Check out my new book!

“A Publishers Weekly top ten pick!”

Four Inspirational Small Homes Created by Their Owners

May contain affiliate links. Please see my privacy policy and affiliate disclosure.

Tiny house interiors need to function well and make their owners feel right at home. Let these small home owners inspire you if you’re considering downsizing to a tiny house.

Recycled and upcycled tiny house

Jenine Alexander built this tiny home herself for under $3,500. With materials salvaged from the reuse center at the landfill or picked up on Craigslist, she’s created a cozy, affordable low-impact home. Since building this structure, she’s built two more.

She blogs about her small house building projects; if you’re interested in downsizing your home and alternative building options, you might find her posts and photos inspiring.

Inspiring use of small space

Ana White has created a tiny house that is filled to the brim with clever space saving tricks. From tables that convert to desks (and then seats) to the incredible elevator bed, this has got to be one of my favorite tiny house concepts, though it probably cost a bit more than $3,500. There are plenty of hacks you can steal here if you’re considering downsizing to a tiny house.

Downsizing your home has never looked so good!

Related: Small House Living: Making it Work with a Family

Small house living in Hawaii

Johnny Sanphillippo works as a housekeeper, a gardener, a house painter. His salary is less than $20,000 per year. And yet he fulfilled the American dream of owning a home: A tiny house Hawaii style.

He talks here about how he made it happen. Spoiler: His plan is a bit unconventional, but he managed to complete his small home without a mortgage. I wish every young adult would see this and rethink their options for owning a home.

If a tiny home just seems too cramped to you when you start thinking about downsizing your home, a small house like this one might be a good option.

Related: Why Tiny House Living is More Sustainable

Downsizing to a tiny house – DIY version

Teri Page, who blogs over at Homestead Honey, and her husband have created an off-grid tiny home in Northeast Missouri. They created their 350 square foot home on a budget by doing much of the building themselves. You can read all about how they did it, here. 

tiny house with a green lawn (and a black chicken)

Click to save or share!

Meet the Author

Kris Bordessa

Kris Bordessa founded Attainable Sustainable as a resource for revitalizing vintage skills. Her book, Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living (National Geographic) offers a collection of projects and recipes to help readers who are working their way to a more fulfilling DIY lifestyle.

13 comments… add one
  • Bruce Mar 22, 2014, 1:32 pm

    All just wonderful.  Nice to see this refresher course on living from my youth.  Thanks.    Keep doing! (;-)

  • kimberly Mar 22, 2014, 8:33 pm

    I am so impressed!

  • questionable antics Mar 24, 2014, 12:40 pm

    My question is this, How long until some gov’t rep find fault with this? being to high for being on a trailer or some other code violation just to stick it to her for breaking the norm

    • Dominic Jan 8, 2015, 7:24 am

      I think that time may be very soon found a video about zoning laws on YouTube it was in the other videos to this one section

  • Holly (Your Gardening Friend) Mar 27, 2014, 4:26 pm

    I just finished watching the video. Impressive! I’ve seen these tiny houses before but not with a woman builder. (I’m just now starting to use power tools for projects.) 🙂 Very neat!

    • french hill Nov 25, 2014, 6:56 pm

      @Holly. I’m 44 and a carpenter by trade. Proud to say that my mom taught me how to use power tools. You can do whatever you set your mind to.

  • Anita Aug 25, 2014, 5:53 am

    Love this! Where I live (SW Kansas) there are no building codes if you’re outside city limits, but we frequently have 60 mph winds on clear days and 80 mph winds in storms, plus multiple large hail storms every spring. I’m wondering about the safety of building on a trailer? We are trying to buy a few acres in the country to build our own tiny home on a foundation. Land around here rarely sells in parcels less than 160 acres, unfortuntately.

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 25, 2014, 6:50 am

      Boy, I would sure think you’d want it on a foundation. Are you familiar with Tumbleweed Tiny Houses? Some are built on trailers, others on foundation. Look them up!

    • Kyle Nov 24, 2014, 7:22 am

      Couldnt you get some friends and build a small community? Something like that…

      • Kris Bordessa Nov 24, 2014, 8:20 pm

        It would be great for that!

  • memory Gonzalez Jan 18, 2016, 5:41 pm

    You have given me hope.I never thought I could build my dreamy cozy cottage for such a small price.IT takes a person with quality, detail thinking to make something like this work.Thank you

  • Susan Sep 26, 2016, 11:25 pm

    How wonderful and inspiring you are!

Leave a Comment