Couple built tiny house entirely from scratch – even milling their own lumber

Clara and Edwin Bobrycki were starting to miss the wilderness of California. They had been living in a small bedroom in the concrete jungles of San Diego, slowly burning themselves out with work and study. With high rent costs and even higher student loan debt headed their way, they both separately started to wonder if this way of life was really for them.

Little did they know that they were both having these secret thoughts. It wasn’t until they shared their dreams of tiny home living away from the hustle and bustle of city life that they realised they were on the same wavelength.

tiny home wild adventures 6 - Couple built tiny house entirely from scratch - even milling their own lumber
Clara and Edwin’s timber-framed tiny home in Mountain Ranch, California, took two and a half years to build.

tiny home wild adventures 12 - Couple built tiny house entirely from scratch - even milling their own lumber
They built the entire house themselves and even milled their own timber to ensure it was as custom as their design was.

And this is where their journey began. They gave themselves two months to quit school, leave their jobs, move to Northern California, and start their tiny home adventure. Over the next two and a half years, they would craft their tiny timber-framed home on wheels – even going so far as to mill the timber themselves, courtesy of a friend who owned a mill.

Clara and Edwin purchased a trailer in Southern California and towed it to North Carolina, setting it up on a friend’s 27-acre piece of land in Mountain Ranch, California. Here, they would live with their Labrador, Whiskey, with more time for adventures and a far better work-life balance.

tiny home wild adventures 28 - Couple built tiny house entirely from scratch - even milling their own lumber
The tiny home interior is spacious, oozing character, and has high ceilings to maximise the space. The guest bedroom is a loft area accessible by a ladder.

tiny home wild adventures 27 - Couple built tiny house entirely from scratch - even milling their own lumber
Natural light was a key consideration in Clara and Edwin’s build. They created a window wall, which is a window that opens out to nature. They had toyed with the idea of accordion windows, but they came with a price tag of $3,000 with shipping. Instead, They picked up the picture window for $100 and framed it with wood before purchasing actuators for $150 each to complete the wall effect.

Clara started working part-time as a server while studying to become a registered nurse, while Edwin launched a tiny home business with some of his carpenter friends. It, of course, helped that they had just built their own home from the ground up.

Clara and Edwin not only milled their own timber to create their home, but they also did all of the stud framing, windows, flooring, plumbing, electrics, and sheetrock themselves. By the time they had completed their home, they had spent $30,000, not including labour. Now, they are almost a year into living their ultimate tiny home dream, and they couldn’t have asked for a better way of life.

tiny home wild adventures 25 - Couple built tiny house entirely from scratch - even milling their own lumber
Storage can be a huge problem in any tiny home, especially in the kitchen. Clara and Edwin had nowhere to store their food in mason jars, so they created a shelf next to the window wall, and it works perfectly.

tiny home wild adventures 22 - Couple built tiny house entirely from scratch - even milling their own lumber
The tiny home is homely and charming. But even with all that wood, the potential darkness is offset by stark, white walls.

tiny home wild adventures 15 - Couple built tiny house entirely from scratch - even milling their own lumber
Along the way, Clara and Edwin learned some important space-saving tricks, such as storing pot lids behind the fridge and pots and pans high on the beam. Their dish rack also serves as a dish cupboard rather than in a drawer. They also place a cutting board over the top of their sink to use it as bench space.

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The oven tucks away under the counter, but it can be pulled out to make use of the burners. After the convection oven drained their power too much, they opted for a propane oven installed on glides for easy moving.

tiny home wild adventures 9 - Couple built tiny house entirely from scratch - even milling their own lumber
When the guest loft is not in use, the access ladder is tucked away behind the fridge to remain out of sight.

tiny home 2 - Couple built tiny house entirely from scratch - even milling their own lumber
The guest loft may be small, but it’s incredibly cosy. It also features beautiful timber beams contrasted against refreshing white walls. A small window provides plenty of natural light.

tiny home wild adventures 7 - Couple built tiny house entirely from scratch - even milling their own lumber
Clara and Edwin fell in love with the idea of building a tiny home with timber framing, but it’s not a new technique. This style of building has been around for thousands of years. They decided to make the most of it in the master loft, which allows them to avoid hitting their heads when they get into and out of bed. The 11-foot-high ceilings also offer the illusion of space.

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The morning light hitting the beams is one of Clara’s favourite things about tiny home living. She describes it as a magical feeling, and she loves being able to see outside with all the windows and glass doors.

tiny home wild adventures 8 - Couple built tiny house entirely from scratch - even milling their own lumber
The lofts may not look large, but there is enough space in the master loft for a California King bed, with only a small ladder needed to access it.

tiny home - Couple built tiny house entirely from scratch - even milling their own lumber
Natural light and spectacular views were essential to Clara and Edwin, especially in the bedroom. They purchased a Milgard window on Facebook Marketplace for $50 and never looked back.

tiny home wild adventures 4 - Couple built tiny house entirely from scratch - even milling their own lumber
Clothing storage was also another consideration when building the bedroom area of the tiny home. They opted for drawers under the beds that pull out to around six feet.

tiny home 1 - Couple built tiny house entirely from scratch - even milling their own lumber
Clara and Edwin were never impressed with the bathroom in their studio apartment before. It had a sloped ceiling you could bump your head on, and the shower was slow to drain. They wanted their tiny home bathroom to be spectacular. They used a beautiful bowl gifted from a friend, invested in double shower heads, and included a shower window for natural light and steam control.

tiny home 3 - Couple built tiny house entirely from scratch - even milling their own lumber
The shower is reminiscent of those you would find in luxury apartments. It has a stone floor, tiled walls and ceiling, and relaxing colours for a memorable showering experience.

tiny home 2 - Couple built tiny house entirely from scratch - even milling their own lumber
The bowl sink is a striking addition to the bathroom to break up the darkness of the wood. It’s also paired with a farm-style tap, while a rustic cabinet sits above.

Follow Clara and Edwin Bobrycki’s tiny house life on Instagram, Youtube and their blog 

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