Little Yellow…


Is done πŸ˜€

I might just write that again, because it looks so very nice. And this time, I shall employ caps to convey the enthusiasm as effectively as type can: LITTLE YELLOW IS DONE!!!! Alright, I’m freakin’ excited. But after a year of planning, more than a year of building, and what felt like 5 or so years of anticipation, I have a house. A whole house πŸ˜€ I. Have. A. Home.

Can you believe it? I still can’t. I worked sporadically on little things here and there the last few weeks (mostly moulding and oiling of trim and moving my life in) until I began to run out of things to do. It started to look like more things were finished than not. Then I’d come up with something else to sort out, and then I’d see even more things finished then not. And then it finally happened…I’m actually done πŸ˜€

About 90 some percent of my things are inside now. Somehow I managed to decrease my pile of clothes from one that could feed a flock of cloth-eating monsters for weeks to the size of a reasonable suitcase. And don’t scoff, I’m pretty sure there were more than a few cloth-eating monsters in closets I’ve had.

Even with everything in, Little Yellow still feels open and airy with a surplus of storage. I honestly didn’t see that coming. I thought I’d have every nook and cranny squished to the brim with things I just couldn’t part with (that’s kind of what I usually do) and I’m so relieved that I don’t this time around.

Living in my tiny space feels ordinarily easy. I’m still not completely full time out here, but the transition has been the least amount of bother I could wish for. My shower is inches from my clothes which are inches from my shoes which are inches from my door. From waking up to dressed and ready takes about 15 minutes, just because there are so few distractions from one to other.

Except for the kittens, that is. Pìseag, the calico tabby girl (meaning little cat, I call her Pee-sha for short) and Sionnag my silver tabby boy (little fox, shun-a) are all over the place. Playing attack cats in the grass, bouncing from the floor to the bench, doing leaps over each other and going whole hog at that suspicious rug in the kitchen that they are sure is out to get them. Yesterday they learned how to climb the ladder and spent the whole of last night assaulting me with their happy (really loud) purring, one curled under each arm.

Guess what?? I’m moving up by San Francisco in 2 weeks! House and all, down the road I go πŸ™‚ Or at least, that’s the plan. Nightmares of falling houses and flying roofs bumble around my head on a far too regular basis, but what can you do? Hope for the best, and remember the shit tons of screws I stuck into that thing.

Open house announcement:

I’ll be stopping a few places along the way for tiny open houses if any of you happen to be near! The thought for the time being is 1. in my town (about 1.5 hours out of LA) 2. San Luis Obispo, 3. Santa Cruz. Not sure if any others might creep up, but those are what make most sense. More information to follow!

Ok, one more time. Little Yellow is done! You might just call me a happy camper πŸ˜€

128 responses »

  1. Looks awesome. love all the wood, all the textures. I’m really excited for you! (You did leave out some details I woulda liked to know more about, but that’s ok.)

  2. Congratulations on a job well done I hope you many miles ahead on your courageous journey, You have been an inspiration to those that wish to follow your example
    I hope you do print off this blog and use it as a story of your Little Yellow House
    Take care and safe journeys

  3. Congratulations your house came out beautiful. Good job! I will be in the Santa Cruz area starting next week (September 25) so would like to know when you are having your open house. Enjoyed your blog and I wish safe travels in your “wee hoose”.

    • Everything depends on my ride (i.e. house driver) so the best I can tell you so far is it will likely be sometime in the 1st week of October. I should know more before too long, hope you can make it!

  4. Way to go!! FANTASTIC! I’d love to see it in person after watching it online for the last year. Please let us know when your open houses will be, a little lead time would be much appreciated! What a beautiful space and place you have created and nurtured. Little Yellow is not just a house on wheels it is a home with a new family to take care of – you and your two young fur-kids and musical instruments!

  5. way to go. It is a fantastic little place and has inspired me to build my own. I have been following you through this and enjoyed every moment

  6. Wow. Just over a year ago, this was a trailer. Now it is a beautiful home. Can’t believe it. Still. You are so lucky to live in such a gorgeous place.

    Where in San Francisco are you moving? Can’t wait for that “Life in a Tiny House” post! πŸ˜€

  7. Hi Ella, Congrats on the completion of your tiny house!! Am wondering what your time line (ballpark) is for the San Luis Obispo and Santa Cruz open houses? Would love to see your house. Elizabeth

  8. I have loved following your progress with your little house – congratulations on pulling through and your huge accomplishment. I do hope you’ll continue to write about your life IN Little Yellow. Best wishes!

    • I think I will keep the blog going, it always made me sad when other people stopped when the house was done. What I was most interested in was life after the build, so hopefully my experiences will be helpful to others too!

      • Really love the way your wee house turned out! It looks awesome! So glad to hear that you will be continuing to share your experiences of life in your tiny home! Look forward to hearing about all your adventures!

