Vina’s Tiny House









I am a designer who always wanted to design and build my own house, but I couldn’t find a way to afford it. With the tiny house movement, I found a way to do so for $35,000.

My design has 140 sf of living space (based on 8’ x 20’ trailer) and is wholly self-sufficient. It reflects my philosophy about simplicity, sustainability, and living within my means. Equipped with a fireplace and skylights and bathed in natural light, it feels luxurious living tiny!

I created my tiny house design with my own aesthetic, reinterpreting the traditional cabin with a modern, clean look. I love living off the grid and living simply!

A 140 square feet tiny house built on a trailer in Ojai, California. Designed by Sol Haus Design.



  1. Mopsa July 31, 2014 at 9:09 am - Reply

    This tiny house is perfect! Great great job 🙂

  2. Craig July 31, 2014 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    Really nice tiny house design, one of the best I’ve seen.

  3. padraig stubbs July 31, 2014 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    Can we have the specs and details of how this house is self sufficient. I know I could learn a few things. Thanks

    • vina lustado August 8, 2014 at 12:23 am - Reply

      Hi Craig – The house is on solar panels for the undercounter refrigerator, lights (LED), laptop, etc. I use propane gas for the fireplace, tankless hot water heater, and 2 burner stove. The water is hooked up to a spicket with a garden hose to recycle all my water (shower & sinks) for a simple greywater system. It feeds a citrus tree that is now blossoming and bearing fruit for the first time! I don’t have black water because I have a simple composting toilet. More info on my website:

  4. Denise July 31, 2014 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    I love this design also, and the attention to the touches of luxury. The pillows are scrumptious! I was wondering where the ladder to the loft is stored.

  5. faith July 31, 2014 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    Is there a kitchen?

  6. Doreen July 31, 2014 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    great use of space, this is a winner design.

  7. judith roberts July 31, 2014 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    love you plan

  8. regina July 31, 2014 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    Really nice job, I would just like another opening window in the loft and a few more pics…..fireplace and bathroom

  9. Erin July 31, 2014 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    would like to see the bathroom facilities.

  10. Susan Mills July 31, 2014 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    This is about as perfect as it can get. The first tiny house I truly covet! Excellent work!

  11. Robyn July 31, 2014 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    Beautiful and filled with light. Where did you park it?

  12. Marsha J July 31, 2014 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    Ok, THIS I could live in “til I die.” Beautiful and comfy!

  13. Viktor August 1, 2014 at 4:04 am - Reply

    I’m wondering… why does it cost so much? What costs 35k? The materials, the work? Seems a lot for such a minimalistic house. Of course I’m looking at it with the eye of a Bulgarian, where we can get 7 solid houses for the same money but I’m just curious how come this place costs that much.

    • sc August 5, 2014 at 6:26 pm - Reply

      from what i understand, it the labor, many tiny houses are diy, but having it made, as i am assuming this was by professionals will double the cost. its seems expensive but considering how much money you save in maintenance and not buying furnishings and other stuff in the future is where the savings come in. most importantly its looks well built, i dont know how long these tiny houses are supposed to last, but considering how nice this one is i think its a bargin, the cost of a luxury car here in the us. i guess in bulgaria it could be made even cheaper.

    • sc August 5, 2014 at 6:54 pm - Reply

      What I am trying to figure out is the walls, its that sheets of some kind of white wood or is it wallpaper or sheetrock? the beautiful walls make the wood features really pop. The choice of staining the wood a light gold was also clever. I dont like on overly red or dark stains unless its done by someone who knows what they are doing. Such a beautiful cream and golden sheen in this house.

      • vina lustado August 8, 2014 at 12:32 am - Reply

        The interior walls were one of the challenging parts of the project! The walls are made out of plywood panels with a whitewash finish. I wanted to have white walls to contrast the wood ceilings and floor, but still have the wood grain of the plywood show through.

