Student-Built Tiny House Features Manure-Based Heating System [Video]

Video screenshot: SpacesTV/YouTube.

When they’re not touring the bedrooms of grown adults living with their parents or trying to convince random strangers on the street to invite them into their apartments, the folks at SpacesTV seem to have their fingers firmly pressed on the pulse of the tiny house movement. Published last week as part of SpaceTV’s always intriguing, sometimes terrifying Offbeat Spaces series is a tour of a 227-square-foot tiny home built by students of Yestermarrow Design Build School in Vermont. I should point out that the school, which offers comprehensive courses in tiny home design and building, is hosting the first ever Tiny House Fair this June which will feature appearances by tiny house luminaries such as Jay Shafer, Derek Diedricksen, Dee Williams, and Alex Pino of Tiny House Talk who will be giving a lecture on possession purging and the psychological challenges of tiny house living. But back to the tiny house in question ... With an unfussy open floorplan that makes the best of its petite footprint, the Yestermarrow Tiny House — AKA Elephant House — is a relatively straightforward affair with plenty of clever built-in storage options; a decent-sized bathroom with floor drainage that transforms the entire room into a giant shower; and the use of salvaged materials including old plumbing fixtures transformed into lighting elements. I’m loving the counter space-liberating drying rack set-up in the kitchen that’s located right above the sink.

I’m not particularly fond of the unfinished plywood walls inside of the home although the Japanese-style charred cedar exterior siding (shou-sugi-ban) is a rather lovely — and super-resilient —touch.

And there’s the experimental hay bale-, wood chip-, sawdust-, and manure-based heating system that involves around 600-feet of pipe.

Any thoughts? Yay or nay?

I also recommend taking a look at another recent Offbeat Spaces clip featuring the Yankee Ferry, Victoria and Richard MacKenzie-Childs' historic ferry-turned-whimsical floating abode that's docked in Hoboken, N.J. Dedicated TLC viewers may remember the 1907 vessel-house — and super-zany, Rainbow Bright-tressed Victoria — from "Four Houses."

When I caught the show months ago, I figured Victoria to be a run-of-the-mill eccentric residing on a boat (albeit a boat with some serious decor going on). It wasn't until weeks later that it dawned on me that this whacky grandma living on an old ferry with a bunch of chickens was in fact designer Victoria MacKenzie-Childs, one half of the eponymous high-end ceramics and furniture company. I should point out that this is (or was) another MacKenzie-Childs-owned property and that several quirkily appointed rooms aboard the couple's oversized houseboat are available for rent on AirBnb.