I was born and raised in Hawai’i and then moved to the mainland United States for college, where I studied Women’s studies and Urban studies. Environmental urbanism and sustainable structures have always been an interest of mine! After college, my boyfriend and I decided to do some traveling and lived out of the country for a little more than a year. After returning to the states, I chose to pursue my passion for health and wellness and currently work from home as a health coach.
I had first heard of the idea of tiny home living when I was in my early college years. After my boyfriend and I moved back to the United States after traveling, we decided that we wanted to put our time, money, and effort into owning a house instead of renting, and tiny living seemed like the perfect option for us! From living in a tiny apartment in NYC and traveling, we were very used to living in small spaces and had adopted a minimalistic mindset towards our possessions. I have always loved going on little weekend trips to tiny houses, cabins, and yurts and wanted a modern yet “cabin in the woods” vibe, which was a big inspiration behind our house!
My boyfriend and I had been saving up for, researching, and planning on building our own house until I saw the Escape ONE house online and fell in love with it! After much research and visiting the model, we learned that it was well built and it fit all of our criteria, so we decided to buy one!
It wasn’t that hard for us figuring out what kind of layout we need. Since there were 2 of us, we wanted something a little bigger but still small enough to be on two axles! Also, with my boyfriend being a tall person, we wanted our loft to be roomy and taller than the average tiny house loft. We also needed to have a desk/workspace that we could both sit at due to the fact that I work at home! When we bought our house, it was already 75% built. However, we decided on a few options to fit our needs, including a composting toilet, a 42-gallon on-board water tank, a slightly bigger kitchen, and some cosmetic fixings like our frosted bathroom door and USB outlets. Our house was mostly built when we bought it. However, from the time we bought it to the time we had it delivered, it took about four and a half months.
The main idea behind the house design was an open, bright, cabin-like feel!
We have a closet and storage underneath our stairs. We have a very tiny bathroom sink, which saves a lot of space in that room. Our second loft is our main storage area, which is actually big enough to fit a twin-sized bed and is 4ft high. We have also built a fold-out table for more kitchen counter space, and have put in a lot of shelving.
I have two favorite spots! My favorite hang out spot is our sleeping loft. It is 5ft tall (which makes it very roomy), but it also has panoramic windows on all three sides. It feels like sleeping right in the trees. My favorite place to do work is at our huge 6ft by 6ft window at the breakfast bar table that we designed and built ourselves. I love staring out the window all day as I work.
We have enough privacy to some extent! We have a bathroom door, though it is mainly made of frosted glass. We also have blackout blinds on all of our windows throughout the house.
We can even accommodate guests. We’ve had my little sister stay with us for about a week, and once we had two people stay the night. Our coach is a fold-out futon. We also have been able to make room in our storage loft to fit a small person.
The overall cost of our house was $65,000. We are currently located in Massachusetts near the New Hampshire border. We live in a very wooded area! Since we do not currently own a property, we are renting land to park on alongside two other tiny houses. We pay $700 per month to park at our current spot. This includes water and electric hookups.
We have been traveling and living in small spaces for a long time and did not have much downsizing to do. One of the best things about tiny house living is that it makes us physically more mobile. Even though it’s a smaller space, we have to bend down, climb a ladder, and crouch every day. It also has caused us to be a lot more mindful of our purchases: from food to clothing to toys for our dog. We also have to be a lot more organized! Something that is both a blessing and a curse is that we have very limited internet. This has caused us to have a healthier relationship with technology, although it can be a little annoying we want to stream shows!
If we could do it all over, we would get the same house but maybe move some outlets around. There’s not much we would change. We’re very happy with this house! Every day is exciting! We are going through our first winter at the moment and have had some challenges with propane tanks running out and exterior hoses freezing. Some people may see this as negative. However, we see these events as fun and exciting challenges to overcome.
I’m thankful that we decided to take on this challenge and lifestyle head-on and that we’re more than capable of handling anything that’s thrown at us! Stay in tiny houses to get a feel of them! Actually, stepping into and staying the night in different tiny houses is an excellent way to get some ideas of what kind of layout would work best and to see if tiny living is for you.
Measuring: 25′ long,(30′ including hitch) x 8.5’W x 13’6″H, also our house is RVIA certified!
Interior floor space: 276 sq/ft
For more info and pictures, you can check my IG @inner.grace and my blog innergrace.me