Small Cool 2010: Chris & Emily's Depression Era Shack

Tiny Division #23


Who Lives Here: Chris & Emily + Corgi Rosie Pepper
Location: Bremerton, Washington
Size: 540 square feet

What is your favorite element of your Small & Cool home? We bought the formerly scrappy depression era shack solely because of the quaint neighborhood and stunning view. The hilly topography in our area provides a view of the Puget Sound and the illusion of a waterfront site. Our love of entertaining friends and family was challenged by living in a small house…

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…This influenced our decision to add a covered porch and courtyard with built-in seat walls in order to accommodate a large group and add versatility to a tight space. The outdoor space is treated as an addition to the house and meant to be a 'living room' as inviting as any other interior room with the same attention to detail.
The 'fancy shed', constructed almost exclusively of recycled materials, is our latest addition. It is our solution to increasing our square footage and storage on a site with no garage. Not to mention, supporting the addiction to collecting 2 wheeled vehicles!

What was one of the biggest challenges you faced in furnishing your Small Cool home? When we bought the house, it had been a rental for over 40 years. It was shabby and in disrepair. There was not a stitch of character or soul in the gray asbestos and aluminum window clad box. On an extremely limited budget, we set about remodeling, turning our depression era shack into a 100 year old beach cottage. No wall was left untouched. Everything was replaced but the kitchen cabinets. Our biggest influence was our old wooden sail boat which gave us the idea to make use of hidden space inside walls for shelving and storage.
We utilized salvage stores for old fir flooring and antique porch posts and added a few new things such as energy efficient wooden windows and shingled siding.
Starting with nothing that remotely resembled successful design afforded us the opportunity to create our dream space without feeling guilty about ripping out someone else’s workable remodel.

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