Tiny Mountain Town

tiny house

by Audrey Michelle

Have you ever been the first at anything? This is my first “first”…

I am the first person to live in this amazing tiny home in the Rocky Mountains. I have only been a resident of “tiny mountain town” for 3 weeks, but it has given my heart a tremendous sense of peace and I love having everything I own in 300 square feet! I began downsizing my life about 5 years ago when I sold most of my belongings and moved to New York City. This paved the road that would turn out to guide me to a {very liberating and rewarding} minimalist lifestyle.

I was fortunate to meet the builder of this amazing tiny home last year. Legacy Homes of Aspen provides construction services all along the Roaring Fork Valley. Almost every time a job is complete, what remains is leftover materials that often tend to be discarded because the client doesn’t want them. This spawned a creative idea in the owner Jeff’s mind, as it was difficult for him to continue to watch perfectly good building material go to waste.

“There is nothing wrong with this material; it is often bought in excess or mis-picked, therefore it cannot be used for the job at hand,” Jeff explains. “I had the space on my property in the mountains to build a tiny home using these discarded materials.” Jeff is definitely a builder, “I love using my hands to create things,” he says. This project was obviously pretty personal to him, and I feel blessed to be “deserving” of this place to call home for now. The Universe provided the opportunity, and I completely jumped on it, heart first! πŸ™‚

Here are some photographs of the finished product, prior to me moving in.

tiny mountain home πŸ™‚

big yard

nice big yard, and the big beautiful Rocky Mountains at every corner…

view from the back

view from the back…

outside dining space

outside dining space…

amazing views

amazing views…

outside lamp

complete with outside heat lamp and fire pit for these cool fall nights…

living room

a 200-square foot {furnished} living space…

mini kitchen

a fully functional and practical mini-kitchen…

claw foot tub

personalized claw-foot tub {score!}…

loft

and a sleeping loft!

Home Sweet {Tiny} Home! πŸ™‚

audrey michelle
foodandfoto.com

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Charles Martel - November 13, 2013 Reply

Beautiful house πŸ™‚

    Ginger - November 13, 2013 Reply

    Beautiful home, but again I don’t see on many of these homes a commode. A flushing commode. Good job on home.

      Jeff - November 13, 2013 Reply

      This one does. Audrey doesn’t show it in the pics, but it’s across from the tub next to a 2′ wide vanity. The floor is sheet marmoleum, I chose it for the green footprint and wanted something more unique than linoleum. The tub is actually a craigslist find. I saw this short tub posted with all the original hardware, faucet and shower rod. It needed a good cleaning and replaced some gaskets, but for being made in 1932, I was quite happy with how good a condition it was in. My wife painted the sunflowers, so I can’t take the credit for the artwork!

        ET - November 13, 2013 Reply

        Marmoleum = linoleum.

        Vinyl is a different product.

          Jeff - November 13, 2013 Reply

          Marmoleum is linseed oil and wood based and common linoleum is petroleum PVC. Although you are correct that originally true linoleum is linseed oil based what you buy today at Lowes or Home Depot when you ask for linoleum is PVC based. The glues used for installing each are different as well and that make a big difference in the out gassing and air quality of the building. Although I believe that much of the green building movement is over priced and riding on the wave “increase the fear in people and we can charge more” mentality, I believe certain things can be done to reduce the impact of the environment. If we can use products that are not petroleum based and use products that are more natural than we should do it within reason. This is especially true in the realm of tiny homes where the idea of reducing our impact to the environment by living with only the basics has led people to this way of life. A few dollars more is worth the expense when you are talking about such small quantities. Like I said, this is to be done within reason. High efficient appliances are good. High quality insulation is good. Do I think tearing apart the failed dreams of farmers in the Midwest and recycling the barn wood and shipping it across the country in trucks as a “green material” because it’s recycled…not so good. So like I said, within reason.

Molinda - November 13, 2013 Reply

Your home definitely presents the personality of a site built home. I loved the bathtub. Where is the commode? How difficult was it to size down your personal items to fit?

    audrey michelle - November 14, 2013 Reply

    hey molinda, thanks for the comment. πŸ™‚
    i didn’t show the commode in the fotos just yet because at the time, some of the bathroom was still being completed. i hope to do an update on this blog very soon, and will have more detailed fotos of the space. it wasn’t difficult to downsize my personal items because i already didn’t have much as it was, and i only recently purchased a few pieces of furniture to complete the place.

Gail M - November 13, 2013 Reply

Real cute!Love that little bathtub!

