Shiny Tiny Mansion

Living Small Naturally
The studio is used for sewing, painting and writing.http://shinytinymansion.com/the-corl-storybook-cottage-picturebook/
Our House

Angela’s Questions

We received an email message from Angela Blair asking us for some specifics about Shiny Tiny. I thought the questions would make a nice blog post, so I asked her if I could share them here, and she said, “Sure!” 
So, here is Angela’s email:
How do you handle laundry?  I was curious about the kitchen as I didn’t see storage for dishes – is there a specific place for dishes and where is food stored?
Do you have any photos of the shed and Sue’s studio?  I’m really curious about that because as a quilter and jeweler I have to have a place to work.
Here I was so chuffed with our decision to downsize from 2700 sf to 1700sf!  There is definitely an attraction to the tiny house.  I often think of our living room and dining room as fancy decorated hallways, and the “guest” bedroom as a cozy nest for the cats!
Thanks for the inspiration and especially for the good things to be considering.  Taking care of a house this size doesn’t leave me all the time I’d like to have for making art!

And, here are my responses:

2015-02-13 12.48.59

I’ll answer the laundry question first because it’s an easy one. We go to the laundromat in town.  This cuts into our budget, but we don’t have the space for a washer and dryer. That is one thing that we would probably do differently if we had it to do all over again. But we would use the apartment size ones to save space and water.  I have never used a clothesline for drying clothes, but I think I’ll try that this summer. It would save a little on the drying costs, at least during the warmer months. I know having a clothesline seems like an easy thing, but I’ll bet there are few people who use them. I’ll document my adventures in clotheslining (isn’t that a wrestling move?)–let me change that to drying clothes on the line. Maybe it will help others get inspired to do the same.


I’m also thinking about trying a hand washer. Handwasher at Lehman's Hardware

Ron just walked behind me, saw the washer picture and said, “What in the world are you doing now!? You aren’t going to do that!” Don’t tell him, but I am. Since this is an experiment, I’m not going to purchase one of the models at Lehman’s Hardware, which is a hardware that caters to the Amish around here. I’m going to try the inexpensive bucket method first and see how that works. I will document my efforts here. We’ll see if I can prove him wrong. ; ) (Ron interjects, “WTF! Why? Why?)


Towards the Kitchen

The kitchen and dish situation:
I plan to write a longer post, with pictures, about the kitchen and how we store food and dishes, but for now I’ll say that we store them in a couple of cupboards next to the kitchen at the end of the living room.  This was not the intent when Ron built the house. We planned on adding a small kitchen where the side door of the kitchen area is now. The reason was to keep the heat from the kitchen away from the other areas of the house in the summer to save on cooling, like the old summer houses. As we rethink the house, we are thinking about some options for a full kitchen. That’s a longer conversation for the next post.
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My Studio:

Sue's Studio
My studio is the tan building on the right.
I really enjoy having a space where I can spread out my material and not have to worry about the cats getting on it or trying to measure when one end is up over a portion of a chair or around a table leg. All of you sewers, artists and crafters know what I’m talking about. You need space to create!  This is my space. It measures 9″ X 13″  on the inside, which is all I need to create my art.
Ron originally built this studio to function as a shop for him to create prototypes of his furniture. When he finished and realized that it was too small for that, he asked if I wanted it. Of course, I jumped at the offer. My materials were scattered all over the place, which made them difficult to access. I was excited to finally get everything together in one spot so that it would be easy to find what I needed when I wanted it.
The pictures below show the inside of the studio. It is usually cleaner than this. What happens in the winter is that it becomes more of a storage place for garden things and my art equipment. The reason this happens is that we only have a small space heater out there. It does the job, but when the winters are bitter cold, it takes a lot of energy and money to heat.  In a warmer climate, this most likely wouldn’t be a problem. I normally write and do small projects that I can do in the house during those months, so I’m fine with that. If you build a detached room, make sure to think about how you will use it and what type of heating and cooling you will need.
Sewing Table in StudioThis is the right side of the studio~my sewing area.
On the table are some retro curtains waiting to be fitted for our house windows.
I’ll show that process on the blog.


