Tiny Living 101

“What is a tiny house?” is a question that I get asked all of the time. Along with, “Why would someone want to live in one?”. The best debates happen when we are on the road, giving tours, and we get 2 or more people in the house that can talk about the pros and cons of living the tiny house lifestyle. Someone who isn’t familiar with the concept, talking to someone that is well-versed in the lifestyle, can result in a very informative and open discussion. Unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity to witness such a dialogue, so I wanted to address it in our monthly blog.

To answer the first question, a tiny house is exactly what the name states. It is a house that is shrunk down substantially from the average 2,600 square foot American home to 200 square feet or less and has the added bonus of being on wheels. There is nothing that is missing from one of our THOWs (Tiny House on Wheels). They all have kitchens with stove tops and refrigerators. They all have bathrooms with showers & toilets. They all have living and sleeping spaces. It’s everything that you would have in a typical home, just on a smaller scale. Living in a tiny house does not mean that you have to skimp on any comforts. You can still have Low-E windows, LED lighting, water conserving faucets, and any other designer finish you want.

Why or Who
The next question, ‘why or who would choose to live in one’, is a bit more difficult to answer. The reasons people have to live tiny, are as different as the individual themselves. At 84 Tiny Living all of our houses are specifically designed and engineered to be built on trailers. This enables the customer to haul their house and place it wherever they would like. This can be especially useful for those that travel often for work and don’t want to stay in hotels, or for those that can work from anywhere and prefer to travel while doing it, or for those that are retired and like to live in different parts of the country during different times of the year. Many individuals embrace the lifestyle for the freedom it offers, whether it be from a mortgage, maintenance, or minimalistic perspective.

I invite you to share your reasons for ‘living tiny’ below! Mine are freedom from clutter and the ability to spend more time doing the things that I enjoy as opposed to maintaining something that I don’t even get to spend that much time in.

And then there were three…

Our original, one-of-a-kind Degsy has SOLD!

The Degsy is a unique and contemporary tiny house, and our only model that features a one-level design. Our first design included two bedrooms on either end of the house, and the kitchen, dining area and bathroom in the middle. After showing this design at different events, we discovered that it wasn’t the best we could do. Many of our visitors did not see the need for the two separate bedrooms and felt that it made the space feel even smaller and more compact than what it is. So, after hearing input from our tiny house community and after much consideration, we decided to give the Degsy a complete interior re-design. But before we get into that, here is a snapshot of the new owner of the original Degsy.

Brad is an active duty member of the U.S. Army and has served for 11 years (Thank you!!). Because of this dedication to our country, he typically moves every two to three years. He said “the ability to live in a fully functional home that can be easily moved for a fraction of the cost of a traditional home,” as well as affordability, were the top two reasons why he decided to buy a tiny house. In fact, these two motives frequently top the list of reasons why people decide to go tiny. The idea of not being tied down to a mortgage and being able to move freely when it’s needed or wanted appeals to many in the tiny house community.

Brad plans to use the house for full-time living. His job does require him to travel frequently, however, so when that is the case, he is looking to rent it out to those who are interested in a getaway. When he retires, he wants to use it as a luxury RV for both camping and tailgating at sporting events. Brad stated that he was especially happy about buying the model turn-key and being able to immediately have a comfortable, safe and attractive place to live.

We were very excited to meet Brad and to be a part of his journey to tiny!

And now it’s out with the old and in with the new! We’ve begun building our new Degsy. If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on all of our social media channels (@84TinyLiving) to get updates on the build.

Living tiny may not be for everyone, but if it’s something that you are considering, I invite you to take a tour of the models that we have on display in Eighty Four, PA. The Roving, Shonsie and Countryside displays are still available for purchase. Please contact us if you have any questions or interest!

Insider Secrets to Creating Space in Your Tiny House

As someone who works in the tiny house industry, one of the questions that I get the most is, “Where do you put all of your stuff?”. This is the major struggle that most people seem to have with tiny houses (yes, even more than the composting toilet). But with a little ingenuity and creativity, even 154 square feet can feel like a much larger space.

Lose It

We all know that you need less stuff to live in a tiny house, but perhaps you can pare down a little more. I know, I know, you’ve already gotten rid of so much, but hear me out. Items like extra cutlery or cooking tools that you keep around just in case are not necessary. Have you used them in the last three months? Do you have an event happening in the next three months that you will need them for? If your answer is “no,” get rid of them. Not only does this physically clear up space, but the less clutter you see in your house, the more open it will feel.

Multi-Purpose Is Always the Answer

  • In such a small space, almost everything should have more than one use. In 84 Tiny Living houses, we build in as much storage as we can while keeping the structural integrity of the house. For example, the picture below shows how the stairs in our Countryside model also have two areas for storage built into it — one closet and a shelf above it.

  • Beyond the built-in storage features, carefully consider any other furniture you bring in. For example, an ottoman that opens up can be the perfect way to add functional seating and
  • Corner shelves can also be multi-purpose as many of them make cool conversation pieces. They also act as a way to display your items (and keep them off of the floor or countertop).

