From the outside, you immediately get the sense Jori Wilkinson’s small shed house is far from the kind you’d buy to sit at the end of your backyard. Still, you may not be prepared for just how amazing the inside actually is. The young mom and her husband dedicated many weekends to transforming the wooden shell into a beautiful family home – and what they’ve created may just leave you green with envy.
Wilkinson and her husband, Gage, share this idyllic space with their young son, Kash. Three people in a small shed sounds pretty cramped, right? But they’ve been there since early 2018, proving that you don’t need a giant house to raise a family. So, precisely what kind of measurements are we talking about here?
Well, the shed is roughly 400 square feet in size. To put that into context, the Statista website states that the average American family home in 2019 was just over 2,300 square feet. So, yeah, the Wilkinsons’ home really is quite tiny!
But what’s obvious is how the family have used their limited space to great effect. They’ve even attached a haven-like greenhouse complete with fairy lights and hammocks. Sounds like the perfect place to chill, if you ask us! All in all, then, it’s a pretty cool setup. But the Wilkinsons’ reasons for trading in their old life may be different from what you’d expect.
In fact, Wilkinson wrote up a lengthy post explaining their decision on Instagram in December 2017 – when she and her husband were still in the process of fixing up the shed. In the message, the mom revealed what happened to their old property as well as what they’d initially set out to achieve with their project.
Wilkinson wrote, “So with the housing market on the rise, we decided to make some money by renovating our home and selling while I was about seven months pregnant! It took us about a month to renovate our floors and kitchen. And I’d done small updates around the house the prior two years of living there.”
“I had Kash and the next day we were asked if we could show the house,” Wilkinson continued. “I was like, ‘Yes of course!’ We ended up showing it a week later and got a full price offer! We were stoked! We made a good chunk of money for a short-time investment.”
After that, Wilkinson and her clan gathered their belongings and traveled to her folks’ home. Unsurprisingly, they needed to plot their following move. Mind you, the initial idea didn’t really appeal to the new parent. She noted, “We were going to buy a fifth-wheel trailer to live in temporarily, but I was just thinking about how bored I’d be without a project.”
Keeping that in mind, Wilkinson opted to remain with her folks as she and her husband looked to put their new house together. It proved to be a tricky task, though, because the pair couldn’t focus on the project every day. Then again, that didn’t seem to faze her one bit.
Wilkinson added, “It hasn’t been easy only having weekends to work on [the shed], but it’s so worth it! We will have a beautifully designed tiny home we can take wherever we please! Much better than a trailer in my opinion.” Yes, we forgot to mention – the small space has wheels at the base too.
Anyway, you’re probably wondering what the inside of the house looks like now. As we hinted earlier, it’s pretty special. Yet before we begin our tour of the interior, let’s start with the outside of the property. The front has a built-in porch with some dark fencing on one side, and greenery on the other.
The porch itself has a gate built into the middle of it, leading us up to the decked space. As you can see, it retains the color of the exterior and includes a couple of benches that rest against the outside wall. But one of the best features is the view you get to the right.
Yes, the porch overlooks several trees in the distance, with some hanging right next to it. Imagine relaxing out here on a beautiful summer’s day. You’d never want to move! It’s a truly wonderful sight. Sticking with this area of the property, Wilkinson offered a few thoughts on it in a YouTube video.
You see, Wilkinson appeared in a video on the Living it Country channel, posted in June 2020, to talk about her home. While standing outside the house, she says, “You probably think I’m crazy for having a white porch. But I think it really brightens up this small space that we have here.”
Wilkinson then reveals, “I do have to repaint [the porch] once or twice a year, but I’m okay with that. [And] I’ve added these curtains, which kind of act as a screened-in porch.” It really adds to the esthetic, wouldn’t you say? The netting makes the cozy space feel even more serene.
With that, it’s about time that we took a peek inside the converted shed, right? So here we go! As you stroll through the front door, you immediately enter the living room, with a sofa sitting on the left-hand side. To the right, you’ll find a flat-screen television hanging from the wall and a fireplace underneath it.
Plus, if you look to the left of this spot, you’ll see a little cubbyhole with a net curtain covering it. According to Wilkinson, there aren’t any other cubicles of this type inside the house. As for what’s in there, the space holds a vacuum cleaner and the property’s hot water heater. It’s essentially a mini-utility closet.
Moving back to the TV and fireplace, you might’ve noticed some dark wooden panels standing over the latter on the wall. What’s going on with this? Well, Wilkinson offered a bit of insight into this choice during her appearance in the Living it Country video. The mom’s explanation is pretty simple.
Wilkinson says, “I used to have a full-sized mantel [around the fireplace]. But I had to take it out because the door was hitting it when it would open. [So] I just used some old shiplap and made that false one there.” Talk about thinking on your feet! That’s one way to make the best of a smaller space.
Mind you, Wilkinson has done her best to make that section of the house seem bigger than it really is. For instance, there appears to be a window that looks into another room at the back of the sofa. There’s even a set of curtains draped overhead. Yet it’s actually a clever visual trick.
