Tiny House Tuesday // A Red Door No More

Tiny House Tuesday

Sometimes things don’t turn out as expected.

One morning on the way to our now second home, Lowes, I asked, “Can we brainstorm some ideas for a tiny house name?” (Here in the South we name everything—RVs, cars, property, and tiny houses. It gives us the opportunity to feel all warm and fuzzy about things that are anything but.) It didn’t take long for Brian to blurt out “Lil’ Red Writing House.” Immediately, I began scanning the Internet to see if the name was available. I wanted to claim it as my own because that’s what only children do. It’s our love language.

The Lil’ Red Writing House was perfect, except for the fact my tiny house would not be red, or even close. I had envisioned a white Folk Victorian with all the fancy trimmings, reminiscent of my great-grandmother’s home. Hers sat on the corner of a Mayberry look-alike street with the town’s country store next door, which worked to my advantage on Thanksgiving afternoons when my cousin and I traded coins for candy.

The name Lil’ Red Writing House could work if I incorporated a red item—sometimes obvious, sometimes not—in every Instagram post. Red plastic tape outlined the dimensions of the house, a red clipboard clamped down design drawings, and a red arrow pointed to the mantle stored in our barn.

In addition to the red snippets of color in the tiny house images, I considered painting the front door red. Surely that would nip the my-tiny-house-will-never-be-red issue in the bud.

 

But there’s something about a front door. It’s the first thing the eye is drawn to when looking at a house, especially a tiny one.

 

And this front door wasn’t just any door. For the sake of energy efficiency, it was one of only three vintage exterior pieces that Brian agreed to install.

Vintage doors sell locally, but during a prior visit to my favorite salvage store in Brevard, NC, we discovered a covered outdoors section full of old doors and windows. We took note of our find. A few months later, we returned to select and fetch our door.

Along one long wall, doors lined up stiff and straight like soldiers. I knew what I wanted in a door, and Brian knew what we needed. Glass and character topped my list. Door width and price topped his. Details, details. Because the space along the front of the tiny house is tight, the chosen door needed to play nice with its only neighbor, a black-paned antique window. From the window’s size, unique design, and well-worn texture, it was obvious that she was accustomed to attention, leaving little room for the practicality of a common door.

The wall offered up a nice assortment—ornate doors, ordinary doors, and even 1960’s doors with the three tiny rectangular peek-out windows arranged like stairsteps. After flipping through dozens of common-colored doors, a barn-red “soldier” stood to attention. Her size was spot-on, the price was better than expected, and the top-half, divided into four glass panes, paid homage to the past.

We loaded our find in the van and headed home down the windy mountain roads. Oblivious of the amount of time it takes to build a tiny house, I assumed the door might spend a month or two in the barn—not the time required to bring life into the world.

In the weeks that followed our trip to Brevard, one truth became apparent. The door felt like home, but the color choice felt forced. Though a catchy name, Lil’ Red Writing House never captured my heart. It’s not that I have anything against the color red. I love the color red in ripe cherries, rubies, and red velvet cake, but not so much on the vintage door I planned to enter every morning.

 

When I walk up the hill, unlatch the iron gate, and step onto the front porch, I want to see a color that not only catches my heart but also makes it downright giddy.

 

From past experience, I knew this color to be chartreuse. I’d chosen it for the back door of our former century-old home. Without fail, this whimsical color made me smile, even on the grayest of days. If I still wore my mood ring from the 70s, it would morph into pink at the sight.

Months after our trip to Brevard, the day finally came to rescue the red-door-no-more from the barn. A forecast predicting several inches of snow encouraged us to build the frame indoors. New doors come with their own frame, but the oldies don’t. In this moment, Brian second-guessed our decision to go vintage.

A kit from our local building supply store helped, but like most vintage finds, the door was quirky. Both the locking mechanism and hinges were topsy-turvy. Brian removed and adjusted the hardware so the door would swing inward from the left, opening up to the main space of the tiny house.

The following weekend, we took the red-door-no-more off the hinges and hauled her down the hill. She had an appointment with Sherwin William’s Frolic SW 6703. With one dip, the paintbrush took on the appearance of a lemon-lime Popsicle. Slow and steady, every crack and crevice filled until she became what she was meant to be—a vintage-chartreuse-half-glass-chock-full-of-character front door for the Tiny House on the Hill.

Giddy up!

 

Tiny House Door Color

Alas, she only wears one coat of paint, but soon there will be two.

 

Have I told you lately how much I love having you along on this journey?

 

 

Tiny House Tuesday // Goodbye Exterior, Hello Interior!

He tried to warn me.

Over a year ago, while stringing stakes and leveling blocks, Brian dropped this little love bomb:

You won’t believe how many things we’ll need to do before this tiny house is finished. It’s going to be a long process, possibly a year.

Bless his heart, he didn’t know how quickly southern girls could make things happen when they put their mind to it. Turns out, however, it wasn’t his heart in need of blessing.

