Deanna Michaelson cover

Have you ever seen a shed or a building that is not a house, looked at it, and thought that you could probably turn it into a tiny home? Well, that’s what my guest, Deanna Michaelson, did! Deanna was able to eliminate $30k of debt in two years by renovating and living in a 9×12 tool shed. Stick around to hear what it took to turn the shed into a beautiful tiny house, why she got kicked out, and what she’s doing next. We also talk about her coaching business, Stoked Coaching, and what kind of clients she’s hoping to work with. And of course, we talk about Deanna’s next tiny house which will be on wheels and is tentatively called Shed 2.0.

In This Episode:

  • Working full-time while renovating: it’s all about balance
  • Why she was forced to move
  • Deanna’s plans for a tiny house on wheels
  • It’s all about the laundry
  • Planning for different climates
  • How working with a coach helped Deanna
  • It’s okay to change your mind

Links and Resources:



Guest Bio:

Deanna Michaelson

Deanna Michaelson

Deanna (she/they) is a multidisciplinary designer currently working as a Visual Merchandiser for Patagonia. Always fascinated by alternative forms of shelter, Deanna’s first tiny house experience came in response to the high cost of living in California’s Bay Area. She was able to eliminate $30,000 of debt in 2 years by renovating and living in a 9×12’ tool shed. The experience was so liberating and empowering, that she started Stoked Coaching to help others make their dreams a reality. She is currently designing “Shed 2.0” which will be on wheels so she can’t get kicked out of it.



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More Photos:

Would you think “tiny home” if you saw this shed?

Deanna had a lot of cleaning up to do

She opted not to put insulation in for a few reasons

This cabinet she found inside  the shed was repurposed into beautiful shelves



She made her countertop out of an old fire door

The finished interior looks pretty cozy!

She rented a paint sprayer for the interior and exterior


Deanna Michaelson 0:00

Honestly, it's like a washer dryer thing. Like, I feel like I need a washer and dryer to be like fully happy in my life. And a tiny house just seems a lot more well suited for like a full size washer and dryer.

Ethan Waldman 0:15

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 205. With Deanna Michaelson, have you ever seen a shed or a building that is not a house and looked at it and said, "I want to live there, I could turn that into a tiny home."? Well, that's what my guest Deanna Michaelson did. Deanna was able to eliminate $30,000 of debt in two years by renovating and living in a9x12 tool shed. In our interview today, I'll ask Deanna, what it took to turn the shed into a beautiful little tiny house, why she got kicked out, and what she's doing next. We also talk about her coaching business, Stoked Coaching, and what kind of clients she's hoping to work with. And of course, we talk about Diana's next Tiny House, which will be a house on wheels, and is tentatively called Shed 2.0. I hope you stick around.

But before we get started, did you know that I personally send a tiny house newsletter every week on Tuesdays. It's called Tiny Tuesdays. And it's a weekly email with tiny house news, interviews, photos and resources. It's free to subscribe and I even share sneak peeks of things that are coming up, ask for feedback about upcoming podcast guests and more. It's really the best place to keep a pulse on what I'm doing in the tiny house space and also stay informed of what's going on in the tiny house movement. To sign up, go to, where you can sign up for the Tiny Tuesdays newsletter. And of course you can unsubscribe at any time I will never send you spam. And if you ever don't want to receive emails, it's easy to unsubscribe. So again, that's Thanks and I hope you enjoy next week's Tiny Tuesday's newsletter.

Alright, I am here with Deanna Michaelson. Deanna is a multidisciplinary designer currently working as a visual merchandiser for Patagonia. Always fascinated by alternative forms of shelter, Deanna's first tiny house experience came in response to the high cost of living in California's Bay Area. She was able to eliminate $30,000 of debt in two years by renovating and living in a 9x12. tool shed. The experience was so liberating and empowering that she started stoked coaching to help others make their dreams a reality. She's currently designing a Shed 2.0, which will be on wheels, so she can't get kicked out of it. Deanna Michaelson, welcome to the show.

