Ultra high end Eco Tiny House with reclaimed old growth clear heart redwood exterior.
The exterior of this home is all reclaimed old growth clear heart redwood and reclaimed western red cedar. The cedar on the exterior of this home was finished with a technique called “shou sugi ban” which is the Japanese technique of lightly torching the wood which both acts as a natural finish (bug & fire resistant), while also emphasizing the grain of the wood. The back deck is also a combination of old growth redwood and cedar which is finished with a sap based epoxy material that was developed for surfboard manufacturing but is now used in the marine industry. At the very front of the home, Is a cabinet that houses the brain of the home. In the cabinet, is the Magnum charge controller and inverter as well as the 4 deep cycle Rolex AGM battery bank that powers the home. The Tekagi tankless propane water heater also lives In the front cabinet.
This home is insulated with a material called Rock Wool which is a stone fleece material, significantly more sustainable then typical insulation and has a high R-Value. To complement the insulation, we used double pane tempered glass custom windows by Sierra pacific. After much research, we decided to go with the Mitsubishi mini split AC unit as it was the most efficient air conditioning unit on the market. For heat, we use a wood-burning stove called the hobbit by Salamander stoves. This stove is AWESOME and can keep the tiny home warm on the coldest days. Because of how well insulated the home is through both the windows and walls, the use of both climate control systems is mitigated and used on only the most extreme weather days.
As you step up onto the back deck where the front door is, you will be greeted with a beautiful slab of old growth clear heart redwood that is used as a bench covering the condenser to the ac unit. The custom old growth redwood door has been fitted with a custom design and built stained glass mural of Big Sur California. this mural, as well as the mural on the sliding door going into the bathroom, were created by a well-known artist by the name of Ron Vogt here in Ojai California. Illuminating the deck and backyard area are low voltage, LED puck lights and a low voltage, LED lighting strip.
Once you have stepped through the front door, to the left is the dining room/guest room/living room/entertainment room/whatever else you want to use it for. We were able to get our hands on a downed old growth redwood tree in the Santa Barbara area which we used for all of our countertops, tables, and cabinet toppers. The boat-style table that drops to accommodate the guest bed, is a large piece of the redwood slab that was finished with the sap-based epoxy. The wrap-around couch has storage space underneath and dies into the back of the stair set that goes to the loft. In the back of the stair set is our “entertainment station” that houses all of our office supplies, electronics, and extra storage. Pulling down in front of the cabinet, is a projector screen to turn the living room into a mini movie theater. On the side of the stairs is a closet, two additional cubbies, and another cabinet. The entire stair set was created using old growth redwood from a 50+ year old water tank.
The walls of the interior of the home utilize a material called Skimm Stone which is a plaster derivative that has significantly more flex and “elasticity” to withstand the bumps of the road. The skim stone is an off white color as the trowel marks are visible for an artisan look. The skim stone begins about 3 feet off the ground and the lower section wanes coat is western red reclaimed cedar trimmed with the old growth redwood. All trim through the home is the redwood. The interior ceiling is the same redwood wine barrel that was used for the exterior ceiling of the cantilevering roof over the back deck. The floor is old growth, twice reclaimed bamboo and is hard as a rock. The lighting within the home is a combination of low voltage LED strips, pucks, and fixtures.
Past the stairs on the left, and wood burning stove on the right, is the kitchen area. The kitchen counter uses the same slab of redwood from Santa Barbara as the dining table finished with the same sap-epoxy. This is a huge slab, with western red cedar cabinets under and above. The upper cabinets have the LED strips to illuminate the table. The farm style sink is piped through the floor and drains from a hose under the chassis. This could drain into a grey water holding tank mounted under the chassis, but we decided to use a hose/eco soap and water plants. The stove/oven is a Dometic Origo 6000 Alcohol system. After tons of research we decided on alcohol as it is the safest to use in a small space, did not need a “hard” ventilation (we opt to open windows), and for the truly savvy, distillable in a pinch. We have never had any problems with it except for finding fuel in CA. We have found that denatured fireplace fuel burns the cleanest and is the most affordable per Gal. The refrigerator was tricky to track down but is a system that runs entirely on low voltage mitigating the need to invert energy to run the unit (inverting is not nearly as efficient as 12v from solar). The refrigerator has a freezer within and is highly efficient. Under the sink is built in, pull out garbage and recycling cans and the counter is stocked with plenty of outlets.
Across from the kitchen is the mini split ac unit and underneath, is a recently added “California Koa” Black Acacia folding slab used as a desk. This table is finished with Tung Oil as the slab is much denser than the Redwood.
As you walk past the refrigerator, there are neutral colored climbing holds on the cedar cladding to access the storage loft above the bathroom. These climbing holds are extremely easy to climb and have plenty of grip to stand on while accessing the loft.
The handle to the sliding pocket door that goes to the bathroom is a brass seahorse from Indonesia. The door is all old growth reclaimed redwood with a custom stained glass mural of a wave breaking in Big Sur. Once in the bathroom, directly in front is a high end LG washer/dryer combo unit that clad in wood to give a base for folding laundry and storage. Above the washer are custom shelves to house any bathroom accessories. The entire bathroom floor is river stone with grout between the stones. There is a turtle tile grouted in right before a blue tile threshold into the shower area. The walls in the bathroom are the same skim stone material used for the rest of the house, but with blue mixed in and a waterproof seal. The washer drains into the shower pan from copper pipes and next to the washer before the shower is a Natures Head compostable toilet that is vented to the exterior. In the shower area is also where the bathroom sink is mounted to a round slab of old growth redwood, creating a “wet room.” The shower has an opposable head as well as a massive 12” waterfall head. Mounted above the washer is a Magnum charge controller to monitor the health of the solar system from inside the home.
Upstairs in the main loft is a california king mattress surrounded by cedar cubbies with a blue pine slab topper. The pine slab was not wide enough to cantilever the cubbies so we created a redwood stringer. There is a huge window next to the bed which really opens the space up as well as smaller windows on the other side and the head. Above the mattress is a Fakro sky door that has blackout blinds, a screen, and the ability to exit and access the rooftop deck.
There are so many details that make this home one of a kind it is difficult to entirely iterate; you will just have to come see it! It took us a year and a half to build as every details was meticulously gone over. The house was built by Ryan O’Donnell of Humble Hand Craft in Ventura CA. This was a definitely a passion project for him. My wife and I never planned to sell it and had hoped to pass it down to our children one day but as we all know, plans change. If you are an eco minded individual or family, looking for a truly one of a kind home with no detail sparred, don’t pass this one up; it is something special.