Make Use of Vertical Space

  • Have wall space? Add a shelf or cabinet. Keep in mind that an open shelf gives the illusion of more space, but if you are someone who travels with your tiny house, a glass cabinet door may be helpful to keep everything in its spot.
  • A DIY ceiling-hanging clothing rack made from a pipe or bamboo dowel rod and some chain or rope is a purposeful and an efficient use of space.
  • Don’t want to mount a TV, but still want the option to watch movies or a show in your tiny house? Buy a white screen that doubles as a blind for your windows and a projector.
  • A ladder in the dead space behind your door makes for a great decorative rack to hang blankets or other items from. Or you can build a vertical shoe rack there that will help you, and your guests, remember to take your shoes off as you enter the house.

Make Room for Essentials

  • A simple mesh holder that hangs from your shower curtain can save space while keeping everything tidy and in one place.
  • Over-the-door racks or interior organizers on your cabinets are great for smaller items that you don’t want to lose in your cupboard.
  • A well-placed mirror always helps; reflective surfaces give the impression of more light in a space.

These are just a few ideas that you can use. Do you have experience living in a tiny space or have other ideas?  Share them with us below!

Savvy Ways to Decorate your (Tiny) Home for the Holidays

We’re counting down the days until Christmas here at 84 Tiny Living and thought this would be a perfect time to share our favorite ways to decorate! Don’t worry, there’s no need to trim down your holiday spirit when getting your tiny house ready for the holidays. Keep it toasty and cozy with these strategic ways to help you bring on the holiday charm, whether it’s for your tiny, or not-so-tiny, home.

Oh, Christmas Tree

If you are going for a minimalist holiday this year, consider a “Wishmas” tree instead of your traditional Christmas tree. A Wishmas tree is a small, tabletop tree that you string up your wishes on. Write down everything that you are wishing for, or grateful for, and tie them to your tree. Instead of opening gifts, you can unwrap your wishes for the new year and spend time focusing on what you are most thankful for in your life.

If you prefer a more traditional holiday, buy a real Christmas tree, cut the top off to use in your house for your petite tree, and use the remaining branches to make a wreath for the front door. You can also create a greenery display for the tongue of your trailer. While you are outside doing that, hang up a clothesline for Santa’s red or green long johns and hat. We just love this idea from Barbara in North Carolina.

It’s Alive

You’d be surprised what a difference tucking some greenery, pine cones and holly into places does! The great thing about using live decorations is that once the season is over, you can return these items to the outdoors to decompose naturally, eliminating the need to find extra storage space for your decorations.

Slap a Cover on It Hanging

Another way to decorate without using too many resources is to use felt, wrapping paper or recycled gift bags to create a festive book cover for your favorite coffee table book.

Add Some Holiday Glam

If you are like me, you probably have more ornaments than room on your tree. If so, string them up with some ribbon and hang them throughout your house. They look great hanging from backs of chairs or off of shelves. You can also grab a picture frame you aren’t using (or buy one second hand), paint it and string up a few ornaments with ribbon for a creative, one-of-a-kind window display.

Consider displaying your festive dinnerware by mounting them to the walls. This way you can both enjoy them and have easy access to your plates when it’s time for dinner.

One Last Thought

If you aren’t using items that can be repurposed year-round, you will either need to find a storage solution or donate them after the holidays. That’s why getting creative and using dual-purpose items can be so useful. Also, consider what you can find at thrift or antique stores. There are usually inexpensive festive finds that can be re-thrifted once you are done with them. And after all of that, take some time to sit back with a warm drink and enjoy the season!

Leave a comment below with your favorite way to decorate. And from all of us here at 84 Tiny Living, Happy Holidays!

The secret to tiny storage

When thinking about storage in your Tiny House, you want to utilize every square foot of the floors, walls and even ceilings. The Shonsie Model uses this significant feature in the kitchen.

One stand-in advantage of tiny house architecture is fold down furniture. This generally refers to desks and tables, though with a little imagination, you can probably think of all types of ways this specific feature would be valuable.

As an example, think about how much space you’d need for a dining table. If you could fold it into the wall when you’re not using it, nevertheless, all of a sudden space isn’t such a problem. Numerous people do this with benches as well, though there are no limits.

Best of all, this is an easy “DIY” answer to saving space. All you need is the wood for the desk/table/bench, a pair of hinges and a fastening mechanism to keep it in tack.
The Shonsie has a unique pull-down feature from the ceiling in the kitchen. Three extra shelves in a Tiny Kitchen can go along way for kitchen supplies. As mentioned before, space is valuable in every Tiny Home and the unique ways to create space is very valuable to anyone that is living tiny or is planning to live tiny.

How to become a minimalist

The average tiny home is between 100-400 sq. ft. Tiny Living by 84 Lumber offers homes between 150-250 sq. ft. So, how do you survive in a home this small? You become a minimalist.

Minimalists generally own fewer things and strive to live smaller, simpler lives. It doesn’t come easy for most, but there are tips and tricks to make the process easier.

