22 year old Miranda Aisling is currently building a modified Tumbleweed Cypress on the front lawn of The Umbrella Community Arts Center in Concord, Massachusetts. After graduating from college with a Master's degree, Miranda decided to start her own business. "Miranda's Hearth" will be the first community art hotel where everything in the rooms is handmade by local artists.
Miranda's Tumbleweed will be the FIRST Art Hotel!
"By exhibiting the full creative process of building and filling (a Tiny House RV), we will draw attention to the creative fields of architecture, woodworking, pottery, quilting, interior design, and weaving, to name a few."
- Miranda Aisling
Miranda kicked off construction in June of this year, and things were going well, until she ended up in the emergency room with pneumonia. Working full time AND building a Tiny House RV can be exhausting. "It was a good lesson in pacing," Miranda told us, "but it (the illness) affected my motivation and optimism."
It took Miranda almost a month to recover, but she's back to work (this time at a reasonable pace). Her Tiny House RV is on schedule to finish in June 2016.
"The hardest part (of building a Tiny House RV) is not what you don't know, it's the amount you don't know and figuring out how to keep up with that volume."
- Miranda Aisling
Miranda's Advice for Other Tiny House RV Builders:
- Plan out as much of your build as possible before you put in the first nail. Once you're building, there is very little mental space left to plan the next step.
Find a sidekick who will be there no matter what; find a group of people who will show up when they can.
Don't be a perfectionist. Appreciate the character of your home and the story in every board.
We'll be checking back in with Miranda as her Tumbleweed nears completion. Miranda has also been hired to host several of our Tumbleweed Workshops. If you signed up for one in 2016, you might meet her!
Instagram and twitter: @mirandashearth
Jenna Spesard is currently living and traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume. They are photographing and writing about Tiny Homes and their adventure. Follow their informative blog.
Introducing Deidre's Modified Whidbey
Deidre has been interested in building a cottage since she was introduced to Tumbleweed eight years ago. Originally she fell in love with Tumbleweed's B-53 design, but after purchasing a property in Great Barrington she gravitated toward the Whidbey. "Ultimately, I changed my mind because I loved how the Whidbey floor plan featured the backyard." Deidre explains.
Once you see this backyard, you can't blame her for wanting to make it a focal point!
Deidre's Stunning Back Patio
"I was working off of an existing foundation, so I had to modify the Whidbey plans to match what was already in existence." She clarifies. "This meant making each room a little larger than the original plans, and I also allocated space for the master bedroom to have a custom walk-in closet."
Photo of Deidre's custom closet designed by closetscapes / Photo by Deidre
According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average home size in the United States has reached nearly 2,700 square feet. Deidre's two bedroom modified Whidbey is 960 square feet, or around one third the size of the average American home size.
Deidre pulled a lot of inspiration from Little House in Little Rock
"Being so close to the water, I moved all the mechanicals to the attic instead of the basement and eliminated the loft." She says, detailing other modifications she made to the Whidbey. "This allowed me to have 9 foot ceilings throughout, and an entire basement for storage."
Deidre's contemporary interior design cleverly amplifies the square footage of her home. By keeping her color palette neutral and her furnishings sleek and simple, she has created a commodious abode. "When you stand at the front door you can see out the back, which gives the space an open feel." Deidre describes. "I have recessed lighting throughout the home, open shelving in the kitchen, and I only use a few candles for decorating. I try to keep it minimal." She also purchased the majority of her furnishings from local shops to support the community.
Three Space Savers Used in Deidre's Whidbey Include:
1). A wall mounted living room television to clear up floor space
2). A built-in wood storage space in the great room that doubles as a TV console
3). A lazy susan for corner storage in the kitchen and a smaller-than-normal countertop microwave
Construction on Deidre's Whidbey was completed in May, but as one project comes to an end, another one is just beginning."I want to continue to downsize," she admits. "The clearer the space is, the more room you have to think. It's peaceful."
Deidre's Whidbey in Great Barrington, Massachusetts is currently on the market (see link below). Next up, she'd like to build a Tumbleweed Harbinger!
