Awhile back, I found Tyler crouched on the floor, with a determined look on his face, scissors, tape, and cardboard strewn about him. Much to my delight, he was painstakingly constructing a scale model of our timberframe cottage! Using Peter's blueprint as a guide, Tyler made our tiny house 1/12th the size of the one we'll build for real: each foot of timber translated to an inch of cardboard.
Tyler's note: the widths of the timbers themselves are not to scale, but everything else is.
After the initial frame was finished, I joined in the crafting fun. My nesting instincts immediately came out in full force as we settled in and decorated our new space. Together, we made kitchen cabinets, a table, and a staircase full of storage possibilities. Sadly, we soon realized that if we orient the staircase as it is in the photo below, we'll have to duck every time we go up the stairs so our heads don't bump the ceiling.
To help us better visualize our space, I made scale models of Tyler and myself. In doing so, we were able to really get a feel for where our design would be cramped, and where it would work nicely. With this newfound knowledge, we redesigned our staircase twice, arriving at a layout that has us entering the second floor in the center of the roofline, with plenty of headroom.
Why hello there! Check out my new staircase design!
(I'm wearing oven mitts because I bake all the time, and because it's easier than drawing hands.)
Having mini-me and mini-Tyler has also made 'playing house' all the more fun, encouraging us to add little homey details to our design. A few weeks ago, Tyler made tiny replicas of our cast-iron skillets with cardboard and electrical tape, and our dear friend Mary upped the ante by surprising us with a rag rug she made herself. Thanks Mary!
Constructing a scale model out of cardboard is obviously not the same thing as building a house. However, now that we've gone through the design process, working through various challenges that arose, I can't imagine trying to build the real thing without that invaluable experience. It also just feels good to have made the model— for the time being, when all we can really do from Minnesota is keep saving, it boosts our morale to make something tangible that is, in some small way, moving us in the direction of our dreams.
With that in mind, I'm sure we'll spend many a dreary winter's day sprucing up our tiny cardboard house. Next up, we'll need to create walls, probably with some kind of foam to approximate the thickness of the straw bales we'll be using. Then, we can start carving in nooks and window seats and built-in shelves!