Many folks move to rural areas to enjoy small-town life. But Brian and Mary Jean Ruhnke Laechlin have taken it farther than most: They’ve gone big on getting really small — tiny, in fact…
Brian and Mary bought the 386-square-foot home for approximately $29,000 in August 2014; Dodson House Moving transported it free of charge to their 14 acres in Adkins. The money went right back into the school’s construction academy program.
The abode may be small in size, but it’s big in amenities and features.
The house has granite counter tops, a full-sized stove, an almost full-sized refrigerator, a tankless water heater, a full-sized bathtub, modern fixtures, and a glass bowl sink. There’s also a loft for storage or to accommodate guests. A pantry cabinet houses dishes and non-perishable food items.
The master bedroom measures 11 feet by 10 feet and fits a queen-sized bed. It also features a full-sized closet with sliding doors. Mary, an artist, has her easel at the foot of her bed. Her art covers the walls of the tiny house.
Living space is extended by a deck the couple built for outdoor entertaining/family space.
The couple have learned to scale down and live minimally, storing vacuums and brooms in little nooks and crannies. Every square inch of space is used wisely, yet the house feels very open and uncluttered.
Fast-forward to August 2016, and Brian and Mary now have a daughter, Skyler, 14 months old, and are raising her to love the farm life.
Her needs are accommodated in this tiny house, too. Brian’s father built little Skyler a bookshelf, which adorns the living room wall. Her high chair hangs in arm’s reach on a bicycle hook.
The family enjoys the benefits of lower utilities; their electric bill runs around $45 a month and water is between $50 and $60 a month, Mary said. They maintain a simpler lifestyle and have no cable or Internet. It’s all about nature, family time, and life on the farm.