How can minimalism inform both your lifestyle and building techniques? This week, a multidisciplinary artist talked to me about her process as she built her first tiny house in 2019 with no prior building experience. Carina Gibson’s beautifully designed tiny house was built on a tight budget using repurposed materials and her imagination. In this intriguing conversation, she explains why she calls herself Dirtbag Minimal on her online profiles, how minimalism plays a role in her building and lifestyle choices, and why she just had to build a second tiny house studio.

In This Episode:

  • Making a tiny home feel large
  • Designing as you build
  • The tiny house studio
  • What is “Dirtbag Minimal”?
  • Reimagining your space


Links and Resources:




Guest Bio:

Carina Gibson

Carina Gibson

Carina is a multidisciplinary artist with a main focus on building and creating sustainable structures. She started building her first tiny house in 2019, with no experience, but a passion for learning and creating. She is devoted to living more minimally and mindfully and hopes this speaks through her art as well as lifestyle, aiming to promote environmental activism through her creations. She is half-Finnish & half-American and pulls from both backgrounds in her designs and life.



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More Photos:

Carina built her house in two years

Most of Carina's furniture is built-in

Her “Disaster Doors” were a beautiful labor of love


Her bedroom is on the main floor

Carina estimates that the cost of her build was $20k, but it looks so much more expensive

A 10ft trailer allows for the kitchen and bathroom to be side by side


Salvaged windows called for a few design rewrites, but it worked out beautifully

The Dirtbag Minimalist philosophy is an interesting one

She uses white paint combined with natural wood for a Scandinavian feel


Carina fell in love with her tiny studio house

The studio has no bathroom or kitchen

Finished plywood walls are beautiful and cost-effective


Carina Gibson 0:00

I had never studied architecture or design or anything like that at all. Even the whole physics of the house, I'm surprised that it works because I literally just made it up.

Ethan Waldman 0:14

Welcome to the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast The show where you learn how to plan, build and live the tiny lifestyle. I'm your host, Ethan Waldman, and this is episode 254 With Carina Gibson. Carina is a multidisciplinary artist who started building her first tiny house in 2019 with absolutely no experience. The tiny house she created is beautiful, and has a really clean, modern design. She enjoyed building her first tiny house so much that she actually has built a second one. Both tiny houses were built with lots of repurposed materials, and done for very low price tags. Carina's online profiles are called Dirtbag Minimal. And in the conversation, we talk about what she means by dirt bag minimal and how minimalism and simplicity informs her building techniques or designs and her way of life. I hope you stick around.

Hey, it's Ethan. I'm a tiny house author, speaker and teacher. And I'm the host of the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast. I've been making the show for free for the past five years. But one thing that you might not have known about me is that I love coffee. If anything I've written or produced has helped you on your tiny house journey and you're looking for a way to say thanks a coffee is a great way to do so. Head over to to buy me a cup. I really appreciate your generosity and kindness. The Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast will always be free. And I bring you a fresh new episode every Friday morning. If you are able to chip in I really appreciate it. Again that website is All right, let's jump into this week's interview.

Right, I am here with Carina Gibson. Carina is a multidisciplinary artist with a main focus on building and creating sustainable structures. She started building her first tiny house in 2019 with no experience but a passion for learning and creating. She is devoted to living more minimally and mindfully and hopes this speaks through her art as well as lifestyle aiming to promote environmental activism through her creations. She is half Finnish and half American and pulls from both backgrounds in her designs and life. Carina Gibson, welcome to the show.

Carina Gibson 3:02

Thank you. Thanks so much for having me.

Ethan Waldman 3:04

Yeah, you're very welcome. So tell me, take take us back to 2019. And, you know, help us get inside your head, like what were you thinking? Why did you decide to build a tiny house?

