Home Made to Order

While we were at the beach this summer, I did some catching up on my back log of magazines.  One article that really struck me was in House Beautiful (July/August 2011) "The Tiny House Movement."  For some reason, I am fascinated with the layout of small spaces as well as the architecture of small homes.  The very next day after reading this article, we took a bike trip and passed by a small empty lot of beach front property (which is so rare) in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.    Well, that's all it took for me to daydream all afternoon about how I would design a tiny little beach house just for us.

I pondered thoughts like . . .
What would it absolutely have to have(the essentials for a comfortable visit to the beach)?
Which rooms would I make super tiny and which would need more space to be really enjoyable?
What style would I like best and would fit into the architecture of the area?
How would the outdoor space relate to the cottage since outdoor living is really at the top of the list for us when we are at the beach?

All of these questions coupled with the eye candy of the tiny homes featured in the article really made for a wonderful afternoon ponder.

So, no, we are not going to invest in a beach house.  But a girl can dream, right?!  Here are my favorite websites for these tiny jewel boxes.  Some are the actual homes that are delivered to you in parts that fit together like a puzzle (not kidding) while others are just the plans for you to build your own.

 Before you think, "I just couldn't go that small,"remember for beach vacays you spend most of your time outside, so supplementing these wonderful little homes with some amazing outdoor space would be a must.

Here's my list in no particular order.

The first three are all from Cusato Cottages which is an interesting company founded by Marianne Cusato.  Marianne is a designer who came up with the concept of these tiny homes to encourage green living while not sacrificing the quality of life in a beautiful space.

Model KC 697
I really wish these plans had cute names, so I've decided to give them each one.  I think this one should be called "Easy Living."

I love the porch on the front of this one and the tin roof is all the rage in the beach community along 30A.

The real reason I like this one so much is the open floor plan with the kitchen and family room in one large space and the windows along the front for tons of light.  I think it makes a small space more efficient and actually live larger than one with walls separating the rooms.

KC308 Model (aka "Creole Comfort")
The style reminds me of a the type of house my Dad always called a "shot gun" style home because you could shoot a shot gun straight through it.  You see a lot of this style home in the neighborhoods in and around New Orleans; but I think it would work wonderfully at the beach.

Here's the layout of the space and yes, it is super tiny.  I think we would need at least one extra bedroom:

Model KC480 (aka "Afternoon Retreat")
OK, I think this one is perfect.  The only thing I would add would be a screened in porch that opened onto an outdoor lounge area with dining space.  I LOVE the simple kitchen configuration along the one wall.  Makes me think that you would not be cooking a lot, just light breakfasts and lunches, and then out on the town for dinners.  You do have to share a bath, so that might get a bit frustrating when you all come off the beach at the same time.  But while someone is rinsing off all the beach furniture, another could grab a quick shower.  

The Wildflower  

This tiny home is not only green but it's a kit (rather than the plans) and you put it together when it arrives.  Not sure I could go this small, but I just adore the look of this home.

It is super tiny, and I'm assuming that you would use the living space for sleeping quarters too.  Maybe a pull out Murphy bed.   This design feels more like something you would see in the mountains rather than at the beach. 

  Well, I dreamed about it that afternoon and then decided, to move on!  But what a fun thing to think about.  If you want to read more about the tiny home movement, here are some great resources I found.


  1. Wow these are adorable, they look like blown up doll houses. So interesting to read about the tiny house movement..you have me intrigued!

  2. So cute, and you're right, perfect cozy spaces for beach vacations, when you're spending most of your time indoors anyway! :)

    That first one is perfect... but I think the exterior of that last one is just too cute!

  3. I would take the tiniest of houses if it was on the beach for real!!!

  4. I love this post, Mandi! If I could choose, I love the exterior of the first one. And I would love to set it right along the shore!


Thank you for thoughts on my post! M.