Deanna Michaelson 3:01

Thank you for having me. I'm so excited to be here.

Ethan Waldman 3:05

Yeah, very excited to have you on the show. We've, we've been in touch via email for a few months now just kind of chatting back and forth about how we would make the interview happen. And it's great to have you here. I was hoping you could kind of tell us the story of you know, discovering the shed. And you know, when you see something like that, and we'll post pictures on on the show notes page, decrepid would be a word that I might use to describe it. So how do you go from seeing that and saying like, Okay, I'm going to live there, or I'm going to I'm going to make it into something a place where I actually would want to live?

Deanna Michaelson 3:49

I mean, honestly, I've got to give Chip and Joanna Gaines some credit, because I've watched every single episode of Fixer Upper. I honestly don't know, like where the idea came from other than that, I saw that shed and I just saw a tiny house when I looked at it. I don't know how else to describe it. And honestly, so many people thought that I was crazy. But once I started working through the steps of the renovation, it started to become clear to other people that there was actually potential there.

Ethan Waldman 4:21

Right. It's kind of a diamond in the rough.

Deanna Michaelson 4:23

And a little bit of backstory was that the shed was in my sister's backyard in Oakland, and they were just giving me a tour of the house that they had just moved into. Sort of half jokingly was like, "Hey, like, can I live in the shed?" And then they they sort of took me seriously and we made it happen.

Ethan Waldman 4:44

That's awesome. So you see you actually moved into the main house while you renovated the shed?

Deanna Michaelson 4:51

Yes, yeah, there was a spare bedroom in the in the sort of half basement of the main house that I was able to live in while I worked on shed which was convenient in terms of, you know, having to do all the work on sort of nights and weekends while I worked a full time job.

Ethan Waldman 5:07

Yeah, yeah. And that's, you know, for anyone listening who's done it, or anyone who's considering doing it? What advice would you have for them?

Deanna Michaelson 5:16

I don't know. I mean, it's definitely it was a passion project, you know, and so that's what got me through.

Ethan Waldman 5:27


Deanna Michaelson 5:28

And, you know, I guess if I had any advice to folks is like, stay connected to your vision and your why, you know, like, for me paying off, my debt was a big motivator. And I also had like, mood boards of photos of beautiful tiny houses and whatnot. And those two things were kind of my motivation throughout the project. But also reminding yourself to take breaks and like, do the other things in your life that bring you joy. You know, for me, that's like, going backpacking and hiking with my dog. And, you know, finding time to continue to do those things while you're working full time and doing a project like this is really important.

Ethan Waldman 6:15

Yeah, I remember that feeling of like, wanting to, like go skiing, or do a hike. And and like, kind of felt like I was damned if I did, and damned if I didn't, because if I did, if I did the fun thing, it was fun, but then I was like, I could have been working on my tiny house and this is taking forever. When is it going to be done?

Deanna Michaelson 6:34

Yeah, it's all about balance. Right?

Ethan Waldman 6:37

Totally, totally. So can you walk us through? Like, what? What was this shed? And like, what did you have to do to it to turn it into to a house?

Deanna Michaelson 6:49

Yeah, I mean, I wrote about it sort of extensively in the blog that I think you will link to in the show notes. But for anyone that wants to nerd out on the process. But essentially, first, it was like a demo, like getting all of the, you know, rodent excrement and dry rot wood, and like just whatever had accumulated there was a ton of just soil that had built up on and around it, which is to rot it away parts of the framing so that the first part was just sort of cleaned up and demo. And then there was a, there was a period of time where I was working more on the sort of structural integrity of it. When I when I peel back all the layers, I discovered that it was completely missing the entire back wall. And it was built so close to the neighbor's house that we had to sort of reverse engineer this back wall and slide it into place rather than building it. Traditional manner of framing and siding and that sort of thing.

