The Eyrie is a tiny house with designer touches and incredible mountain views. Combined recess and face-fit roller blinds have minimal projection. They maximise space, light, privacy, views and thermal insulation.
"We spoke a lot about living in a smaller home on a big property one day. It’s only been in the last 18 months that we started seriously considering the reality of living in a tiny house on wheels."
Julia chose face-fit blockout roller blinds from our Jersey BO range, colour Stone BO, and recess-fit sunscreen roller blinds from our Solar View range, colour White.
Hi Julia, congratulations on moving into your incredible new home! We have loved working with you on your window furnishing selections. Was it always your dream to escape the city and build a tiny house in the country?
Thank you! For sure. Josh and I both grew up in the country and always felt very connected to the land, so as much as we loved city life, there was definitely something missing. We spoke a lot about living in a smaller home on a big property one day. It’s only been in the last 18 months that we started seriously considering the reality of living in a tiny house on wheels.
Like so many people, our plans for the last two years went out the window once COVID-19 hit. We had just left our jobs and home in Melbourne to start a 12-month caravan trip around Australia when the borders started closing. It just wasn’t the right time to travel. So we started thinking about ways we could create a home base for ourselves on Gumbaynggirr Land, on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, without the pressure of a mortgage. Once we started researching, including bingeing the Living Big in a Tiny House YouTube channel, we were hooked!
"Having a smaller space also makes us more conscious about the items we buy. It’s totally curbed my desire to make impulse shopping purchases! Now everything we own, we love."
What do you think are the major benefits of living in a tiny house? Do you have more downtime without a big property to look after?
There are so many benefits! Yes, from a day-to-day standpoint, tiny houses are easy to clean and maintain. A few minutes a day does the trick. I’ve also never lived in such a nice, new house, so that’s been a real treat. But the best part of downscaling has been the lifestyle that comes with it. I started my own business just over a year ago, and I don’t think I would have been game to do it with the pressure of Melbourne rent prices or a mortgage. Owning our home means I make bolder business choices and our lifestyle centres around the way we want to live, rather than trying to make ends meet.
And whilst it’s not an investment in the same way that a traditional home is, the cost is similar to what we would have paid in rent over five years in Melbourne. Now we have a place of our own and can take it with us wherever we go. And if we do ever sell it, we’ll have a nice house deposit ready to go.
Another huge benefit of living tiny is sustainability. Our house, ‘The Eyrie’, is completely off-grid which is great for the environment and means no more bills. It feels good knowing we are living more gently. Having a smaller space also makes us more conscious about the items we buy. It’s totally curbed my desire to make impulse shopping purchases! Now everything we own, we love.
"A benefit of having a smaller footprint is that creating a luxury space is way more affordable."
Can you offer any design advice for people building or renovating their own home with a very small footprint?
Firstly, it’s super exciting! Just because it’s small doesn’t mean it won’t be incredible. A benefit of having a smaller footprint is that creating a luxury space is way more affordable. You only need a small amount of each item so you can afford to get your dream blinds, carpet, flooring, etc. That is pretty neat.
I’m a total design rookie so I don’t know what advice I can give, but I can tell you about the mistakes we made. We stuffed up a lot early on buying furniture, sinks and tapware that just looked too big for the space. Just because something can fit in there, doesn’t mean it should! It doesn’t matter how lovely a basin is, if it’s taking up the whole vanity it’s going to ruin the vibe. Leave some breathing room and if you can, make sure each item has a dual purpose. For example, our couch folds into a double bed in about five seconds, and the chaise lifts up into a storage box. Game changer for movie nights! That being said, there’s some things that shouldn’t be so tiny – showers, beds, cooktops and fridges – so choose wisely.
There’s no escaping mistakes in a smaller space, so make sure you get the details right the first time. The extra space in bigger rooms can distract from flaws as there’s more to look at, but you’ll notice everything in a smaller space. I can tell you where every painting fail in our house is, and I do wish we had done a better job the first time!