Linda - November 13, 2013 Reply

Love the house and the location is amazing. As I read your articles I wonder where you and other people keep things like bicycles and other sports gear. I know it must be somewhere. Storage sheds?

    audrey michelle - November 14, 2013 Reply

    hey linda, thanks for the comment. πŸ™‚
    i don’t have a ton of sports equipment… i’m a rare case in fact; when i moved here i pretty much didn’t have anything. it was a fresh start. but for this place in particular, there is lots of private land for things like that to be stored. in other situations, i’m not certain, but i do believe you’re right about sheds or pods being the best option…

Gary M Kramer - November 13, 2013 Reply

Awesome home!

johnny mack - November 13, 2013 Reply

Beautiful and I prefer this size….envy the view.

Tammy Backlund - November 13, 2013 Reply

This home is simply beautiful!!

Scott Barnes - November 13, 2013 Reply

What a great inspiration. I am in this process as well and trying to locate land close to a metropolitan area. I really don’t want to be totally cut off. Really just being one to two hours close would be perfect! You did an amazing job on the home, the landscape, and yourself!!! Congratulations on this change!!!

Wow!

    audrey michelle - November 14, 2013 Reply

    thank you so much for the wonderful comment, scott!
    i can’t take credit for any of the home or landscape – that is ALL jeff {he’s in this comment thread} and his genius design skills. i just decorate the place, live in it, take pictures of it, enjoy the heck out of it, and write about it πŸ˜‰
    thank you so much though, it really has been a welcomed and wonderful change in my life!! i love living here and wish you the best on your quest. there are lots of places that are close{ish} to metropolitan areas so you don’t feel so completely isolated… colorado has many.

Donna McFarland - November 13, 2013 Reply

Whew…swwwweet lil home! I know the high mountain climate in Colo…sure hope you’ll be WARM ENOUGH there. The glass front door..wow, that was brave! All the best to you!

Jeffrey - November 13, 2013 Reply

Audrey,
I love it., and the tube is too cool!

Best wishes and keep us posted!!

    audrey michelle - November 14, 2013 Reply

    thank you so much, jeffrey! i’m very blessed to live here!! πŸ™‚

Darrell - November 13, 2013 Reply

Great Tiny Home! Do you think the builder would post the floor plan? We live in Colorado Springs and are thinking of putting a tiny home on our property north of Canon City. 300-500 sq feet sounds about right…. πŸ™‚

Amy - November 13, 2013 Reply

Love it! πŸ˜‰

Alexandra - November 13, 2013 Reply

This is really nice and quite liveable! I like that it is spacious enough to entertain guests indoors without feeling ridiculously cramped. I appreciate the fully functioning kitchen and tub. I love your patio too. Best wishes in your lovely new home.

Dominick Bundy - November 13, 2013 Reply

Absolutely beautiful. But I didn’t see any place for food storage or kitchen utensils any where around the kitchen area. A walk in closet somewhere would be nice too..

jay - November 13, 2013 Reply

lol that watermark is oppressive.

Sue - November 13, 2013 Reply

Do you want neighbors? πŸ˜‰

Dave - November 13, 2013 Reply

Awesome looking place! Looks like the place is in the Carbondale or Glenwood area. Mt. Sopris is so pretty in pretty much all seasons. She’s fortunate to be there!

David - November 13, 2013 Reply

This is precisely the opportunity, recycling of perfectly good materials into a smaller scale home. It’s amazing how paint can be used to unify disparate materials into a cohesive design. /David

    Mary Russell - November 13, 2013 Reply

    I agree completely! There are a few places construction companies can dump or donate their extra materials, but I’m not aware of a place (at least around where we live) that will allow a builder to donate their refuse for others to take for free. Anyone else know?

      lizardt - November 13, 2013 Reply

      Habitat for Humanity resells donated materials at their Restores in many communities.

Maria - November 13, 2013 Reply

I am sitting here with my mouth open in awe! This is beautiful! I love the simple, yet tastefully decorated interior! The exterior and outdoor area is wonderful. I hope you enjoy your new home for many years to come.

    audrey michelle - November 14, 2013 Reply

    wow, maria – thank you so much for your kind comment! i agree whole-heartedly with what you said and i feel so fortunate to live here! πŸ™‚

Nicole - November 13, 2013 Reply

This is beautiful! Would you mind passing along the builder’s info? My husband and I are looking to relocate and something like this would be prefect!

Dan - November 13, 2013 Reply

Great place to call home all the elements coming together, how cool is that!

melinda maginn - November 13, 2013 Reply

I simply love this beautiful home. Congratulations and may you enjoy and enjoy!

Hunter Hampton - November 13, 2013 Reply

What a great little house! I love the setting and the decor is perfect… I live in an Airstream and spend summers in Colorado, it really is a magical place.

margo fernandez - November 13, 2013 Reply

Love the house..could you share a floor plan? I’m a small comtracor and run into the same issues w/ materials. Thanx

Felicia - November 13, 2013 Reply

I love this little house – and the setting! Incredible! Peaceful, open, visually wonderful – You have proven that it’s possible to ‘live the dream’!