Carina Gibson 3:16

Well, I have always been interested in building and construction, I guess it's always sort of fascinated me and I had been living in Chicago for the past, like 10 years. So I didn't have the space or capabilities to actually get a bunch of tools and build things. And I came to visit my hometown in North Carolina and I suddenly just sort of decided. This idea had been cooking in my brain and I just decided to jump on it. And the idea for the tiny house came basically from, you know, living in a city and, or living anywhere really paying rent, and just sort of seeing what goes into that. And I kept imagining a different lifestyle where I could have a space that I've already created and paid for and, and really into DIY and, and all of that. So it kind of all just came together.

Ethan Waldman 4:20


Carina Gibson 4:22

I'm a pretty creative person. So I do think outside the box. And I think that was important in sort of visualizing what I wanted to do. And yeah, I just really wanted to be in control of my housing. And that, that feeling that that safety of knowing that this is mine, I created this and I didn't have the funds for a house and I didn't want to buy a house.

Ethan Waldman 4:53


Carina Gibson 4:53

And it just tied in with the whole aspect of environmentalism, of minimalism, tying into you know, less, purchases, all all of that go together, all that stuff. And it, building a tiny house allowed me to use my creativity and just experiment. I love experimenting and just jumping in headfirst. I mean, I could go on and on about why I started, but I guess that that would be it in a nutshell.

Ethan Waldman 5:26

Nice. So how, how long did your build take?

Carina Gibson 5:30

Took me two years.

Ethan Waldman 5:32


Carina Gibson 5:33

And that was, I was also working and traveling. You know?

Ethan Waldman 5:37

You worked on it like when you could.

Carina Gibson 5:40

Yeah, definitely. And then when I had stretches of time, I would do a lot at once. But I burned out quickly on doing those 10 hour days. I can't really do that.

Ethan Waldman 5:51

Yeah. Yeah. Construction is, it requires a certain level of energy that I don't have for full time construction, either.

Carina Gibson 6:02

Yeah, it's tiring. Yeah.

Ethan Waldman 6:04

Yeah. So tell us about the house like, you know, kind of give us the stats, like how big is it? Any special features? And I'm curious to just hear about how, you know, how you express your creativity through the construction process? Like, you know, are there parts of the house that you kind of feel like you got to really, you know, do something different or express something?

Carina Gibson 6:29

I think all of it, mostly, because I'll just start by answering that last question, but...

Ethan Waldman 6:36


Carina Gibson 6:38

I had never studied architecture or design or anything like that at all. So I didn't even or engineering so that even the whole physics of the house, I'm surprised that it works, because I literally just made it up. I was just like, I think that I describe. You know, we all have strong suits and weak points. I have many weaknesses. But I do think that one of my strong points is spatial awareness. So like, for my day job I do flower arranging, sculptures and stuff. So I've always had this ability to kind of imagine space. And so therefore, I think I was able to draw out a design just kind of by thinking, "Okay, well like, like, how much space here? How do I want this to function?" So just just that kind of a thinking process, and really not any research. I mean, of course, there was research, but not spatially. Like I saw a ton of designs online, and I didn't like any of them, like,

Ethan Waldman 7:43


Carina Gibson 7:44

some of them were okay, but none were exactly what I wanted. So then I just created my own and everybody was like, No, don't do that. Just buy a blueprint. And of course, I was like, No, until someone tells you to do something, I'll do the opposite. But the tiny house is 10 feet wide by 24 feet long. But I decided to go wide as well. That took a lot of research just because I've been in eight and a half. And it was like I get claustrophobic easily. So like I'm someone that loves why big spaces. So yeah, to make a tiny house to create that feeling. I was like, I need to figure this out. So I went wider. And of course you need permits for taking you on the road, but I haven't really had to take it on the road. So that's not an issue yet. So I thought there you go.

Ethan Waldman 8:38


Carina Gibson 8:38

Not the biggest deal. And also, I created gabled roof. Yeah, and part of it has a loft above the kitchen in the bathroom there's loft, but above the bedroom and above the living room, there's no loft and people would consider that wasted space but for me again, the feeling the spatial awareness all that like feeling like you have space is so important and the idea of minimalism is like I don't want tons of storage space everywhere. I don't want to have a lot of stuff the less places you have. For me space is more of course the tiny house did get cluttered because stuff gets bought and I'm sure I'm not above anyone else I am no monk. So I think that like I put the that the wideness let me put the bathroom and the kitchen side by side and the bedroom had to be on the downstairs because I didn't want a loft bedroom which a lot of people were doing again his face so yeah, I feel like there's a lot of individual aspects about it. That being one also in terms of my building style. It's completely completely like artists, like I had all my walls up, and I had no idea what the roof was gonna look like.