Painting and Sculpting AreaThis is the left side of the studio~painting and sculpting area.
Ron put some shelves above to hold art materials.
There are also some shelves in the back of the studio for books and materials.


Material StorageThis is a section on the right near the door.
I have material stored in cardboard boxes there.

I hope I was able to answer most of your questions, Angela. And all the best with your studio.  Watch for some kitchen posts in the near future.
Live Small and Proper,
~Sue
 meDec1962

10 Comment

  1. Hi, Am new to your blog. I am not in a tiny house and Do have a washer/dryer! However, I’ve been using a clothes line here in PA for past 10 years except during the winter. I love the fresh clean smell. Always use the dryer for towels though, they are too rough if line dried. Cheers, Sue

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    1. Hi Sue,

      Thanks for the tips on drying! I will keep the towel situation in mind 🙂 I remember the clothes smelling fresh when my grandma used to line dry years ago. I hope to get the feeling back. Watch and blog for updates on my adventures in laundering, and please add comments!

      ~Sue

  2. My tiny laundry room has just space for a washing machine on a platform above the cat’s litter box and below the water heater, so I dry outdoors year round (except this winter when a sewer line freeze has put all my plumbing facilities out of commission). In the winter, of course, the clothes freeze, but they continue to dry through a process known to physicists as “sublimation”. I find they often dry quicker on a sub-freezing day than on a warm day with high humidity.

    Incidentally, I have been enjoying your blog since I discovered it last December and was amazed to find someone living in a house – and with values – very similar to mine. Apparently, I am not the only one to make a connection between our domiciles – when House-crazy Sarah featured your home on February 24, she included a link at the bottom to my very own “itsy bitsy Brookside Cottage” A link is here: http://www.house-crazy.com/shiny-tiny-mansion/

    1. Hi Christopher,

      Thanks for the nice comments about our blog. We will definitely check out yours. Also, thanks for the tips about drying. I will research sublimation. I was not aware of the concept–sounds interesting. I will keep everyone posted on this laundry adventure. If you have any more experiences to add, please comment!

      ~Sue

  3. Yes, it is nice to see your studio. The size feels good for sewing and other art projects. Is that your grandmothers cabinet that was in the space where your new desk is now? Regarding clothesline drying. The main downside is weather, and inside drying can take awhile. But there are these wonderful pulley systems that can raise the drying laundry up into the warmer ceiling air. Ron could probably knock one out in no time.

    1. Yep–that’s Granny’s cupboard. It’s a great place to store materials. I thought I’d put a clothes line under the porch roof for rainy days. I don’t plan to do this in the winter, so I’m hoping for a lot of sunny days this summer. 🙂 Ron thinks I won’t do it at all, but I’m looking at it as an experiment. I’ve never done this type of thing because I was always working full-time and didn’t really have the time. Since I’m retiring this spring, I hope to try some things I never had time for in the past. The “old way” things I would like to experiment with this summer aren’t just to save money, this is an interest of mine. I love retro recipes and household books and have been interested in trying some of the ideas in those books. I thought this would be a good opportunity to do that. Some may work and some may be total failures, but I think they would be interesting to explore.

      Thanks for the info on the clothes line. I will definitely get Ron on that. 😉

      1. They make portable clothes lines, found at most big box stores. I used one in LA and absolutely loved it. It attached to the back of the house then could be stretched to the side of our garage on laundry day. Still carting it with me to hopefully use again some day. Live in a gated community in FL now and of course the HOA board won’t allow it. Wish I had a house like yours, it’s very special.

        1. Hi Diane,

          Thanks for the info. I will definitely check out a portable one. Sounds perfect for what I want to do. It’s a shame you aren’t able to use one where you are now. I would imagine once you get used to using a line, it’s difficult to return to the dryer 🙂 Thanks for the nice comment on our house. Glad you like it!
          ~Sue

  4. I really enjoyed this post ……I was wondering about the laundry too and Sue I loved seeing you studio. Thanks for sharing.
    Aunt Lorrie

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