What will you do when you wake up and suddenly feel that your house doesn’t feel like home? Some people who live in conventional homes sometimes ‘feel restriction’, making them feel ‘lacking’ despite their home’s spacious square-footage. At some point in their life, they question if living in a traditional home is worth the stress of dealing with mortgage debts that take years before you can pay.
That’s precisely the feeling Cera and Oliver wanted to escape when they downsized to a tiny version of their previous home in Armstrong, British Columbia. Moving in a tiny house on wheels was a game-changer in their life.
“We lost touch with what we really enjoyed in life, which was hiking, climbing, and just getting outside, and enjoying nature,” Cera explained. “We were looking for change…” Today, the couple runs a tiny home construction company.
The tiny house is reminiscent of Cera and Oliver’s old home. Despite its small size, you can still see the character, feel, and key characteristics of their previous living space. “We sort of took those elements and brought it into the house and tried to create something that didn’t look just like a square box,” Oliver said.
Cera loved the design and concept of heritage homes. Having the opportunity to design the house herself and modify it to suit a tiny home has been a dream come true. The home’s lovely exterior highlights dormers, shingle detailing, gray siding, and windows.
“We wanted to bring those elements from our big house into here to make it feel like it was home, and I think that was executed really well,” Oliver revealed.
Cera was in charge of the design while Oliver took care of the entire building process. Cera’s strengths lie in designing and conceptualizing color schemes, furniture arrangements, and the home’s overall layout. Oliver, on the other hand, focused on making Cera’s ideas to reality. Their excellent teamwork is what makes their tiny home construction company a hit.
The couple’s home is in the middle of a vast family land surrounded by lush greenery. They’re lucky to have a private spot, cradled under Mother Nature’s embrace. The quiet and peaceful atmosphere keeps Cera and Oliver away from the stress of the bustling city.
The home has three solar panels on the roof and one panel on the ground for solar tracking. Their home is designed to be entirely off-grid, but they still connect to services when necessary.
The home is 24 ft. long x 8.5 ft wide x 13.6 ft. high with 225 square footage. Inside, you’ll notice the open floor plan that unites the kitchen and living room. Even when you’re inside, you still have a stunning view of nature outside. The house’s windows look like wall paintings with beautiful scenery from the outside. The skylight brings comforting, natural light from the bright sky. When you look up, you can see the forest’s canopy.
“The number one thing on my list was windows on windows on windows,” said Cera. “I’m a big natural light person and for us, we didn’t really much wall space to put things on. It was more important to be able to look out and see the nature around us.”
With 15 windows and three skylights, the couple doesn’t feel enclosed in a tight space, especially during winters where they stay home for a long time. The interior is predominantly white that complements the wooden flooring and green-gray cabinets. You’ll also notice how almost every corner of the home has potted plants.
And yes, all of them are real! The captivating forest vista matches the interior’s solemnity with the variety of hanging plants and succulents.
The living room has a big couch with a small office desk and chair on the side. Cera and Oliver are active people, but they also enjoy curling up on a big sofa while watching the TV. The wall-mounted TV can be swiveled, so the couple can still watch while doing dishes or preparing their meals.
“We wanted to make the living room as spacious as possible, obviously only being in such a small space we wanted that relaxation space at the end of the day to sort of kick your feet up and take it easy,” Oliver said.
The couple’s kitchen combines the country homestead’s rustic feel with the modern color palette and layout. The quartz countertops have decent size, perfect for prepping meals.
You’ll also notice the abundant storage space from the cabinets to the staircase where they tucked most of their bulky furniture, such as the washer-dryer and full-sized fridge. Past the kitchen is the couple’s personal closet space. Cera and Oliver each got ample room for their clothes, so they don’t have to combine their clothing in one wardrobe.
The bathroom turned out to be Cera’s favorite part of the home. It has a composting toilet, which saves a lot of water consumption and a beautiful sink with a mirror and added storage space. The small clawfoot bathtub is definitely a scene-stealer—who would have thought the tiny home would have a tub?
“I always want a clawfoot my whole life and I never got one. So even though we’re going tiny, I told Oliver we’re still getting the clawfoot, and it’s like okay. It’s gonna be small, but we’ll make it happen…” Cera said.
Upstairs, the sleeping loft has two skylights and two windows at the side. Since the loft is a bit tight, Cera and Oliver decided to open the space by bringing in more natural light while seeing the outside. The cozy loft also allows the couple to see the stars up in the night sky.
Moving to the tiny house opened so many opportunities for Cera and Oliver while removing the stressful burden associated with traditional houses. “I think the most common question we can ask now two yours into tiny living is: ‘do you ever see yourself moving back into the big home?’ I don’t think so,” Cera said with conviction.
So much had changed when Cera and Oliver downsized from their 2500 square-feet home. They had limited time together since they both work separate shifts back then. Now, they see each other at home and work in the tiny home construction company of their own.
They gained financial freedom, peace of mind, quality time, and a deeper connection with nature. And now they even have their own tiny home construction company. It’s incredible to think about how a tiny house can do all these things. The build cost Cera and Oliver approximately $85,000. Considering how much their condition and outlook in life have improved, the cost is worth every penny. With their wisdom and foresight, they share what they’ve gained to families looking to experience the serenity and clutter-free living.
Pop a quick visit to Cera and Oliver’s lovely home by watching the video:
If you are a tiny home aficionado be sure to visit Living Big In A Tiny Home’s YouTube channel for more amazing virtual tours!