Ethan Waldman 7:53


Deanna Michaelson 7:55

And resurfacing the concrete floor, I learned how to use a cement polishing, like grinder, or what have you. Shout out to the Tool Library and Oakland by the way, if you live in the Bay Area, it's an incredible resource. And if you have a Tool Library in your area, great way to borrow a tool for a few days that you would otherwise buy.

Ethan Waldman 8:18

Yeah, it's so cool that you have that available. And even if you don't have a Tool Library with that you can rent for free. You know, I rented all kinds of things just from the local hardware store. A nailer for putting down hardwood floors, for example, like a tool that that you don't need to own for one tiny house, but it sure is handy to have for the day that you install your floors.

Deanna Michaelson 8:41

Totally Yeah, I rented paint sprayer from Home Depot to to paint the inside and the exterior. And that was a tool I didn't need to own. But it was super helpful to have during the process and way cheaper to rent.

Ethan Waldman 9:00

Yeah, totally. And so the whole process, you know, it is documented quite quite beautifully on on your blog on get stoked coaching calm, which, you know, I'll link to that post and the whole process took a year?

Deanna Michaelson 9:16

Yeah, roughly a year. And, you know, I'm sure you experienced this with your tiny house, you're never really done with it. So yeah, I worked on it for sort of nine months to a year to get it sort of livable. And then after I moved in, there's probably another six months or so of tinkering with things while I was living in it.

Ethan Waldman 9:38

I agree. Yes. Did you add insulation in your build? I'm seeing a picture where the walls are just kind of open. You're just looking at like the framed wall from the inside.

Deanna Michaelson 9:50

Yeah, so I chose not to insulate it initially. The reasoning behind that was several fold. One was being a little bit worried about moisture, and not being 100% sure that it was waterproof. And also not being really sure that I wanted to live in a house that tiny.

Ethan Waldman 10:15


Deanna Michaelson 10:15

And so I wanted to sort of feel it out for a little while before investing all that additional time and money into insulation and the interior cladding.

Ethan Waldman 10:25


Deanna Michaelson 10:26

And California is like, warm enough that you won't die, if you don't. Like, it was not pleasant during the winter months, but it was doable. And that actually ended up being a pretty good decision, because we ended up getting kicked off of the property not too long after I moved in.

Ethan Waldman 10:50

Oh, bummer.

Deanna Michaelson 10:52

So I was kind of glad that I hadn't hadn't spent, you know, an extra two or $3,000 on the project.

Ethan Waldman 10:59

Yeah, so and this property was a rental property to begin with?

Deanna Michaelson 11:03


Ethan Waldman 11:04

Okay. And so was it? Was it the shed that got you kicked off the property?

Deanna Michaelson 11:08

No, no. And the property got bought and flipped. And then they turned that the shed into this little sort of like, you know, shed, man cave thing.

Ethan Waldman 11:21

Of course.

Deanna Michaelson 11:22

And I think had I not done all the work that I had done on it, they probably would have just torn it down. So I save the shed.

Ethan Waldman 11:32

You save the shed. Yeah. From from the before pictures, it definitely looks like it was was worthy of a tear down. If if that was if you didn't have the time and energy and love to put into it?

Deanna Michaelson 11:44

For sure.

Ethan Waldman 11:45

In terms of what was in it. I'm looking at the SketchUp model, which is really cool that you made one because it actually I'm excited for people to see it just so they can get a sense. Because you know, in the pictures, you only see like, you see one little corner and you see this thing over here. The SketchUp you can really see the whole space. Was it looks like there was just gravity feed water and and some electricity.

Deanna Michaelson 12:13

Yeah, so that electricity was just an extension cord from the house.

Ethan Waldman 12:18


Deanna Michaelson 12:19

which was another upgrade that I would have done. Had I been there longer, I was planning to put some more legit electric electric work into it.