        The whitewash is an all-organic aqua resin product from Germany. Very nice product but a bit pricey. The white color reflects light and feel more spacious. The plywood panels give additional shear strength to resist movement during travel.

  14. Stephen Fisher August 1, 2014 at 9:33 am - Reply

    Awesome TH!! Great design.

  15. Martha August 1, 2014 at 9:46 am - Reply

    Nicely done – would love to see shots of the bathroom, floor plan and ladder type used.

  16. Jay August 1, 2014 at 10:30 am - Reply

    Nice. More photos please! I’d like to see the fireplace, bathroom, kitchen and closet details.

  17. Mark August 1, 2014 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Very clean design. We like the desk area and exterior with vertical application. Wonderful build.

  18. Tasmin Skye August 1, 2014 at 11:14 am - Reply

    I love your house!!! It is simply beautiful. I especially love that it is self-sustaining. That is one of my new goals for the future: live in a tiny, self-sustaining home.

  19. Amber August 1, 2014 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Perfect, love this. Hope to have one someday!

  20. belle August 1, 2014 at 11:44 am - Reply

    Did you have any plans for this…I really like it…I am originally from Calif but live in Costa Rica now and would like to live in something like this down here…grateful this was posted…its so doable and sustainable…thanks

  21. Laura August 1, 2014 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    How do you find a place to put the house?

  22. Marlene August 1, 2014 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    Love, one of the best I have seen in a long search… but where is access to the loft? I’m guessing via the bathroom…

    • sc August 5, 2014 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      the ladder is next to the couch

  23. Marlene August 1, 2014 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    I see the ladder in the project photos on Sol Haus Design — sorry I didn’t check before I asked 😉

  24. DIANA August 1, 2014 at 6:23 pm - Reply


  25. Herman August 2, 2014 at 6:00 am - Reply

    Nice but…….what about fire?

    • sc August 5, 2014 at 6:31 pm - Reply

      fire? what fire? there have been wood houses in forest areas for thousands of years. at least it being on a trailer she might have time to move the house out of the way.

    • vina lustado August 8, 2014 at 12:40 am - Reply

      Hi Diana- Great question about the fire! I have a fire extinguisher, and smoke/ carbon monoxide detector. I also have a second means of egress (exit) off the bedroom loft with my large skylight. It fully opens so I can escape in case there is a fire downstairs.

  26. Nationwww August 2, 2014 at 7:31 am - Reply

    Where’s the toilet?…

  27. Doug August 2, 2014 at 7:32 am - Reply

    Can I buy plans for this house?

  28. Jeannette Capuano August 2, 2014 at 9:50 am - Reply

    I love it! But where do you put clothes and other personal belongings, like, shoes, purses….etc….?

  29. bianca August 2, 2014 at 11:48 am - Reply

    Beautiful home. I love the sense of luxury you have while still being able to live off the grid.

  30. mary August 2, 2014 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    Love this! How do I get plans for one?

  31. Liz August 2, 2014 at 3:21 pm - Reply


    • PeterandElise Bray August 3, 2014 at 9:04 am - Reply

      Its adorable but cant believe 35K we are building a cabin 22×40 in maine for less than half of that. none the less … its cool !

    • Rich August 3, 2014 at 5:42 pm - Reply

      My thought exactly. The highest dollar figure I’ve seen for a tiny house. Tiny space, very big price.

  32. Claudia August 2, 2014 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    This is super nice, I love the minimalist style.

  33. kerstin August 3, 2014 at 6:30 am - Reply

    Love it…really nice. seems perfect…

  34. Mike August 3, 2014 at 10:13 am - Reply

    Amazing design sense. This is another new benchmark for the tiny house movement.

  35. Paul Eric August 3, 2014 at 10:30 am - Reply

    I have been following the tiny house movement. I am intrigued. Less is definitely more. I love, love this tiny home and it’s by far my favorite.

