Tiny Cottage at Five Years
November 6th, 2006 we began building our tiny cottage and in two months our family closed it in. The cottage is a high mass building with about 100,000 lbs of masonry and well insulated small space that soaks up and stores solar gain efficiently. This makes it so that it stays warm in the winters with just 3/4 cord of wood and it is cool in the summers. At 252 sq-ft it is tiny by most American housing standards but it fits our needs. We’re outdoors much of the time and when we come in it is for quiet things: cooking, eating, reading and sleeping. The cottage is a place of rest.
We moved in December 24th, 2007 having spent the rest of that year working on the interior. It has now been five years since we built the cottage and four years since we moved in – we’re loving the space. It is so much better than the old drafty, impossible to heat, impossible to clean and high maintenance farm house we lived in just down the mountain. The cottage is easy to clean and maintain. The angles, curves and materials absorb sound. The design gives privacy even in so small a space. The cottage is filled with light from the big windows.
This year we expanded the cottage, adding about 90 sq-ft more space on the interior. This in addition to the approximately 252 sq-ft on the main floor and roughly 72 sq-ft in the front loft. The exterior footprint remains the same size as before – the cottage just got bigger inside. This extra interior space is a back attic for storage above the bathroom and master bedroom. I had been planning all along that we would finish that off and finally did the design and implemented it this fall. The cottage has an 11′ barrel vault ceiling so the front kids loft and the back attic snuggle in at the south and north ends. The masonry, the angles, the arches and the texture of the materials soak up the sounds. By having different levels it means that people can disappear into different places and the tiny cottage keeps its calm.
Shower Planter Christmas Cactus
One of my personal favorite parts of the cottage is the bathroom planter wall. The division next to the shower and bathtub is a bottle wall with a granite planter and brick arch above it. In the planter I have bamboo, mint, spider plants and Christmas cactus growing. The Christmas cacti are blooming right now. The location is perfect for them, a miniature tropical rain forest with limited western light.
Outdoors: 22°F/2°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 65°F/60°F
Daily Spark: The journey is the reward. -Old Proverb