Ethan Waldman 10:06


Carina Gibson 10:07

Yeah, most people like I was like, well, now the walls are up and I need to decide the roof style.

Ethan Waldman 10:14


Carina Gibson 10:14

And I took a few days and I was like what am I? What? Like, and then suddenly I was like, okay, yeah gabled roof, even though I didn't want it because I didn't want it to look. So typically how see, yeah, I wanted a little more modern. But I was able to pull it off in a way that I wanted to. And space. So anyway, space wise it works. So that's how I work, I just, I don't plan really work step by step, whatever's in front of me. And so it's not necessarily the best way to work, but it's just who I am. So I think that that's kind of why I wanted to start my YouTube channel was because I see so many builders, so many people in the construction building world that seem to me to be more type a more organized, planning everything step by step. And of course, that's really important for many reasons. But I didn't let that stop me from creating, building a house. And it led me by the end of the build, I realized that I was not really identifying that much as like, a builder, but more as an artist than the fact that building a house can be art. And we don't see it that way. And you think you have to approach it in this certain way. But you can just do it in a crazy, unorganized way. As long as you have some planning. And I think that that was a message I really wanted to get out to people like you don't nice have to have your shit together.

Ethan Waldman 11:54

Yeah, there's like a certain order to things that like, you know, the, the plumbing has to go into the walls before you close them up, you know, or the the insulation has to go into the walls before you put the walls on. But then there's a lot of, of freedom and ability to be playful and iterative, in how you design and build. I mean, I did a podcast with a friend who's a designer, and we kind of did like a debate versus design, build and build design. Because you can kind of do it both ways. There's, there's, you know, arguments to be made that you should plan the whole thing out, and like have it all on paper and then build it, maybe that's a little more efficient. But then on the flip side, when you work the way that you did, there's the opportunity to really see how the space feels as you put it together and then decide, okay, I'm doing a gabled roof, for example.

Carina Gibson 12:46

Yeah, and that there's so much truth to that, because you are able to feel it, feel it out. And I do that with everything. But even the fact that like, even though it is more efficient to plan it all out at once, and do that, like I try, like this was me trying like I was doing my best effort and planning is planning. Yeah, and it just can't just can't. Like it would just fall through and then I would just be doing things step by step. So of course, there's obviously you need to do some things like you need to put your T shirt on before you put your coat on. Like there's little things. But beyond that, yeah, you can be more creative than you think. And like I switched my design like halfway through a lot and I thought I was gonna do tile and well not a lot but like space show I'll be like, I'll be like up the wall should I wrote down on my notes that the wall should start at 42 inches and then when I get into this space, I'm like, No, it should start at 38. Rewrite! You know?

Ethan Waldman 13:50

Yeah, yeah. Interesting. Tell me about how you approached like the windows. Did you, did you salvage windows? Did you kind of decide on a package of windows and then design around them?


Carina Gibson 14:03

And then designed around that.

Because I was working on a budget, I found I learned that the best way is to salvage windows. So I went to a habitat resale store yeah sure if you have that you have those but yeah, I bought all my windows and no all my windows to six windows.

Ethan Waldman 14:09


Carina Gibson 14:18

I had enough like like pre thought yeah, to know that I should find the dimensions you know before I drew it so of course it does take a little bit but.

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And the there's a beautiful you know, French door glass entry door. Was that also a salvage or did you have to buy that one knew?