Ethan Waldman 12:27


Deanna Michaelson 12:28

And the the sink was just gravity fed with a grey water bucket. I will go into detail about that in the blog. But I think if I had stayed there longer, I also would have created some sort of grey water filter drainage into the yard rather than having to dump the bucket every day.

Ethan Waldman 12:48


Deanna Michaelson 12:48

But it worked well for the time that I was there. And it was a great experience just in terms of learning how those systems work and don't work.

Ethan Waldman 12:57

Yeah, absolutely. And I love this. I love this example, because now you're working on saving for a big tiny house, I guess we'll say a tiny house on wheels. And a lot of people kind of come to the tiny house movement, and they go right for that. But it's a big financial stretch. And it sounds like this experience of the shed really allowed you to pay off a lot of debt and probably start saving money in a much more radical way than you would have been able to before.

Deanna Michaelson 13:32

Yeah, definitely. I mean, I wish that I had been able to stay in it longer because my next plan after paying off the debt was to save up for the tiny house on wheels.

Ethan Waldman 13:41


Deanna Michaelson 13:42

But the experience of living in such a small space was invaluable just in terms of knowing what I really can live without. And then the sort of creature comforts that are important enough to me, like when I was designing when I was designing the tiny house on wheels in SketchUp I ended up add another two feet so I can get a washer and dryer in here because that's really important work versus other things that I've learned that I could kind of live without.

Ethan Waldman 14:09

Yeah. How much did you end up spending on The Shed build?

Deanna Michaelson 14:13

I haven't like crunched all the receipts but ballpark estimate I would say four or $5,000 which when you compare it to paying off $30 grand in debt seems like worth it.

Ethan Waldman 14:26

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And also, you know, in terms of your education and your you know, learning how to build potentially invaluable

Deanna Michaelson 14:39

Yeah, and low stakes, right, like I was able to, you know, go cut a hole on his wall and see what happens and I'm not super worried about it beforehand, spend, you know, hundreds of dollars on the plywood or whatever.

Ethan Waldman 14:53

Seems like the biggest risk was like accidentally having the thing like collapse on you while you were in it and working on it.

Deanna Michaelson 15:01

Yeah, well, and I was fortunate to have some help from a contractor friend with some of the more structural improvements.

Ethan Waldman 15:07

That's awesome.

Deanna Michaelson 15:08

I realized in the beginning, like, I'm a little bit over my head here. So I was able to phone a friend and learn a lot from him as well.

Ethan Waldman 15:18

Yeah. And it's cool, too, because I'm kind of getting back to what I was hinting at before is just like, there are so many structures like this around and if, if, if those listening are like really dreaming of living tiny, but like a tiny house on wheels, straight out the box is like, not within their possibility or budget. You know, if you if you kind of expand your your viewpoint and say you see a shed on on a neighbor or a friend's property, that is it not being used, you know, that could be turned into a tiny house for a lot less than building a tiny house on wheels or buying one from scratch, and then it kind of starts you on that journey.

Deanna Michaelson 16:03

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, my current project right now is I'm working on a, an upgrade of the camper in the back of my truck. I have an old Toyota Tacoma. And I use a sort of simpler version of the platform that I have for years now. And I've been able to spend that time with it, say like, oh, like, I would add this for our to build another one. Or I realize I don't actually need this thing that everybody tends to put in their own truck camper. Yeah. So being able to test things out, like, live in and with them before you commit to the big build and the big bucks. Seems like a really great way to do it.

Ethan Waldman 16:42

Yep. Yep. Nice. And what's your vision for your, your tiny house on wheels? In terms of, you know, are you do you still want to live in the city in the tiny house on wheels? Are you going to travel in it? Can you talk about that?

Deanna Michaelson 17:00

Yeah, I mean, one of the things I like about tiny house on wheels is that you can move it. So I can imagine living in a city or, or somewhere a little bit more rural. And I like the idea that you could sort of choose between those two and try it out for a while. I would not plan on moving it frequently. Like I've even thought about doesn't even really need to be on wheels. Can I do sort of a container home thing that I would just pay someone to move for me?

