Category: Small Space Design

Tiny House Hotel

By , October 20, 2014 4:23 pm

Caravan- The Tiny House Hotel is Portland Oregon’s first hotel that is connected to the city water and power grid, six tiny homes on trailers complete with wheels.

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Owners Kol Peterson and Deb Delman persevered in the red tape to develop a business with 6 tiny magical homes circling around a fire pit and awning. The homes come in a variety of sizes, most common is 8′ 1/2 ” wide x 13′ 1/2″ high and one was up to 20′ in length.

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On weekends before their guests check in they have an open home tour, complete with builders on hand to answer questions and inspire others to try out the new lifestyle of  living small. Kol also teaches a class about ADU’s, accessory dwelling units. I was impressed with the turn out and a sleep over is a MUST!

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Last year they sponsored a tour along with City of Portland, Metro and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, of ADUs  (Accessory Dwelling Units) in Portland. There were over 800 people, for the second tour they have scheduled two days and 20 ADU’s, so mark your calender May 30 & 31 2015. Check out this space efficient ADU.

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Here are some of the interior spaces complete with mini kitchens and ladders to the loft.

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Be sure to go to your local bookstore to find books about the movement like, Dee Williams, The BIG Tiny .

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If you are beyond just looking at pretty photos and want to get your hands busy, there is a Tiny House Basics workshop November 1st and 2nd.

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See you in the Spring when my studio will be on the tour!

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What do you call – IT ?

By , March 26, 2014 5:06 pm

PDX Small Homes Go Big -is about how the City of Portland Bureau of Planners and Sustainability and Department of Environmental Quality have put together this great video
explaining ADU’s- or is it Laneway housing or Mother-in-Law studio or Secondary Dwelling or Accessory Dwelling – OR – What do you call it? – watch the video HERE and let me know what you think.

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The growth of these units compromise a quarter of the new single dwelling residence permit applications. Currently there are 800 completed ADU’s in PDX and more on the way. The city has waived development SDF fees until June 1, 2014, often a savings of $11,000 or more.

There is even a ADU Tour in PDX June 1, 2014, no mine Nordic Studio will not be on the tour this year, it is so popular and booked out through Airbnb. If you would like a personal tour just let me know!

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AFTER rear of Sellwood Studio

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Sydney Stylist

By , March 10, 2014 2:53 pm

Across the pond – I discovered Bettina Deda who lives in Sydney Australia and helps space challenged downsizers achieve stylish interiors without breaking a budget.

 

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Her new book Downsizing in Style has a 5 Step Process to make it easy to transform your new home.

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As in Portland Oregon – she saw a major physical change in Australia where the city was going through a transformation and people preferred a urban lifestyle close to amenities and a low maintenance lifestyle. It does not matter what city, country or age- the downsizing trend continues!

Here is her video for de-cluttering:

Her website- is bright and fresh with new ideas. You can also Follow her on Pinterest 

Best of Luck Bettina!

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Vintage Studio Interior

By , February 12, 2014 3:17 pm

Welcome back to the Sellwood Studio Tour- the last post was about building an ADU- now lets go inside -

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BEFORE Garage

 

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AFTER Sellwood Studio

How to design in a smaller space- the essential functions, sleeping, bathing eating and hangin out all all going to happen in 380 sq ft. First goal- jettison the stuff you really do not need. Use furniture that is light weight and moveable and does double duty.

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I wanted to blend my love of vintage (confession – I own 3 vintage refrigerators and 3 vintage Schwinn Bikes) with clean modern lines. Using old barn wood for the shelfs in the kitchen, subway tile is floor to ceiling, plumbing pipes to hold up the butcher block countertop. No need for a range when you can use induction plates just like  restaurants do – instant heat and they are safe, not hot to the touch turning off instantly. A microwave fits into the island, providing more prep area, or spreading out to read the paper. No disposal since there is a worm bin out in the garden. The green auto cabinet from Stars Antiques works as a panty, across from the Ikea PAX closet system.

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The entry has a coat wall rack and bench to sit and store shoes. There is also a place to hang your bike at the front door from the exposed rafters. The large open shower has storage at one end for towels- always go vertical and find storage overhead. Open shelving provides easy access to all those small toiletries items. A stackable washer/dryer is tucked away.

For lighting I like the vintage cage look and white porcelain for the bathroom that I found at                              School House Electric & Supply Co that also has an amazing of vintage furniture.

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Bathroom surface mount comes in exciting colors

 

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Kitchen & Entry Cage comes in a variety of finishes

Rejuvenation Lighting and House Parts  has wonderful exterior lights and is another store for vintage finds.

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Classic & lots of colors available

For more fixtures reminiscent of the industrial age be sure to check out Obsolete.

The ladder to the cozy sleeping loft was build by Ryan who specializes in working with Reclaimed wood, he found the large brackets and handles at Hippo Hardware.

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Here are other places to look for  custom ladder ideas more ideas here.

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When the project was finished anything worth recycling went to the Rebuilding Center- but this also a good place to start! Of course the Habitat for Humanity – Restore  needs left over building materials to help build homes for those in need.

What project are you planning for this Spring? Where do you start? Let’s talk ADU’s.

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Granny knows how to Downsize

By , January 9, 2014 11:50 am

My 95 year old mother in-law lives in a Granny Flat, she came west from cold Ohio to live behind her sons home in warm San Luis Obispo 15 years ago. Evelyn climbs the exterior staircase to her one bedroom 400 sq ft apartment above a garage. I was inspired to build my own studio following my Granny’s pioneering idea. Mother in-law apartments or Granny Flats have been around for years, but no longer just for Granny’s, ADUs ( Accessory Dwelling Units) offer rental income, work studios, and promote community Multi-generational living and increase your homes property value.

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Granny Evelyn with son Damian

Today the modern term is Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).

In the fall of 2012 I went to a day long summit the International Living Future Institute held in Portland Oregon. Build Small LIVE LARGE  brought together architects, developers, builders, remodelers, urban designers, policy makers and real estate professionals to discuss, inspire and share ideas to craft strategies for this growing housing market. Go here to see videos from the summit. This was the first ever summit on space-efficient housing!

Currently the planning bureau and Portland City Council have waived Systems Development Charges on ADUs and they have increased the ADU size limit from 33% to 75% of the primary dwelling or 800 sq ft, whatever is smaller.

Go to this website for a one stop source of information about ADU’s, granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages.

Let me share with you my 380 sq ft Sellwood Studio ADU that I build last year!

First Permits and paperwork- Upfront work but well worth it.

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Now the fun part tearing down the old garage that just was a storage place for junk not a car.

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BEFORE rear of existing garage

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AFTER rear of Sellwood Studio

Emily Refi was the architect that I worked with she now works for Waterleaf Architects.

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Architect Emily Refi at front of Studio-                            complete with red   Vespa scooter!

I like how the Studio is similar in scale to the red cottage in front and that it sits in the middle of my urban garden.

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Red Cottage in front is 900 sq ft

Since the garage was demolished a small garden shed as built with nod to the old garage- the original green door was used.

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View from Studio set in middle of garden

Thanks Granny Evelyn for inspiring me to build a modern flat!  Next time we meet I will take you inside!

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