Woman Builds Her Own Extra-Wide Tiny House, With No Experience

This floral designer undertook a tiny house journey with no construction experience at all.

DIY tiny house by Carina Inka Dirtbag Minimal interior

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Compared to what it was a decade ago, the tiny house movement has become kind of a big thing now in popular culture, with tiny house television shows, websites, and books galore, as well as a wide variety of professional tiny house building companies now offering turnkey tiny homes to those with the cash.

One may be deceived by the current trend toward "tiny house bloat," but at its roots, the tiny house movement has always been about simpler lifestyles and a do-it-yourself ethos of self-reliant resourcefulness that results in one gaining more financial and psychological freedom—namely from the dreaded conventional mortgage and the tyranny of stuff.

Floral designer Carina Inka is one of these back-to-the-roots tiny house DIYers, who recently finished building her own tiny house, after a two-year period of researching, designing, and constructing. Inka is one of those brave souls who undertook their tiny house journey with no construction experience at all, learning and refining along the way. But the results speak for themselves, as we can see from this tour of her simple and beautiful tiny home via Exploring Alternatives:

As Inka explains, she was prompted to build her own tiny home for some of the same reasons that attract many other people to the movement:

"I was inspired to build a tiny house for several reasons. One being that I didn't want to rent anymore, but I didn't have enough money to buy a house, and I also didn't know where I wanted to live. So a tiny house on wheels was the perfect option."
DIY tiny house by Carina Inka Dirtbag Minimal exterior

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Inka's home measures 10 feet wide and 24 feet long—a bit wider than typical tiny houses, but the extra couple of feet meant that she could get a bit more creative with the interior layout, as we will see. Also, it means there's extra space for her partner and their dog.

The two glazed entry doors let in a lot of light into the main living space of the home. There's a woodstove tucked in the corner, and a closet flanking a custom-built sitting area. The size of the space is augmented with a tall gable roof.

DIY tiny house by Carina Inka Dirtbag Minimal living room

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Inka says that she deliberately kept the built-in furniture to a minimum, in order to ensure she had a big multipurpose space for things like yoga practice, or for creative projects:

"I wanted to create the most open tiny house that I could, having that sort of Scandinavian, open, airy feel, trying to be as minimal as possible in my design."
DIY tiny house by Carina Inka Dirtbag Minimal living room

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Inka used reclaimed materials—from windows to various fixtures—throughout the house. Though she didn't have any construction experience, she did have some guidance from her father, who is a carpenter. But even with this lack of know-how, it's clear that Inka put a lot of thought into the design and execution of the house. For instance, the home's layout cleverly sandwiches the kitchen and bathroom together, so that plumbing and electricity are optimized, and the living room and bedroom can be built around them.

DIY tiny house by Carina Inka Dirtbag Minimal bathroom and kitchen

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Here's a view of the bathroom, which features an enclosed glass shower stall, a tiny sink, and a composting toilet. There was even space to fit a mini-washing machine here, and clothes are air-dried.

DIY tiny house by Carina Inka Dirtbag Minimal bathroom

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The kitchen is simple but designed with modularity and salvaged materials in mind. The counter is a slab of rescued wood, and appliances are hidden behind a set of sliding doors underneath. The portion of the counter above the mini-refrigerator is removable, in case Inka ever needs to upsize her refrigerator in the future. Opposite the counter is a bar area, which provides extra space to eat or put things.

DIY tiny house by Carina Inka Dirtbag Minimal kitchen

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Past the kitchen is the ground-floor bedroom, which Inka preferred over the hassle of climbing up into a sleeping loft. The bed lifts up to reveal more storage underneath, as well as integrated drawers that offer more space to stash things.

DIY tiny house by Carina Inka Dirtbag Minimal bedroom

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The layout of this extra-wide tiny house is well-considered, and impressive, considering the steep learning curve. Inka says she feels empowered by her tiny house in many ways:

"It feels so satisfying to have built my own house from the ground up. I also love that it forces me to think about where I put my stuff, what I bring into the house. I love the size of it, it's just enough space to feel like you have everything you need. I love that I built it, I love that I know every single inch of it, that I know every stud in the wall, I love that I just know this space. Throughout my build, I learned a lot about tools. [..] And that feels really powerful, because that can help me create other things."

Inka says that she's now happily obsessed with building tiny houses, each one different than the previous one. You can check out her projects on Instagram and YouTube.