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  • Writer's pictureTina Lambert

Long Distance Couple Builds DIY Tiny Home

After a three-year long-distance relationship, Christina and John now live together in a tiny house in Orlando, Florida. To save money, they designed and built the home themselves. Going tiny allowed John to save money on rent, and they were able to use the proceeds from the sale of Christina’s home.

The walls of Christina and John’s home are constructed from tongue and groove metal-faced Structural Insulated Paneling (SIP); it has an R21 insulation rating! Another bonus is that the magnetic spice jars stick right to the wall.

Christina loved using Ikea’s kitchen planning tool and was even able to get drawers the exact depth necessary to go in front of the wheel wells. Butcher block countertops really give the kitchen a nice, finished feel and are perfect for meal prep. A four-burner propane cooktop makes it easy to cook anything they want. The large white farmhouse sink rounds out the kitchen with a sense of elegance.

Not everything in a tiny home needs to be tiny--their living room showcases a huge 50-inch TV! John and Christina chose an Ikea couch that has storage and pulls out to a full-size bed and an elegant entertainment center.

John’s office doubles as a play space for PC gaming. Their office area has his and hers seating and an ample work area in front of a huge window. The open shelving style in the kitchen was carried on into the office to keep the airy feel of the home.

The couple’s tiny home has two lofts; one serves as a master bedroom and the other as their library and crafting space. Even with the roof’s six-inch slant for drainage, there is ample headroom in the master. The beautiful windows with blackout blinds on all sides of the loft, a small dresser from Target, and two small nightstands make the bedroom a haven of comfort!

John’s DIY plywood stairs lead to the bedroom loft area and provide lots of storage in bins and cabinets under each stair. They keep their clothes and shoes in the additional loft opposite the kitchen. Peter, their Quaker parrot, has his own little area at the end of the stairs.

A must-have for Christina was a full-size bathtub and large bathroom. An Ikea vanity with a top-mounted sink and under cabinet storage, a medicine cabinet, a composting toilet, as well as an exhaust fan to keep down the moisture make up their huge bathroom space! There is even a full-size closet in the bathroom for hanging clothes.

They are so satisfied with their build that they have no plans to go back to full-size living ever! When they outgrow this house or move on, they plan to Airbnb it. They may consider a slightly larger tiny on a foundation when they have kids, but tiny living is definitely here to stay in their lives!

Watch their full tour:

See them on Instagram @tiny_house_journey

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