That was a combination of both. I call that the disaster door. You because I really wanted that look of, and I don't like lattice work at all. So it was really, because I like very clean modern lines. So Lowe's was selling these, they sold doors like that, but they were over $1,000. And then I found doors, the French doors that had this lattice work on them, like, discounted because they had been dented for like $2. So I was like, Great, I'm just going to cut off the lattice work. So turns out the lattice work was some type of plastic. So then I was like, well just unscrew these and put something else on. So I got so I really learned how they make doors, because then I unscrew that, like outside, I did this and then the glass fell out. And then like all these pine needles got stuck on the glass. So then I had to get glass back and said, Screw it. And then I had to figure out how to cut all the latticework off with is it a road? It's the type of I can't remember the name of the tool. But it's like you're able to cut sort of perpendicular to your body and

Ethan Waldman 16:08


Carina Gibson 16:09

Oscillating. Yeah. So I was doing that. And I don't know, I probably made like 50 cuts. And I don't understand how I didn't cut the glass not once. And then I had to like get pieces of wood. It was just I could go on and on about that as well. It was and then had to paint it. It was just like, Well, now, when that was done, I was like, that was a moment where you're like, yeah, you definitely paid for it.

Ethan Waldman 16:37

It sounds like a labor of love.

Carina Gibson 16:40

Yeah. So you just learn all along, like now I know a lot about outdoors work in terms of the how much they cost and what it means. Yeah, you just learn. Learn all the time. Yeah.

Ethan Waldman 16:55

What was your your total budget for the build?

Carina Gibson 16:58

You know, I haven't calculated that. Because again, I just started to keep track of the receipts, but I just never calculated it fully. And what was happening is I was paying as I went, yeah, just with what I had in my bank account, but I can give you a rough estimate, especially with my big purchases. Like I can tell you that. I bought my trailer bed new from tiny home builders.

Ethan Waldman 17:28


Carina Gibson 17:28

And it was $6700 delivered to me which right now that price is over twice as much.

Ethan Waldman 17:38

Yeah, it's the cost of trailers has gone up a lot.

Carina Gibson 17:41

So I just I built it right before lumber prices went up. So I built it right at the perfect time.

Ethan Waldman 17:49


Carina Gibson 17:50

Yeah. Then of course, my, you know, stove was $1200 or more and no, yeah, so it windows and door, everything was probably $1000. But then all the wood, like, I'm guessing around $20k? Probably a little more.

Ethan Waldman 18:08

That's awesome.

Carina Gibson 18:09

I mean, yeah, just right around $20k.

Ethan Waldman 18:11

It's a beautiful space too, like it doesn't. It's, that's a fraction of the cost of many of the tiny houses that I care about and talk to people about and it certainly doesn't look like it's a fraction of the cost.

Carina Gibson 18:26

Well, thank you. That's really good to hear. Yeah, especially for my first try.

Ethan Waldman 18:31

Yeah, I mean, I also really like that modern, like you use a lot of plywood and just finished the plywood. And I tend to really like that it's kind of a nice modern look. And then you you balance that with with painted white walls. So you get like the wood and the painted white walls as a contrast to one another.

Carina Gibson 18:51

That's a really typical sort of Scandinavia thing.

Ethan Waldman 18:55

Scandinavian, yeah.

Carina Gibson 18:56

Yeah, lots of white. Lots of light wood. And so that aesthetic just is in me and feels calming to me.

Ethan Waldman 19:07

Yeah, I agree. I actually did. I built mine in Vermont, and we have a lot of like pine and cedar here. And I don't like how pine will yellow over time. So I actually did, I pickled my wood. So you combine like white latex paint with clear stain. And you can paint that on. You can you can mix it however you want. You can make it you can make it more opaque or less opaque and it just kind of makes the wood kind of that pale white look. You can still see some of the woods through it and then it stays that color rather than yellowing over time.

Carina Gibson 19:41

That's really nice.

Ethan Waldman 19:43

Yeah, so you've decided to build a second tiny house?

Carina Gibson 19:49

Yep, I built the second Tiny House

Ethan Waldman 19:51

Wow you didn't learn from the first one not to do it?

