Monthly Archives: July 2018

Houzz Tour: A Tiny, Joyful, Eco-Friendly Home

Jay Shafer, creator of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, has been building and living in houses smaller than 120 square feet for more than a decade — and his company is encouraging other people to do the same. Men, women, couples, and even a teen in California are buying building plans for inexpensive and energy-efficient houses of their own.

Shafer’s most up-to-date home is just 7′ x 16′. Since he got married and had a child, he and his wife decided to place their two houses near each other, developing a total shared living space of 620 square feet. “I enjoy the comparative liberty a little home affords,” he states. “The more square footage and heating I’m paying for, the more probable it is that I’ll have to do things I do not want to do for cash.”

More: 7 Immediate Backyard Getaways

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

This very small house Shafer just built is called the Gifford, and is the fourth largest tiny house he’s lived in. This home now sits next to his wife’s 500-square-foot home on the same plot of land in Northern California. “I like to call it the bunk house, because we all sleep together there,” he states.

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

The main room of the home accommodates a workplace and living room. A very small fireplace, two comfortable chairs, desk, and a lot of hidden storage occupy this 6′ x 8′ room. Believe it or not, Shafer has managed to get dinner parties for 5 and workshop sessions for 9 here.

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

The sleeping space is nestled into a very small nook up over the great room. The home’s superb insulation helps keep this place warm in winter and cool in the summer.

The size and build of those homes makes them quite energy efficient. None of Shafer’s house layouts have swallowed more than $70 in energy per year in California, and $180 a year in Iowa — a stark comparison for those of us used to paying that much each month.

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

Front door opens into a tiny dining and kitchen room. A sink, prep surface, portable electric range, and small refrigerator are all that is needed. Shafer has been the king of storage solutions through recent years. While distilling his possessions down to the essentials is part of this answer, this residence is also filled with shelves, shelves and cabinets. By way of instance, most of the dishes are saved on a shelf over the sink.

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

The structure is made from fundamental two’ x 4′ framing, with pine paneling interior, cedar siding and metal roof. Absolutely, this small man took about 600 hours to build.

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

Although he’s been building homes for more than a decade, Shafer hasn’t had a formal education in architecture or construction. Mostly he’s learned by doing. His DIY plans encourage people to do the same. “It seems that we need more people making sustainably scaled homes that most folks can manage,” he states.

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

This home is 7′ x 16′, including the porch. “It’s important that each inch is used efficiently in a really small house,” he states. “For my first few months doing this, I spent a great deal of time figuring out what worked and what didn’t, and shifting my home’s design around accordingly.”

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

This little bathroom could be the smallest complete bath on earth. It comprises a sink, bathroom, tub and shower in under 10 square feet.

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

In most of Shafer’s previous tiny homes, he’s been totally off-grid, amassing his own water and generating his own power. However, for this specific home, Shafer has chosen to hook this up to another power supply using an extension cord. Water is gathered from a nearby spigot. “I would do something more elaborate, but my regional building codes and zoning prohibit a structure this little from being permanently connected to utilities.”

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

“It all depends on your perspective,” he states. “In my situation, it makes perfect sense. It allows us to fulfill my wife’s requirements for a larger space, both of our demands for some privacy, and our baby’s needs — without having to buy a larger home.”

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

According to Shafer, these houses are not only energy efficient — they are sturdier and safer. “The very best thing you can do in order to make a construction safer in a fire or an earthquake is to make it little,” he states. “Shorter spaces imply a more expedient escape, and briefer rafter and beam sizes with larger corner-to-wall ratios mean far less damage during an earthquake.”

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

Shafer — revealed here facing another of those Tumbleweed versions — loves his setup, but he admits that it is not for everyone. “I wouldn’t want to live in a 120-square-foot home for a family of 3,” he states. “I know a great deal of folks in this world live in significantly less, but in my situation, the sole very good firm is optional firm.”

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Guest Picks: Favorite Home Fragrances

You can do a lot to create your house look fantastic… but making it smell great can be just as significant. I always get compliments on how our house smells, and that I owe it all to these 20 scents. I like to light distinct candles depending on my mood and the season, and that I have certain go-to reed diffusers that maintain my house smelling its very best. Take a moment to check these out favorites, then let us know your essential home scents in the opinions below. — Bryn from Bryn Alexandra Interiors


Trapp Big Poured Candle No. 14 in Mediterranean heart – $22

This candle brings me back to my school days. I loved it back then, and I still love it just as much today. Maybe that’s why I really like home scents so much… scents evoke so many memories and warm fuzzy feelings.


