Small Bathroom Design Tips: Baths

Whether to include a bathtub in your small bathroom is a personal choice. When making that choice please be sure to consider that there are options for small spaces outside of the standard 5 ft tub. Corner tubs are a great space saver. Shorter tubs are also available by special order. When looking at a smaller tub there are a couple of things that become much more important. First, consider rim height. A common complaint is not the length of the tub but rather the fact that water, even in standard tubs, does not cover the bather. The other important thing to keep in mind is your “exit strategy”. How are you going to get out of the tub safely in your small space?  Grip rails attached to studs in the wall are a must.


This bathtub was installed in a Harbinger.
To see more images of this cottage, click here.

To read about our small bathroom design tip on toilets, click here

Written by Bernadette Weissmann — December 27, 2012

Filed under: 2012   bathroom   design   harbinger   tips  

Small Bathroom Design Tip #1

Small bathroom design is a challenge for even the best designers. No other room in the house requires so much of so little space. Considerations include toilet, sink, shower, storage, appearance, door clearances and ventilation, all of which will be exposed to frequent use and copious amounts of moisture. Bathrooms in American homes have doubled in size in the last thirty years. Bathrooms in older homes average 5x8. Bathrooms in Tumbleweed Cottages range from 4 ½ x 4 ½ for the smaller of two tiny bathrooms in the Sebastarosa to 7 ¾ x 5 ½ for the single bathroom in the Whidbey.


The question then becomes how to get the most out of your small bathroom. Who better to answer that question than Tumbleweed? As with any space we recommend that you look at your needs first and then design with those needs in mind. Who will be using this space? How much storage will they need? Is a tub necessary or, for your needs, would that be wasted space? Finally, you will need to know your budget and local codes. Once you make those determinations the planning can begin.


Toilets:

There are several decisions to be made regarding the toilet fixture that you install. We are happy to report that environmentally minded regulations require low flow toilets on all new bathrooms or remodels. The question then becomes whether you want a gravity fed model or one with a pressure assist. Gravity fed models are less expensive however, they frequently need to be flushed multiple times to clear the bowl thereby negating some, if not all, of the benefits of purchasing a low-flow toilet in the first place. A toilet with pressure assist is more efficient and uses less water but the fixture is also more expensive. Although they have come a long way since first appearing on the market they do tend to make more noise – an important consideration in a small space.


Toilet shape is another consideration. Rounded bowls are more traditional and take less space. Elongated bowls, however, tend to be the norm in newer builds. The advantage of an elongated bowl over a rounded bowl is an increase in the surface area of the water. Toilets with elongated bowls designed for smaller spaces are available but must frequently be special ordered.



See more images inside Brittany's Fencl

Stay tuned throughout the week as we give you tips in designing your bathroom

Written by Bernadette Weissmann — December 26, 2012

Filed under: 2012   bathroom   design  

"Like" Your Favorite Frosted Design

Okay everyone, it's up to you to pick the winner of our Tiny Gingerbread House contest. We narrowed it down to the top 5 (they were all amazing, we had a hard time picking only 3!). 

Log on to our Facebook page and select our Tiny Gingerbread House Contest album. The winner will be chosen by the most "Likes." Voting will be ongoing throughout the weekend. The winner will be selected on Monday, December 24th at 2pm (PST), and will receive a copy of The Small House Book and the Tumbleweed DIY Book. 

Thank you everyone for submitting your tiny gingerbread house creations!


 

"The Gingr,” a modified bite size Fencl in gingerbread form. This tiny house has windows made with delicious melted sugar. If you look close, you can see a tiny Christmas tree in the front window.

 

This tiny gingerbread house is equipped with a dual axle and solar panels for the Christmas lights. Yum, it even has an exterior rock wainscoting, shutters and a little front porch!

 

This home sweet home on a trailer comes complete with graham cracker solar panels and peppermint wood pile.

