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:
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.
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?)
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.
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.
This 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.
This 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.
This 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.