This is how you become an Off-Grid enthusiast. Combining and using recycled materials along with some selective purchases (investments in lifestyle) Vina Lustado has built an exceptional Tiny Home.
Over the course of a year she and her boyfriend planned and built their California ‘Off Grid’ Dreamin’ Home.
Motivation for taking this course of action came from Lustado’s strong desire to live off the grid. Three solar panels collect the energy to charge four batteries and from this arrangement all her electrical needs are met. Her fireplace, (can you believe it, a fireplace in 140 square feet of living space) stove and hot-water heater are fueled by a 7-gallon propane tank. Water, which she does pay for enters the home via garden hose.
Once you get past the size of Vina Lustado’s $40,000 house, which is 140 square feet, two things may still surprise you. One, she designed and built the house to be her home for life. “It’s not temporary. I’m never leaving,” Lustado says. And two, it’s a great place to throw parties with a lot of people.
The deck is about the same size as the living space and allows for large dinner parties. “Well, what I would call large,” she says. “You can have 10 people there, and it’s intimate and cozy.
The decking is from an old house and was reclaimed, remilled and stained. “Nothing was bought on the deck except the screws,” she says. The exterior siding is cedar.
She found the French doors on Craigslist for $200 and spent three months painting and refurbishing them to swing outward, fit the doorway and keep water out.
A path leads from the house through the woods to a shack. Inside is a toilet hooked up to a septic tank. While Lustado does have a compost toilet inside her tiny house, which she disguises as a bench in the bathroom, she doesn’t use it except for the occasional middle-of-the night run, because the county doesn’t allow the use of composting toilets.
Inside are a built-in desk, loft and sofa. Lustado’s carpenter friend did all the cabinetry, siding, floors and millwork.
She got the oak hardwood flooring for free but paid to have it re-planed, stained and installed.
The sofa has storage underneath its hemp and flax cushion. The cushion can also be used on the loft above the desk for a guest. Lustado can roll a storage piece near the desk over to the sofa to act as a dining table.
Having a fireplace was a priority for Lustado. She found the smallest one she could find. It cost $3,000, has a double walled flue and is remote-control operated, so she can turn it off and on from bed. “It’s superluxurious in my opinion,” she says.
She has a small refrigerator under the counter without a freezer. “I really thought about what I need, and for the amount of space that a freezer takes up, it wasn’t worth it,” she says.
The double-height cabinets with the stenciling comprise Lustado’s wardrobe closet. At the top inside is a hanging rod. Below is a custom-milled drawer and shelves.
The two-burner propane cook-top was originally designed for use in RVs. A hot-water heater the size of a bread basket sits underneath this counter.
The skylight was nonnegotiable. “I always wanted to watch the stars from bed, so cost didn’t matter,” she says. She paid $1,000 for the skylight. It’s fully operable, and it can act as a fire escape too.
After seven months, Lustado feels more at home than ever.
“It’s not temporary,” she repeats. “It’s my house. If I move, it will move with me.”
Article written by: Mitchell Parker
Houzz Editorial Staff
Watch the complete video tour below. This was amazing.