Water and electric and a place to drain the septic /
Any KOA is A-OK as long as I’m with you /
So come on hitch your wagon /
To the living room I’m draggin’… /
And so sings Kacey Musgraves in her 2013 song ‘My House.’ Now many of us have called lots of different places “home” through the years. From mom and dad’s place to dorm rooms to apartments shared with near-strangers to townhouses to McMansions and back to tiny houses. It’s small and manageable, it is virtually rent-free, it’s portable, and for many, it is home. It truly is the “living room I’m draggin”.
While every tiny houser has their perfect version of a tiny house, some are more drafty than others. Some have risky lofts. Some sport spacious soaking tubs while others barely squeeze in a shower stall. Whatever the case, they all share one thing. They are “home”. They have everything we need and nothing we don’t. One thing rings especially true of every home on wheels, they are as unique as the person who lives in them. Customization is key as you consider fulltime life in your mobile structure. You want to turn your house into a thriving home.
Sometimes that transformation requires gutting the home, be it van, camper, tiny house on wheels, cabin, boat, etc. Gutting and then salvaging is not, should not be, the sledgehammer violence that television shows portray. A lot of time gutting can mean leaving the kitchen cabinets or leaving the bed structure, etc. From that point you give yourself a little bit more of an empty space to deal with. You can see what will work and what won’t; what you need and what you don’t. A number of tiny housers rethink their storage needs right away as well as the role the living room will play in their life.
Another popular “house to home” customization is in the lighting. Gone are the days when you would just plug a lamp in for a little more task lighting. With the availability of LEDs, lights can come in sticker strips, tack on pucks, bulbs themselves, and more. But lighting that is more specific to your use of your home is key to the transition.
Lately images have surfaced online of bold tiny house exteriors and custom graphics on mobile structures. Between vinyl decals, paint dynamics, and interesting uses of mixed materials, tiny houses have gotten quite custom and quite interesting. Two examples that immediately stick out is the Sisters tiny house built by Wood Iron Tiny Homes and the custom camper build by MiniMotives.
Even beyond the structural work and the storage units and the clever cabinetry, what really make a tiny house a home are the personal touches. These touches include curtains, plants, furniture choices, wall colors…you name it. A great example of this is the interior of the Entertaining Abode lived in by Tiny House Basics. From lighting fixtures to artwork to a vintage cactus print wallpaper, the Engbergs have customized their tiny house to be everything they want in a home!
Perhaps the most important things in a tiny house are the things gathered along the way though. This might include a sand sample from the shores of the Chesapeake Bay or a rock from Elephant Rocks State Park. Maybe it is a postcard from Coney Island or a throw pillow from Santa Fe. Whatever the case, it is a personal touch that makes your house a home. It is just a small part of everything you need and nothing you don’t. It gives life to the place you call home in between the adventures you are now living!
What adventures have you been on lately? Does one include customizing or retro-fitting your mobile structure? Share your story with us in the comments below or tag us (@TryItTiny) on Instagram with a picture that answers the question.