady didn’t deserve it.

        Rejoice in the fact that you are the one who does NOT burden your own dear mother, that you can stand on your own two feet. Your anger probably doesn’t faze your siblings, but it is corrosive to you and your mom (and strangers on blogs 🙂 ).

        My Mom supported my three useless brothers for years, well into her 80s. They used her like an ATM. I got ulcers, holidays were a nightmare, and I ranted at them and her about it. Mom bore the brunt of my fury, and my brothers are still useless. ( I have no idea how their kids turned out so well.) Now that I’m older, I ‘get it.” It was my mom’s life, her money, her family. As much as I hated the situation, she enjoyed helping them. In her mind, I didn’t “need” her help.
        Now the good part: I got where I could spot a self-entitled parasite or drama queen/addict in five seconds.( I’m sure you have this ability, too.) This helped me tremendously with my career, and it helps me now with decisions about the rest of my life.
        My husband is in full-time care, and I have a farm I can barely maintain. My farm goes free and clear to the first able-bodied couple willing to leave the city life. They pay taxes and upkeep. This arrangement helps them, and helps me. I know who the slackers are, and they know not to bother. I don’t care if others in the family are offended and shout “that’s not fair.” Who cares? That’s another great thing about getting old, I can turn down the hearing aids.
        I could still kick my brothers in the butt all the way to the mailbox but they wouldn’t “get it.” We’d all wind up in a heap, waiting for poor little mom to come along and pick us up. That’s what she loved to do best. Best wishes to you and your mom.

  13. I know it’s been attributed to Karl Marx, but the social principle of ‘from each according to abilities – to each according to needs’ is simply one of the foundations of a happy family…it’s all about give and receive according to capacity. the other side of this coin is that it must be accompanied by a healthy level of training in ethics and all wrapped up in a happy loving attitude. Of course, this is the ideal – and in the real world we all just try to get along…Frankly, I would love for one of my kids to live at home again. I’m 62 and my DH is 76…and yeah, I do ladders and stairs just fine, along with a lot of other things – but the day is going to come when I’m going to want to be in ‘the back house’ and having my loving children and grandkids up front would be a dream come true. I’m with Doris on this one…I just don’t need the space anymore and selling is not an option.

  14. Dear Hmm. Did you see the shed? It’s beautiful. I would choose that tiny space any day. Maybe you’re a “big house” person and don’t see the value in living so small. Se la vie.

  15. This poor woman was not a willing participant in a tiny house, but was forced to participate and make a sacrifice because of circumstances occurring to her child and five grandchildren.
    Her “big house” was two bedroom. This particular story is not a tale of success, but a sad commentary about survival in the current economy.

  16. I came to this site for ideas, since I was designing a tiny house of my own. (Probably just daydreaming.) My own plan is for an 8X16 single room. I can’t believe two rooms of any sort can be fit inside an 8X10 shed. I assume the shed was enlarged?

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