Carina Gibson 19:54

Now just know when I ended my first one like when I felt like I was done. I was like, not doing that and don't do that again. Then less than a year later. I, I don't I was like, I have seasonal work. So I work, like falls in spring summers because I do floral design. So yeah, it was wintertime it was December and so I can't sit still. So then I was looking on Craigslist, just for fun looking at trailers, not planning anything like I did not. But then I saw a deal on a trailer. And then that was it. I was like, Well, I have to get it. And so then I got it. And everyone's like, why am I what do you do with that? I said, I have no idea. But I had to get it. And so then with that trailer, I created a vision and because it was a 19 - and I'm about to post actually, on my YouTube channel, I just finished editing my video for my build from start to finish.

Ethan Waldman 20:52

Oh, great! Okay.

Carina Gibson 20:53

And I just sort of designed it based on on what I had. And so yeah, it was a 1972 camper trailer that had been sort of flattened or like taking everything taken off in the metal was leftover.

Ethan Waldman 21:09


Carina Gibson 21:09

So you had to be - I kept researching online to see how much weight do those typically hold. And it was a little bit hard to get a number but I was like, I don't really want to go over a certain amount. I think I was looking around three or 4000 pounds. So I just made up a new design again out of my head and used super lightweight materials. I used 2x3s instead of 2x4s for studs. I used, you know, I totally made up, it's not to code, but it's kind of to code.

Ethan Waldman 21:45


Carina Gibson 21:45

And I used like Styrofoam insulation because it's lighter. And I just used a lot of stuff that I had leftover. I found the windows. And it's different because there's no bathroom. There's no plumbing there is electric, but it's more like a like a tiny house studio because it's a one room. Yeah, it's 7.5 feet by 17.

Yeah, that's, I'm really happy for how that worked out.

Ethan Waldman 22:06


Carina Gibson 22:06

So it's versatile.

Ethan Waldman 22:11


Carina Gibson 22:12

And I just built it for fun. And that one cost less than $5000 to build.

Ethan Waldman 22:19

Full, full build? Wow.

Carina Gibson 22:22


Ethan Waldman 22:23

And how long did that second one take you?

Carina Gibson 22:26

I went really fast for a while, like in two months, it was dried in. And then I took a pretty big long break for work. And then it took me the fall to finish it again. But it's done. So in less than a year consolidated. Like, five or six months.

Ethan Waldman 22:45

Nice. And what do you plan to use that one for?

Carina Gibson 22:48

So I had no idea what I was going to do. And then I fell in love with it. Because I thought I was gonna sell it. And I'm actually renting it as a studio space to someone who lives around the corner.

Ethan Waldman 22:59

Oh, nice.

Carina Gibson 23:01


Ethan Waldman 23:01

That's awesome. Yeah, I will definitely by the time this goes live, I think your tour will have gone up. And we'll include a tour of that one as well on the show notes page for the episode.

Carina Gibson 23:18


Ethan Waldman 23:20

Yeah. Do you, do you have more more builds in your future?

Carina Gibson 23:25

I do. But I don't know where, when and how.

Ethan Waldman 23:30


Carina Gibson 23:31

Building and design is something that I love deeply, but it's kind of like I let it come to me. And I'm hoping to do something overseas like eventually building something more permanent but small and to continue to research and understand small living spreading the message about that and researching more into different ways that people build and different cultures.

Ethan Waldman 24:06


Carina Gibson 24:07

And yeah, just keep learning and connecting more with art and and then spending some time absorbing different things before I go into building again, but definitely I I just love building.

Ethan Waldman 24:28

What would be your advice to to a new builder, you know, someone in your situation back in 2019 who who has never built before, but wants to take it on?

Carina Gibson 24:38

You absolutely can do it. It requires patience. Stick with it and keep going.

Ethan Waldman 24:48

I like it.

Carina Gibson 24:50

And also I would probably say just one step at a time. Like if you start to think about the full picture like if I had known how much work it would have gone taken to take to build my first tiny house that yeah, it would feel a lot more daunting. So it's so much better when you don't look at the big picture. You just like, let me I just need to get the windows in.

