I chose to order my Tumbleweed Tiny House, Cypress 20′ model from the good folks at Tumbleweed Tiny House in Colorado Springs, CO. I had been thinking tiny for the past 6 years or so (yes, long before it became a thing!) I continued my research, and I took a 2 day workshop offered by Tumbleweed. After those two full days of every detail you can imagine, along with pros and cons to consider, I came out of the workshop with a pretty firm idea that I would go with a 20 ft. trailer which is possible to haul with a 3/4 ton pickup. Anything bigger would require a commercial vehicle just to haul the house. The other thing I realized as I walked away from the workshop, was that there was no way I was going to attempt this. I would order the thing from people who know what they are doing, and they’ve been doing it for awhile–1999 in fact.
On one of my summer drives across country to Oregon, I chose to specifically stop in Colorado Springs to meet the folks at The Shed Yard, and possibly see their building facilities. It turns out, the Tumbleweed, which was primarily headquartered in Sonoma, CA, had approached the folks at The Shed Yard about building their Tumbleweed Tiny Houses. Fast forward a few years down the road, and The Shed Yard no longer makes sheds. They are now dedicated solely to making Tumbleweed Tiny Houses. The original builders were family members with Amish roots and traditions. They pride themselves on quality materials and quality building. On that trip, I stopped by the factory and met several of the guys, and had a look inside their shop. My next stop: Sonoma, CA. I was greeted by one of the people who conducted my workshop in Nashville, and he gave me a tour around the grounds where there just happened to be three tiny houses parked at that time. I had pretty much decided on Tumbleweed, but I hadn’t nailed down a design or floor plan yet. It helped a great deal to walk into an actual tiny house.
One thing that particularly appealed to me was the natural wood. I know a lot of people go for the cute designs, colors and re-purposed items to make their surroundings unique. I’m much more basic and simple in my tastes. I really like natural wood. I think it’s almost a sin to paint beautiful wood! So, my design was meant to be functional, and simple. I have knotty pine throughout the house- walls and ceiling, stairs and ladder. I chose a spiced bamboo floor, and my counter tops are butcher block. The outside of my house is cedar shake. All the wood is left natural, but has been sealed. So if you ever had occasion to vacation in a wood cabin, this is what my house feels and smells like. Perfect for me!
This is the space I saw when I first opened the front door. For some reason, I remembered something that appeared wider when I walked into another tiny house. I am sure that it was the same, however. In that model, the door was between where those two windows are. I think walking into the space from that viewpoint made it appear different, than my view, walking in from the side. On an upside, I ended up with a full size door. The Cypress model would usually come with a much smaller, custom door. Personally, I think that would be a challenge if you ever wanted to move in a piece of furniture, or God forbid, replace the refrigerator!
I am delighted with the spice bamboo floor. It is a nice compliment for the wood. When I was much younger, I lived for a brief time in a loft apartment. The loft was accessible by a ladder. Having that experience as a young person, I knew that as a 60 year old, I wasn’t going to being going up and down a ladder. These stairs also provide storage. The bottom three are drawers, and the rest toward the top are cubbies, with one just being for looks. I lost one step to the closet space below the steps.
I was initially disappointed with the closet. I was expecting a real closet, with a significant door. What I have is more like a storage area with a cabinet style closure. My original plan included the door swinging out toward the great room, and a custom spice rack built inside the closet. That would make it easily accessible to the cooking area. Originally, the Cypress comes with a built in spice rack, but I customized so much, there wasn’t a place to put it. In the end, the closet serves it’s purpose better than I thought it would. I have created other locations for my spices, etc. so all is good.
I like the darker cabinets that I saw in so many of the Tumbleweed tiny house pictures. I chose to keep that theme with the red roof and the red trim and red door. Not the drop leaf table next to the 2 burner induction stove top. That serves as both additional counter top space, but also my eating area. I have two wood stools that situate right up to it. It works out perfect.
The original Cypress plan had the bathroom on the left, and the kitchen on the right. The space at the back is where the kitchen curved around, and there was a lovely window there in that corner. I had the occasion to walk into a model with that exact configuration. I really felt like the space at the back was cramped, and I didn’t like the bathroom door opening into the kitchen space. It just made the space feel cramped. When I shared my concerns with the design team, they came up with the idea of putting the bathroom across the width of the trailer, which is also at the tongue end of the trailer. Add a pocket door instead of a swinging door, and I was much happier. I leave that door open almost all the time, because that is yet more light coming into the house.
I wanted a kitchen cabinet and a shelf above my sink and cooking space. Originally, I thought the shelf would work for the microwave, but apparently, a microwave would be much deeper than the cabinet, and a shelf made to accommodate that item, would stick out and look unsightly. I didn’t want to loose the extra shelf, so I had them build it, and place an AC plug in there, with the idea that it would be a perfect fit for a toaster oven.
One thing I noticed when I opened up the cabinet: there wasn’t a shelve. It was just one big cabinet! I opted for a metal adjustable shelf at the bottom of the cabinet, and I placed some hooks for cups at the top. In the end, this works well, and looks nice. On another note, I was able to put my toaster oven on the shelf, but not until I took the feet off. It had handles that stuck out too far and wouldn’t fit. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
Oh yeah, one more thing about this picture. In the very back on the left hand side on the wall, you see a white thing. That is my heat/cool/dehumidifier unit. It is a strip unit that is attached to the wall, about even with my loft. It has a remote control, and the unit is made by Mitsubishi.
The window you see here is not typical on the Cypress model, but rather, the Elm. I ended up losing the gable roof which is unique to the Cypress (no real loss there to my thinking), and I gained this really cute window. This window, along with the window in my door, are the only windows in my house that do not open. I have 10 more windows that open, along with a skylight that opens. Yes, I like fresh air!
In the foreground of this picture, is a counter top which is opposite of the kitchen sink. Under this countertop, is my water storage and hot water tank. The panel on the wall next to it, is all my electrical. All are easily assessable, and yet, out of sight.
Well, that concludes my tiny house tour. These pictures are the pictures that were sent to me before I ever moved in. I’ll have to take pictures later of my lived in house, showing the extra shelves I added, and storage solutions I came up. Right now, I would want to take pictures to show you. I am not that organized yet!
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