tiny house

Photo: Lincoln Barbour

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The Transformation

Given its small footprint, Helgerson redesigned the interior of Tiny House for maximum efficiency, creating one open-plan room that comprises the dining room, living room and kitchen. This room also contains built-in sofas that double as twin beds for guests, and hidden storage underneath provides an ideal place for children’s toys. The ceiling of the main living area was opened up to give a feeling of space, but lowered over the bathroom and bedroom to make a lofted sleeping area for adults accessed via a walnut ladder. A wall of shelving provides plenty of room for books and large, low-set windows bring ample light into the interior.

The family spent four years living in the cottage. Raising chickens, turkeys and bees, they have worked towards self-sufficiency, with nearly everything they eat grown at home. A 1,200-square-foot greenhouse on the site houses vegetable gardens and fruit trees, and they’re even able to make cheese from a neighbour’s goats and cows. They now live in a larger house on the same property, making the cottage the perfect place for relatives and friends to stay.

Above: One addition to the 1940s Tiny House was a green roof, which was planted with moss and ferns gathered from the Columbia River gorge. Tall, high-efficiency windows come right down to sofa level, letting in maximum light.