D’Arcy and Olivia McNaughton from Toronto, Canada, believed it would be unlikely they’d ever be able to own their own home. D’Arcy works as a self-employed builder, and Olivia as a naturopathic doctor, and qualifying for a mortgage when they’re both self-employed would prove challenging.
However, as D’Arcy once worked as a tiny home builder, he and his wife became passionate about tiny home living. They believed it was an option that could work for their family. So, when Olivia became pregnant with their son, Osiris, they decided to start building their dream tiny home for themselves, their son, and the family cat.
D’Arcy said the house took a long time to build as Olivia was heavily pregnant, and they only had time to work on it after work and on the weekends. However, with hard work and the help of D’Arcy’s brother and dad, they finally got to move into their brand new tiny home located on Olivia’s parent’s land.
Now, they can spend more time working on their businesses, enjoying family life, and not paying off a huge mortgage to a bank. Now, D’Arcy owns his own tiny house company, Acorn Tiny Homes, with his own home, Domek, offered as one of the flagship models. Pricing for similar homes to Domek starts from $200,000 CAD (USD approx $149,600).
D’Arcy and Olivia McNaughton from Toronto, Canada, built ’Domek’ the flagship model for D’Arcy’s business, Acorn Tiny Homes. The exterior is a mix of Red Pine T&G which has been treated and turned into Shou Sugi Ban (a Japanese technique of preservation, where you slightly char the wood ) and steel. The couple opted for steel for a portion of the house to balance weight and for durability but chose the wood grain steel finish to help maintain the natural look of the house.
The home is positioned on a 32-foot-long (9.8m) triple-axle trailer. It measures 8.5 feet (2.6m) wide and 13.5 feet (4m) tall. The main floor of the tiny house measures 272 sqft, and with the addition of lofts, the total square footage comes to 420 sqft.
D’Arcy said that standard shed roofs on most tiny homes don’t maximize space, so they chose a barn-style gambrel roof for maximum living space.
The covered-in porch with gorgeous natural wood contrasts beautifully with the black aluminum windows. D’Arcy and Olivia also included a shoe cabinet to keep their home’s interior clutter-free.
Upon entering D’Arcy and Olivia’s home, the washroom is the first area you’ll see. It also doubles as a wardrobe and baby changing station.
The staircase leading to the lofts sits adjacent to the washroom. It has plenty of integrated storage for a clutter-free finish, and there’s even a tucked-away nook for the cat’s self-cleaning litterbox!
D’Arcy and Olivia designed their stairs to be baby-proof, with the bottom two stairs tucking away, preventing Osiris from climbing up the stairs on his own.
The staircase splits into two parts where one part leads up to the master bedroom while the ladder over the couch leads up to the nursery.
Natural wood paired with white offer the illusion of space as you enter the loft area of the tiny home. Olivia and D’Arcy keep their clothes stored in boxes midway up the stairs.
The cat wasn’t forgotten in their tiny home design. He has his own spot tucked away up the stairs, overlooking the main living space.
The master bedroom boasts a beautiful combination of white and natural timber, with one window on each side, allowing for a cross breeze. Thanks to the barn-style roof, there is plenty of space to sit up in bed, and the double mattress allows both D’Arcy and Olivia to sleep comfortably.
Clothing storage can be found at the head of the bed, with storage also integrated into the headboard itself. The couple vacuum-packs their seasonal clothing and bedsheets to save even more space.
Osiris’ loft bedroom sits adjacent to Olivia and D’Arcy’s for convenient access. They foresee two children in this bedroom in the future.
A custom baby gate in the baby’s loft bedroom ensures his safety. It has been constructed with the home’s rustic design in mind.
D’Arcy painstakingly installed fiber-optic lighting in Osiris’ bedroom ceiling to mimic twinkling stars and the night sky.
The living room is positioned in the heart of the home, directly under the second loft bedroom for the kids. This is where they spend most of their time, and it boasts 16.5 feet (5m) of headspace to ensure everyone’s comfort. The natural wood flooring makes the space feel cozy, while the white walls add the illusion of extra space.
Storage is important in any tiny home, and D’Arcy and Olivia thought outside the square. They removed the legs of the sofa and made a storage unit to sit underneath the couch.
While there are three loft bedrooms to accommodate their family and friends, they also made sure to include a sofa that can double as a bed. With the couch, this tiny home can comfortably sleep six people.
The staircase was fully utilized for storage, but D’Arcy and Olivia got creative and created a dedicated console area in the staircase section facing the living area for extra storage.
Heating was a primary consideration in D’Arcy and Olivia’s home. They knew tiny homes could have cold floors, so they installed in-floor radiant heating operated through a combi boiler. It’s a tankless hot water heater that they use for their hydronic and domestic hot water needs.
They also included a backup heating option in the form of a mini split with air conditioning and a heat pump.
D’Arcy is a passionate cook, so a well-designed kitchen was essential. Natural wood cabinetry houses all their kitchen essentials, and there’s an extended countertop for meal preparation and dining.
D’Arcy and Olivia wanted an earthy, wood-style kitchen, so they designed just that. They also included unique nature-inspired tiles that work in harmony with the beautiful granite sink and black cabinetry.
Convenient appliances are necessary for tiny homes. D’Arcy and Olivia chose a propane range so they could go partially off-grid. They also have a combo unit with a convection oven, broiler, microwave, and air fryer in one to save space.
The kitchen has everything D’Arcy needs to cook up a storm, including a full-size double refrigerator and an extensive spice collection tucked away in drop-down storage.
Chest freezers aren’t standard in tiny houses, but the McNaughtons made it work. Living in rural or urban Canada sometimes means you can’t make frequent grocery store trips. An additional freezer means they can stock up for longer periods.
Olivia and D’Arcy fully utilized the extra ceiling space in the kitchen by installing a third loft. Olivia uses it as her home office, and it’s accessible by an aluminum ladder placed by the fridge. When the ladder isn’t in use, it can be hung on the wall.
The office loft features a floating desk and plenty of space for office supplies. It also has plenty of natural light from the abundance of windows.
As a doula and naturopathic doctor, Olivia works from home a lot. She loves being able to ‘go to work’ in a dedicated office, rather than using part of the living space. She also likes being able to drop her legs over the side of the loft to sit at her desk or sit cross-legged.
Left of the washroom, as you enter the front door, is the bathroom, which features crisp and clean white walls and flooring paired with natural wood.
D’Arcy and Olivia spent a lot of time researching toilet options and settled on the Nature’s Head composting toilet. It has a composting solid waste section and urine diverter.
There is no shortage of storage space in the McNaughton’s bathroom, with overhead storage positioned by the small washing station next to the toilet.
The bathing area is undoubtedly the star of the show in the bathroom. D’Arcy and Olivia drew inspiration from Japanese tiny house designer Tagami Haruhiko and created an atrium shower surrounded by windows. It includes a four-foot-wide bathtub and rain showerhead.
Take a guided video tour of the McNaughton’s stunning tiny home