Ethan Waldman 25:16


Carina Gibson 25:17

You know, just, it's just step by step. And I think that's just good advice for life in general, because life will keep throwing things at you.

Ethan Waldman 25:26

Yeah, when you... I felt the same way about my build. And also like, you know, I did mine in 2012 to 2013. So it was so long ago that I, you know, I barely remember how much work it was at this point. You know, you just look at the finished house, and you're like, oh, yeah, this wasn't that hard. Like, I could do it again. But while you're in it, it feels like, it might never end like you....

Carina Gibson 25:50

Oh, it feels like completely. You're like, I don't I don't know how many times I said that. I just was like, I'm never gonna finish this. Like I kept saying that all the time. Yeah.

Ethan Waldman 26:03

Yeah, you just have to focus on like, one project at a time. And just keep getting them done. And then before you know it, you've got a house.

Carina Gibson 26:12

Yeah, that's how it worked.

Ethan Waldman 26:14

Yeah, yeah. So your, your channel is called Dirtbag Minimal.

Carina Gibson 26:22


Ethan Waldman 26:23

Tell, tell us about about the name. What inspired it?

Carina Gibson 26:27

Well, I my connotation with dirt bag is a little bit different than I think it also has sort of an a negative connotation in terms of like a sleazy person, but the way that I know dirt bag is more with the, with sort of, I think, correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel like it's the, the climbing sort of world that it's a person that can just, like literally be dirty and not, not need a lot of, yeah, things are luxury to, to be okay, or to be happy.

Ethan Waldman 27:11


Carina Gibson 27:12

And, and I feel like out of my friends and out of people, people that I know, like, I'm the most sort of like, gritty, like, I sleep in airport floors. And, like, I prefer to be outside and like, I'll pee anywhere, you know, and I'll, you know, I won't wash my hair if I'm like traveling. And I like don't use that kind of a dirt bag. Like I love to eat just like carrot sticks and like rotisserie chicken out of a bag. And that's like a perfect dinner. Like, yeah, I don't like fancy dinner places don't do anything for me. Like I much prefer, you know, eating with my foods out of the back of a truck. So that's kind of how I see how I see dirtbag.

Ethan Waldman 28:01

Nice. I like that.

Carina Gibson 28:04


Ethan Waldman 28:06

And then I checked out some of the videos on the channel and I like it because it's like, there's tiny house content, but there's also you know, kind of, you're talking about your kind of worldview and and your philosophy on minimalism and living is there a video that maybe there's a video that you're that you're particularly proud of that you want to tell tell the listeners about?

Carina Gibson 28:33

Gosh, I don't know if there's one particular video that I'm proud of. I do have to say that I am proud that I'm sticking to just making videos that are true to me. I'm not being flashy, or like, because there's so many people that do amazing videos and like really great editing and really expensive cameras and have the gear and know how to use editing programs. And I'm just, I'm not a perfectionist. I'm the opposite. So I just kind of wanted to get stuff out there and I can talk about Tiny House stuff and environmentalism and minimalism and world politics forever. So I I decided that I didn't really care what people were gonna say to me, I just wanted to provide this view that I haven't really seen yet, like this honest sort of view of like, I don't really know what I'm doing and what I'm doing it and here are my thoughts and this video. Isn't that amazing? But I think that it's honest.

Ethan Waldman 29:52

Nice. I like that. I think that there's there's a lot of value in in providing that honesty and not trying to do it, not trying to hide a lack of depth behind like fancy production techniques.

Carina Gibson 30:07

Yeah. And also like, you can, I can watch a lot of those videos and get down on myself because those videos are maybe quote unquote better than mine, but at some point is like you have this that has to stop like, yeah, right, yeah, just continuously compare and I'm gonna offer something that other people can't. Is that just how we're all unique? And if I think my point was I'm gonna put this out there and whoever this speaks to great and whoever it doesn't that's fine. I just rather, you know, find some people that it really do.

