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‘Tiny House Nation’ episode 1-3 thoughts and recaps

This summer, Zack Giffin’s 112-square-foot “ski chalet” is parked on his parents’ property on Lummi Island, Wash.
This summer, Zack Giffin’s 112-square-foot “ski chalet” is parked on his parents’ property on Lummi Island, Wash.
Credit Michael Dyrland

Episode one of “Tiny House Nation” introduces us to Jeff, Chelsea and their 2 year-old daughter, Lilly Grace from Maryville, Tenn. The model of the tiny home is a popular design in the tiny house movement. One small change however was that a portion of the front wall where the front door was placed the tiny house builders use a slider door and completely made that a wall of windows.

While modern, it made the tiny home feel spacious with all the natural light. However, this tiny home complete with parents and a toddler really could have traded that window wall for a regular wall in order to use the vertical space for storage. Also, the builders left out a living space. Again, this would have been eliminated by the wall.

This home, a 172 square foot dream castle, had a bathroom, a kitchen area and a small bedroom area as this family was not interested in a loft style bedroom so that they could be closer to their daughter. Lilly Grace had a loft above her tiny sleeping area that was painted with castles and princess embellishments. While cute, not practical. What’s to happen of this space as Lilly Grace grows? Soon she’ll be far too tall to play in her loft and she won’t be able to sleep in her little sleeping space. I don’t think the builders thought about the housing situation with long-term needs.

Episode two, the river escape, introduced us to Matt, Moss and Matt’s two children. The family owns a home in the Carolina’s but also owns a white water rafting business in Erwin, Tenn. The couple, along with the children, has decided to do away with their 175 plus mile to commute each season and opt for living next to the family business instead.

The “Tiny House Nation” builders built an amazing cabin, a whopping 336 square feet, in the wilderness. The deck, larger than the home, provides an outdoor living space and kitchen. Indoors the children each have their own loft rooms giving them all the room they need for the activities. There is even room for sleepovers. Matt and Moss however didn’t get as much privacy.

The builders of the tiny home made the kitchen smaller to compensate for the larger bathroom. The living room has a television, bench and some storage footstools. The bench is built into a Murphy bed that folds down for Matt and Moss. They have no separate room and there is no door for privacy. On the other side, there was plenty of storage space as the couple learned all about the use of hooks and vertical storage through shelves and hanging rods.

One thing to consider, the children will be off to college soon. But still curious to know how that works out for the adults with the children an arm reach away and the loft stairs right beside them. Also curious to know how well they all work together inside when the winter hits. While the outdoor area is perfect for the warmer months, what’s the family to do when the snow hits. Perhaps this family needed a smaller deck and a few more square feet for a separate bedroom for the parents providing a living area for everyone to enjoy.

Episode three of “Tiny House Nation” introduces us to Tim and Shannon from Rochester, N.Y. where they are about to move in to their 210 square foot studio retreat tiny home. This tiny home had a lot of charm. It was clean, modern, and very technology trendy.

It was very sad to see that the cats had to go live with someone else because they did not get along well with the dog. While this was fine in their large home due to the space for the cats to hide in, it was not practical for this to work in a smaller home.

The builders worked on a small kitchen island that also served as the dog kennel. The other side folded up when there was a need for extra seating as it provided a dining table. Since it was on wheels the couple could move it all around the space, using it where they needed. During the episode we saw Tim and Shannon use it as their kitchen table and a space for them fold all their laundry.

This couple did not want to have a loft. What made this tiny home unique was that it had a small office space and their bed pulled out from under the office floor allowing them to sleep in the middle of the living area. Because they used all the walls in their home perfectly, they had a couch built along one wall which provides them with ample seating and storage space. The opposite wall was the front door and windows. The building team provided them with a movie screen which drops down over the window and doors for television viewing.

Tiny House Nation appears on the FYI channel Wednesday at 10 p.m. EST

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