Kyle and Danae Schmidt have found that living in the 200-square-foot house they designed and built works for them—it’s both functional and comfortable.
“I’ve actually been surprised how normal this feels,” Danae said about life since they moved into their house seven months ago. “When people ask how is tiny living, we really don’t know how to answer that—well, it’s like living.”
The Schmidts, who started construction in May 2014, moved the house to a farmstead near Marion Reservoir. They negotiated an agreement with the owners to rent space and to pay for electricity and use of well water.
“We moved in right at New Year’s when it was 10 degrees for two weeks,” Kyle said.
The first night their electric heater wasn’t working right and the outside temperatures were frigid.
“Oh, my goodness, this better not be how it is,” Danae said about that night, but since then the heater has functioned properly.
While the house, built on a trailer that is tagged for the road, is mobile, the Schmidts don’t plan to take it out for weekend drives…
Inside, in their living room and dining space, a customized cushioned seating area has drawers beneath for storage. A white gateleg table with drawers for storage and drop-leaves, purchased at Ikea, can adjust its size.
“We made the couch to fit the space and used the cushions we had,” Kyle said. “Pretty well the only thing that is not customized, furniture-wise, that’s in here is (the Ikea table). Otherwise it’s all hand made…”
Regulating humidity in the house is one challenge the Schmidts are learning how to handle.
“In a regular-sized house, humidity has an opportunity to disperse,” Kyle said. “So we have a small space, and a propane stove that creates moisture, a hot shower that creates moisture and our house is pretty tight.”
Anticipating humidity would be an issue, Kyle said when the house was built they installed small exhaust fans to help take out the shower steam.
“It doesn’t get it all,” he said. “The air conditioner helps a bit in the summertime. Honestly, we’re still figuring it out.”