  9. Your house is wonderful! Thanks for all the pics to look at, enjoyed the ones of the babies too (I’m partial to tabbies, they have the best personalities!). Looking forward to more blogs as your journey continues in Little Yellow House. Safe journey!

  10. Congratulations! Thank you so much for letting us share this journey with you, and I hope you’ll continue to post information about your new lifestyle and the trials and triumphs it brings along!

  11. I have been tracking your progress on this blog since late last year and think you did an amazing job. It must feel so good to have collected so much knowledge and experience while turning your dream into reality. Congratulations!

  12. How wonderful! And what an accomplishment. I haven’t been to San Francisco in several years (even though I live just a mere 4 hours away), but I always enjoyed it when I did. Especially the food and shops!! And then there is the beautiful weather, variety of places to go and people to meet. Have a adventurous exciting journey in your beautiful Little Yellow! Hope you keep blogging so we can enjoy it with you.

  13. Just wanted to say CONGRATS on finishing “little yellow” Your tiny home looks amazing! So happy for you and have enjoyed watching you build it. Hope you will keep updating as you move with it and live in it. Good luck on your move, praying for safe travel & safe landing!! Peace & Blessings, Faith

  14. Oh, I am SO excited for you. I would say come by Sonoma, but we’re just north of San Francisco. I’ve been avidly reading everything you post, because I want to build a tiny house. I am so excited for you, I have to say it again, because it’s kind of ridiculous how happy I am for you.

  15. I’m very happy for you. I’ve enjoyed following your blog and watching your progress. Your house is beautiful, inside and out. Enjoy it and the beginning of this next phase of your life. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  16. Congrats Ella. It looks awesome. I almost made a tiny home on wheels a year ago and plans fell through, but I found your blog and lived vicariously through you as you did it. I hope we get updates on your life/travel in San Francisco. I’m on the east side of the US, but I would love to see your place in person. At least I get some wonderful pictures. I love your cats and I think you’re beyond adorable!

    Take Care Ella!

      • Part of why I didn’t make mine is parking. It’s so hard to find a place to park.

        I’m interested in ecovillages or intentional communities. I found that where you can park these things is typically way out in the middle of nowhere and I wanted a community. I know people are trying to create tiny home communities and I’d love to visit one or maybe even join one in the future. Next month I’m traveling to see a intentional Christian community and may end up living there.

        Wherever I live I’ll still consider building a tiny house on wheels or land, because that’s all the space I need and I don’t want room to fill with clutter.

        Did you know where you were going to go before you starting building Little Yellow?

        FYI my design had plans for a huge door, like 3′ wide, just to contrast the space, and well making it more inviting for guests to come in.

  17. I am very happy for you. The sense of accomplishment that comes from completing an arduous and daunting task, the sense of pride of doing it well and the pleasure of being reminded of it on a daily basis will be with you forever,
    I am slightly saddened that I will not be reading about angle-challenged moldings, connecty bits or clothes monsters any more. But if you keep writing, I’ll keep reading. I started reading your blog as a fan of small houses and continued reading as a fan of witty, intelligent, and daring harpists. Best of luck with your new home and job.

  18. Ella, I’m so very proud of you and you of course must be too. What an incredible accomplishment. You have this blessing you created for yourself and it will comfort you all your life. Please please keep up this journey we have all traveled with you.

  19. What a lovely, lovely, little house you have built for yourself, Ella. I’m so pleased for you. And encouraged. I live in Orange County. Please give notice of your LA area Open House. I am dying to see your place in person!

  20. As the others have said, thank you for sharing the incredible journey of building your own home.

    Congratulations to you, young lady. You have much to be proud of. And so do your folks.

  21. Pingback: Little Yellow is Done! | Tiny House Living

  22. Hey, congratufunkinlations! Been following this the whole way through too, lovely to see it come to fruition… hope some great noises are made in it. Love from Scotland,

  23. Congratulations and best of wishes for a happy home life with your engaging companions in your gorgeous new digs. You’ve been a great inspiration!

  24. What a wonderful little house. It is so well planned…a place for everything you need. Well organized and beautiful. I am so impressed and admire you for a job well done. Congratulations on your accomplishment.

  25. I am somewhat terrified for you going that close to the hills of San Fran, but I am excited for you as well. My husband desperately wants to build a tiny house, but I’m scared of the possibility of having a house on wheels that can be…stolen or something. I want a tiny house, but maybe somewhat less…steal-able or roll down a hill-able. ha! Congrats on finally finishing.

    • Haha, don’t worry, I wont be on a hill! Honestly, I’ve never been too worried about that. Being on wheels it is a possibility, but there are so many advantages to mobile housing that I figure it outweighs the negatives. Also, if someone did steal it I can’t imagine they’d get very far with a seriously identifiable, 13’5″ structure!