  1. Give yourself a goal and a timeline: Is your goal to have all your clothes fit into a small suitcase? Do you just want to declutter a room in your house?  Or, are you simply looking for less stress? Once you have your goal set, you have to make a deadline for yourself, so that you can hold yourself accountable. There is no “right way” way to be a minimalist.
  2. Teach yourself to live with and on less: Keeping track of your finances and paying attention to all the little things you spend money on that you may not necessarily need will make a big difference. Daily lattes add up. Simply saying, “no” when your at a store can add up to BIG savings. How many times have you walked into Target for one item and $200 later you’re wondering, “what happened?!” Once you start analyzing what your spending money on, you’ll start making smarter money decisions.
  3. Quality over quantity: When you need to have something new, it may make sense in the long run to splurge. It’s not always the case, but usually high prices items will last you long and therefore give you a bigger bang for your buck.
  4. Go through your closest: You’ve heard it before, but it’s true– If you haven’t worn it in 6 months, throw it out. There is not reason to attach sentimental value to clothing. If you’re not wearing it, someone out there would. A good first step to take towards minimalism is to go through all your clothes and create keep, donate and trash piles. Make sure you go through that keep pile twice though.
  5. Connect with other minimalists: Social media is an amazing tool. A quick search on Instagram can lead to thousands of other people who are living minimalist lifestyles.

Minimalism looks different on everyone, so do what feels and works best for you. And remember, it’s not easy, so give yourself time to adjust. And, don’t be too hard on yourself.

Check out the Shonsie at Pittsburgh Pride!

84 Lumber, in partnership with Nemacolin, is so proud and excited to be sponsors of Pittsburgh Pride 2017. We have so many exciting things planned for the festival, including our Shonsie, which will be parked downtown for you to tour!

Our booth and Tiny Home will be parked at the corners of 9th Street and Liberty Avenue! Please stop by and say “Hi!” We will have a raffle to give away two BIG prizes (you won’t want to miss out on these!), and plenty of rainbow goodies to hand out.

Pittsburgh Pride Parade Route



Meet the cottage-style Shonsie! Built on a custom steel trailer with radial tires, safety brakes and stabilizing jacks, this home will transport you in elegant style to the nearest beach or seaside retreat. Onlookers will notice the striking blue or red metal roof and admire the polymer composite siding. You’ll love the views through the sliding glass patio doors that lead out to the picturesque front porch.

Click Here to learn more about the Shonsie

Couple curbs winter boredom building Tiny Home

Christine and Jimmy Joyce wanted a project to work on during the winter when business is slower due to bad weather, so they reached out to 84 Lumber to build a Tiny Home.

This Roving model features a modified front porch.

The Roving by Christine and Jimmy Joyce.

They said they may use this to rent as a hunting camp or they plan to sell it out right.

From the barn door to the counter tops, this Tiny Home has a rustic and cozy feel.

Their staff at Certified Safety Products in New York built everything seen here.. They expect to build more Tiny Homes in the future.

Tiny Living by 84 Lumber provides a unique opportunity to live happily with less. We are dedicated to delivering high-quality products while offering value-added packages and services to our customers that promote an excellent quality of life. Our focus is to inspire a spirit of adventure that encourages our buyers to simplify their priorities. We intend to offer a positive environment that promotes the collaboration of interesting, useful and important ideas between our skilled associates.

Spring Cleaning to Simplify your Life 

Ahh, spring is here. Does the bright, clean space in this photo put you at ease? Take this spring cleaning season and go a bit further – try minimalizing.

Going tiny requires a shift to a more minimalistic lifestyle. To some, this may be a challenge, but tiny living can help to simplify your life, mindset, and surroundings (not to mention your bank account!).

Sound refreshing? Here are some quick tips to start living a more minimalist lifestyle:

  • Try a capsule wardrobe – pick neutral pieces that you can mix and match, but keep a few bright or unique accessories to change up your outfits. Check out our Pinterest board for inspiration on capsule wardrobes!
  • Declutter! Having a hard time parting with that jacket that was a great deal, but resembles 3 others in your closet? What if you could get a few bucks back for it? Sell your clothes using a service like ThredUP or Poshmark. Donating more your style? Think about those who could really use a new jacket – this makes it easier to donate.
  • Implement multi-tasking details, like this cutting board that doubles as a sink cover! Hello, counter space!
  • Go digital! Digitize photos, receipts, and other important documents or nostalgic items using the CamScanner app for Android or Evernote Scannable for iOS. That external hard drive (or the cloud) will take up far less space than a few file cabinets!

Trying the minimalist lifestyle this spring?  Let us know your favorite tips!

See the Evergreen model on DIY Network’s Tiny House, Big Living!

Did you get a chance to see the Tiny Zoo House episode on Tiny House, Big Living? If you missed it, you’re in luck! You can watch the full episode here, or click below! In the episode, you’ll meet Stephanie and Tim from the Creative Animal Foundation, and you’ll tour the inside of their one-of-a-kind Tiny Living by 84 Lumber tiny house, the Evergreen!


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