  36. SONDRA August 3, 2014 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    OK 35K way to much for that. Now they’re cute but i wouldn;t want one an not for that price 5 maybe but 35k no way. An living in Tx Tornado alley

  37. Shanti Joy August 4, 2014 at 12:54 am - Reply

    Love this sweet little beauty. I didn’t see how you get up to the loft. Is there a retractable ladder? I am considering a tiny house and this is one of my favorite designs so far. Thanks for posting

  38. vina lustado August 4, 2014 at 3:12 am - Reply

    Thank you all so much for your kind words! Craig- I understand that the cost is high for some, but I built this house so I can live in it forever. It’s built with the high quality materials and professional labor. It’s off the grid with solar panels and includes the built in furniture. I hope that helps. Feel free to email me for any questions!

  39. kerri sengstaken August 4, 2014 at 3:56 am - Reply

    how can we buy one like this! ??

  40. Elissa August 4, 2014 at 11:39 am - Reply

    Perfect tiny house!
    Where can I purchase the plans? This is exactly what my husband and I are looking for. However, we would like to put it on a permanent foundation.

  41. tthom2 August 4, 2014 at 11:45 am - Reply

    What you’ve given us to see is fantastic. The french doors to the outdoor deck in my opinion is mandatory for a tiny house. It expands the feeling of the living space – and if you are located in a mild climate – it literally does expand that space. I’d love to see more views of the kitchen and bath.

  42. Roxanne August 4, 2014 at 11:54 am - Reply

    Is it difficult getting insurance on Tiny Houses like this?

  43. Ben August 4, 2014 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    So beautiful Vina! Im building one at the moment which has such a similar feel. Love it.

  44. April August 4, 2014 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    How do you get up to the bed? I didn’t see a ladder or stairs of any kind. Really cute place! I admire people who can downsize their lives like this. Way to go.

    • vina lustado August 8, 2014 at 12:47 am - Reply

      There is a rolling ladder on the rail which can access both lofts.

  45. Fern Barishman August 4, 2014 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    I love, love, love this. Gorgeous design and talk about living simply.
    There’s no room for excess STUFF! Yay. Finally. Would love to get
    one and live in it on the weekends. The only problem is, where would
    I put my piano? LOL

  46. Lisa E. August 4, 2014 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    I’m sorry you didn’t include pics of the bathroom and shower.
    Love the storage under the bench seating.

  47. judy August 4, 2014 at 10:56 pm - Reply

    I love your tiny home thank you for sharing this nice simple design and clean lines did not see the kitchen or bath but loved what I did see.

  48. Eroca Brawne August 5, 2014 at 2:14 am - Reply

    It’s beautiful, light. airy a really nice layout.

  49. […] Vina’s 140 sq ft Tiny House […]

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  51. Dianne Bell in Michigan September 3, 2014 at 9:12 am - Reply

    Your tiny house is beautiful! Great job!
    It’s charming, self-sufficient and homey!
    I wish I lived there. You don’t need to
    live in 2400 + sq. feet to be happy and
    comfortable. The Timy House Nation is
    the way to go.

  52. Nerida September 20, 2014 at 9:47 am - Reply

    This is lovely. Good for you. it looks simply perfect to me and thank you for your comments.

  53. Rita September 27, 2014 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    simply beautiful!

  54. Shawn September 27, 2014 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    Beautiful small home design, Vina. Do you own the land where you park your tiny home or are you renting from someone else? Is Ojai flexible concerning tiny homes on wheel?

    • vina lustado November 7, 2014 at 10:03 am - Reply

      Hi Shawn – I rent the property on the land. We’re trying to create a tiny house community in Ojai but navigating zoning guidelines is challenging. Other cities have done it, so we can use them as a model. I believe it is a solution to address affordable housing and environmental impact.