The term “weekend warriors” should’ve given me a hint as to what the future held. Who knew it was code for slow and steady, with emphasis on slow? Apparently, Brian did. We entered the “over one-year” threshold in March.

After we finish up the exterior in April, we finally move indoors, where weather won’t determine our progress⏤but I’m not asking for Brian’s opinion. This heart can only take so many blessings.

 

Tiny siding

 

After debating the choice of siding for several weeks, Brian landed on Hardi Board. We considered less expensive options, but we kept hearing great things about the product. It stands up well against bugs (a biggie for me – have you seen country creepers?), mildew (eww), and wind, which is a frequent visitor up here.

The gold-ish color above is the plank treatment, but after a few buckets of paint, she’ll be bright as snow, like the front porch below.

Soon, I’ll gussy up the front door with slaps of chartreuse, a color that’s sure to pop. And lastly, the porch will welcome a vintage metal chair in the same color, so as not to be out-popped.

{Subscribers! You’ll be the first to see the gussied up door in May’s Monthly Letter.}

 

Tiny Porch

 

Goodbye

foundation, siding, and roof. You taught us lessons we won’t soon forget. Few were fun, but they were necessary.

 

Hello

shiplap, vintage mantle, eight-foot-wide views, and cozy reading nook. I’ve patiently waited two winters, two springs, and one summer to spend time with you. I have a feeling we’ll become fast friends. Hint, hint.

 

Our Heavenly Father has provided many delightful inns for us along our journey, but he takes great care to see that we do not mistake any of them for home. C.S. Lewis

 

So, what color would you choose to paint the front door of this *tiny* delightful inn? 

 

As always, thank you for joining the journey!

 

Tiny House Tuesday // Building an Ark

I love the idea of having a house by the lake⏤just not a tiny house.

When we chose the place where she’d perch, we took a lot into consideration⏤which direction to face, what views not to block, and how to prevent our galvanized roof from blinding our only neighbor. One thing we did not take into consideration, however, was the direction of the river that flows down the mountain behind us, over a berm, and directly by the tiny house.

Once the house is finished we’ll find a way to re-route the river in order to make way for the cottage garden that will include old-timey plants and an iron gate, Lord willing. But before I get too ahead of myself…

Our winter plan included finishing out the exterior by installing the soffits, corner trim, siding, and painting the front door. Brian managed to squeak in soffits and trim despite the downpours, but without a decent stretch of sunshine, the Tyvek continues to show and my front door still stands well-worn red.

Yet all is not lost. Inside the tiny house, wiring for electricity and insulation have begun and once the exterior is finished, we’ll move indoors full-time. Now that it’s lighter longer at day’s end, we’ll extend our weekend warriorship to an occasional weeknight.

Although the Ark-worthy rain has tested every ounce of our patience, it’s also set a simple but significant truth before us and that is the weather is completely out of our control.

 

And this realization prepares the knee to bow to God’s sovereignty.

 

Because here’s the thing. He knows the excitement that rumbles through my heart like a freight train at the thought of using this tiny place for His grand glory. Either I trust His timing or I don’t.

Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 NIV

And I do.

Dot Divider

So, this is usually the spot where I share the latest picture of our progress, but without any noticeable changes in the past several weeks, serious consideration was necessary for choosing a *tiny* picture for today’s post.

Okay, maybe not too serious.

Insulation Day

Insulation Man

Oompa Loompa Doompa Dee Do…

Gotta love a man who dresses up Willy Wonka style to prevent bringing the insulation fibers into the house. Thanks, babe.

 

I realize that trusting God in the timing of a tiny house build is a small act of faith compared to what you might be facing today. If so, I welcome the opportunity to pray for you. Simply leave your request in the comment section below (so others can also pray for you), or feel free to email me confidentially using the envelope icon on the home page.

Thank you for sharing a few minutes of your day with me⏤it’s an honor.

 

  • Did you miss last month’s Tiny House Tuesday // A Tale of Two Gothic Windows? Check it out here.
  • Subscribers! Don’t forget to print out your spring/scripture inspired tags created just for you. It’s included in the March Monthly Letter from the Tiny House on the Hill.

 

 

Tiny House Tuesday // A Tale of Two Gothic Windows

At least that’s how the story began.

Last April, before May floods meandered their way over the Swannanoa banks, we headed to the Antique Tobacco Barn in Asheville NC, in search of a Gothic window. We explored aisles of primitive ladders, glass knobs, and bird egg blue cabinets until we spotted the distinctive curve peeking over nearby antique relics.

 

Or should I say curves? Turns out, there were two.

 

We asked to buy just one, but the seller wouldn’t budge⏤purchase the pair, or nothing at all.

A Gothic window isn’t an easy find, especially on our budget, so we paid the money and skedaddled back down the mountain.

We decided the now two windows could bookend the tiny house. One in front, perched over the porch, and the other, nestled in the back. Because we were nowhere ready for installation, (which begs the question why did we go shopping for them in April?), we wrapped the windows in beach towels and leaned them on my great-aunt’s bed frame in the garage.

