Spring has arrived early this year in the Pacific Northwest and we're already having days that are warm enough that My New & Improved Chiller can't quite hack it! Meanwhile, I'm headed to DC tomorrow to teach a Tiny House 101 Workshop with the Tiny House Collaborative this weekend and then on down to Asheville for the Tiny House Conference. So I figured I'd better get The Lucky Penny ready for my landie Jake who is going to house and cat sit for me while I'm away.
Part of my design for The Lucky Penny was to have room for a My Fridge-Only Mini Fridge and my separate Mini Chest Freezer so that I'd have lots of capacity to prepare food and freeze homemade leftovers. The freezer also doubled as a step up to my lofted Pull-Out Bed. The mini fridge tucks under the counter in the warm months and stores in The Big House basement during the cool months when I need a heater but not refrigeration. (That's when I rely on My New & Improved Chiller.) This set up has worked pretty well for me for the past year.
However, now that I'll be building a new tiny house with my partner (check out A Tiny Announcement from Lina & Isha for more on that!), I'm starting to think ahead to how I can prepare my little house to be a short-term rental. That way other people can enjoy a stay in The Lucky Penny and try on tiny for themselves! I figure people who are staying for a short visit won't get much use out of a chest freezer and they may find it inconvenient to step outside during the cooler months to access things in the chiller. Additionally, the thing my house has missed ever since I jettisoned it in favor of My Fabulous Tansu storage unit, is a comfy sitting spot on the first floor. I haven't minded much because I like perching on my window seat, but when visitors come round (and especially if they're not spry enough to clamber up to my lofted sitting spot), they tend to just stand around.
So this past weekend, along with working on Garden Beds & Graywater, I did a tiny remodeling project to replace My Fridge-Only Mini Fridge with a mini fridge-freezer combo and replace My Mini Chest Freezer with a comfy chair.
My friend and tiny house dweller Anita of Lilypad Planet passed on the mini fridge with separate freezer she was no longer using. (It turns out those of us who eat whole foods need plenty of storage space for them, so she upgraded to an apartment-sized fridge with freezer.) Unfortunately, since I raised my kitchen floors, the new fridge/freezer combo didn't quite fit inside the space under my counters. So instead of just swapping it out, I had to do some remodeling. I removed the countertop, which also involved removing the sink and faucet. I figured while I was at it I might as well add a ball valve for the shower, too. Then I cut back the 3/4" plywood underneath my wooden counter so that the new fridge with freezer would fit. I double checked all my measurements, got out the circular saw, and went for it. Fortunately, it works splendidly!
Meanwhile, I'd been eating up frozen foods over the past couple weeks so that I could stuff what was left into my now teeny (but actually functional, thank you!) freezer. Tony and Isha helped me move the chest freezer down to The Big House basement where it can be shared by the community. And I replaced it with a comfy chair!
Now that everything has been put back together, I just need to reinstall the trim piece at the front of the countertop, caulk that seam and the sink, and find risers for my chair legs so that it's not such a big hop up to the bed. The cat food cans are just the right height so they were a good improvisation, but I'm sure I can come up with something better!
I sat in my new chair for a bit yesterday while working on our Tiny House Timeline and enjoying the rain and the new perspective. I'm quite pleased with the remodel and I think other folks will enjoy it, too!