Tiny People, Tiny Home

When we met, we were in a foreign tropical island sharing stories of our separate lives. In our beach dates, we would often daydream about building tiny homes – him in Bali while I, in El Nido. As the beach dates became constant, the separate ideas conglomerated into a shared tiny shipping container home on a rented land somewhere in Bali or in the Philippines. We started talking about and planning on having a year or two of downtime when we would stop moving around for a bit, stay in one place and build a home together, and do the projects we always wanted to do but never had the time and place for.

Fast forward to a year later, work and life situations dramatically changed and we had to drop the container home plan until further notice. Instead of the tropics, I found myself flying Down Under in the start of winter. When I arrived, we were house-sharing with another couple in a modern suburban home in Western Australia. Nothing like what we had in mind months ago.

A few weeks after moving in, in the middle of settling, our couple friend decided to quit their jobs and travel the world for the next 6 months. Since we could not afford to maintain the place (which was also huge for just the two of us), we started looking for a tinier and most importantly, cheaper place to rent.

In an amazing stroke of luck, we found a granny flat online that looked a lot like the shipping container home we imagined. A few days later after making necessary arrangements, we met up with a nice eccentric older man (who reminded us a lot of Woody Allen) who gave us a quick tour of the house. When I say quick, it was really quick. He told us to  shoot him a message once we have decided. We were already in love with the idea of the house before we even saw it so it did not take a lot of time to think about it. The next day, we made an offer and the rest is history.

Apparently, the guy who showed us the house turned out to be the owner of the property and the company that built the house. His business started off building custom yachts and boats which has now expanded to building homes. Our home now is actually a sample and display unit of their middle market product. We’re basically living in a Vikal modular home and it’s pretty awesome! You have to check out the luxury house they built; it’s amazing.

The tiny home measures 11 meters by 4.3 meters which totals to about 54 square meters (about 582 square feet). It is entirely constructed from Structural Insulate Panels (SIPS) which consist of Styrofoam sandwiched between two layers of OSB (oriented strand board) timber. SIPS are used for all floors, walls and roofs, making the house very environmentally friendly and at the same time well insulated. The entire structure was built in Vikal’s manufacturing facility in Bibra Lake, Western Australia, completed entirely within their large covered factory and was transported to the site using a specialist low-loader truck.

This is the perfect house at this period of our lives as we can study and learn from how it was built (as reference later when we build our own – especially with regards to water piping/electrical lining/etc.).

We are still in the process of furnishing our new home with the goal of furnishing it the cheapest way possible. We will be documenting that process and other projects alongside our travel adventures in this blog.

Finally, here is a tour of our home:

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This is the patio that leads from the driveway. From the paved driveway going to the patio is quite a large chunk of land that we are planning to develop into a tiny bohemian garden.

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The patio overlooks the neighbor’s garden and shed (our home actually belongs in the same patch of land as our neighbor’s).

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The entry way directly leads to the open living room-kitchen area. As you can see, we do not have much yet (and we’re planning to keep it that way). And the two-seater couch we have here, we actually got for free from Gum Tree!

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We put in a small office space for me in the living room, separating the area using a rug.

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The kitchen comes with a built-in oven, exhaust hood, and an induction cooktop. It also has spaces for a fridge, a dishwasher, and a microwave oven (just a couple of the things we lack).

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We swapped a 6-pack beer for our current fridge (thanks again, Gum Tree!). We forgot to check the dimensions and is too wide for the available space. We are on the look out to swap it for something thinner.

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Which leads me to say that we cannot wait to trade the fridge in so we can have more space for our breakfast bar. Our wooden pallet dining table featured here, we made ourselves (click here to see how we did it). The TV came with the house.

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This is the hallway leading to the bathroom and the bedroom. The storage cabinets in this house use space efficiently and make up for good organization.

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The bathroom is the perfect size with a space for a washing machine (but we haven’t got one yet).

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We put in a mini-library in that empty space between the toilet bowl and the shower. We have a new house rule that prohibits phones and gadgets while in the toilet, encouraging to read a book instead. To finish a book in one shitting, if you would like to put it pooetically.

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And this is the bedroom. It’s more than enough space for two tiny people. No decors whatsoever yet.

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And this is us with Freddy (our neighbor’s dog who hangs with us all the time) enjoying our DIY fire pit. This area is our future garden – this is right in front of the driveway.

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