Finally, on a bitter cold day in January, we introduced the windows to their forever home. Brian, aka, my Genius, devised a way to frame the window without having to cut curved pieces of wood, saving valuable time, and dare I say, frustration.  *wink*

 

Gothic window

 

 

Brian installed the first Gothic window over the front porch. Around the same time, we needed to decide where to install the split unit for heating and air. While compact and uber-convenient, the interior part of the unit takes up a bit more space than expected, leaving us with only two choices: mount the unit over the antique mantle, or on the back wall.

 

Let’s just say the mantle won.

 

I couldn’t imagine having a split unit hovering over the vintage mantle, especially when two lovely alternatives are vying for that space. The second window was returned to the garage until further notice.

If this weekend warrior is learning anything during the building process, it’s to be flexible and to always have a Plan B. Notice I said learning, as in, the struggle is real.

 

Now, the Tiny House on the Hill sits with the Gothic window in place⏤a space designed just for her.

 

To have a tiny space to call our own is good for the soul. It doesn’t have to sit on a hill out back. It can be as simple as a cozy corner in our home, a closet where we create, or a place in our garden where we meet with God.

 

Tiny House on the Hill

“You’re my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your Word to renew me.”
Psalm 119:114 MSG

 

So, where’s your space⏤the place you go to create, rest, and recharge?

 

*Tiny subscribers, if you missed February’s Letter, you’ll want to check out the exclusive video of Brian installing the Gothic window.

Tiny House Tuesday // Come Sit a Spell

Come sit a spell.

It’s an invitation to come on over, take a seat, and rest awhile. It’s a saying my spinster great-aunts spun while rocking on the front porch that hugged their century-old home. Family, friends, and those strolling on the nearby sidewalk were invited to join them for conversation while they shucked corn and popped peas.

 

That was over forty years ago, but the charm of the front porch remains.

 

And it’s one of the reasons why I chose a Victorian style tiny house.

Turns out, our *tiny* front porch was one of the easiest projects to date. Or maybe it just seems that way because it came on the heels of the toughest. The best part of building the porch? Brian kept both feet on the ground and it was completed within a couple of Saturdays.

The porch floor was added earlier so searching for the right columns and roofing were our only to-do’s. Early on, I’d imagined columns with some heft to them. You know, the kind you can hold onto and swirl about? But since I swerve more than swirl these days, we decided to bypass that requirement and go for full-on character, which the smaller ones offered.

The porch roof was an interesting undertaking. My engineering husband put his skills to the test as he researched ways to build a slanted roof while making room for the Gothic window that will soon perch just above the porch. It was a happy day at the Baker’s house when he discovered a galvanized roof like the main one, but with deeper channels to keep the rain flowing in a downward direction.

The left image is from November’s Tiny House Tuesday, and the right is December’s. Oh, the difference a porch (and door!) can make.

 

Two Views of the Tiny House

Now all she needs is a bit of frill in the form of Victorian scroll work in the corners of the posts.

I doubt my *tiny* porch will offer enough space for the large wooden-slat rockers like my great-aunt’s way back when, but the door will always be wide enough for friends and family.

So come sit a spell, won’t you?

 

Come Sit a Spell

Tiny House Tuesday // Her First Snow

Okay, so it was more of an ice event. Still, it was a milestone for the Tiny House on the Hill.

Tiny House on the Hill Snow Pics

 

In 2018, we’ve seen her bare naked, dressed in walls, and covered in wrap. But this is her first clothing of white. She wears it well, don’t you think?

Tiny House on the Hill's First Snow

Before the first line was drawn on the tiny house plans, my mind ventured into the future, imagining a space the size of a twin bed tucked within her walls. There, we pile in with the grandkids, blankets, and books to snuggle and watch snow fall outside the surrounding windows.

Perhaps this will come to fruition before winter folds into spring.

But today, the tiny house is bare and bone cold. Vacant walls can only dream of the Decembers to come, Lord willing.

So they dream.

She wears her finest hand-me-downs borrowed from Christmases long ago: Antique postcards clipped on cords, stretching from one end of the eight-foot window to the other, a silver pom-pom aluminum tree adorned in Shiny Brites and a pink vintage ceramic Christmas tree that casts a warm glow on God’s goodness.

 

Dreaming of future Decembers in the tiny house is a delight. But it’s the honor held in the here-and-now that holds my attention.

 

On this day, I join in the silence and wonder of the season as I’m reminded of another small space that once stood vacant. It didn’t hold dreams. It held my Deliverer⏤and yours. One who traded splendor for skin, bearing our sins, and equipping us to move beyond simple dreams that we might embrace a new reality, Christ in us.

“Once in our world, a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world.” – C.S. Lewis

Christmas 2018

 

Merry Christmas from the Tiny House on the Hill!

In celebration of the first snow, I picked up this “dashing” Starbucks gift card. Who couldn’t use a warm cup of coffee or tea this season? Simply leave a comment below to be entered in the giveaway. Thank you for being a part of this *tiny* journey. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us all in 2019. Blessings!

 

 

Tiny House on the Hill

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