More wagon homes


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Since my mum sent me that link to the modern sheep wagons I’ve been reminded of this Readymade article: Have House, Will Travel.

I’ve decided to look through their website, Whittled Down,. Perhaps the most exciting thing to come of this venture, was that I discovered the website of Jim Tolpin which was used as a source for the creation of the Whittled Down wagon. I very quickly noticed a few things from learning about Jim Tolpin and I think you may be able to spot them in the following photographs:

Wagon from Jim Tolpin's site

Wagon interior from Jim Tolpin's site

1. Jim Tolpin is an incredibly skilled woodworker. And luckily he has published a few books!

2. His design of what he refers to as a “Gypsy Wagon” bears striking resemblance to the Idaho Basque wagons, with the bed toward the back wall and a table that comes out. It also has a similar stove for heating and cooking. This makes me curious about which nomadic peoples the word “Gypsy” may be referring to and how many of them used similar designs for their wagons and how might this information have been transferred? Obviously being nomadic might help…

3. There is a wealth of ideas for living in a small house to be found in studying nomadic wagons such as these. They are so cleverly designed! And so beautiful!

4. Arched roofs provide such a huge living space for a small amount of area.

Expect more inspiration where this came from!


Cap’n Delusional



Modern sheep wagons


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My mom (yes, captains have moms too!) just sent me this link to a Treehugger post about sheep wagons converted into mobile living spaces. I really enjoy how now that my family knows I am blogging they are making the work of blogging easier for me!

Anyway, check these out, they are pretty amazing.

One of the things I love about these wagons is how finished they look inside. Because of their fabric exterior, I imagine the insides have to be more ephemeral, but they are really solid! I love the built-in storage and the table that slides out.

Apparently these designs are based off of traditional sheep-herder wagons, especially of Basque origins. I didn’t even know there were significant Basque populations that settled in Idaho! Learn something new every day!

Learn more about these wagons at Idaho Sheep Camp.

Yours ever,

Cap’n Delusional


In Japan, Living Large In Really Tiny Houses : NPR

My dad and my non-sexual-life-partner (NSLP) have both sent me links to this story about high-design tiny houses in Japan.
In Japan, Living Large In Really Tiny Houses : NPR. I think my favorite is the “Lucky Drops” home by Yasuhiro Yamashita. Apparently the walls are just millimeters thick, this is achieved through the use of some kind of high-tech “skin.

I tried to look up some more info on the architect’s website but it was in Japanese. However, it looks like Inhabit has some additional images from the architect’s website, for example this floor plan. The design vaguely resembles a boat, this Captain might note!

inhabit floor plan

This whole skin thing really intrigues me. I love how it lets in so much light but obscures what is happening inside. I don’t know that I would make a whole house with it, but maybe a roof could be cool.

Yours ever,

Cap’n Delusional

1930s Camper Trailer from the Smithsonian

Hello landlubbers,

This weekend your captain has been visiting the U.S. capitol. I went to the Smithsonian Museum of American History and saw a camping trailer from the 1930s. It was pretty interesting, because I had always thought of trailers as being something from the 40s or 50s, but apparently they were a real “problem” in the thirties because this was the first time people started living in trailers full time as a result of the depression. You can read about the exhibit online at America on the Move.

The protective glass made it slightly difficult to photograph but here are some photos.

A quick google search also brought up some pretty cool websites on vintage trailers. Here is a short history from The Vintage Traveler.There are also some nice photos, like the one below, of vintage trailers on Funky Junk Farms.

I love the dark wooden interiors. So classy.

More tiny delusions from DC still to come.

Cap’n Delusional

Exciting news from the Tiny Texas House website

So, I am kind of a big fan of Tiny Texas Houses. I love how they use salvage. I think they are going to be the next big thing in tiny living, Jay Shafer better start making some innovations, or Brad Kittel might become the new king of the tiny kingdom…or maybe the Bishop, since he just posted the plans for bride and groom houses to match the tiny chapel created by Tiny Texas Houses.

There are sketches of various aspects of the plans for the groom house, such as the one below, which explains how the electricity is put in.

Also, they just posted an update about the essay contest, with the grand prize of a Tiny Texas Worker House (pictured below). You may recall that I wrote a in which I detailed my fondness for Tiny Texas Houses and my desire that enough people enter the contest for someone to be declared the winner.

Here is the latest update on the contest, per their website:
“UPDATE 08/16/2011: We are over three hundred and expecting the entry rate to accelerate as the end comes near. Procrastination is irresistible We are seriously considering reducing the number of entries needed to give away the house to 750 entries. Our goal is to be able to give it away so tell your friends and lets get this count up in the next two weeks. September 3rd, 2011 is the deadline for the final round…

Also, for those who enter, we are including a set of plans for the house, plans for the custom stairs on the inside of the house as well as the unique stairs for the front of the porch. These are heavily photo documented so as to show anyone how to build one. There will also be a free copy of my E-book when it comes out and excerpts from that book will be included in the building plans for the house that everyone receives as a bonus for entering. All included, the extras would cost more than the entry fee if sold individually. I consider the people entering the contest as our first supporters of our new Pure Salvage Living site that will be launched and they will likely be getting freebees shipped to them whenever they are made available to anyone else in the future. We appreciate your support.”

