Miranda Aisling Hynes overcame many challenges during her build, including a nasty spell of pneumonia cased by overexertion. Almost one year later, her hard work has finally paid off! Miranda now has a purple custom Tumbleweed Cypress lovingly named "Aubergine" (meaning: the color of eggplant).
As a passionate artist, Miranda chose to fill her tiny space with handmade items - including pottery, a painted rug, handmade sink and a gorgeous stained glass window!
"There is a portrait, by Andy Newman, of Aubergine hanging inside the Tiny House RV," Miranda explains. "I couldn't resist going meta!"
Interior of "Aubergine" with Miranda's folding dining table
Aubergine is part of Miranda's long-term goal to create a community art hotel. Within the next two years, she hopes to find land in the greater Boston area that can be used for a Tiny House Hotel, where everything from the food to the furniture will be handmade by local artists. Patrons who come and stay at the hotel can buy featured handmade items or take a art class to learn how to make those items for themselves.
Miranda had help building Aubergine from members of her local community, and the constant support of her mother.
"Whenever someone tells me I can only do as much as I do now because of how young I am, I say they should meet my mother!" - Miranda Aisling Hynes
Miranda's mother enjoying the bump out on Miranda's Tiny House RV
Congratulations to Miranda! We will keep updating you on this story as her Tiny House Hotel project comes to fruition.
- Automatic hue lighting. The lights on the exterior and interior automatically turn off when Mario leaves his Tiny House RV and turn on when he approaches.
- Wireless Schlage lock. Mario's front door lock can be disabled wirelessly in case someone needs to get into his tiny when he's not around. It will also notify him if there is a knock at the door when he is away.
"For the people who are hesitant about going tiny: you do not know unless you try it. It could make other parts of your life even bigger!" - Mario
After traveling with his tricked-out tiny for one year, Mario and his girlfriend, Ciarra, became engaged. Together they plan to build another Tiny House RV - slightly larger than Mario's original - that will suit both of their needs and personalities.
Mario and Ciarra's future tiny will be 26 feet long, which is six feet longer than Mario's current tiny. It will also be built on gooseneck trailer. They both still want to have the wireless tech features of Mario's original tiny.
"I'm nervous and excited for the experience." Ciarra says. "The most important thing for me is: I don't need a big space."
Meet Cody and Randi, owners and builders of this gorgeous Tiny House RV nicknamed "Best Little House in Texas." With their tiny dwelling in tow, they are in the midst of a six month road trip across the country. So far they've been traveling for three months, hitting 18 states!
Basing their design off of the Tumbleweed Elm, Cody and Randi built a beautiful custom Tiny House RV with french doors and intricate trim work. They added an extra gable over their front door and sided their tiny abode with painted wood and cedar shingles.
On the interior, Cody and Randi have a full size couch that is swoon-worthy and rare for a tiny house living room. Their loft includes two skylights, which allows natural light to bounce off of their white interior paneling, illuminating their gorgeous living space.
Every element and belonging in Cody and Randi's tiny is a representation of their life together.
The heart and soul of Cody and Randi's design revolves around their idea of "home." Their exposed wood beams, round window trim and reclaimed floor boards are all native to their home state of Texas. They also allocated space in their design for a record player, collection of books and nicknacks collected from their experiences together.
Paint can be toxic, especially in a tiny space. It is very important to choose your paints carefully, otherwise you could be admitting dangerous chemicals into your Tiny House RV. For this article, I interviewed Matthew Connors: tiny house dweller, dad, off-grid homesteader and house painter!
The story of Matthew Connors, non-toxic painter
Matthew Connors owns New Leaf Professional Painting and specializes in non-toxic and earth based paint services. He also lives in a 450 square foot off-grid tiny home with his wife and two kids in New Hampshire.
Matthew's decision to turn over a new leaf in the painting world was made when his daughter ran to hug him one day after work.
"I urged (my daughter) to not touch me until I showered and changed my clothes. I realized that was unhealthy for her and myself on many levels." - Matthew
Matthew now only accepts clients who are willing to work with non-toxic paints. He chooses to do this not only for his own health, but also for the health and safety of his family, clients, and for those who come after us. Read on for the full interview.
Why is it important to pay attention to paints?
Matthew: I feel it is important to pay attention to not only paint, but any chemicals and materials. Many modern (I venture to say most) building materials, paints, cleaners etc. contain toxic chemicals. Buildings are closed spaces and we inhale fumes from chemicals as they evaporate, be it paint or household cleaners, or plywood. The smaller the space, the more concentrated the fumes and exposure increases.