Ned Devine - November 13, 2013 Reply

Very nice,
How is it heated? Flash heaters for hot water? Are you on a well? Septic system or city sewer?

I’m a general contractor in Western Washington and am interested in building homes in my local area of this size.

I also hate tossing good materials at the end of a project, our two acres was starting to look like a lumber yard. My wife was not impressed.

So last summer I rebuilt a storage shed that was due 45 years of repairs. I’ll have to post up some photos.

I would really appreciate seeing plans for your home posted if your builder friend is favorable to that idea.

Congratulations with your new life in Colorado.

Ned

    Jeff - November 13, 2013 Reply

    This is Jeff. I am the builder that put together this little Garden House. To answer your questions, the heat is electric hydronic baseboard. It’s much more even heat than the normal electric baseboards and is much safer too. We are on a septic system and well that we tapped into from our main house. When we built our house seven years ago, I put in a couple RV hookups for us to use while we finished the house, so the power water and sewer were close and easy to tap into.

Sarah - November 13, 2013 Reply

Beautiful design!! The only thing I didnt like is the ladder infront of the door.

    Jeff - November 13, 2013 Reply

    Yeah, that was a tricky part. The ladder actually connects with hooks to the metal bar that goes diagonally across the corner. It bar is welded to some mounting plates that bolt into the floor framing. It can be lifted off and leaned against the wall to be out of the way.

BILL Murphy - November 13, 2013 Reply

Is this really part of a start up community/town? If so where is it? It seems like so often smaller square footage homes are not allowed. It would be great to publish where there are communities that accept this. Thanks

Andre Ewert - November 13, 2013 Reply

Really inspiring. Nice little bedroom loft up there. I also like the outside sitting area. The only thing i would probably add is a covered outside space and / or greenhouse solarium for food growth and sitting room during the more inclement yet sunny days.

    audrey michelle - November 15, 2013 Reply

    hey andre! thanks for the kind words.
    i have to agree with you… a greenhouse would be the cherry on top of the icing on the cake πŸ˜‰ this house is only .3 years old… so, it will be fun to watch it grow and develop over the years. i feel fortunate to be the one to “christen” it πŸ˜‰

Andrew - November 13, 2013 Reply

Love it.

Tammy Pitzer - November 13, 2013 Reply

Love seeing the photos of such a neat concept for a home! Everything about this home is “cool”. Thanks for sharing. Would like to see the inside of more. Is there a little community? Town? Just curious.

    audrey michelle - November 15, 2013 Reply

    hehehe thanks, tammy.
    i agree – everything about this home is “cool” πŸ˜‰ i am going to post an update on the house, thanks to kent’s generous nature. you can also follow my blog @ foodandfoto.com and look out for “tiny tuesday” updates πŸ˜‰ … it’s really coming together now. and i imagine it will change a little with the seasons πŸ™‚
    there isn’t exactly a community of tiny homes {though it’s crossed the owner’s mind} but i do live in a little “town” of a sort – both the mountain town i live in, and the property i am on.

Mary Russell - November 13, 2013 Reply

Audrey!

I love the whole, little, place! You’ve inspired me to brag about my little bungalow as well! And, I’m so glad we met.

    audrey michelle - November 14, 2013 Reply

    i’m so glad we met too, mary!! your place is adorable, you should share it with this community!! πŸ™‚

Heidi - November 13, 2013 Reply

i want a tiny house. but i need a first floor bedroom. i’m starting to get a little old and stiff for climbing up and down a ladder!

alice h - November 13, 2013 Reply

Just saw a notice where a whole town in California is for sale for $225,000. Maybe somebody could buy it and start a tiny town where houses like this could flourish. If you own the town you can set your own bylaws, right? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/12/california-ghost-town_n_4262833.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

Ash - November 13, 2013 Reply

Audrey! I’m so excited to see what you’ve been up to! I was just wondering what neat mountain adventures you had gotten into. Glad to see things are looking to be amazing. Lovely house, by the way. πŸ˜‰

~Ash

    audrey michelle - November 15, 2013 Reply

    hi sweet ash!!
    o great to hear from you!! things are definitely nothing short of amazing πŸ™‚ thank you for keeping up with the blog and for taking time to comment, i really appreciate it!!! πŸ™‚ i hope things are well with you!

Gingiebot - November 13, 2013 Reply

I too love this. I am older, with a bad knee, and could probably not negotiate a loft, but still I love this. I am also interested in whether you are looking for neighbors, and what something similar might cost me. Is there a way we can get more info?

Teresa - November 13, 2013 Reply

I too would like more info on this tiny community please.
Your home is beautiful, I love tiny homes but do not care for the idea of going up and down a ladder to go to bed.

