Sharing my thoughts on tiny living albeit very temporary tiny living in the form of a week in a B&B RV during a recent trip to Phoenix. And teaming up with my friend Lauren at Shooting Stars Mag for her “Glossies Made Me Do It” series. This link-up happens the first Friday of every month. The idea? Share what a glossy (magazine) has made you do recently – try a new recipe/product, listen to a song, read a book, start a discussion/think of something new! In my case the glossy came after the fact. But I think Lauren will be ok with that.
When my Prince registered to play with a team in the Men’s Senior Baseball League World Series, he suggested we return to the AirBnB where we stayed last year. It was a small bedroom/bathroom with a private entrance in the home of a very sweet couple about our same ages. Except I am six years older than PC so that is a broad range, but that’s neither here nor there, right? Right?
However, we were unable to find our hosts from last year on the AirBnB website. So PC said I could pick somewhere new to try. We enjoyed the backyard space, wildlife (rabbits, birds and coyotes) and pool so much last summer that we knew we wanted a similar accommodation this year. In fact, we built our pool because we enjoyed that pool so much last year. Ugh. I started sifting through the many AirBnB possibilities for the perfect place.
The Shaggy Dog B&B
I came across the listing for The Shaggy Dog Bed and Breakfast. Love at first sight. The “Dog House” is a little RV parked on the back of the lot at the proprietors’ home. Pool and hot tub access. Rabbits, birds…check, decided I could live without the coyotes. The price was right, a very affordable $68 a night. We needed something that was centrally located near restaurants and shopping with easy Interstate access to all of the ball fields where PC would be playing, check, check. It would offer an adventure in ‘glamping’. A chance to experience, as an adult, the camping I loved as a child. With small-scale versions of all the comforts of home: electricity, TV, indoor plumbing, AC, microwave and frig. The Shaggy Dog “Dog House” fit the bill and PC gave it his stamp of approval.
Adorable and Thoughtfully Appointed
On the Outside
We pulled up to the “Dog House” and my heart went pitter-patter. The RV was set in a picturesque grove of cactus (hate the word cacti, sounds so pretentious) and other desert plants spangled with wind chimes or strings of solar lights. Underneath a large awning, there was a wrought iron patio table and brightly upholstered iron chairs. Reminded me of a set my Grandma Bubby had in her Oklahoma backyard.
Our hosts, Steve and Terri, gave us the grand tour of the RV and the grounds. Introduced their own shaggy and not-so-shaggy pups, showed us the hot tub-how-to’s, and one of the best surprises of all, the outdoor shower.
This was my first experience in what they call tiny living these days. As a child, my family camped in a very small pop-up camper which just consisted of raised beds and a cabinet for clothing or camping supplies. Think tent on stilts. But as an adult, my camping has been limited to 2 nights in a tent.
Steve and Terri have taken a 25 foot RV and turned it into a home away from home. And our hosts thought of everything to make our stay beyond just comfortable. I could just scream because both of my cameras were totally uncooperative most of our week at the “Dog House”. You might remember, it was when my phone camera had a cracked lens. And my Sony was just misbehaving. My poor quality photos just don’t do this precious place justice. Keep that in mind as you take the tour in the slide show below. These are pics of the outside of the RV and the lovely space in which it is parked.
And On the Inside
From my first step inside, I was enchanted with this darling RV. The color palette was soothing and restful. White washed cabinets, chair railing and molding, and the cutest details like curtain rings that looked like dog collars, and original artwork featuring a trio of pups. The kitchen was stocked with a dozen flavors of K-cup sized coffees and teas, a delicious assortment of snacks, pastries and fruit. The frig was equally well-stocked with adult beverages, soda and lots of water.
The queen-sized bed was comfy. We were able to open windows on every wall for a delicious evening breeze. There was storage on either side of the bed in the form of several drawers like a nightstand with a cabinet above. A cabinet above the bed large enough to store linens and bedding. There was a corner shelving unit large enough for a few books or nick knacks.
The toilet, tub and full-sized shower had a door separating them from the lavatory. By opening the bathroom door, it was possible to block off the bedroom and bathroom areas from the living areas. Beside the lavatory was a space much like a closet with towel racks on the inside of the door and drawers underneath the hanger rod. There was also storage under the lavatory.
