New experiences create memories

Eight months ago, a friend suggested that we convert the who-knows-how-old-it-was building in our back yard into a house as a method of income. We took that idea and ran with it. Our tiny house has been up and running for just over 6 months, and, well, so much has happened.

As of today, Sunday, January 24, we have hosted 146 guests from 24 of the United States and 15 from five different foreign countries. Illinois sent us most of our guests (25) and Texas  has come in second with 16. Our very first guests were from Sweden, and since then we have also hosted people from Australia, Poland, the UK and Ecuador.

We have not been able to meet face to face with each guest we hosted but we met most of them. From our wonderful guests that we did meet, we gained a roommate, received a thoughtful wedding gift, shared laughs, went out for drinks, made numerous new friends, and our first guests even called my grandma and sang “Happy Birthday” to her in Swedish. One guest from Arizona, who we now certainly call a friend, makes it a point to spend time with us every time he is here checking on the East Nashville condo that he is buying. Two friends of mine who moved to North Carolina stayed with us when they came to Nashville for a doctor appointment. Another couple, who knew a relative of mine from high school, stayed with us while they were passing through.

I have always loved traveling and meeting new people, but it’s a whole new experience having people choose to stay at our house and trusting us to share our favorite places with them. If they want to come and spend all day in the house, great. If not, that’s okay too! We have Netflix and a fire pit for those who want to stay home. We have books, magazines, brochures, food menus, magnets, etc. but it’s amazing to be able to share what we like to do here in Nashville and why. Although no one can possibly know all of the best places to go in one city, we’ll share our favorite places in hopes that you’ll fall in love with the city just like we did.

We may be complete strangers at first but we want to make our guests feel comfortable…like they are at their home away from home. If they’re coming to Nashville for the first time, we will most likely be the first impression, and that’s important to us.

We want our guests to come to our house and enjoy their visit. Just like Brian Chesky, who started Airbnb said, “repetition doesn’t create memories… new experiences do.”

Do you enjoy the tiny house?

I’ve had people ask me if I regret leaving my day job to stay home and work multiple jobs. Without hesitating, NO! I love what I do. I am able to meet new people almost on a daily basis when greeting them as they arrive at the house. I am also able to build up my own business, A Sample of Paint and drive for Lyft.

This week, so far, we had three guests travel from Lexington, Kentucky to volunteer at a conference on infants, and we had a last minute booking from four gentlemen who decided to leave northern Illinois and head south. They stopped in the Music City Hideaway to sleep before heading to Gatlinburg for white water rafting and eventually to Miami, Florida.  When I asked them if they had a long trip, they mentioned that they had set up a TV and Wii in the back of their car.  Sounds dangerous if you ask me. 🙂

When the boys left, we met Olivia and Milo along with their parents… all from Chicago as well! I am starting to see a trend here….I know I moved here to get away from the weather! 😉  I love when kids visit… I am challenged to come up with vacation suggestions other than those involving beer and food! Today they visited Nashville Shores and tomorrow, due to the heat, are looking for more water adventures. I suggested Cumberland Park! They came at just the right time. School has started back in the Nashville area so the lines for kid-friendly activities have dropped tremendously.

On Friday, our friends Milo and Olivia head out and we get to meet some new guests. Wayne and his family from Indiana will be in town for his brother-in-law’s 21st birthday.  We will be celebrating a few birthdays this weekend too..looking forward to the festivities…cheers to new friends!

Meeting new people

There are many fun details of the tiny house. It’s a great conversation starter… it’s fun to tell our friends about when they ask “what’s new?” and I think it has given the neighbors something to talk about!

We have had so many fun guests stay with us, and we can’t wait for more! Our first guests were from Sweden. One is a student studying social work, one works in a museum, and one is a librarian.  They had decided to travel across the US. They started in Los Angeles and visited us three weeks into their trip. They stayed with us for two nights before heading to Knoxville. From Knoxville they took a bus through DC up to New York City where they spent two weeks with friends before heading back to Sweden.

We have also had guests from Florida, North Carolina, Boston, Texas, Illinois and Wisconsin.  I love hearing our guests’ comments about the house and some people even tell me what made them choose our place instead of staying somewhere else. Some find it interesting, and others just needed somewhere to stay and saw that it was available! 🙂  Right now we have some new friends from Milwaukee, and this weekend some ladies coming from Lexington, Kentucky!