Paulette - November 13, 2013 Reply

Love your sweet house, use of color, clean lines. The patio is a dream. The only thing I didn’t care for was that ladder which looks a little scarey! The quality of materials and craftsmanship look outstanding. Thank you for sharing.

    audrey michelle - November 15, 2013 Reply

    hey paulette, thanks for the comment!
    i agree, the craftsmanship is outstanding, i am so blessed. this is obviously a special project for the builder, and i feel so fortunate to be the first person to live here. anyone who stays in this home is blessed – it’s just such a gift!

Beverly Blackheart - November 13, 2013 Reply

What bliss! How I envy you.

Tam - November 13, 2013 Reply

Love, love, love the claw foot bathtub painted with beautiful sunflowers. Beautiful, little house! πŸ™‚

Jeff - November 13, 2013 Reply

Audrey,

Thank you so much for writing this article! You have been through so much and if this tiny house can bring you home to a little place of happiness, it makes it all worthwhile. I look forward to your future articles… I guess that means I need to finish my punch list!

    audrey michelle - November 15, 2013 Reply

    oh dear jeff, thank you for this kind comment!
    i definitely feel at home here and this tiny house has given me a sense of peace that i cannot put into words. i am beyond grateful that we met and that i was the fortunate soul to make this place my home for a while! it’s been exciting to see it all come together!
    did you see the comment about the cabinet over the water heater idea?! πŸ™‚

gmh - November 13, 2013 Reply

Really nice! Congrats to you!

Victoria Reid - November 14, 2013 Reply

Your little house is beautiful! I also have a tiny house and I live in Nova Scotia. My small water heater was also exposed and I’d like to share how I covered it.
I slipped a fake cabinet base over it which allowed me to have more counter space. It looks like you would have enough room above your water heater to have a drawer too. If your water heater were in need of repair, the face of the cupboard can come off if it is installed right.

    audrey michelle - November 15, 2013 Reply

    hey victoria, thanks for the comment!
    nova scotia, wow! maybe we can house-swap sometime πŸ˜‰ i was just talking to the owner about the water heater… we had a plan to make it kind of like a table and cover the bottom with a cloth, but the idea of a cabinet sounds nice! i’m going to mention this to him, thanks for the idea! πŸ™‚ i love living in a tiny space like this… it actually has made me MORE practical, as if that was possible πŸ˜‰

Shematz - November 14, 2013 Reply

This is a more practical and livable size, not like the ones on trailers, which you may as well buy a travel trailer because they are basically the same thing. I agree with the people that say they’re old and don’t like the idea of climbing a ladder, I’m in that boat and not very keen about climbing ladders either. I want my feet on the ground. Sleeping in a loft is a romantic idea but not practical for us old people. πŸ˜‰

    audrey michelle - November 14, 2013 Reply

    haha well, shematz, i’m not exactly “old” but i’m not getting any younger… i’m not saying climbing a ladder is my favourite thing ever, but until jeff invents the tiniest elevator ever, i’ll get by πŸ˜‰

jim sullivan - November 14, 2013 Reply

I TRULY LOVE IT !!! I’ m getting there, slowly. selling my house (closing on dec. 12 !) the loft is great exerzie getting there too!

    audrey michelle - November 15, 2013 Reply

    thanks so much, jim – it’s truly a great space and i’m so blessed! how exciting to sell your house! and i agree with the ladder being good exercise – i actually kind of “felt it” in my lower body most recently πŸ˜‰
    best of luck to you!!!

Ron Mauger, Architect - November 14, 2013 Reply

Great job
Lived on a 21ft sailboat for almost 8 yrs so I agree it is posible for some folks and we all could do with less “stuff” (and may have to) but
food and other physical needs are not addressed and I wonder were the closest supply is. Would love to help if one wishes to follow this life style in any way I can

    audrey michelle - November 15, 2013 Reply

    hey ron, thanks for the comment.
    so amazing that you lived on a sailboat, what an experience that must’ve been!
    the idea with working with tinyhouseblog, was to show the progress of this brand new home as i settle in to it… the fotos i shared here were prior to me moving in… so stay tuned for more updates πŸ˜‰

Ron Mauger, Architect - November 14, 2013 Reply

print

allen - November 14, 2013 Reply

Do you have the plans?

Susan - November 14, 2013 Reply

Where is this specifically located?

susan - November 15, 2013 Reply

I love this story and the beautiful photos of the new home!
I’m always interested in how the land cost, zoning stuff that confuses me ect…Any information available on how she was able to pull this off at the location she picked?

Daniel - November 17, 2013 Reply

no, I have not ever been the first at something. And I am a Jones! lol

Richard Jablinski - November 18, 2013 Reply

Looks great inside and out! Very comfortable looking. I’d love to see a floorplan!

Jodyrae - November 20, 2013 Reply

Where’s the storage photos. I would like to see where you put your clothes and other house hold items.

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