The main issue with interior latex paint is not with the paint itself, but with the fumes released by the paint as it is drying and over time. The fumes are made of organic compounds, or VOCs, which are gases like benzene, formaldehyde and toluene. The actual gases depend on the formula of the paint. Generally, the more heavily tinted and glossy the paint, the more VOCs are released.
VOCs, especially formaldehyde, are blamed for causing headaches, nausea, fatigue and irritations of the eyes, nose and throat. The misconception many people have is that once the paint is dried and you can no longer smell it, then the danger is gone, which is false. These chemicals can be released for years, long after the paint is dry, and you will continue to inhale the toxins which have been associated to numerous health issues which include cancer and asthma.
And keep in mind that just because a paint says that it has low or even zero VOC's, that does not mean that it is non-toxic. Not all VOCs are the same. There is a large amount of research and scientific evidence to support the idea that there is a significant distinction, in terms of health impacts, between naturally occurring VOCs such as orange oil, and synthetic VOCs. Even without VOC's many paints still contain harmful biocides and fungicides.
Matthew's 14X16' tiny cabin is painted with non-toxic paints
What should be considered when choosing paint?
Matthew: First and foremost ask yourself: "Why am I painting?" Is it to protect a material such as wood or metal; is it simply to add some color; or is it because we have been told that paint is the best way to finish a house. The products chosen should match the reason for the paint, oil, sealer, etc. Sometimes paint is not necessary at all, or can lead to more problems down the road if not applied correctly.
Matthew's off-grid homestead
What do you usually suggest for interior paint for tiny spaces? Do you have specific brands or labels?
Matthew: I recommend the same types of paint and finishes for all houses, big or small, with the exception of houses on wheels. For portable houses, non-brittle finishes such as washes and oils hold up better to the flex and movement. For all others, my first choice will always be a naturally derived product. I try to avoid latex paints whenever possible as they are, at their core, plastics derived from petroleum, even though they are generally accepted as non-toxic. I'll reiterate that I do not care what isn't in the paint, but rather what is in it.
I look to naturally derived plant and earth based paints first. They tend to vary with ingredients, but typically contain things like flax(linseed) or other plant oils, casein (a milk product), clay (for beautiful colors), lime, flour. These ingredients are ones that we humans can understand, and can even mix ourselves!
Some brands that I trust are: The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co. (they are local to me to boot), Bio-shield, Green Planet Paints, & Unearthed Paints.
* If you would like to book a consultation with Matthew, contact him at New Leaf Painting
As many of you know, I built my own Tiny House RV and I wouldn't have it any other way! Below I've listed 8 reasons you should BUILD OVER BUY. But don't worry, if you aren't up for the construction challenge, click here to read 8 reasons you should BUY OVER BUILD.
8 reasons to BUILD INSTEAD OF BUY:
1). You have construction experience
No brainer. If you know your way around the tool shed, building your own Tiny House RV should be relatively easy. For an expert builder, we advise that a build will take 400-600 work hours.
You can also take a workshop to learn the skills to build your own tiny. I took one prior to building my tiny, and now I teach them!
2). You have a great build location
The ideal build site is covered, with ample storage for materials and access to electricity for power tools. If you have the perfect build location, give yourself a pat on the back! You will be the envy of many tiny enthusiasts.
3). You have a budget & savings
One of the biggest hurdles for any tiny house enthusiast is creating a realistic budget. How you will pay for the materials, tools, etc? Financing is not usually an option for DIY Tiny House RV builds, so you may need to get creative. For example, you can save money by gathering reclaimed/free items. For a breakdown of my DIY Tiny House RV costs and materials, click here.
If you already have a budget and enough savings to build, what are you waiting for?? Go for it!
4). You have a support team
I had a bunch of volunteers help on my Tiny House RV. So if you have a support team, for physical labor and mental inspiration, it might be enough to get you through the challenge.
5). You want the knowledge
I love the fact that I built my own Tiny House RV. I know it isn't perfect, but I've also learned to love my tiny's faults. Has it always been your goal to build something yourself? A Tiny House RV is the perfect project for you!
6). You want to save money on labor
Arguably the most important reason to build your own Tiny House RV - to save money! Labor can cost almost (if not more) than materials. If you do the work yourself, you can save BIG on the overall cost.
7). You don't care about being RVIA certified
It is not possible to be RVIA certified as a DIY builder (only a manufacturer, like Tumbleweed, can get this certification). If this certification doesn't matter to you, then perhaps building your tiny is the better choice.
8). You want to fulfill your dream
If it has been your dream to build a Tiny House RV for many years, and you are determined, don't let anything (including the above) stand in your way!