Ethan Waldman 17:31


Deanna Michaelson 17:32

But there's something about that just like knowing that you could move it yourself if you needed to. I love that self sufficiency. And, you know, I have some pretty gnarly wanderlust, and I'm a Sagittarius so I like to keep my options open.

Ethan Waldman 17:51

Yeah, well, the truck camper is a great complement to a tiny house on wheels, just because, you know, they're not that mobile. So you can just, you just get off if you want to go and be away.

Deanna Michaelson 18:04

Exactly. Yeah. When I'm when I'm camping. I feel like I don't need a lot with me. I prefer that more mobile experience, but I'm kind of a homebody when I am at home. So the idea of having a slightly larger tiny house with a little bit more space to nest is is appealing to me. Yeah.

Ethan Waldman 18:27

Are you planning to do the build yourself?

Deanna Michaelson 18:29

I am, yeah.

Ethan Waldman 18:30


Deanna Michaelson 18:31

I, again, would probably have some folks help with some of the things that are a little outside of my comfort zone when gas and electricity and plumbing and that sort of thing. But I feel pretty confident in being able to build a house after my shed experiment. Yeah, I would probably go with stick frame, just because I that's how the shed was built. And I really understand how that works. And how everything works with that. Right? I tried to open my mind to some of the like, more newfangled ways of building and they seem to have a lot of benefits, but I just like good old fashioned stick framing personally.

Ethan Waldman 19:19

Yeah, there there is a lot to be said for stick framing and also just so many more people are out there who know how to stick frame or build to like your contractor friend, or, you know, just the people at the hardware store are going to be much more familiar with with that kind of building method than sips or metal framing or anything like that. So would you consider a different tiny dwelling kind of in between? Shed 1.0 and shed 2.0 maybe shed 1.5 some some other conversion?

Deanna Michaelson 19:57

Yeah, I mean, the other mobile dwelling option that really tugs at my heart stream is renovating an Airstream trailer.

Ethan Waldman 20:08


Deanna Michaelson 20:08

And actually my friend's book called The Modern Caravan. That's all about Airstream renovation just came out today.

Ethan Waldman 20:17

Oh, cool.

Deanna Michaelson 20:18

So it was just kind of funny timing that I happen to be on this podcast and I got her a copy of her book today. But yeah, I think Airstreams are really cool. I don't know about like, live. Honestly, it's like a washer dryer thing. Like, I feel like I need a washer and dryer to be like, fully happy in my life.

Ethan Waldman 20:38


Deanna Michaelson 20:39

And a tiny house just seems a lot more well suited for like a full size washer and dryer.

Ethan Waldman 20:46

Certainly, certainly, there are like compact options. But but you can't beat though like full on washer and dryer.

Deanna Michaelson 20:54


Ethan Waldman 20:55

Especially, you know, it seems like you enjoy the outdoors. And as as I do, as well, but it all these outdoor activities come with additional clothing and gear. And also additional laundry. Yeah, absolutely. After doing them.

Deanna Michaelson 21:13

Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah.

Ethan Waldman 21:16

The design for your tiny house. Do you have any houses that you're kind of pulling on for inspiration?

Deanna Michaelson 21:22

Yes, absolutely. I don't know that I could, off the top of my head name all of the builders and, and the designs. But I have a pretty epic Pinterest board of inspiration.

Ethan Waldman 21:37


Deanna Michaelson 21:38


Ethan Waldman 21:38

Nice. And that's a great way to do it is to just kind of collect images that are inspiring to you. And then you can kind of draw from those as you as you work on your design.

Deanna Michaelson 21:50

Yeah, there I there's a lot of benefit, I think in also having that collection and being able to notice, like, oh, this theme design has come up five different times. It must be something that yeah, I'm really drawn to.

Ethan Waldman 22:04

Yeah. So you know, looking at your SketchUp model for your tiny house, it looks like it's, it's a shed roof. And there are stairs up to a sleeping loft.