"The blinds have completely changed the feel of our home! In such a small space, having window coverings with minimal projection into the room is so important."
Your sunscreen and blockout roller blinds in a combined recess fit and face fit are a great space saving option. Their projection into the room is really minimised. Tell us about how the blinds enhance your home, and what you love most about them.
The blinds have completely changed the feel of our home! In such a small space, having window coverings with minimal projection into the room is so important. Our whole house is open space, so we need to block out light at night and show off the view during the day. I was really worried about how bulky most coverings would look. When Ashley from DIY Blinds suggested a combination of face fit and recess fit blinds, we knew it was the perfect solution.
The face fit blockout blinds do such a good job of keeping our open loft bedroom very dark at night. The recess fit sunscreen blinds let us appreciate the view while cutting out glare during the day. They’ve turned out so much better than expected. With 10 windows and a glass door, I thought I might get sick of opening and closing the blinds each morning and night, but I actually love it! There’s something very ritualistic about letting in the day each morning, seeing what the sky brings, setting your intentions, and taking time to appreciate each part of your home.
"We were very conscious about creating a light and airy home, so we may have gone overboard with the windows. We’ve definitely got more windows than wall space!"
Windows are literally a massive feature in your home, and they are amazing at connecting the home with nature and those fabulous views. Were large windows always a big part of your brief?
Absolutely! We were very conscious about creating a light and airy home, so we may have gone overboard with the windows. We’ve definitely got more windows than wall space! There’s no place in the house where you can’t see multiple viewpoints outside and it really makes our house seem bigger than it is. It has made it difficult to find homes for our art though.
"I sent Ashley from DIY Blinds photos of all 10 windows. She worked through them with me one by one to confirm how each would fit. By the end of the process I felt confident they would all work, and they have!"
How did you find the DIY process of measuring up your windows, and ordering and installing your roller blinds?
Well to start, I was pretty terrified of doing the measurements for the blinds and ended up measuring them three times myself and twice with Josh. I’m glad I did because every window was different, even the ones that were supposed to be the same.
We have some complicated window frames. For example, our lounge windows don’t have full frames on the top as they hit the bottom of our bedroom loft. I sent Ashley from DIY Blinds photos of all 10 windows. She worked through them with me one by one to confirm how each would fit. By the end of the process I felt confident they would all work, and they have! Installing the blinds was a piece of cake.
Ashley absolutely went above and beyond to help us. I genuinely couldn't believe how much time she spent answering our questions, giving advice, and sending us example photos. I was hesitant about ordering something so big over the phone/email and she made it so much easier. I've no idea how she managed to explain complicated blind fastenings over the phone in a way that we could understand, but she did.
"Our home is completely off-grid, which means we have a very low carbon footprint and no bills to pay!"
Your blockout roller blinds are fantastic thermal insulation, and can help reduce heating and cooling costs, while sunscreen roller blinds help block UV rays, glare and heat. Can you tell us about other solutions you chose to reduce your home’s carbon footprint?
Our blockout roller blinds really are brilliant for insulation; we definitely notice a difference on cold winter nights.
Our home is completely off-grid, which means we have a very low carbon footprint and no bills to pay! Our electricity is all solar-generated and stored in batteries, and these are powerful enough to run all of our appliances including an air-conditioner. We use gas for cooking and hot water, and catch water in a big rainwater tank. We also have a waterless, composting toilet system, which is brilliant. It’s nothing like the drop loos of yesteryear; it’s super slick, smell-free and easy to use. Plus we aren’t wasting precious water resources just to flush and treat our waste, which is insane once you start thinking about it.
"I’m looking forward to finishing the inside of the tiny house and getting stuck into landscaping. So prepare for a whole lot of tiny house spam, I’d say!"
Now that you’re settled into your home, what exciting things can we hope to see from you in future?
At this stage, who knows?! We still haven’t given up on the idea of some epic Australian adventures but we’re happy staying close to home for now. I’m looking forward to finishing the inside of the tiny house and getting stuck into landscaping. So prepare for a whole lot of tiny house spam, I’d say!
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