Tumbleweed Harbinger / photo by Tumbleweed Tiny Homes
*All photos (unless otherwise noted) by David Fell Photography. More photos of the home here.
*Click here to view Deidre's Whidbey property listing.
*Follow Deidre's blog here.
Jenna Spesard is currently building a Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume, who is a professional photographer and Tumbleweed Workshop Host. After the build is complete, they plan to travel around North America in their tiny house blogging and photographing their adventure. More on their tiny house and giant journey here.
Tumbleweed Open House
Don't miss your golden opportunity to view this Fencl!
Wondering where this college girl's house is? If you haven't heard, Nara is in the process of obtaining a Fencl to live in for her last semester of school. Her plans have been delayed ever so slightly, but she's keeping strong. Read about her initial process here, and find out about how black ice, blizzards, and mandatory driving bans can be small impediments to tiny house transport below.
Our writer Nara Williams, who is spending her semester living in this Fencl is having an open house this weekend for you to come see a tiny house for yourself.
When: Sunday March 3, 2013
To read more about Nara's semester in a tiny house, click here
We hope to see you there!
Last Friday, I learned one important thing about a housewarming: you need a house. Upon failing to produce one of those despite a good deal of self-promotion, I felt a little something like ashamed. "Is it so tiny I can't see it?" asked my supportive friends. A very patient staff stood by day after day, while I postponed the Facebook event not once, but thrice.
But it just so happens that when other things aren't warm, like say the roads in Ohio, pretty much anything can go wrong. In other words, some pesky black ice led to a minor hiccup with my house delivery. After already being behind schedule, the waiting game continued through the weekend as the trailer awaited repair some hundreds of miles away. Finally, I got word that it would arrive by the end of that week. And then....
A blizzard hit the East Coast.
A lovely Saturday morning view
Yup. We got slammed. As much as I want to say "just my luck," I have enough life experience (and access to news channels) to realize that I'm far from being the only poor soul affected by bad weather conditions, and that ultimately my tiny house woes are very, well, tiny. I'm glad to be warm, safe, and kind of well fed.
As some of you may have heard, this whole state-wide driving ban thing led to a bummer of a weekend for everyone planning on attending the Tumbleweed workshop
. Several Californians flew out on Thursday only to be cooped up in a hotel for a long weekend. I myself drove up from Western Massachusetts in the early hours of the snowstorm to find a ghost town. And most importantly, my apologies to all of the would-be-attendees.
On the plus side, all this time lounging around in a king sized bed has certainly given me the opportunity to think things over.
What can you do? Watch HBO, I guess.
It's hard to have things that directly affect you be entirely out of your control. I've come to peace with it, for the most part, but I won't deny that I've been going through a little bit of emotional turmoil. It's been over two weeks since I expected a delivery, and I still don't know when I'll see the house!
I'm learning everyday that it's important to be flexible, and it's an amazing source of comfort to have a network of friends that will help you out. I will have squatted with my dear friends in Northampton, rent-free, for exactly a month. They've been incredibly patient and supportive, even if they think they're entitled to all of my groceries. I guess it's fair: my backpacks and suitcases have lined the living room wall, half unpacked, day in and day out, and my ferret has been eating everybody's headphones.
Wreaking havoc on personal electronics AND personal relationships
But as all of the older, wiser folks in my life have told me, it's a part of the experience. My mom's number one piece of comfort for me in darker days has always been "it will give you something to write about." So here I am, writing about it. (That said, my first attempt at 'writing about it', during which I was seeing red and occasionally punching the table, would probably make my mom disown me.)
The reality is, it's no one's fault. These things happen, and there's a certain risk involved in pulling any kind of trailer when the roads are icy- I knew that at the beginning. I appreciate the work of all of those involved, like the truck driver who went through hell and still sent me a very sweet apology note.
This is not so much a lesson about transporting tiny houses as it is about remaining patient. It's not the end of the world. It's important to keep weather in mind when you're attempting to transport a small house in the winter- just ask Molly
- but it's also not inevitable that something will go wrong. You just have to keep your chin up, and be grateful that a better future is on it's way, storm or no storm.
Thanks for your patience, everyone, and thanks for being so understanding about the workshop cancellation- we'll make it up to you!