We finally finished it! Out tiny floating home next to our 1,800 square foot floating home and it's SO MUCH FUN! The interior fits a queen bed upstairs. You get to the bed via a wooden ladder that was cut in half and clips to the bed frame. It's removable to allow more space downstairs. Speaking of downstairs, here is a shot of the living room. The back wall shown is covered in broken down wooden pallets. The couch makes into a queen bed should we need more beds. There is a desk area with storage (not shown) and a full kitchen and bathroom with shower, toilet and sink. This was a fun project and I'd do it again. Our guests love sleeping in the tiny house we call "the SHED".
I love architecture. Old, new, strange, fun, sleek or rustic you name it, I love it. So when the opportunity came up to build a tiny house on our deck I thought "why not?". Before I knew it my husband and I were finalizing plans for a 12' x12' all inclusive home we nick-named the "shed". This tiny home will have a kitchen, shower, toilet, closet for clothes, living room and upstairs bed/loft. And, once again, we are using mostly recycled materials we have sourced at the ReBuilding Center, the ReStore and Craigslist. Building this tiny, tiny house (as my daughter calls it) is quick and easy compared to the the whole house remodel we did on the floating home. We are going from zero to completed home with three to four months. More photos to follow as we get closer to the finish line.
A floating home allow much opportunity for gardening. While I love the fact that I never have to mow a lawn, I do miss my flowers. I had a wide open space at the back of my house to do some container gardening, but I wanted to get as many flowers in the small space as possible. Solution: go vertical. I could add flowers and vines to create quite a bit of color. I looked into all the commercial trellis's you see at the major gardening centers... they are expensive and they would eventually be covered up by vines and flowers. Also, they aren't in keeping with our home theme which is to reuse old materials wherever possible. So I started thinking about using other items that would let a vine climb up a wall. Why did I need to spend a couple of hundred dollars on something when I could run down to the ReBuilding Center and pick up something like a old fence or part of a bannister and use that? So off my husband and I went to see what we could find. We ended up with an old bed frame for $5.00! Perfect! We painted it the color of the deck, put an old wooden box at the bottom and filled it with flowers and vines. The result is what you see here. The vines have already started to climb and the frame is working perfectly. The box cost $12.00 at an estate sale. I love it and my neighbors don't have anything that looks the same. What do you think?
It's been a while since I have been able to post...I have a toddler. Enough said. Between that, my design business and my Etsy store I am busy! Oh, and let's not forget the renovation of my floating home. How could I forget that? We are finally done with the exterior sans plants and decor (the fun part right?).
If you haven't noticed from previous posts, my home used to be a "boat garage". It's confusing to me that Portlanders think they need to pull their boat in from the rain. Boats are made for water...and it rains in Portland all the time, so you can't really avoid it. But there are tons of these "boat garages" on the water. Ours was clad in aluminum sheathing from the 1940's. Plus it had barn doors on the back which had to be removed. HUGE barn doors. Once that was complete we were able to frame in the barn door area and lay wood sheathing, wrap it in Tyvek and apply the exterior siding and battens. We added some grey paint, a couple of decks and viola! We have what you see now.
After about 6 months of work, we finished the downstairs interior of our floating home. The home used to be an old boat house, basically a garage for a boat. You open up the garage door and drive your boat right in. To convert this floating garage into a home we began by removing the garage door and in it's place, installed a normal wall with windows and a sliding door. But, we had a big hole filled with water in the middle of our home. This was the boat well - where the boat would stay tied-up and out of the weather. To make it a functional floor we had to add logs, then place stringers (which are heavy-duty wooden beams) on top of the logs, then floor joists, insulation (to keep us warm from the water beneath) then plywood and finally, flooring.
This is a picture of some workers installing the stringers. The stringers run the entire width of the house. They float them to the right location and then using ropes and muscle, they slide them across the top of the logs all the way across. Here they are about half-way and notice the guy in the forefront is actually floating on a log to attach a rope on the end of the stringer. The logs are big enough to float with a man but can't support the weight of the house. So large styrofoam blocks are placed under the logs to keep the houses afloat!
And here is the final product! Where there was once a boat well is now a living room! It's just like a normal house except we can jump off the deck to swim or get into our boat any time!
My friend Michelle owns a wholesale flower shop, Weber's Wholesale Market (weberswholesale.com) where she sells beautiful flowers and some jewelry to the trade. Recently she asked if I'd like to sell my jewelry at her shop and of course I jumped at the idea! But how was I going to showcase my product? I looked at all the usual, boring jewelry displays and decided to come up with something of my own. My husband and I trekked off to the ReBuilding Center with baby in tow. We happened upon an old medicine cabinet that used to have a mirror in it and was made from 80's style oak. It was $5. Perfect! We took it home and started dissecting it. Out came the mirror which has since been replaced with acrylic. The body has been painted my favorite colors, electric blue with metallic copper highlights. I repurposed an old belt-cut it apart and screwed it into the top for a handle and lined the bottom of the inside with foam liner from a craft store. Now I have a beautiful display case for my custom jewelry all for under $15!
One of the places we like to go to find materials for our home is The ReBuilding center (rebuildingcenter.org) located here in Portland. People donate new and used construction materials for a tax write off. In turn the ReBuilding does community outreach enhancing neighborhoods and the lives of the people who live in them. It takes some searching but you can find wonderful deals there. Our latest addition was enough custom Ann Saks tile valued at approximately $1,400. We paid under $20 for hand thrown, relief, mid-century style tile! Yeeeowza!! Take a look!
I love vintage trailers of all sorts from Airstreams to Canned Hams. Their vintage styling is appealing but it is also fun to completely make them over. The above canned ham had an old, useless interior that my husband and I renovated into a new version with a nod to the old style. New laminate cabinets, walls and flooring made the interior clean and functional. The old upper cabinets were repainted to clean them up while leaving some of the nostalgia from the old camper.
Well, it's been a while since I have been able to write on my blog! I have been busy designing a new person!!! On October 31st my husband and I welcomed our first child, Sierra Bahama into the world! What a joy!!! She is a lot of work but of course we think she is the cutest thing ever! Now that we have gotten to know her a little better I will be able to work on my jewelry and blog about the design projects I work on and love. Here's to a wonderful new year!!!
In April of 2010 we purchased a boat house for a song. The goal was to convert it to a 1,700 square foot home with a small budget and recycled products. So far, so good. The windows are all from architectural salvage centers along with a lot of the wood. It's not complete here but it's well on it's way. Talk about a BIG design project!
So we needed a contemporary looking cabinet for our new downstairs bathroom. Everything we could find was way too expensive for the quality. $2,000 for a single contemporary cabinet is highway robbery. Luckily in Portland we have Habitat for Humanity ReStore where other people's junk can become your treasure. For $25 I picked up this cabinet. It had to be cut down and re-sized. No problem thanks to my handy husband. We added a eco-friendly compressed paper counter and chrome faucet and now it sits proudly in our new bathroom.
This chair was found at a garage sale covered in a horrible pink and blue floral brocade. I talked the owner down to $45 and promptly took it to get reupholstered. In the meantime I researched the the designer. Recently I found out that this is a Ib Kofod-Larsen a Danish designer who made furniture in the 60's for the Swedish market. At the time, his designs were too extreme for Swedish taste. Today his creations are sold at higher and higher prices. Estimated value: $1,400-$1,800!