I’ve been spending time with a 5-year-old and a 3-year-old. They have become accustomed to me working on the 3d model of the caravan. ‘Sam, elle fait sa carabane!’. I asked them what they would like if they had one. ‘A bed, and a shelf for my books, and a cupboard for my puzzles. And a swingset’. Everyone has their own ideal for what makes a home! It has been a good exercise for me to imagine what is my own minimum necessary equipment for living. Maybe not a swingset, but here is my list. This is what shaped my design.
- Windows. I dream of having a big double door that I can throw open when it’s nice out. Over the bed, I want a skylight so I can hear the rain and see the stars.
- Bed. Yes, this is necessary. Unlike most tiny houses, I don’t want to put the bed in a sleeping loft that is used only for sleeping.
- Table. This is the only piece of mobile furniture in the caravan. It is a multifunctional surface: dining table, desk, kitchen island.
- Bench. A fold-out bench is used as a sofa, a seat for dining, and a guest bed.
- Toilet. I am putting in a composting toilet. Some people are skeptical- will it smell? Will it be a pain to empty? I don’t know, but I know it’s about time we stopped flushing drinking water down the drain. I am going to ventilate the toilet itself with a fan that goes outside, so hopefully that will keep the smells away. I thought long and hard about deciding to have a ‘bathroom’ or not. I liked the idea of having a real bathroom sink and being able to hide the toilet, but in the end two things changed my mind: I found a second-hand stainless-steel countertop that had two kitchen sinks, and partitioning the bathroom made the small space seem awkward and chopped-up. Instead, I’ve decided to use a heavy curtain to privatize the toilet area when necessary. The toilet is hidden in a wooden structure that resembles the bench.
- Kitchen. I’ve been using a two-burner stove and under-counter fridge for the past five years, so a small kitchen doesn’t scare me. The one luxury I am allowing myself is a gas oven as well as a gas stove. I do use the oven quite a lot, whether it’s to roast vegetables or bake cookies.
- Storage. Under the bed and the bench there is empty space to store my things. Beside the door I need a place to put shoes and hang jackets. Behind the kitchen there is a cupboard that will be used as the ‘mechanical’ space, the place where I put the water tanks, circuit breaker, battery, etc.
- Sloped roofs shed water easily
- When I imagined my ideal sleeping space, I thought of a pitched roof with a skylight overhead
- The curves along the axis of travel make the form more aerodynamic
So here goes- I'm investing my savings, my time, my heart and my hands in this project. It feels like a risk but it also feels right, like it is something I am meant to do.