A simpler life closer to nature has always been a big dream for Sandra. Her house is built with the possibility of both living "off grid" and being plugged in with electricity. In 18 square meters, she has managed to fit in just about everything she needs - even a small bathtub!
Sandra, 30 years old, works everyday as a building engineer and is also a trained yoga teacher, blogger and writes articles for the magazine Kloka Hem. She lives with her cat Sture in Österlen in her self-built little house - on wheels. Living on 18 square meters can be challenging at times, but for the most part Sandra describes it as wonderful. It requires that everything has its place, which might not suit everyone.
- I think it's the same with houses as with clothes; one size doesn't fit all - and the need for space can of course vary throughout life. But for me it feels perfect!
Sandra encountered the Tiny House concept over ten years ago and immediately fell in love. Since then, she has wanted to build her own.
- There is so much that appeals to me about these houses - partly that they are small, which means less space to clean, heat and maintain, while less resources are used to build them. The concept fits so well with me and my lifestyle.
Sandra considers the freedom to be the best, partly financially and partly because you can move the house. She sees it to free up time, energy, and money for what really feels important to her. Thanks to the small house, she can both work part-time and live with nature right inside the house, which she has longed for many years.
In connection with the end of a longer relationship, Sandra decided that it was time to realize her dream of her own Tiny House. She began sketching plans, doing research, and saving money. After 1.5 years she was ready to start building and then the building process took the same amount of time.
Finding space for everything you need on such a small surface may seem difficult, but perhaps it will be easier if you, like Sandra, consider Tiny Houses a bit like a Swiss army knife - where you can fold forward and conjure up different functions as needed.
- I thought a lot about how I live and which functions and surfaces are important in my everyday life. I wanted to create a feeling of space and openness, have lots of hidden storage as well as a place where I could practice yoga.
Thanks to Sandra's profession, she already has a lot of theoretical knowledge, which of course has made it easier for her. Her practical knowledge was basically non-existent when she started building, but during the journey she has learned a lot and gained a deeper understanding of the building process - which she also benefits from in her job.
- Above all, two things were the most difficult: firstly, everything related to technical installations (electricity, pipes, heating, ventilation) and secondly doing that much by myself. Sometimes it has felt overwhelming to be alone in such a large project. I have done about 90% myself and acted as architect as well as buyer, project manager, carpenter, roofer, painter, plumber, chimney fitter, etc.
- The most fun was designing and building my home from scratch, just the way I want it. Being able to choose all materials and finishes. I have learned an incredible amount during the journey and the process has made me grow on many levels. It feels very satisfying to have built my very own little house. At the same time, it has been fun to work with a lot of different materials, tools, and techniques.
Completely understandable and a matter of course is that a small toilet is needed in a Tiny House. Every square meter is important and carefully planned to contain the various functions you need. Sandra knew from the start that she wanted a small, practical, and stylishly designed urine-separating dry toilet - which also runs on 12V. At the time of writing, Sandra has been using the toilet for eight months and is very satisfied.
"Tiny met all these criteria, so it was an easy choice! It's quiet, odorless, and easy to empty. Personally, I appreciate the privacy screen, however you should sit quite far back and with the weight evenly distributed over the seat for it to work optimally, but you quickly get used to it."
After a decade and a love for these small houses and for living more sustainably and closer to nature, Sandra's dream has finally come true. However, living as she does is not only about environmental and climate issues, but also about health and well-being. She wants to be able to manage both external and internal resources – in the form of time, energy, and money, among other things. The ambition is to live in such a way that the planet, body, and soul feel as well as possible.
- It’s a very special feeling to live in a house that you built yourself, where you chose every single detail and touched the smallest screw. I love my little house!
- Among the nicest things is that the weather, the elements, and the changes of the seasons become so clear. So present. Maybe it's because of the limited space, fewer amenities, or the fact that I have nature right next to me. That I fetch bottled water, open windows when it's hot and chop wood when the cold sets in.
The simple life is not always easy, and Sandra can certainly miss certain comforts at times. But the starry nights, the dancing mist on the meadow outside, and not least the tranquility - make it all worth it. Sandra sees great value in the freedom of also being able to own her home without being in debt.
So, after this fantastic job and the result, you are mighty impressed that there is already a new project in mind. It's not a new project for Sandra's tiny house, but the construction project gave her more taste when it comes to carpentry. Among other things, she has built her own outdoor furniture since the house was finished, but that is only the beginning!
- In the long term, I would like to build a small wood-burning sauna, a glassed-in balcony and perhaps renovate a cottage.
> Start researching, get inspired and feel free to try living small/simply for a while.
> Create a vision board and a plan, with clear milestones and deadlines.
> Design the space according to your lifestyle and what’s important to you.
> Start now! Even if you don't feel ready (because you never are). Sketch, save money and clear the stuff.
> Choose the trailer with care. It should preferably be low and wide, have at least 2-wheel axles and handle high weight.
> Instagram: sandrajunhammar
> Blogg: sandrajunhammar.se