  26. At my mother’s suggestion I have been following your blog since October of last year and I just wanted to say how inspiring it has been to watch the progress of Little Yellow. It is so beautiful and you are right, it looks fantastically spacious! I’m in and out of San Francisco frequently. Perhaps someday I could meet you if you ever hold an open house there!

  27. Wow! Congratulations, your tiny house is gorgeous! I have really enjoyed reading this very entertaining blog, and it has inspired me to build my own tiny house! All the best to you and your babies πŸ™‚

  28. Congratulations Ma’am;

    Your finished work is both beautiful and motivating. A question if you please (and I do hope to not tread on crass territory); do you have any final understanding of your costs involved? As one with serious intent to pursue same path, it would help to know your results viz-a-viz your costs.

    Many thanks for your well documented effort.


    • No worries of crass territory, it cost me about $16,000 to build. More if you count my futon and other such things. It was a lot to have saved for upfront but considering I have a house, I’m happy. Better it went there than to the black hole of rent!

      • That’s a pretty fair amount. It seems that a lot of tiny houses of this spec come in at $30,000. But I suppose you did do most of the work yourself. (They tend to be more expensive due to labour costs.)

        I’m in the process of costing a Tumbleweed-style tiny house myself, though made with as many salvaged materials as I can find, and with things like a small solar system, etc, it’s come to around $10,000AUD so far. (I’m wondering what vital fixtures I have missed!)

        Oh, that’s right, I have replaced the cedar siding in the budget with cheaper weatherboard.

    • Yay, Scotland is such a lovely place to visit! I’m a bit partial to the Isle of Skye as I spent my last year there and just loved it. It has a special kind of old, rich beauty that takes my breath away. I swear the colours are more intense than anywhere I’ve lived. And the Isle of Barra is lovely…and Edinburgh, I’m sure you’ll have fun pretty much wherever you go!

  29. You know, of course, that everything will fall off those lovely shelves when Little Yellow goes on the road. You may want to put tiny lips on the edges of some so that you won’t have to dismantle everything each time you move. There’s one idea about a quarter of the way down on this website It also references a very cool idea — using spring-type curtain rods as shelf protectors. BTW they also work nicely to hang spray bottles in your cleaning storage area, e.g. under the sink, freeing storage surface space. (Hang by the grip).

  30. Congrats!!!!!!!! It looks so beautiful. Will you be renting a spot to park it in SF or will you be parking it on a friend or family members property? I am always interested in where Tiny Home Owners parke their homes because I want one sooooo badly but where I live on Long Island it is so NOT Tiny House friendly. 😦 GOOD LUCK!!!

  31. CONGRATS- Little yellow is beautiful!!!!! The building may be over but the adventures are just beginning- be sure to post your travels and thank you for sharing!

  32. Ella, you are an inspiration on so many levels. I love your story and your, “this sounds fun, let’s do it” lease on life! πŸ™‚ I’d love to meet you and interview you for your my podcast. It centers around debt free living and you are certainly an expert on that topic, and a creative one at that. I’d love to show my listeners what’s possible when you have a dream and a plan. Podcast:



    • I wish they were more concrete, but things hinge on schedules other than my own. The thought is still sometime in the 1st week of October. I’ll let everyone know as soon as I do!

  33. Hi Ella! I read your last post with a small tear in my eye. I have been quietly following your progress for the past 8 months after stumbling across your blog. I so admired your willingness to jump right in and take on this epic task with absolutely no experience. I am a great starter of projects… unfortunately I am historically not a great finisher. This is why I was so happy reading “Little Yellow is done!” You are an inspiration! I wish you much happiness in your little home, and hope you will continue to share your adventures as you and Little Yellow hit the road! All the best! πŸ™‚

    Riverview NB, Canada

    • Thank you! And there is hope for us project starters, I was a terrible finisher too before this house. There’s nothing like one that soaks up all your savings to add sufficient motivation!

  34. Well done!!! I’ve been following your posts for a while now and I have to say, your sense of style and space is awesome. Also, I’ve been in the building trades for more than 30 years and you and your many helpers craftsmanship is right there with the best of them. May you have many blessed years enjoying your creation. Now you can concentrate your talents on making beautiful music.

  35. Congrats on completing little yellow. I hope to see more of your postings about living in one. I have been thinking about a tiny house myself but have not figured out how to get all of my sewing machines and embroidery machines in one. My home business is machine embroidery. Your blog has been an inspiration. Again Congrats on the new home. =))

  36. Congratulations!! I really hope I get a chance to see you and Little Yellow. I live in the south bay so I’m sure if I can’t make it to Santa Cruz I’ll stumble across your beautiful home eventually. ^_^ It looks wonderful and thank you so much for sharing your journey with all of us.

