One of many phenomenal things about the tiny house movement is that people hear about it and immediately want to be involved. I’ve listened to offers, and I’m incorporated pieces that personalized and added meaning to my house. Collaborating with talented friends and new acquaintances adds a sense of community to a journey that is decidedly offbeat.

House Design:
Jay Shafer of Four Lights Tiny House Company

2013 12 06 jay shafer

Jay Shafer drew the plans for my house, and the model is called The Gifford.  Jay is known for his spectacular tiny house designs and is frequently referred to as the founder of the tiny house movement in the United States.  Jay uses a lot of sacred geometry in his plans, and I’ve incorporated additional features into my house.   Jay is humble and honest and I’m proud to count him among my friends.


House Framing:
MAGIC Camp, June 2013

My house was framed by the folks at the annual MAGIC Camp put on by NAWIC Ventura and Daniel Bell Construction. You can learn more about that here, and… it’s amazing!!

General Construction Supervision:
Daniel Bell Construction

daniel bell

Daniel is a man of many talents; a finish carpenter by trade, an idea generator, an entrepreneur, a teacher/mentor and a dear friend who is generous with his time and talents.  Although he is in California and I am in Texas, he remains my go-to consultant for all things tiny house construction related.


Loft Window:
David Kittrell, Kittrell/Riffkind Art Glass Studio

david kitrell

David and I collaborated on a design and he built a custom stained glass awning window for my loft. He was my first groupie—I met him when he came to my home to install (and later repair hail storm damage on) my front door stained glass. I told him what I was planning to do, showed him photographs of the house, and he proclaimed that I needed a stained glass window in the loft. Yes! And then he offered to design and build it for me. He’s proven to have many, many ideas that I just love. Read my post about David.

Among those ideas are copper stained glass front porch lights. Those are on his list of to-dos as well. Happy doesn’t do it justice; I’m just ecstatic to have him helping me with this project!

Loft Ladder:
Tom Warnock, Hardwood Lumber Company of Dallas

Tom Warnock

Tom Warnock of Hardwood Lumber Company of Dallas helped me choose African Mahogany lumber for my loft ladder. He took great care in selecting specific heartwood planks for my project.

Custom Wood Front Door:
Daniel Bell Construction

2013 12 06 daniel

Daniel built and hung my custom front door that he crafted out of fir.  It’s more beautiful than any door I could have purchased anywhere.  As the portal into my new life, it is particularly special to me.

Front Door Metal Design:
Searching for an Artist

I’m currently searching for an artist to create a design for my front door. Inspiration ideas may be viewed on my Pinterest board. If you have ideas, if you know someone, or if you want to help, please contact me! I may end up doing something creative on my own… (although I do not know how to weld!)

John Beckman:


I have known John for many years through my volunteering at Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity.  I worked on the Dallas Bar Association’s build every Spring from 1999 – 2011 and the last several years John was one of our house leaders.  As of 2013, John has been a volunteer on the framing crew at DAHFH for 12 years.  He has been a house leader for the last seven or eight years and has served as the senior crew chief of the framing crew, chair of the construction committee, ex officio board member and he is currently a member of the training committee.

I hadn’t seen him in maybe 2 years before emailing him and asking him if he would be willing to help me install my windows.  He tells me that he was surprised to hear from me, and that he nearly declined, but that something made him say, “yes” instead.  Now as it turns out, he’s stuck in my tiny house vortex and is unable and unwilling to extract himself.  He has given me countless hours and days of his time & talents.  He’s a great teacher and he is very patient – and pretty much makes me do everything myself, which is great.  Now that he’s been on the project longer he’s starting to take ownership of it, though – he frequently shows up in the morning and beelines to the house to “check something that’s been bugging me.”  I’m not sure which of us is losing more sleep on the construction details – him or me!  We’ve been having a total blast building and learning together.  I could say that I couldn’t do it without him, but that wouldn’t be true.  But what I can say is that I am REALLY glad that he is out there with me.

Justin Castleberry:

2014 02 08 Justin in closet

Justin is a finish carpenter in Dallas and he donated countless hours on weekends to my build – he didn’t even know me – a mutual friend introduced us.  He re-worked many interior details and learned the importance of teeny tiny measurements!  It was a privilege to have him work on my house.

There are countless others who spent their weekends with me… I can’t possibly list them all here or add photos of them all… but they are all indelibly burned into my memory and their positive energy is built into my house forever.