  55. Tracie Browning October 15, 2014 at 5:37 am - Reply

    I have been looking for some time now , but what got me was the quotes you had printed of John Muirs writings on those pillows. That just brought tears to my eyes and knew this is pretty close to the one I want. I have some of my own ideas. I am disabled and living on fixed income and also cannot be climbing a ladder to bed. I also want to have shower walk in tub, and cork floors. I have a settlement coming but it is not enough build a 35 G tiny house. I also cannot build it myself due to my disabilities. How did you get help and who could I contact to help me. I would want to help build it )whatever I could do) I would like to somehow how get mine built and get some land (some how?) and make a community of them. How long does it take to build one? Your is very nice I look every night trying find a solution, and get more ideas. It’s in my head but I can’t get in on paper. And the biggie ?Where can I put it to live in it and not own my property. I just spent 24 years up in the mtns. in Nor/Cal but even up there I would be snowed in or and the Forest service would run me off, and I have no truck to haul it either. Do you have someone haul yours for you? You did an awesome job girl!!

    • vina lustado November 7, 2014 at 9:56 am - Reply

      Hi Tracie – I’m so glad you noticed the beauty and writings on the pillows! I had commissioned a local artist friend to collaborate with me (Alicia Morris Soto in Ojai) on the textiles. Since the theme for the interior was “trees” and I had a love for Yosemite, Alicia incorporated the writings of John Muir on the pillows. She (painstakingly) hand embroidered the trees on the writings. Beautifully done!

      The property is a rental and I share it with my partner, so we split the rent. We can’t afford the high real estate in Ojai so this is a great solution for us. I would be happy to help you design your home. I have designed many custom tiny house plans for others. More info here:

  56. Jen M October 24, 2014 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    Beautiful design. What does the $35k include? I was curious what the total cost would be for plans, materials, and labor. Thanks!

  57. vina lustado November 7, 2014 at 10:10 am - Reply

    The total cost including the materials (outdoor deck, furnishings, artisans) and some professional labor. More info here:

  58. donna owen January 9, 2015 at 1:32 am - Reply

    Vina –

    I love your design !!!! I have been studying all aspects….can you just tell me what the height of the loft and overall ceiling come to?


  59. Valerie February 1, 2015 at 3:49 pm - Reply


    Great job on the tiny mobile home. Just a quick question, how do you connect electricity, water and wifi to your home? I’m from Malaysia and mobile home is not popular in our country.


  60. lmd April 16, 2015 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    Beautiful. Here we can really see how the thoughtful placement of windows and doors, a limited & consistent palette and the deft selection of materials helps promote the subconscious sense of spaciousness in a very tiny footprint. A case study!

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  63. Michelle January 3, 2017 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    Hi Vina. I saw this a couple of years ago. Are you still living there? My mom lives in Ojai and I’m in Ventura. I’ve always adored your cute little place!

  64. James January 20, 2017 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    People who complain about the high prices of tiny houses should really think about these points:

    Problem A: Sure, bigger & cheaper places with cheaper particle board or sheet rock walls you can’t hang pictures on exist.
    Solution A: Many people use more expensive materials & woods in tiny houses, increasing the cost. Increasing warmth. Increasing personality. Micro mansions.

    Problem B: Bigger houses are harder to go off-grid because they are bigger & require far more energy to heat & cool. You slave away to pay. For what?
    Solution B: Tiny houses are far smaller, so they can be heated & cooled with solar much easier. Saves tons of money in the long run. Less slaving, more saving!

    Problem C: Bigger houses require more upkeep as they get older, which increase expenses.
    Solution C: Tiny houses are easier to heat, cool, clean, wash, & re-paint if needed. Fewer headaches, more time saved!

    Problem D: Tiny houses are so narrow.
    Solution D: Great for mobility. Otherwise, go wider. 10ft wide is a good start. Many use trailers to avoid zoning conflicts.

    Problem E: Tiny living room is too small.
    Solution E: Use tiny kitchens, bathrooms, increase size of living. Place kitchen at end, not running entire length of the tiny. Second living room couch loft.

