A Tiny House Remodel by JHID

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February 27, 2012
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A Tiny House Remodel by JHID

This little, 540 square-foot cottage manages to house a family of four quite comfortably and with welcoming and cozy personality to book. This airy Portland home belongs to Jessica of Jessica Helgerson Interior Design, who redesigned the interior to maximize storage and living space.

She remodeled the space using almost all reclaimed materials, recycling the home for the fourth time since its construction. Situated on a five-acre property on Sauvie Island (an agricultural island on the Columbia River just north of Portland), the Tiny House carries a lot of history. Built in the early 1940s as part of Vanport Village—a hastily built development to house shipyard workers—the home floated down the river to Sauvie Island when the village flooded eight years after its inception. There it became the goose-check station, and years later it was remodeled as a rental house.

Design, JHID, interior
Design, JHID, interior

When Jessica and Yianni purchased the property 2008, they set out to remodel without adding to the home's footprint. To increase the space efficiency they chose to house the kitchen, dining room and living room—with large built-in sofas that double as twin guest beds—as one large great room, taking up the bulk of the house. They opened the ceiling in the main living space to open a lofted master bedroom. The couches contain sliding drawers for extra storage, and the children’s room has two bunk beds as well as a full bed for guests. A pull-out closet and desk make use of thin spac teucked next to the beds.

Design, JHID, interior
Design, JHID, interior
Design, JHID, interior
Design, JHID, interior
Design, JHID, interior

Some of the reclaimed details: walls faced in reclaimed wood siding—most of which was found on site in one of the barns, the dining table was made from locally salvaged walnut, the range is a vintage Craigslist find, and the tub was a salvaged from a friend’s demolition site. Their small wood-burning stove quickly and efficiently heats the small house.

They also needed to replace a worn out roof, and, instead of traditional shingles, they decided to install a green roof. They collected ferns and moss to plant on the roof, which offers insulation and adds a playful / magical detail to the traditional white cottage.

Design, JHID, interior
Design, JHID, interior

It really disguises its compact size with light, welcoming and open space and decor. I would love to spend a weekend there, and apparently tight quarters have not dissuaded any of the couple's friends and family, as the home is often filled with those visiting Portland eager to enjoy a day in the countryside.

They have also been working toward food self-sufficiency, erecting a green house and planting vegetable gardens, rows of berries, and fruit trees. They are also raising chickens for meat and eggs, keeping bees, and making cheese from the milk of a neighbor’s goats and cows.

Design, JHID, interior
Design, JHID, interior
Design, JHID, interior

Could you live in a place this compact? Perhaps the decor would help ease the tension tight spaces can bring?

Some other hand-picked posts you might enjoy on our Design Blog:

The Surf Shack: A Modern Beach Retreat from an Old Shipping Container
A 1972 Airstream Gets a Modern Makeover from Hofmann Architecture
Shipping Container Office and Guest Bedroom in an Industrial Loft

Jessica Patterson

Jessica Patterson

Hi, I'm Jessica. I'm a Designer and Writer at Drawbackwards and write for the Design Blog at Design.org. I enjoy vintage things, letterpress, publication design, and long walks around the Cesar Chavez Park pond. You can follow me on twitter at @jessdoodled for lots of fun randomness.

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Designer: Technical Products / Carlsbad, CA

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