My tiny house project: autumn outside

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Tiny houses need to rely on the outside for a sense of spaciousness, and for an extra place to be in good weather. In previous posts I’ve talked about the ways our building directs the attention outside. Now here’s the outside itself, complete with kid table:

tiny house with finished front facade and landscaping

In this pic you are looking from the street up the driveway (made of pavers set in sand to let rainwater drain through). On the left you see stairs that curve up to the “big house” (750 sq. ft). Behind that curve we dug out a little sitting area (where you can see a concrete table with bouquet and iron lawn chairs) and made a retaining wall. This is a really comfortable little spot in the heat, because it’s in the shade of the building and dug in low.

This micropatio wasn’t a big focus of our design, but it’s worked very well. The dug-out area and table is a little eddy in the flow from street to house and big house to little house, and it tends to collect people in nicer weather. Some people coming to the “big house” for parties have ended up hanging out at that little table and had to be dragged inside. Similar to a well-designed outdoor cafe or bar, there’s a sense of privacy and containment you feel when you’re inside those little curves, even though you’re still visible from the street.

In the middle you see the driveway, and to the right you see a twisty vine maple, a native species in the area, in a tongue-shaped planting bed that gently interrupts the driveway. The vine maple (and new curtains) will eventually provide some visual filtering from street to house. And behind that you can see the kid table and a tomato the kid planted. Watch out, toy schoolbus, you are about to be devoured in green. 🙂

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