Also, rather excitingly, Brad Kittel commented on my post about the essay contest from earlier this month. So make sure you submit an essay to the contest! You may even gain (slightly famous) traffic on your blog by talking about it!

Yours ever,

Cap’n Delusional

Shelter 2.0: Flat-pack housing

This week Make Magazine is proving to be a fruitful source of tiny delusions. First, they introduced me to the Drain Pipe Hotel and now they’ve introduced me to Shelter 2.0, a long-term (yet, temporary?!) structure that can be assembled from flat-packed pieces.

For info on how they are assembled, look here: How does a Shelter go together?.

Or check out this youtube video of Makers making one.

I’m not sure I’m totally convinced of the practicality of these structures…but I guess they are easier to construct than a house and sure beat living in a tent.

Cap’n Delusional

Drain Pipe Hotel


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Check out these crazy Austrian hotel modules. I really like the Make summary,

“I love the idea of using drain pipe sections as small outdoor structures. I have no idea if it’s really all that cost-effective. My guess is that the pipe itself is pretty cheap, but getting it where you want it to be is not. But high cool points.”

According to the website, it sounds like the pipes weren’t moved very far as the area of the park used to be a sanitation plant.

I love how the image at the back makes the whole thing look like some kind of giant telescope. I also like the space under the bed, which I assume is good for storing luggage. I do really wonder about the bathrooms though…apparently they are provided in the park. It is also kind of cool that it is all “pay as you wish.”

Learn more from MAKE | Drain Pipe Hotel. Or check out the Hotel Park’s website, Das Park Hotel

Sweet dreams,

Cap’n Delusional

Tiny Gardens: The Terrific Stoops, Roofs and Bitty Front Lawns of Brooklyn | The Awl



In my last post I talked about a sketchy shed that I like to imagine is a tiny house. It stands in the middle of a concrete lot, but as I’ve mentioned I would love to have a garden around my tiny house. Solution? Tiny gardens!

Check out: Tiny Gardens: The Terrific Stoops, Roofs and Bitty Front Lawns of Brooklyn | The Awl.


Yours ever,

Cap’n Delusional

Tiny Houses in My Neighborhood


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As encouragement for my delusions, I have noticed that there are some tiny-house-like structures in my neighborhood. One is an actual tiny house and I plan to interview the builder for this blog (stay tuned!) I think he is still finishing the inside…but I’m pretty excited!

I also really love this little structure, which I think isn’t really a house, but I like to imagine it is. As part of my delusion, I see it as adorable and sweet, even though it has metal cages on the windows and I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be a methlab. But…look at it! It is so sweet. All alone on it’s little lot. It used to be some kind of sketchy taxi-limo dispatch station.

You know the weeds growing up around it are so charming!


Cap’n Delusional

Little House in the Big City


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One of my grandest delusions of miniature is to have a tiny house on a vacant lot in a city. This is really quite the delusion.

Cover of the "Vacant Land Issue" of the City Paper

In my dream world, it would be a tiny house on a lot covered with growing things. I would have so much extra space I could make a community garden and be the official community garden guard! My tiny house could be my little, creepy-surveillance station! Wouldn’t that be cute?

And with all the space I would have on the lot, since my house would hardly take any room at all, I could grow trees and still have lots of space for sunlight,veggies and food. I would grow cool trees like fig trees and the Eastern Redbud, which has pink flowers in spring that taste like sugar-snap peas!

Check out the Eastern Redbud, Image Courtesy Wikipedia.

Wouldn’t these little pink flowers look beautiful on a salad? They taste like sugar-snap peas!

(Side note: The botanical name of Eastern Redbud is Cercis canadensis, “Cercis” meaning heart-shaped because it has heart-shaped leaves. Heart-shaped leaves!)

As you might guess, there are a few issues with this delusion. Some of them are covered in “The Vacant Land Issue” from the City Paper, July 21, 2011. One big one? It is freakin’ difficult for regular people (or even fake, high-ranking and landlubbin’ Captains) to purchase vacant lots. Then it is even harder for regular people to develop them.

Also according to my research, it is pretty freakin’ expensive to acquire a lot. Especially if the lot is really vacant and not just an abandoned property (with a building requiring demolition which is expensive). Many lots I looked up were $300,000–you could buy a really nice house with money like that! And a REALLY nice tiny house. The value of a lot is related to zoning, which is complicated for regular people to understand and brings me to my next point.

I haven’t really looked into it, but I think zoning-wise it might be pretty difficult to put a tiny house on a lot. Especially if you wanted to hook up plumbing or electrical. However, if you went off-the-grid it might be possible to skirt these issues. I don’t know anything about how RVs are written up in city codes. This is definitely something to investigate.

Signing off,

Cap’n Delusional