Ethan Waldman 30:47

Nice. So you mentioned before we started chatting that that you're in Finland now. And you you go back and forth. So I'm curious, you know, what do you do with your tiny house when when you're away? Is it? Are you able to kind of shut it down and close it up? Or do people stay there? How does that all work?

Carina Gibson 31:09

I'm actually I'm renting it right now.

Ethan Waldman 31:11


Carina Gibson 31:12

So I am actually in Finland for a year. And I'm able to rent it out both of them actually. Which because I know people there. And that's a little bit nerve wracking. It was really hard to do that your baby. It's my baby. That's how I felt. And I was like, oh my god, how am I ever going to do this? This is my baby like, but then you just learn to trust? Yeah, yeah. So yeah.

Ethan Waldman 31:52

And what? What's your parking situation? Do you? Did you buy land? Do you rent land? Like how? Where did you find to park it?

Carina Gibson 32:02

That like friends, you know, find there's like enough land out there that you can find the right people and nice your tiny house sort of hidden? So I know that's a really hard one for a lot of people. And honestly, my only answer to those people is just like, find somebody who you can put your tiny house out there, you know, and hide it. They're out there.

Ethan Waldman 32:26

Yeah. Awesome. Well, one thing that I like to ask all my guests is, you know, what are two or three resources. These could be books or YouTube channels, or people or really anything that in that have inspired you or helped you along along your journey that you'd like to share with our listeners?

Carina Gibson 32:50

It's hard to really pinpoint one, one thing.

Ethan Waldman 32:55


Carina Gibson 32:57

I will say that I was sort of inspired by Japanese, like, apartments, Japanese design, because in Tokyo, you know, they have like super, super minuscules apartments. And the way they build things is super compact.

Ethan Waldman 33:18


Carina Gibson 33:19

Because the space is lacking. And so I felt like when I saw a lot of tiny houses online, they were like, trying to make a big American house small. So they have this big couch and TV. And I was like, that's silly. If you have a small space, you have to reimagine the space. So I got a lot of insight by looking through photos of how Japanese people have designed the sort of more like module more like reimagining space. Yeah. Rather than just trying to make this stuff of big house into a small space. That was really helpful.

Ethan Waldman 33:59

Yeah, I like that. And I can see that in your, you know, in your tiny house, that kind of that center block. It feels like a module in a way like you've got the kitchen and the bathroom. And then like, you circulate around it.

Carina Gibson 34:12

Yeah, exactly. And so I mean, I feel like mine is still pretty healthy. So I want to get more experimental in the future.

Ethan Waldman 34:21


Carina Gibson 34:23

But like I think having that low, like I don't have furniture really, everything's kind of built in and I think that comes from the, the Japanese aesthetic. And then I guess the other thing I would tell you listeners is YouTube, like whenever I was like, How do I you know, attach this hurricane tie the right place or like, how do I this you just, you just can learn so much just by typing into YouTube, and I hadn't really ever really used YouTube before I started building a tiny house. I didn't think He was for me. I was like, it's just to watch silly stupid videos. Like that's not what I'm interested in. And then I was like, Oh my gosh, you can learn so much. And now I'm like, looking up you know Spanish language and all these different kinds of things and like you can learn so much for free. This is amazing.

Ethan Waldman 35:19

Yeah, it's true. Nice. Well, Carina Gibson, thank you so much for being a guest on the show. I really enjoyed our conversation.

Carina Gibson 35:28

Yes, I really enjoyed it. Thank you so much.

Ethan Waldman 35:32

Thank you so much to Carina Gibson for being a guest on the show today. You can find the show notes including photos of Carina's beautiful Tiny House builds, a complete transcript of the episode, and links to Dirtbag Minimal over at Again, that's

I produce the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast every week and put it out for free because I want to help you and others like you along on your tiny house journeys. If anything I've written or produced has helped you on your tiny house journey, and you're looking for a way to say thanks, a coffee is a great way to do so. Head over to to chip in and buy me a cup. I'd really appreciate it. Again, that's

Well, that's all for this week. I'm your host Ethan Waldman, and I'll be back next week with another episode of the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast.

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