    Problem F: Need guest beds.
    Solution F: Create a dual, or even a quad bunk bed loft. Dual lofts, second living room loft in center. Google images has excellent ideas.

    Problem G: Need more room for full size beds.
    Solution G: 3 steps to enter living room. Bed below couch/living area, with another bed or living room in the loft 8 ft above. Use upper & lower spaces (Floor “loft”).

    Problem H: Not enough storage.
    Solution H: Try using built in floor to ceiling shelves. See TumbleWeed Tiny Houses for great starter ideas.

    Problem I: Reduce electricity use.
    Solution I: Tiny house is already small & easy to heat. Use propane/wood fireplace/ceramic electric with thermostat/rocket stove for heating/cooking.

    Problem J: Fridge/kitchen is too big.
    Solution J: Go tiny. Use tiny electric/ceramic/induction hubs/convection toaster ovens/tiny cube fridge. Going tiny ensures little waste/thrown out food.

    Problem K: Reduce water use.
    Solution K: Composting toilet/Altered Nozzle uses 50x less water so you may need a 10 gallon tiny water heater. Tankless may not generate enough water flow.

    Problem L: Tiny doesn’t look like a house.
    Solution L: Create rooms similar to other trailers. Use divider panels for rooms. You can do it. If you manage space wisely.

    Problem M: Freezing weather/frozen pipes.
    Solution M: Bundle every water device close together. Shower/Sink/Washer/Fridge (Ice/water models). More reliable, less to break. Less waste, faster hot water.

    Problem N: Hate climbing stairs.
    Solution N: Create winch powered steps/elevator/escalator. Rope ladder/mini trampoline (jump into loft)/climbing wall/recessed steps. Get creative!

    Problem O: Use less electricity
    Solution O: Use 12v devices/dimmable LED/skylights/big windows/air dry clothes/pedal powered washer/pedal powered sink/tiny appliances. Get creative!

    Problem P: Cheap cooling.
    Solution P: Large windows that can be opened/tiny ceiling fan & light combos/central mounted AC unit/Move tiny under or near low growing shade trees.

    Problem Q: Waste water.
    Solution Q: Off-grid grey water plant watering system/Use baking soda & other non-toxic cleaners/Water filtration system/City water, if needed.

    Problem R: Expensive food.
    Solution R: Grow your own coconuts/almonds/walnuts/pecans/apples/oranges/cabbage/collards. Eliminate waste & pesticides by growing in your own greenhouse.

    Problem S: Need better food/water storage options.
    Solution S: Slotted wall shelves where you put food in at top & it goes to bottom. Old is eaten 1st. No manual cycling through food. Add food/water storage shelves.

    Problem T: Prevent food from going bad.
    Solution T: Order dehydrated food from prepper websites.

    Problem U: Remote dry areas.
    Solution U: Drill well/roof rain catchment system/systems to convert morning dew to drinking water exist also.

    Problem V: Overcoming “regulations” against tiny houses.
    Solution V: Remind them the environmental damage of using 10x more material for larger houses & how tiny houses conserve trees & resources.

    Problem W: To many windows/no privacy.
    Solution W: Use tinted or mirrored 1 way windows/curtains/shades/Japanese style rice paper partition walls.

    Problem X: Energy “vampires” such as clocks on microwaves/vcr/tv that stay on even when turned “off”.
    Solution X: Install power outlets with on/off switches. May save 30% power or more, depending how many energy vampires you have.

    Problem Y: Ideas for less power consumption.
    Solution Y: Paint bathroom walls with glow-in-the-dark walls/use glow-in-the-dark power switches/low voltage LED night lights in strategic locations.

    Problem Z: Need more sitting space.
    Solution Z: Use tiny/custom/folding tables/chairs/spiraling couch that goes around & around from floor to ceiling, generating 2x, 4x, 8x more sitting space.

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