 

The "Tiny Gingerbread Village,” a frosted winter wonderland, took 3 days to build: 1 day to bake the pieces, another day to assemble and decorate the houses, and a third day to build the village. It even comes equipped with lights underneath, to light up each house at night!

 

"Tiny Fencl Gingerbread House," comes with a shiny red metal roof made of fruit roll ups, Oreo cookie double axle and brown frosting wood siding. The Christmas lights are already up along with the icicles. The bay window lets lot of natural light in with plenty of pretzel windows. The tiny gingerbread house is currently up on graham cracker jacks because we've found a permanently spot of land to park it.


Go to Facebook now and vote!!!!

Written by Adam Gurzenski — December 21, 2012

Filed under: 2012   Build it yourself   contest   crafts   facebook   gingerbread   holidays   Small House Book  

Tiny Tree Solutions

This year, my mom decided she'd rather not deal with a Christmas tree. At first, I was crushed-I'm not a Christmas fanatic, but I have some pretty solid positive associations with the smell of pine and the warm glow of colorful lights. 

Then I thought about how crazy it is to buy a dead tree, and how little time we'd actually use it before throwing it in the alley, and how many needles trees leave all over the place. Avoiding all of those complications started to make a little sense. 

Still, I had one remaining objection- I'd made ornaments as Christmas gifts for my family. If we didn't get some kind of tree, we'd have nowhere to display my creative generosity and artistic skill!

I don't live in a tiny house, but I figured that this would be the time for a tiny alternative tree. Here was our compromise: 

Tiny TreeCheck out that style! 

It's actually a rosemary plant, which is pretty great- it smells awesome, and we can put it in our garden in the spring. We found it at Trader Joes for under $10. 

Here are some other tiny tree ideas that I brainstormed. They can support ornaments, smell good, and are cool year round:

-The cut top of a tree, stuck into some foam or a pot of dirt

-A brussel sprout stalk

-A multi-armed cactus

-A bonsai tree

-A beautiful branch

-Other small potted trees- living trees that can be replanted outside are a great idea 

It's probably too late this year, but whether you live in a tiny house, apartment, dorm room, or normal sized space, a tiny tree is a great alternative. To me, my tiny rosemary tree represents simplicity, responsibility, and future possibilities of roasted potatoes. It's about time. 

Written by Nara Williams — December 21, 2012

Filed under: 2012   christmas   diy   downsizing   holidays   tiny house decorating   tree  

Ryan Mitchell from The Tiny Life Talks With Tumbleweed!

Recently, I got the chance to talk with Ryan Mitchell of The Tiny Life website about his exciting plans for a modified Fencl. Ryan has been blogging about sustainability for a long time, sharing information on simple living, tiny houses, and environmentally responsible lifestyles.  And we think he's awesome. 

Ryan with ChickenReady for some holiday building

Now, he's working on a tiny house of his own in Charlotte, North Carolina. He's starting to get well into the building process, and has been begun blogging about his experiences

He admits that finding time is no easy task- in addition to working on his house managing the very informative blog, Ryan works two other day jobs! He sets a pretty good example for all those professionals that fear they'd never have the time to build a house, huh? 

Ryan has worked out an ideal situation for himself through yet another job of sorts- he house sits for friends, and they're letting him build the house on their property- as long as he looks after the land and mows the lawn every so often, he can be there for free. This is a great arrangement- if you have anyone in your life with a large piece of property that likes to travel, I'd highly recommend working out something similar!

trailer A solid start 

Ryan will be checking in with us throughout the process, and will share informative photos and videos of his build on our blog. He's excited to have a winter break from his day jobs coming up soon for a solid couple weeks of building!

In the meantime, check out Ryan's Tiny House Checklist for a great introduction to everything that goes into tiny house building. 

Written by Nara Williams — December 20, 2012

Filed under: 2012   build   Build it yourself   builders   friends   tiny life  

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