As Wilkinson explains, “Right behind [the couch] is an old door that I refinished and put a mirror in.” Neat idea, right? Bars and restaurants sometimes opt for similar design choices to add a sense of scale to their spaces. Anyway, let’s take a gander at the first bedroom now.
This room belongs to Wilkinson’s son Kash, and it’s located to the left of the living space. A large panel of darkened wood appears to be standing in for a conventional door, so the areas are separated from each other. But this particular bedroom has gone through a few changes since the family moved in.
Yes, in January 2018 Wilkinson shared a shot of the bedroom on her Instagram page. At that stage, a beautiful wooden cradle stood against the far wall, with two lanterns hanging overhead. Towards the end of the year, though, the mom posted a second picture of the space – and it looked a little different.
The crib was gone, with a lone mattress sitting in its place on the floor. The makeshift bed was surrounded by a thin wooden frame too, which looked like the skeleton of a tent. In the accompanying caption, Wilkinson explained, “I also recently have been turning Kash’s room from baby to toddler.”
Now when looking at Kash’s quarters, the transformation is quite impressive. His room has a proper bed, raised up on a platform of sorts. To get to the mattress, there’s a tiny set of stairs that lead to the end. Plus a smooth panel of wood rests against the frame further along.
In the Living it Country video, Wilkinson says of the space, “When I built this bed for [Kash], he just turned three. So he’s big enough to climb up there by himself and not fall off and get hurt. It opened up a lot of space underneath for his toys. And the steps going up that I made also have storage in them.”
Be honest with us – who wouldn’t have wanted a room like this as a kid? It’s awesome! And the space below the mattress appears to have an ever-changing light fitted in there as well. It sports a variety of colors, ranging from red to a dark blue. A nice little feature to cap it all off.
Anyway, as we head out of the bedroom and back into the living area, the kitchen soon comes into view. As you can probably tell, there’s nothing that really separates the two spaces, with a large fridge standing next to the sofa. Before we take a proper look at it, though, Wilkinson shed some light on a few other details.
Wilkinson notes, “The shiplap in [the kitchen and living room] is from an old fruit warehouse. And the ceiling is from an old grain barn. The actual beams are from a metal roofing pallet that my husband’s dad found for us. They kind of match perfectly to the ceiling, so it worked out.”
Following on from that, let’s make our way into the kitchen. In truth, it’s not as snug as you might’ve feared, with a welcome amount of space between the worktops, sink and oven. There’s also enough room along the walls to house some shelving. And of course, the fridge is tucked away, as we mentioned earlier.
“We do have full-sized appliances in [the kitchen],” Wilkinson explains. “I don’t have a lot of decorations in here – I actually kind of multi-purpose them. So all of the glassware up [on the shelves] is stuff that we use every day. And then the stuff that’s not so attractive, I have space for in the cabinets underneath.”
At the back end of the kitchen, you’ll notice an opening in the wall to the right. This is actually the entrance to the family bathroom, with a curtain separating it from the previous space. As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted by a bathtub and shower tucked away to the left. Unlike the rest of the house, this small spot has tiled walls.
But the further in you venture, the wooden aesthetic returns. Yes, the bathroom opens up quite nicely, with a sink and mirror sitting at the far end of the space. It’s a cozy little spot, yet Wilkinson did have her doubts about aspects of it in the past. Specifically, the lack of a storage unit.
Writing on Instagram in December 2019, Wilkinson said, “I wasn’t sure about not having extra storage under the sink in a tiny house, but I think it’s worth it. We do have a medicine cabinet built-in behind the mirror that gives us a little extra storage.” Plus there’s a box on the floor to hold the towels.
So what’s the next stop on the tour? Well, as you step out of the bathroom, you’ll quickly stumble across the laundry room. It’s literally just a washer and dryer stacked on top of each other to the side of the kitchen. We’ve got to hand it to Wilkinson’s creative thinking. Talk about making use of all the available space!
Anyway, Wilkinson’s bedroom is located to the right of the washer and dryer, with the mattress taking up a large chunk of the area. She says, “This space fits a king-sized bed perfectly. It’s kind of hard to make the bed, but it’s really cozy! And right out this window we have our little chicken-coops.”
Yep, the bedroom has a long pane of glass to the side that offers a nice view of the aforementioned chickens. And with that, our tour of the transformed shed comes to a close. But we still haven’t seen everything on the property. Remember the greenhouse that we mentioned earlier? That’s the last stop.
As we stated before, the greenhouse is adjacent to Wilkinson’s tiny home, standing to its left. Mind you, only a portion of this space is dedicated to plants and flowers. The rest of it resembles a rustic conservatory, as a large table and two benches sit in the middle.
There’s also a giant black shelving unit positioned against the wall, while a cozy seating area is off to the side of the front door. It’s a wonderful addition to the house – and it looks amazing at Christmas too! You’ve got to say that Wilkinson has done an absolutely tremendous job here.
Yet despite everything that we’ve seen, we haven’t spoken about one of the big benefits of transforming a tiny space into a home. Of course, we’re referring to the lack of mortgage payments. How great would that be? Think of the money you could save! Wilkinson certainly did before moving in. It’s the cherry on top.