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From Texas-sized 2 Tiny House For Three

Cool Stuff For The Tiny House

I did some Craigslist browsing last week and over the weekend, and I picked up two really cool things for the house. One was totally FREE (w00t!) and the other technically ended up costing double what I thought it would, but I’ll explain why that’s okay in a minute. First, the freebie…






We got that beauty of a cedar chest for F.R.E.E! It turns out it will fit perfectly in the front nook, so we’ll have a custom cushion made for it to be a reading spot. It will also act as storage for off-season items (we’ll finally have an excuse for a “seasonal closet,” which is practically unheard of in our part of Texas because of the crazy weather patterns), and we might even elevate it off the floor a bit and sneak some low, wide storage underneath it. That same area will have a drop-down desk attached to the left wall since we’re moving our front door forward, so the window that would go there will be deleted in favor of storage on the other side of the wall in the new mini-foyer. As such, the low space under the chest could be to store a folding chair for the desk to be used. Brandy is still in school after all, so he’ll need a dedicated space to do school work from time to time.

The second item we got ended up costing twice as much, but that’s because we bought twice as much, too. Here it is…



We originally went to buy an already-cut-in-half wine barrel bottom that was being advertised as a planter. The folks selling them had picked up a bunch of these from Napa recently, and the deep reddish-purple staining on the inside is absolutely gorgeous. Once we got to talking with them about our plans to turn it into a bathtub for R.A.D and shower pan for us, a question emerged: how will we keep it water tight at the top? The barrel had been cut in half through the center of the bung hole (yes, that’s really what the name of the hole in a wine barrel is, promise!), which meant there was no band around the upper part to help hold the wood together. Without it, little gaps were starting to show between to boards at the upper edge, and that meant that there might also be slight gaps lower down that could leak if we filled it with water. The guys all talked about it more, and the conclusion was that we should buy a whole barrel and cut it above the band above the bung hole.

My only concern is that I’m going to have trouble climbing in and out of it being that high (shut it, I’m short lol), and I won’t be able to reach down to help bathe R.A.D either. So, we talked about it more while driving it back from Dallas to my dad’s place yesterday and concluded we would buy some metal banding (they’d offered us some for free, but we didn’t think about this until later) and nail/screw it into each board just above the area we want to cut (probably just above the bung hole rather than way up above the next band higher). That way the new band should help keep the boards tight against each other and reduce the likelihood of leaks. We’ll also do a waterproofing treatment on the inside of linseed oil and beeswax heated with a blow torch (Brandy got the idea from how to waterproof wooden archery bows), and then we’ll rub tung oil on the outside to bring out the wood’s natural beauty. Not a bad deal for $150, and we’ll have nice big planter for Dad’s yard, too! 🙂

Oh, and in the process of finishing up this post, my dad just called to tell me our sink arrived safely to his house! Here’s a pic of it, followed by a pic of the fridge we also decided to go on and buy to help us accurately build our storage stairs/kitchen cabinet unit. Better to have them on hand when planning we thought.

Merrick 15″ antiqued hammered copper sink from SignatureHardware.com


Avanti 7.4cu ft apartment refrigerator.


4 comments on “Cool Stuff For The Tiny House

  1. childonground
    May 23, 2014

    Have you though of putting something at the bottom of the barrel and building a step into it? Might be good for extra storage (put shampoo / soap in barrel bottom to be taken out for showering bathing and extra storage for step in the bathroom.

    • meg & brandy
      June 25, 2014

      Something like that might work if we allow enough room in the bath space itself. I’m concerned about taking up any extra floor space since it’ll be a tight squeeze as it is, but since I like to sit to shower anyway (a habit I picked up while pregnant when I started getting dizzy standing up to shower and rectified with a hand-sprayer attachment for the tub faucet and a good no-slip mat on the bottom) I may just make some kind of little seat that rests on the edge of the barrel but doesn’t take up too much room in the opening itself. It’s hard for me to explain what I mean without drawing it out (and even then my drawing skills stink), but if I go that way I’ll be sure to post the plans or the result. I’m thinking about using some of the wood leftover from the part we cut off the tub 2/3 of the barrel to create it, but we’ll see how well it turns out. -Meg

  2. Jennifer McKissic
    June 25, 2014

    hi , I love your site and I love your story about the barrel. Ingenious! I’m glad to find somebody doing a tiny house thing in Texas, I’m from there but living in Philadelphia now. Will be moving back next summer. I look forward to reading your blog 🙂

    • meg & brandy
      June 25, 2014

      Hey there! I have family up in PA, too, in the Allentown & Bethlehem areas. 🙂 What a kawinkydink!

      If you plan to build tiny in Texas, I highly suggest you check out http://www.abedovermyhead.com, which is a site belonging to B.A. Norrgard, a great gal here in the Dallas area that is working on creating a tiny house community in the DFW region. She has been coordinating with others in the area via MeetUp.com (DFW Tiny House Enthusiasts), and they are actually making a ton of progress on the community vision. Food for thought!

      As for the barrel, I’d pondered that idea for the site-built house we plan to build in Washington in a few years, but the idea was cemented after seeing one in The Tiny Tack House. Theirs apparently works quite well (and their whole bathroom is gorgeous!), so that gives me hope we can modify ours to work as an actual bathtub for our son, too. That’s why we want to cut it higher up and add an extra band around it to help prevent leaks. Fingers crossed we can make it work!

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This entry was posted on May 21, 2014 by in Tiny House Building Plans & Progress and tagged , , , , .

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