If you missed part 1, go back and read that one if you want the full suspense effect. We were given three options for floorplans and have to narrow it down to one!
Thank you so much for your votes! Here's the verdict.
A: 38% B: 46% C: 15%
To keep playing the House Hunters game, we have to cross one off the list. The first one we eliminated was... Option C!
We were pretty set on having a lofted bedroom from the beginning, so this may have played a large part. In such a small space, we like that a staircase or ladder leading to another level draws the eyes up. Furthermore, it was really important for us to maximize the main living space and have it feel as open as possible. However, the accessibility factor presented a significant drawback. We ultimately figured we could include a sofabed on the main level to still accommodate everyone. Plus, Airbnb users are generally on the more adventurous side, with the most popular listings including treehouses, castles, yurts, and boats, so a ladder may even be kind of fun. There you have it. C is out.
Now we are left with A or B. Here they are again in case you need a refresher:
Are you ready? *drumroll...*
Woo hoo! Are you excited? Disappointed? Confused?
First I'll tell you why we didn't choose Option B.
It's true. Option B hits more of our wishlist items. It has the staircase, the larger fridge, the pass-through window/bar, and even a generous bathroom. We thought we knew what we wanted. But in fact, a completely different idea opened our eyes to what we really needed (or didn't need, in this case). It's kind of like choosing a husband. (This seems to be common theme in my life, so I wrote more a little more about what I learned at this point in our journey.) Here are a couple of the features we thought we wanted:
Two of the tiny houses we stayed in on our little research trip had a similar "galley" style layout. There was "stuff" on both sides of the house. At 8.5' wide, that just doesn't leave much room in the middle so we were constantly running into each other and had to turn sideways to get around each other (extra difficult/comical with a large baby belly!). In Option B, the wheel wells are built into the kitchen cabinetry and stairway, so some of the storage space would be eaten up. If we were still to do the pass-through window beyond the kitchen counter, we could lose cabinet space above as well.
Now, Option A presents ideas we just hadn't thought of on our own. I was completely impressed with the wheel well solution involving the step down to the bathroom. We could still have clearance in the shower and as much headspace as possible in the loft. Plus, we gained storage in the floor of main living space where the ceiling will still be quite high. This could be used for extra folding seating, extra linens, etc. I also loved the idea of having a "walk-in closet" in the bathroom. I had never seen that in a tiny house before; most hanging space seems to be more of an afterthought. This will also be the perfect place to store luggage, which was another big lack in our tiny house tour. For the ladder, we discussed adding handrails that extend beyond towards the ceiling to make it easier to use, especially when climbing down.
Now for the fridge. I know it seems like a major sacrifice to not have a full fridge, so this made me think hard about how I use one. I managed to share a fridge with multiple roommates for years and still cooked all the time. Now that I've actually adopted the habit of meal planning for the past year or so, our fridge is rarely fully utilized; I actually use everything up every week. Short-term guests definitely wouldn't need a full fridge. That said, I will still keep my eye open for an under-the-counter option that includes a separate freezer though. Ice is very important in Arizona. I mean come on. Cocktails.
Another favorite feature of mine is the slide-out peninsula. I love this idea. I get my L-shaped kitchen when I need it, and put it away when I don't. It's a dining table. It's a desk. It's a bar. It's multi-functional at its finest. Another multi-functional piece? The couch. Rather than a built-in storage bench, we hope to utilize the same type of sofabed we had in our studio apartment: the Ikea Friheten. It's super comfy, has storage in the chaise lounge, and slides out into a queen-sized bed. This will be perfect for guests who don't want to sleep in the loft, or larger parties and families.
Finally, can we say, WINDOWS? Who doesn't love giant sliding windows? With a deck extending beyond the tiny house theoretically just as wide, this will allow for a continuous indoor/outdoor living space. Who needs a pass through when it can be a walk-through?
If you're into details, here is a list of more little things we discussed to be tweaked.
- Storage for folding stools below or look at wall/closet storage for stools.
- Under Counter Fridge on right to sink and trash/recycle pull out to the left.
- Allow for access below dual cook-top to corner of lower cabinets, consider lazy Susan.
- Upper cabinets over kitchen, window at kitchen sink.
- 3'-0" man door at plan right side for primary access, multi-slide doors at main living open to patio space.
- Storage below raised main living area, multi use to allow for storage of deck pieces.
- Wood flooring at main living and stair treads, LVT/VCT flexible tile material that is water proof at bathroom/closet space.
- Pocketing door at bath/closet.
- Add window at hallway space for more light into bathroom, full height mirror at back wall in alignment with vanity.
- Enlarge bathroom a few inches and flip the shower and toil to allow for shower door swing and knee space to toilet.
- Recess medicine cabinet in framing above vanity sink.
- Electric tankless water heater at corner of closet next to sink.
- Drawers below hanging space at closet.
- Counter with window above and upper cabinet storage at Laundry area.
- Add more windows at loft for bed
- Headboard over bed to be raised per mattress height with shelf for books and power and switches.
There you have it! Option A is in full effect. The next post will include 3-D renderings and Hunter and Damon's ideas for the roof lines and exterior architecture.