Gallery: Michelle de la Vega Makes Tiny Living Accessible to Everyone

Michelle fuses industrial and domestic design
Michelle fuses industrial and domestic design

Unable to pay an architect or even a general contractor, Michelle involved herself in almost all aspects of the renovation. She stripped and painted an old bath and gave it new wooden legs, laid bamboo flooring, made or fixed up old lighting fixtures, hauled debris to the dump and repurposed industrial furnishings to fit into a comfortable and inspiring new domestic setting.

The original garage was raised four feet and a small amount of square footage was added to accommodate a nicely-sized, 82 square foot bathroom, and although it’s tiny, the home sleeps three. There is an upstairs loft bedroom (a tranquil space illuminated by soft natural light) and the living room day bed folds out as well. Michelle says that most people who visit are floored by how un-cramped they feel and become inspired to use their own space more efficiently too. In fact, this happened so frequently that Michelle has made it possible for anyone to purchase her plans, streamline the permitting process, and build their own little haven of recycled goodness.

+ Michelle de la Vega

Photo credit: Ira Lippke


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  1. LHCaswell January 12, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    How does one get the plans?

  2. skibison September 16, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Unfortunately as the title states \”Michelle de la Vega Makes Tiny Living Accessible to Everyone\”, this home is not accessible for all as people with disabilities would not be able to take advantage of this layout. Also this not a new idea, Portland has been doing this for several years and another thing to point out is most of these conversions are not affordable to lower income citizens who would want to stay in some place like this.

  3. Chuck Myntti July 25, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Small doesn’t need to be small for the sake of being small. That fridge would be too small and nightmarish in day to day usage. I lived in 600 sq feet for 5 years. It was poorly laid out. It lacked a tub, a washer dryer, and closet space. It did have a decent kitchen, a urinal, a shower, a tiny bathroom sink that was too small to wash your face in, and bump-out bay windows. I would trade the bay window for closet space and skylights, and I would trade the urinal for a stacked washer/dryer… the shower was nice… that leaves the tub… an external hot-tub would do nicely, since the only reason I would use a tub would be to relax and not to clean myself.

  4. Al Rotundo June 29, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    I want it

  5. Zuzyzazuzu December 13, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    That garage looks bigger and more posh that actual mortgage houses of many families around the world… 😀

  6. Zuzyzuzazy December 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    That garage looks bigger and more posh that actual mortgage houses of many families around the world… 😀

  7. GSunyerk September 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    The tranquility of a small, uncluttered space. It frees the mind to create and dream… living is lighter… greener.

  8. jensav September 17, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Great Idea.. I have converted my garage also for the same reasons of paying of my mortgage easier. Most think I’m a little crazy but you have inspired me as there is so much more I could do with it. Thanks. Jen.

  9. gypsiegirlz June 13, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Love this little cottage! I wanted to pass along a really cool store in my town of Healdsburg, Ca it is called 14feet and you would love this store..I actually use to work there and when I say your style I immediately wanted to tell you..look them up and they do ship to other states too..good luck and you will do great with this place!! Melissa

  10. evablogger June 13, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Good point about the zoning laws. That would be something to check in to. It’s neat though, for ONE person.

  11. mel in nj June 12, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Nice but what are the zoning laws on this!

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