Sidelined: A tiny attempt at building

Not exactly tiny, but sublime.

I’ve spent my whole life watching other people build things. I read about, write about it, make my living working around people that actually do it. With their hands and their minds and their patience and problem solving they are cleverly places that matter. Place-making, make no mistake, matters. How we live within those walls has as much to do with what we do in it, as how we are influenced by it. Sure I can slap a coat of paint on it, put up a pretty picture, and cover the floor tired and worn spots, dents and dings and imperfections, but gosh darn it. I want to have my hand in the mix of making something perfectly imperfect.

Built into the landscape . be mindful of your town’s ordinances – they may require a set back from your property line.

I realize with a deep sense of impending dread that what I am likely to create when I stubbornly embark on this tiny house adventure is a host of frustration over my inability to execute what I so clearly see in my mind.

I love the idea of barn doors opening onto the back yard or garden.

I understand that writing about something – is not the same thing as actually knowing how to do something. It’s not posing exactly, but it’s also not creating, and creation of anything is really the closets thing that we mere humans can expect to get to nirvana. I want to feel that elation – that oneness – that sense of belonging that comes from building something.

Slipping into the scenery.

Since 2020 was undoubtedly going to test me, I decided to at least be in control of a singular element of the many that were out of my control. Last week I started my Tiny House Building Class. Let me say right out of the gate, this class is tiny-lite. Lite because carpentry and the laws of construction are complicated. Yes, three are laws – whenever mother nature is involved, you can expect that you better learn to follow them, or she’ll get the best of you. Trust me on this one. These laws are complex. I don’t allow myself to feel too badly about that, primarily because even the very best builders can get stumped by them. It’s true. Second, I’m terrible at math. If you say, oh what’s that 8 x 12.5 tiny house in square feet….I’ll look up at the sky for a while and say, hum, like 84SF? Trying to remember if I read it somewhere else and am even close to right. Now, this might seem daunting to someone that, like me, is horrible at math – that’s both algebra and geometry – not like most people who are good at one OR the other. I’m terrible at both. This might lead you to the conclusion that I shouldn’t even bother to try. Forget it. I’m trying. I can use programs that figure the math out, I can apply manual tricks like measuring things out with small scale mock-ups – or full scale if I have to. The point is, I won’t be deterred, and no amount of telling me to … Carl (that’s my teacher’s name) will get me to listen.

What I can tell you is, it would be super expensive – mistakes always are, if my father who is brilliant, and really good at math, building, zoning regulations, history, boating, fine finish carpentry, how the world works and so much more, wasn’t helping me. But he is. You can get help too. People are surprisingly willing to help when you just ask…nicely.

Room with a view.

My tiny house isn’t going to have wheels. If it needs to be moved, we’ll just have to jack the whole thing up and truck it away – that can be done too – I’ve seen it.

Any tiny house of mine needs a heat source.

Perfectly on Point: hitting the 2018 trends

I have seen piles of mags broadcasting the likes of … well what I should like this coming year.  That’s basically what a trend is after all, a preordained color, style, material, shape, movement, and/or general mood that the year or season will have.  Who ordains it?  Heck if I know, but I am pleased to report that “statement ceilings”  also known as the “Fifth Wall” made the cut, and am proud to report that I have papered one of mine, and painted another, and not in white either.  A color that will grab your attention.  At least when you look up, which one is bound to do at a point.

Wallcovering4

The Fifth Wall . One King’s Lane is like the Diana Vreeland of Interiors.

My Domain says that “Dusty Pink”, aka blush will stay trending, and that textures, curves and swivels – that’s chairs that spin you dizzy, or lull you into a dreamy trancelike state, which allows you to go on a vacation in your mind.  Get one.

dusty pink palette

When I discovered rattan and holiday vibes were also in, I thought…%#@!  I am so on point!  It just so happens that I too, am into rattan.  Who’s copying whom?  It’s hard to say.  Though I suspect that if I don’t get my own list of cutting edge decor for you to follow, I’ll just be in step, instead  of ahead of the curve.  But wait a minute – curves are in too…this is getting complicated.

S & L Fern Bed

Serena and Lily . Avalon Bed . $1798.

With all this trending, and not trending, being clever, and being predictable, staying in step or being so yesterday, I got to wondering when exactly it’s ok to just be you? I’m going to go out on a limb here and admit, unapologetically how much I like the Serena and Lily.  Not just a little bit, they don’t pay me or anything to say I like them, but their designs are so fresh, clean, coastal, and humblingly expensive.  At least for me.  The good news is that so many important designers have used their furnishings that they have gotten a little old – even though they are absolutely new and super cool, and if Serena and Lily were reading this and told me I could furnish my entire house for free with S & L pieces, I would totally say yes, and probably faint.

Urban Outfitters Rattan Bed

Urban Outfitters . Marie Woven Winsor Platform Bed . $898.

I don’t actually think that is likely to happen, so you can imagine my delight when I spotted a rattan bed from Urban Outfitters that’s half the price!  I am so getting it.  They also have a coordinating storage cabinet that made me whisper…”where have you been all my life”.  Even though I know they have been around for a really long time.

Urban Outfitters Amoire

Urban Outfitters . Marte Storage Cabinet. $729.