    • I do not have a fridge. That was one of the things I learned to do without in college, and I decided that a small ice box would be enough for me. I’ll have a better update on how it all works soon! I figure if I find I need one, I can always get something really little for the counter πŸ™‚

  37. So exciting Ella!!!! I’m so proud of you!!!!!! Northern California will be such an amazing back drop for your new life to begin!! How absolutely wonderful. I hope you’ll keep up your blog about your adventures. I will be in your corner. Congratulations on your huge accomplishment. You are well on your way!!! So proud of you!! Have fun and thanks for including all of us in your journey. Happy Trails to you……. Tina. September 25, 2012

  38. I just looked at the photos.. Oh my my…. That is the sweetest home I have ever had the priviledge to see. wow. The kittens really make a house a home. How adorable they are. I remember when you were looking for a trailer to build your home upon… I’m thoroughly impressed. Keep on Truckin’ mate!!!!!!!

  39. WOW! Awesome job! I had to study the pictures for a while to get a feel for your floor plan. I love the layout! I like the “pink room”. I couldn’t figure out at first where that was located, but I see it now. Every thing looks great, very nice craftsmanship! Enjoy your new home! I have enjoyed following your progress over the past year.

  40. I’m so proud of you!! You’ve worked really hard and achieved something great. Congratulations and I wish you many happy years of tiny house living!

  41. Ella, such a beautiful artwork you have made with so many elements of inspiration for us other mobile house builders. Very happy for you, best wishes in this transition!

  42. I have really enjoyed your build and blog. I really thank you for sharing it with all of us. I admire your “can do” spirit as you tackled skills for the first time. You are now a skilled craftsman as shown in your work. I hope your space serves you well. Best wishes all the way from Arkansas. Hope you continue to blog to keep us up to date.

  43. Ella, I’m curious about heating your home. What do you plan to do, or have I missed it? I absolutely love the house. I’ve been intrigued by these tiny homes for a long time. Also, do you plan for a frig?

    • Right now I have only a little origo space heater. It’s not amazing, but puts out a fair amount of heat when you’re near it. I originally planned to get a Dickenson propane boat heater but just ran out of money. Hopefully I’ll survive until I save up enough for one! I also don’t have a fridge and don’t plan on one. I’ll have a little ice box, we’ll see how that goes!

      • That would have been my guess … space heater and ice box. Just curious. It’s a really good idea to wait until money is available or need is realized. I guess that’s really how tiny houses got their start … keep taking away the unnecessary until only the necessary is left. It’s great! Thanks for being faithful with your blog. I’m sure there are many more quietly following than you realize. Best wishes.

  44. Congratulations! Your tiny house is just beautiful and you should be so proud. I’m jealous of your simple living and also jealous of your kittens! Why can’t they stay kittens forever???

  45. Wow – This is so impressive. And I really admire all the beatiful wooden details, the counter top etc. You are a very skilled carpenter! I like the house plan, too (kind of makes me want to change my own plans…). Best of luck, and I’ll keep an eye on you (now that I found you in the Tiny House Blog) πŸ™‚ /Eva in Sweden

    • Thank you! Whatever you choose for you floor plan, just think about it a LOT before deciding. I took soooo much time, but I’m glad I did. This one really works for me!

  46. Hello!

    I just stumbled across your blog! I love, love, LOVE your tiny house! My husband and I are in the process of trying to get one ourselves! Our process has only just begun, by which I mean we can’t even start building anything yet! But we are moving into a tiny studio apartment here in San Francisco soon in preparation for living small (and also so we have more money to save towards our house one day!).

    I was thrilled to hear you are moving into our neck of the woods! Once you’ve arrived and settled, would it be all right if we met or if we could even stop by and see your charming home? We’d love to talk and swap ideas and get inspiration from you.

    Will be following you from now on, through this blog! Good luck on your moving adventures!

  47. Pingback: i better post some of these before the internet becomes antiquated. |

  48. WONDERFUL !!! You are fantastic … What a job well done …. ENJOY !!!!! Sure wish I was able to attend an open house …. Thanks for the invite !!!!

  49. I am in love with your house! I’ve been slowly developing a dream to build a tiny house, find some land, and start a tiny goat farm. Reading your blog from the beginning shall be on my list of ways to find inspiration!

  50. Congratulations Ella! I’ve so enjoyed reading your blog, and your house is absolutely lovely. I too am planning a tiny house and your adventures have been inspiring and entertaining. Best of luck with the move, and I hope you’ll find time to continue to update us on tiny house living!

  51. Can I ask you a few things?
    One. How much did Little Yellow cost?
    Two. Maybe you’ve alreaday written about it, but what about the heating?

    (Excuse my bad spelling, but I’m italian)

  52. Congratulations! I just spent the day reading from post one. I’ll tackle the rest tomorrow. Thank you for sharing your journey. It’s long been a dream of mine to do this.

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