Lee and I confessed to each other as we were driving to Vina's that night that we anticipated we'd have some tiny house envy. We’d seen pictures of Vina’s beautiful home, but of course, Vina’s house, like so many other tiny houses, can’t really be captured in photos. The feel of her house is splendid! So cozy, such clean lines, such well-thought-out details. Vina is an architect and her design aesthetic is fabulous! I loved the curve of her spacious desk, the awesome library ladder, and the way the low window in the kitchen makes you feel like you’re cooking al fresco. It was awesome curling up on the comfy bench and falling asleep to the flickering flame of her propane fireplace. (Lee slept up in the loft which has a nest feel with a circular window and an operable skylight!)
There were a few other things Vina did that I was surprised I liked so much. Here are my top three:
A ceiling under the loft. I’m used to seeing exposed joists under a loft which I like because it shows off the structure of the house and gives a sense of spaciousness. I'd always thought that a ceiling would make the space seem too small. So I was impressed by how the clean lines and light color of her kitchen ceiling actually made the space feel larger (of course, at 6'8" Vina's kitchen ceiling is about 5" higher than normal. And somehow the loft feels spacious, too! I'm pretty sure it's Vina magic! That and having the walls tall and the roof pitch a little shallower!)
- A tiled shower. Vina’s lovely tiled shower reminded me that maybe it’s worth considering tile for the Tiny House for Two I’m designing with The Guy Next Door. I used to think tile was a bad idea for tiny houses on the move because of the weight and the cracking potential, but for little houses that don’t move much, I think they can make a lot of sense (especially if they’re small tiles which seem to handle movement a little better). I installed tile in Tandem (under the instruction of a great teacher named Rocky) and it’s held up well.
- A second sink. I also appreciated the handwashing sink in the bathroom. Typically I don’t feel it’s necessary to have two sinks in a tiny house if there are just one or two people, but since Lee and I were staying in Sol Haus and Vina was in and out hanging out with us and getting herself ready in the morning and for bed, it was quite nice to have two sinks. I’m now convinced that if two or more people are sharing a space it’s at least worth considering a second sink.
I feel very, very lucky to have had the opportunity to stay at Sol Haus. If you ever have the chance to tour this little house, please take it!