Deanna Michaelson 22:16

Yes, yeah, I initially was trying to go with a shorter model and do the sort of like dinette conversion bed. But I kind of realized, as I was thinking through it, that that's something that I would be fine doing occasionally, like on a weekend here in there, but every single day, probably not something that I want to deal with in my original bed. My original plan also had this cool, like, ladder staircase thing that was sort of retractable, but I have a dog. And I let her sleep in the bed. And that's something that is important to me. Yeah. And so I needed to put in a staircase that she would be able to access leaping off.

Ethan Waldman 23:02

Yeah, for anyone who's ever tried like, it's somehow really not that hard to carry a dog up a ladder, but it's really hard to carry a dog down a ladder

Deanna Michaelson 23:10

I can imagine and the dog's probably not very excited about it either.

Ethan Waldman 23:14

Dog's not into it. Yeah. I it'll be almost a year. I have a basset hound now and he's like, real top heavy. I can't I can't carry him with one hand because he literally just tips over.

Deanna Michaelson 23:26


Ethan Waldman 23:28

Yeah, the unfortunately the loft in my tiny houses is off limits for poor Parsnip.

Deanna Michaelson 23:35

Yeah, yeah. Or if you're planning on building a tiny house with a ladder, maybe get a smaller dog My dog is 50 pouds so, probably not gonna work with a ladder. Yeah.

Ethan Waldman 23:45

What are some other features in the in your shed 2.0 tiny house that you're excited about?

Deanna Michaelson 23:51

Well, I have always loved tiny wood stoves. And I it's a little superfluous because I've also realized that I wouldn't want a wood stove to be my only source of heat. I lived in a Yurt outside of Portland for a while. And that was the only heat source and it's pretty rough.

Ethan Waldman 24:11


Deanna Michaelson 24:12

But I just love the ambience and the feeling of lighting a fire. And so that's definitely something that I you know, it's been a little bit of extra square footage and money on to have.

Ethan Waldman 24:25

Yeah, and it's, it's really smart to have multiple heat sources in a tiny house. Do you do you have an alternate heat source planned?

Deanna Michaelson 24:35

Yeah, I mean, honestly, a lot of the systems that I have sort of decided on for for my next build came from doing Tiny House Decisions.

Ethan Waldman 24:46


Deanna Michaelson 24:47

And reading through that guide. But I so far, what I think makes the most sense is to have a heated floor at least in the bathroom, a mini split, and then a wood So for supplementary.

Ethan Waldman 25:04

Yeah. Well, I as the author of Tiny House Decisions, I think that's a great idea.

Deanna Michaelson 25:11

Yeah, it's like maybe a little overkill. But I also feel like if you are making these concessions with, you know, space and being willing to live in 300 square feet or less, it's okay to splurge a little on some of the some of the things that will make that small space more comfortable.

Ethan Waldman 25:31

Yeah. And what I love about your two heat sources in particular is that, you know, the mini split and the heated floor are going to require electricity, but the wood stove won't. So if you needed to be off grid, or you found yourself off grid, you would still be able to use that wood stove as your primary heat source. And unless something changes drastically, you're not getting like sub zero temperatures in the Bay Area.

Deanna Michaelson 25:56

Should be okay.

Ethan Waldman 25:58

Yeah. Yeah.

Deanna Michaelson 25:59

I mean, that's one thing I'm still sort of thinking through is I would like my house to be able to live anywhere. But it seems hard to design for that, you know, like, I have family that lives in Montana, which is frigid. And I've also considered like living more in a desert environment, which gets really hot.

Ethan Waldman 26:18


Deanna Michaelson 26:19

And it seems hard to design your tiny house on wheels, such that it is optimized for any environment.

Ethan Waldman 26:28

Yeah, I think I think that's true. I mean, more insulation is is helpful for both hot and cold. So you've got that going for you. But of course, there's the issue of windows in a really hot sunny environment turns, you know, you can end up creating a greenhouse for yourself.