Above the dining area was a TV and sound system and the kitchen had a stove and oven, microwave and almost full-sized frig. The sofa was large enough to seat three or four comfortably.
I loved everything!
Tips for Temporary Tiny Living
As I mentioned earlier, I am joining Lauren for her “Glossies Made Me Do It” post. Although a magazine isn’t responsible for us staying in an RV in Arizona, the glossy Tiny House has a great article about space and stuff in a tiny house. In her article “Tiny House Life in a Big House”, author Lora Freeman talks about downsizing from a townhouse to a tiny house and then upsizing when she married to a conventional-sized home. While I adored our stay at the “Dog House”, there are few things we did that made our visit even more pleasurable. Combining what we learned from our stay with Lora’s voice of experience in 4 tips.
- Only own what you use and love! ” If an item doesn’t make you smile or serve a purpose, it probably shouldn’t be in your space. Get in the habit of asking yourself why you are acquiring items and if they truly add value to your life. To live more simply, everything in your space should be things that you use and love.” [source] For travelers staying in a tiny space, only pack what you’ll use and love using. Knowing that there would be limited storage space (although I was pleasantly surprised with how much we actually had) I tried to select the outfits I packed carefully. Needed workout clothes, baseball game watching clothes, out to dinner clothes, bathing suit and pajamas. Brought almost everything hung on hangers from home and transferred them right into the closet space.
- Have a space for EVERYTHING! “In a tiny house, even if a few things are out of place, your entire house starts to feel chaotic. Ensuring everything has a home is one of the best ways to simplify your space and your cleaning routine.” [source] As soon as we settled in, and enjoyed a beer and dinner, I unpacked our things. I found a place to put everything, toiletries, shoes, books, Nooks, baseball gear, laptop, clothes. Then I put our suitcases and bags in a storage chest Terri had outside the RV. Before we went to bed every night, I tidied up and again before we left for the day. Shoes were kicked off outside the door. Steve had built a towel rack under the awning outside where we could hang bath towels and pool towels to dry. Making the bed made a huge difference in how our tiny space looked. And Terri had a space for everything in the kitchen. Which made it easy for me because I just had to return things where she had them.
- One in, one out. Lora writes, “… I quickly realized that if I was going to bring something new into my space, then I needed to take something out. The habit of one in, one out became strongly ingrained.” [source] PC and I weren’t buying a bunch of stuff and bringing it into the RV. We did buy 24 bottles of water, which we stored outside under the trailer and put 3-4 bottles in the refrigerator a day. Here at home, we might leave our laptops out, a couple of books on the nightstand, a glass on the table. At the “Dog House”, we used the one in, one out rule for things we brought from home. One pair of shoes out at a time. One book out, etc.
- Make your space yours! “When you are dealing with a small space every detail matters. It’s part of why tiny houses are each so unique. They reflect the personality of their owners.” [source] This tiny house reflects its owners in so many unique ways. From the dog painting to the pup wind chime on the gate to the dog bone-floral arrangement on the outside of the RV. There were twinkling lights wrapped around many of the trees and cactus. And Terri had made a garden ‘chandelier’ from a wire vegetable basket draped with solar lights and strands of crystals.
Like I have said in every paragraph, I loved staying at the “Dog House”. PC is 5’10” so he filled the vertical space pretty full. And there were a few times we had to maneuver around each other in a kind of tiny house dance. But it was a wonderful get-away. A little bit camping, a little bit luxury resort and a whole lot of fun.
Have you ever lived in or stayed in a tiny house? Would love to hear about your experience in a comment below. I have an entire Pinterest board called “Summer Sanctuaries and Winter Retreats” with pins of unique holiday spaces. Would love to have you follow that board, or hey, all of my boards, for that matter!!
Thank you for coming by today. If you are ever in the market for a delightful place to stay in Phoenix, please consider the “Dog House“. Tell ’em Leslie sent you! Would love to invite you to stop by Lauren’s blog to check out her “Glossies Made Me Do It” post. Tell her Leslie sent you, too!
Hugs and kisses,