Beyond The Acorn Camarillo Summer 2017

Page 24

Tiny House


“Not everyone is meant to live in a tiny house.” Most would find it too small; a very few might find it too big. But for Vina Lustado, this tiny house is just right. Not only does it suit her needs, she says the 140-square-foot dream house she designed is very dear to her. The solar-powered house, built on wheels and permanently bound to a 20-footlong trailer, is mobile and self-contained, requiring only water hookups. Right now Vina has it on a property in Ojai. She and her husband, Cliff Hultgren, have built a 16-by-8-foot outdoor deck which nearly doubles her living space. She runs her architecture business out of a separate tiny structure, one she calls a “sol pod.” Cliff lives in a separate structure. No, not everyone is meant to live in a tiny house but for folks like Vina, it is freeing. “It’s living very simply, efficiently and sustainably,” she says. The beauty of a tiny house springs from the philosophy of living small and uncluttered. “People ask me, ‘Where’s all your stuff?’” Vina laughs. “But it’s liberating to not include too much stuff. If a space is designed for exactly the way you live, then it’s not so hard to stay tidy. You design the space to be customized to how you live.” Still, there are some design tricks to prevent a tiny space from feeling claustrophobic. “The vaulted space lets in light and helps it to feel spacious,” she explains. “You want to be able to look outside, so windows are very important. I have windows in every direction.” Vina chooses light-colored materials to reflect light. Her wood cabinetry is all natural finished wood. “And you pay attention to the circulation of movement so everything has very efficient functions.” Other design tricks are important as well. Vina makes sure there is multi-functionality in each element of her tiny house. Things are on castors for easy mobility and she has hidden storage in lots of nooks and crannies. But the nifty tricks to maximizing space and creating the illusion of airiness only tell part of the story of Vina’s tiny house. The rest is very personal. “My house is very dear to me. Even if I wanted to, I feel I could never leave it. I’m never going to let it go.”