Deanna Michaelson 26:46

Yeah, or making sure that your roof is strong enough to withstand, you know, several feet of snow, if you end up in an environment that totally, that happens.

Ethan Waldman 26:55

Totally. Soyou are you work for Patagonia, one of my very favorite clothing and gear brands. But you're also kind of pursuing a side a side project? Is it fair to call it that stoked coaching?

Deanna Michaelson 27:13

Yeah, you could call it a side project.

Ethan Waldman 27:16

All right. All right. A side hustle as some would call it. What? Can you tell? Tell us about that?

Deanna Michaelson 27:22

Yeah, I mean, I try not to use the word hustle, because for me, this coaching endeavor really is about - it's less about making money and it's more about bringing value to other people's lives. But I had, I had a life coach, actually, that was sort of stewarding me through this whole debt payoff. Shed life journey. And yep. It really helped me put everything in perspective. And I just realized, yeah, basically, that if you could make a change in your life that significant that like, other people should be able to do that, too.

Ethan Waldman 28:07

Yeah, yeah.

Deanna Michaelson 28:08

Like, I don't want to make it sound like it was easy, because it wasn't easy. But it was possible. And even a few years before that, I might not have even considered, you know, being debt free a possibility or, you know, living in a tiny house and open the possibility.

Ethan Waldman 28:26

Right. And so you already have this coach, when you kind of saw the shed and started talking about it, or did that come afterwards?

Deanna Michaelson 28:36

Yeah, I had been working with my coach. Well, before that. And we talked a lot about, you know, my financial situation and what I wanted to do to improve that, what I just even what I wanted out of life and what my values were clarifying what's important to me, was really helpful. Like, oh, like, lavish living environment is not actually that important to me. But freedom is like one of my top values. So being able to put that all on paper and then make your life decisions accordingly. This is really powerful experience for me.

Ethan Waldman 29:11

Yeah. You know, on your blog, you've got a great post about eating well, on the on the road. And you talk a little bit about you know, that your work for Patagonia involves joshing up retail stores zhuzhing up retail stores. Yeah, and I love that word. My my mom and Aunt definitely say that word. But can you can you kind of tell our listeners what zhuzhng up something means? And also, like, how did you apply that to the shed build? Because, you know, I'm imagining as a visual merchandiser, you are you're very good with with the visual aesthetics of a space and and there's no question that the shed looks really awesome. So talk about like how you did that?

Deanna Michaelson 29:55

Yeah, I only recently learned how to spell zhuzh by the way, and it's amazing Z H U Z H for anybody who's curious? Yeah, I've always had, like, a propensity toward just like, making things better, like leaving it better than I found it. And always been obsessed with like HGTV and that kind of thing. I recently have been learning more about Enneagram I don't know if your your listeners is interested in that at all, but I'm a one. And that's the one is all about that, like, making things better and, and always seeing possibility in potential and things.

Ethan Waldman 30:43


Deanna Michaelson 30:44

But I think that the judge ability of something just comes with practice. Right?

Ethan Waldman 30:51


Deanna Michaelson 30:52

Like, it's not something that I was always good at, you know, I had to mess up a lot to be able to hone that like intuitive sense of like, oh, this, this will look good here, or this is the right color of this paint.

Ethan Waldman 31:06


Deanna Michaelson 31:07

It's something that came with years and years of practice. And also a lot of consuming. I mean, I guess for lack of a better word media. So, you know, for social media, it's like books and going to the library and going to museums, and, you know, thumbing through dwell magazine. Yeah. And now, now that we have Instagram, and Pinterest, and things like that, some of those things are a little bit more accessible, but just sort of curating Sure. What I like or what you like, you know, because it's subjective as well. So, right, formulating your taste based on what you like.