Available to rent!

After working diligently all weekend (and until 2 am today) we are ready to go! I have posted some photos of the space on airbnb. Please visit the site to check them out. Here’s a sneak peak of how things progressed…

We needed furniture, right, so….

Bill and I built the bed!


Don’t be fooled by the lighting…this picture of the two of us was taken around 1:30 am!


It has arrived!

We are a little behind schedule due to the rain but we will still be ready for our first renters on Wednesday! The shipping crate arrived on Friday. It came in safely although I still didn’t want to watch. 🙂 we had to take part of our fence down to get the tow truck in but we were able to place the crate in safely and the fence didn’t stay down for long.


Over the course of the weekend we also finished the trim work, painted the interior and put up siding. I know the guys worked on some internal things as well but I am not sure what they did.

Tonight I will touch up the paint since I worked in the dark last night and I will also paint the ceiling/ finish behind the refrigerator. I hope to have some helpers coming to join me since I have a list of things to do. 🙂

Here are some more pictures I took (mostly in the dark so they’re not great). No, the toilet doesn’t go in the kitchen.. The guys moved it for me so I could paint the bathroom more easily.



As you can see, Ginger was there strictly for support.

I hope to have photos that show a lot of progress tomorrow!

If you are interested in renting our space, please follow this link.

Crown molding and a kitchen!

Cary shared an update with us this evening. Remember…He is working on the house at his place and bringing it to our property on Wednesday.

We found out today that we can get a 24″ TV for our wall between the bedroom and the kitchen and our couch can be just under 6′ wide. I can’t wait to see it! Cary and his brother Matt worked on crown molding and trim around the floor, got our kitchen installed and also added the baseboard heater.

Here are the photos so you can see the progress for yourself!

We also have another important feature – a front door!

Pictured below you can also see the kitchen, which came straight out of a camper! We have plans to replace the faucet and paint the cabinets/ replace hardware.

          

Trim around the bathroom floor looks great as well.

If you are interested in renting this space please check out our site on airbnb for availability and pricing.

An important part…

We received an important update yesterday…. Good progress has been made in the bathroom and the hookups for the washer and dryer are finished as well! Here are some photos:

Washer/ dryer:


Bathroom:  


The green walls resist moisture.

The dumpster was picked up today and the carport had been taken down! Our yard is mostly open and cleaned up… Who knew we had so much space!

Last but not least here is a quick, not entirely to scale Paint drawing of the layout.

More updates coming soon!

A brand new place to stay in Nashville

A few months ago when my fiance and I purchased a new house, we were given the idea to turn our extra building, which at the time was a 17’x17′ shed, into a tiny house.

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What a great idea! The wheels started rolling and we were ready to go.  Fast forward several weeks and we found someone who was willing to take on the job.  We had a few days in between the deciding date and the start date, and in that time, our new contractor called and mentioned a new idea that he had.  A shipping crate.  He had it on his property and it had already been started. He’d insulate it, build it up just like a house.

Ashley passed on the info and I told her she was nuts. NO WAY. That sounds horrendous.

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I listened to the schpiel, though, and I slowly began to fall into the trap…. this may be a good idea!  We didn’t know how old our building was, we didn’t know what kind of condition it was in, and if we started working on it and found any problems, it could cost a whole LOT of extra money.

We gave our guy the go-ahead, and agreed to let him build us a house out of a shipping crate!  He got to work immediately and has been sending us photos along the way.  In the photos below we can see how well it’s insulated, and we can see the electrical work. We also had him wire it for a stackable washer and dryer in case we want to add that someday. That way it’s all done and we don’t have to go back in and destroy any walls!

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Well, it’s June 23 and our building has been destroyed…and let me point out it was fairly easy to destroy… it crumbled once the plywood was off.  As you can see here, the cinder blocks are not in good shape.  Our shipping crate house, which our contractors Cary and his brother Matt are mostly finishing at Cary’s place, will be delivered on Monday (update: Wednesday!) and will hopefully be ready to rent out by July 3!

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More updates coming soon!