Can you be claustrophobic and live in a tiny house? The answer to that is apparently yes, but it helps if you are a do-it-yourselfer who knows what she needs to beat that closed-in feeling.
It should be first said that this tiny house is packed full of ingenious space-saving devices that will make anyone feel right at home. As well it might: Jessica Lorraine Smith, one of the owners, admits that she's claustrophobic in a Tiny House Listings video.
It has an external door that opens, exclusively, to a kitty litter box, so that you never have to deal with that mess or the smell from the inside of the house. (From the inside, the homeowners call it the cat mansion.) It has a fireman's sliding pole, which means a quick drop from the kids' bedroom loft, but ask yourself how much space is saved using a thin, galvanized pole rather than a staircase?
With all the space saved, this tiny house has an extra large kitchen and an extra roomy bathroom, two spaces where tiny house owners tend to squeeze for every spare inch they can find. But remember, we're trying to beat claustrophobia and still live tiny. Let's tour this wonder and see how the homeowners from Ripon, Wisconsin, got that done when building a home they call the Mustard Seed Tiny House, now available for purchase.
Lots of windows and big, glass-filled doors help beat that closed-in feeling. The porthole window is a large 24 inches, while the doors, near the center of the home, are situated for maximum impact regarding light streaming in. They also open to the outside: See the hinges? That means they don't impede on any space inside the home.
This patio is not only attractive but is also the ultimate antidote to claustrophobia.
You might assume this kitchen was in a spacious home — not exactly a McMansion, but a fairly normal home. In fact, the homeowner Smith is frequently told this is a waste of space, considering it is a tiny house. But it works for her family, she says.
This view, from further back, shows the storage unit stairs leading up to the master bedroom. Notice the galvanized pipe used as a banister. This ingenious idea has many advantages. It is cheap, strong and easy to assemble. But here's another advantage of galvanized pipe: It is so thin it is nearly invisible, which gives a more spacious feel to the entire area.
Here's a view from the bedroom loft.
This view is, essentially, looking directly in from the front doors. The thing to notice is the ceiling. Made of recycled barn beams, it rises sharply toward the back of the room, dramatically increasing the height of the ceiling.
Here are are the paths up and down for the kids' split-loft bedroom. The ladder takes them up, and the fireman's pole takes them down.
Above is the reverse look at the downstairs area. You can see the amazing amount of light that is pouring into this house. You can also see the split bedroom loft, used by two kids, a teenage boy and a younger daughter.
Below is a photo of the master bedroom, which is accessible through the stairs by the kitchen.
Underneath the kids' loft is this spacious bathroom, replete with the galvanized metal motif.
The glass siding of the shower gives the room a larger feel to it, since you can see right through to the corner, and helps someone taking a shower feel less closed-in, as well. (The door to the cat mansion is on the lower right in this photo, held open at the moment the shot was taken.)
Here's the view from the back of the house. That small hatch on the left is the door to the cat's litter box. The kids' loft above that juts out, which gives them a lot more space. In the center of the roof line, you can also see the extra space above the larger window. In addition, if you look closely at the roof, you can see a thin slice of the skylight above the bedrooms on the left. Skylights, of course, are a major help for not feeling closed in.