NEST Fragrances “Bamboo” Reed Diffuser – $34

That I really like this scent so much — it is refreshing, clean smelling and not too overpowering. I use this reed diffuser in our master bedroom and my husband and I really like it!

Gracious Home

Matouk Green Lavendar Candle – $45

This candle is more expensive, but such good quality. It smells when you walk by, even when it isn’t lit. When you light it, the odor travels throughout the whole residence. I like to light it after I clean our house to make things smell very great.


Antica Farmacista Home Fragrance Diffuser in Orange Blossom, Lilac and Jasmine – $62

I maintain this reed diffuser right where you walk in to my property. Virtually everyone that walks in remarks how great our house smells, and that I owe it all for this diffuser. It is a splurge, but it lasts for four months!

Candle Luxurious

Infusion Organique Acai Rain Candle – $38

If you prefer candles that smell a little”spicy,” you will love this candle. It is refreshing, but also smells really unique. It is one of my favorites and it is fantastic for summer time.

Candle Delirium

Delirium Scarlet Grapefruit Candle – $38

This scent is just plain SEXY! It is great to get a lady’s boudoir.

Saks Fifth Avenue

Nest Holiday Candle – $32

I understand — it is manner too premature to be thinking about Christmas, but I couldn’t do an ideabook about home scents without mentioning this particular candle. Here is the best smelling holiday candle I’ve ever smelled. I can’t wait until November when it is okay to break it out!


Blue Garden Classic Candle by Nest Fragrances – $32

This is a sweet, floral scent is good for an candle. I really like that NEST provides a part of its proceeds to Autism Speaks. (I also love the deep navy blue container.)


Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Counter Top Spray, Lemon Verbena – $22.65

You may think it’s strange to have a countertop spray in a house scents round-up, but first and foremost I like my house to smell clean. This really is a great countertop spray to use every night and smells fantastic!

Bath & Body Works

Fresh Bamboo 14.5 ounce. Filled Candle – $19.50

This candle provides you the most bang for your buck. It is very budget-friendly, and smells similar to NEST’s Bamboo collection.

Candle Delirium

Jonathan Adler Earl Grey Pop Candle – $38

You wouldn’t think to get a man a candle, however, both my dad and my brother love this one. They are Earl Grey drinkers, and this candle smells like you just boiled a hot pot of tea.


NEST Moroccan Amber Classic Candle – $32

My all-time favorite candle for autumn. I will not burn it in the summer, however you’ll find me burning it daily in the warmer months. It is sweet, sexy and I’ve had tons of compliments on it when it is lit!

Gianna Rose Atelier

Gianna Rose Atelier Orchid & Honeysuckle Candle – $35

In case you don’t like candles that are too powerful, this scent is right for you. It is also the scent of my favorite soap (from the same manufacturer ). It is beautiful, subtle, clean scent. In addition, I love the gift box that comes in; there are many applications for this!

Candle Luxurious

Sprig Lilac And Ivy Candle – $19.50

I maintain this candle in my office while I work. It is flowery and girly but still refreshing. It is also another budget-friendly option. It is only $20, but also check your local Home Goods for deals — that’s where I found mine!

Paddywax Candle, Olive Tree – $24

A natural option. This candle is perfect for the kitchen and anywhere else you’d prefer a clean odor.

Amber Clove Candle – $28

Another candle that I only burn in the autumn and winter. The scent is sweet but also musky and spicy. I enjoy lighting it in my office when it is cold out.


Capri Blue Mercury Glass Candle – $25

A yummy, refreshing scent in a beautiful glass jar! When the candle is finished, wash the inside out and you’ve got yourself a pretty container.


Antica Farmacista ‘Acqua’ Home Ambiance Perfume – $20

Another one of my favorite reed diffusers. I really like the smaller (and more affordable) size and the Acqua scent for a bathroom.

Candle Delirium

Voluspa French Cade & Lavender Candle – $22

I really like the scent of lavender, possibly because it reminds me of my grandma. However, this fragrance is a freshnew take on on the floral scent.

Candle Delirium

NEST Pink Jasmine Candle – $32

Inspired by my ideabook, NEST candles are my favorite. I’ve at least five distinct aromas — perhaps more! I really like this easy, floral scent for an everyday candle in summer time… in actuality, I’m burning it at this time.

Next: More guest blogger product selections

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