Handmade Forest House in Oregon

Handmade Forest House in Oregon - Sink

Brian Schulz shares his tiny home with Kirsten Dirksen. It’s a Japanese design inspired timber frame home tucked into a temperate rain forest. It sits on a 14′ x 16′ footprint and is made from locally found and salvaged materials.

For example, he salvaged lumber from trees that had come down in the wintertime floods. He’d collect these logs out in the bay while out on his kayak, tie them into temporary rafts, and then come back later to bring them ashore – floating them onto the back of a truck.

Much of the lumber he milled himself, choosing to use live edge siding on the exterior for the aesthetic and to simplify the milling process. Inside the walls are covered in lath and a natural plaster that’s then covered in milk paint. Much or the timber frame are made from peeled cedar poles.

Instead of western style furniture he built a Japanese inspired raised tatami style platform for sitting, eating, or just hanging out.  One of the ideas he borrowed from Japanese architecture were tiny doors and windows that seem to go to nowhere.  These function to open up small spaces, add ventilation, and (some would say) allow energy to pass through the home.

The project began with a tiny brass sink he found in a salvage yard. He bought it knowing he had nowhere to put it but that sparked the idea to build this house. The sink drains into a planter box just outside the kitchen window.

The home’s heat comes from a old scaled-down cook stove that Jøtul was making from about the 1950s. The staircase is made from a single log he notched while it was still out in the forest. The stair log was so heavy it took about 15 friends to bring it inside and set into place. The stair railing was made quickly from tree limbs that were found just outside the house.

To earn a living Brian teaches people how to make skin-on-frame kayaks, but I doubt he’d say it’s a job. Brian seems to have found a way to live a rich life with ample time to do the things he loves – a lifestyle that is likely cheaper and might even feel more rewarding to live than what most of us would call normal.

You can learn more about Brian and his kayak workshops at Cape Falcon Kayak. If you liked the video be sure to subscribe to Kirsten Dirksen’s YouTube channel and be sure to visit her Fair Companies website for more tiny living stories.

Handmade Forest House in Oregon - Bed Loft Handmade Forest House in Oregon - Live Edge Siding Handmade Forest House in Oregon - Kitchen Handmade Forest House in Oregon - Tatami Platform Handmade Forest House in Oregon - Stairs Handmade Forest House in Oregon - Stair Rail

Update: Kirsten posted a new video with a full tour of this working off-grid farm.

Caravan – The Tiny House Hotel

Caravan - The Tiny House Hotel

Located in the funky Alberta Arts District of NE Portland, Oregon (map) is the first tiny house hotel in the USA. There you’ll find three tiny houses that encircle a small courtyard.

Each house is equipped with a bathroom (flush toilet & hot shower), kitchen (hot plate, refrigerator & microwave), electric heat, and sleeping space. Each of the three houses has it’s own unique character too.

  • The Rosebud – Traditional style, 120 square feet, Sleeps 1-2 people.
  • The Tandem – A larger tiny house, 160 square feet, Sleeps 1-4 people.
  • The Pearl – Modern style, 90 square feet, sleeps 1-3 people.

Currently it costs $125 a night to stay at The Tiny House Hotel but check their website for current rates.

Visitors to the Caravan - The Tiny House Hotel

Below: The Rosebud

The Rosebud - The Tiny House Hotel

Below: The Rosebud’s Interior

The Rosebud Interior - The Tiny House Hotel

Below: The Tandem

The Tandem - The Tiny House Hotel

Below: The Tandem Interior

The Tandem Interior - The Tiny House Hotel

Below: The Pearl

Pearl - The Tiny House Hotel

Below: The Pearl Interior

Pearl Interior - The Tiny House Hotel

Oregon Cottage Company

Tea House - Exterior

Architect Todd Miller founded the Oregon Cottage Company in 2009, and is located at the HEC (Human Ecology Center) located 3 miles South of Eugene, Oregon. The 27 acre forested property where he now works overlooks Spencer’s butte. Todd has been steadily downsizing his own life since 1998 and has a real dedication to simple & sustainable living – and the tiny houses he designs & builds clearly reflect his values.

He just completed his seventh tiny house, which Kent at Tiny House Blog posted yesterday. It’s a tiny tea house with shoji screens, tatami mats, and even a sunken tea warming hearth. But it’s also a complete home with a composting toilet, on-demand hot water, a 5-foot long kitchen, and Japanese soaking tub. Up in the sleeping loft are three 2 1/2″ thick tatimi mats. Throughout the house are  finished woods, walnut accents with contrasting pine walls. This latest creating is stunning.

His previous tiny homes are more traditional in style but also very well built and nicely finished. Some have pitched roofs common to many tiny houses and others have shed roofs like this latest design. It’s nice to see how Todd’s tiny houses are developing with each new design. I’m really looking forward to seeing what innovations he comes up with next.

You can learn more about Todd and his tiny homes on the Oregon Cottage Company website, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. He also sells plans for these houses if you’d rather build it yourself.

Tea House - Oregon Cottage Company Tea House - Loft Tea House - Main Room Tea House - Kitchen


Tea House Bathroom - Oregon Cottage Company

Siskiyou Tiny House

Siskiyou - Oregon Cottage Company Siskiyou Colonial - Interior

Ynez Tiny House

Ynez - Oregon Cottage Company Ynez - Interior


Alsek Tiny House

Alsek - Oregon Cottage Company Alsek - Interior