Perfect Simple Outdoors the Tiny Way -- But the Interior is Also Amazing

A space-efficient 1970-sq.-ft. house with a master suite, an office/bedroom, a second bathroom, and a kitchen connected to a timber-frame living and dining area with 22-ft.-tall ceilings. A glass wall extends the living space to a covered sitting area and a stone patio with a fire pit. Just beyond the patio is a lap pool and spa. Realizing that he and his wife couldn't stay in their home if they couldn't maintain it, Nystrom designed it to include as many maintenance-free elements as possible. On the inside, these include concrete floors, walls finished with plaster impregnated with pigment, and poured-quartz countertops. On the outside, they include stucco, metal siding and roofing, beds of native wildflowers and heat-tolerant plants instead of a lawn, and an irrigation system supplied by water catchment.

Don't get frustrated when visualizing your dream home, for everything good in life there are hardships, just do your best to overcome and push forward. Generally, right around the time I am feeling most frustrated and bored with a build is when I go online and create a folder on my computer for inspiring images that resemble the image I have of my completed project. I can then take these mental images to the build and imagine the house complete in as much detail as possible while working. I become inspired and motivated to bring these images to life. This visualization puts a huge amount of fuel into my energy tanks and often keeps me going for days.

Let’s face it, there are days that just really need to be taken off. Playing hooky and doing something totally just for fun is sometimes the best remedy for getting over a tough hump. The trick is to really give yourself permission to go and totally let go of the project. If you take the day off and in the back of your mind you are worrying about next steps or trying to figure out what to do with some technical aspect of your build, your mind is still at the job site and you are not actually getting a day off. The key is to give yourself permission to go play and to recognize that you will increase your ability to focus and be productive if you take the time to recharge your inner battery by having fun.

If you're blessed with more time and skill than money, building from salvage is a great choice. Not only can you get beautiful, sturdy materials, you also can avoid the excessive chemicals present in many new materials. Here's an example of a beautiful wood floor built from pallets. Old windows, doors, and panelling can be found at salvage stores, dumps, curbside on trash pick up day and through Craigslist and Freecycle. Keep in mind, however, that you may need to modify your design to work in the materials you're able to find. In addition, if you're trying to meet building codes, you'll want to document and take pictures of your materials, and perhaps even ask your building inspector to come out and take a look to be sure they're acceptable.

Building a quality home starts with a quality design. If you decide to design your own home, be sure to have the design reviewed by a professional to make certain it is sound. Most of all, don't give up. All of this is possible if you want it bad enough.

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