Every house has a story.
This tiny house in Blenheim, New Zealand was built after Peter and his wife lost their daughter.
Needless to say, after her death, their home, life and family didn’t feel the same.
While grieving and healing, Peter remembered how both his daughters always dreamed of having a doll house. So he built one. He took recycled materials from the Christchurch earthquakes – the stained glass windows from the leveled buildings and the wood from the fallen houses – and gave them a new life. He used the unwanted, broken and forgotten pieces of past lives to build this tiny sanctuary in their backyard.
He named this tiny house after his living daughter, Abby. (Today this little work of art is known as Abby’s Shabby Shack.) The tiny home is and has been used by Abby as a little retreat. Every time she is home for the holidays she stays here.
Today, when this house isn’t being used by Abby, it is being shared with people all over the world as an Airbnb Rental. Peter loves meeting new people, but he also loves to give strangers a bit of the same healing magic this tiny house gave him and his family.
I’ve thought about this story a lot recently because I too am creating a little Airbnb Retreat in my backyard.
When I moved into my 800-square foot home in 1999 it was just me and storage wasn’t an immediate concern. Fast forward to 2007 when my twins came along and all of the sudden my space started becoming smaller and smaller I knew I would have to get creative with storage. So I turned the garage outside into an office slash storage space.
Over the years, I’ve dreamed of all the ways I could continue to transform this space into something more.
As some of you may know one of my boys has Down syndrome and Autism. Who knows what the future holds but I want to be prepared in case when he gets older he wants a place of his own.
It’s not quite time for my son to be off on his own, but I still wanted to take some steps towards that dream. So I’ve decided to get started and share the space with others as an Airbnb Rental. My hope is that this little Airbnb can be a place for travelers to rest their weary bones or set up shop as they explore Seattle. Seattle Children’s Hospital is actually right down the street from my house as well. I hope families who have children staying at the hospital for extended periods of time will use my second tiny home as a little refuge, a place to put their head down at night as they heal.
So far, creating this Airbnb has been an incredibly exciting personal and creative adventure.
An incredible architect helped with the plans. I waited through the long permitting process and then after some time finally got an amazing contractor (yes this is no lie!) on board. I’m working with my favorite Seattle organizing systems company, Organized Spaces, to ensure that I can still use a portion of the space for storage. And I even had one of my interior designer friends come over to be my second set of eyes, and help me pick the best layout plan for my bathroom. (I’ve forgotten just how hard it can be to design your own space…)
Today, I’d love to invite you on this adventure with me.
I’m going to be sharing this story in the blog, BUT I also will be sharing raw before and after images on Instagram and Facebook. Follow along! Send me your questions and thoughts. (If you have questions about design or where I purchased a specific item ask away!) I will be tuned in to answer questions and share my revelations along the way.
To building futures,