Ethan Waldman 31:51

Yeah, and it's kind of, I'm realizing now that that, you know, tiny house living is kind of the ultimate form of curation. Because you've, you're essentially curating a house down to it's just essential parts and stripping away all all the rest.

Deanna Michaelson 32:06

Totally. Yeah. And and you see, you know, people make, like, I think you shared somebody recently who had put a sauna in their tiny house, and, you know, people make space for, you know, yoga, or hammocks, or whatever, you really get to see somebody, his personality and their build based on the things that they prioritize their space for.

Ethan Waldman 32:30

Yeah, definitely. And you really get to do that when you build a space for yourself.

Deanna Michaelson 32:35


Ethan Waldman 32:37

Is there anything that I haven't asked you about that you were excited to talk about on the show?

Deanna Michaelson 32:42

I love that question. First of all, I love that you ask everybody that. I guess the only thing really is that it's worth mentioning in the I was really anti tiny house for quite a long time. And really not because of like, living in small spaces. But I just feel like similar to sort of like the whole van life thing. It really took off in this way. That seemed kind of inauthentic at times.

Ethan Waldman 33:15


Deanna Michaelson 33:16

And I just really did not care for it. And then I met one person on a camping trip. And I won't say this person's name, but they lived out of the van and they have a tiny house back home. And something clicked where I was like, well, this person's cool. Like, maybe tiny houses.

Ethan Waldman 33:42

Wow, I'm glad that person was cool.

Deanna Michaelson 33:45

I don't know maybe that sounds too judgy. But, um, I guess I just say that, to remind folks to like, be open minded about things, you know.

Ethan Waldman 33:56

Yeah, absolutely. But I mean, I don't fault you for your, your initial take on tiny houses, because I think that tiny houses got really popular and mainstream through reality television and through Instagram and visual social media and both. Both kind of tend to present it in only the kind of glamorous moments and none of the reality or the grittiness of of actual life.

Deanna Michaelson 34:28

Totally. I love when people post photos and videos of their house when it actually has stuff in it.

Ethan Waldman 34:34


Deanna Michaelson 34:35

Have you noticed, like so many photos and videos of tiny houses are like perfectly staged? And you're like, okay, cool, but like, where do you put the mop? Or like, Yeah, where's the dog food bowl go, you know, and so living for me in the shed allowed me to also recognize all those places for storage that you don't think about. Yes, and build that into my design. And yeah, I just love that authenticity in reality that some people out there, it's important for that to be part of the story.

Ethan Waldman 35:08

Yeah. Yeah, speaking of mops, I don't like I failed to put a place in my tiny house like for a broom, that would be like, a way. It's just kind of like always out like leaning up against a wall. But take note listeners, figure out where the broom and mop go.

Deanna Michaelson 35:25


Ethan Waldman 35:30

Random question for you just based on based on what I've seen of your blog, it looks like you are a plant based eater. Any any favorite plant based eating cookbooks?

Deanna Michaelson 35:42

Well, I'm actually not a totally plant based eater,

Ethan Waldman 35:45


Deanna Michaelson 35:45

But I do love plant based foods, and incorporating them into my diet. Off the top of my head, my, my favorite person right now that's doing plant based recipes is Sarah Britton for My New Roots.

Ethan Waldman 36:03


Deanna Michaelson 36:04

She has a new membership service that you can sign up for that's called grow, and you pay a certain amount of money per month, and then you have like unlimited access to all her recipes, videos, and she's awesome.

Ethan Waldman 36:15

Cool. Awesome. Okay. And then the, the question that I that I like to ask all my guests, is, you know, what are two or three resources that that have helped you out along the way that that you'd like to share with with listeners and, and that can be anything.

Deanna Michaelson 36:35

Yeah, I mean, beyond the sort of obvious, like, YouTube videos of like, how to install a deadbolt, which are super, super, super important.

Ethan Waldman 36:47

Super helpful.

Deanna Michaelson 36:48

I already mentioned, you know, my friend Kate, who wrote The Modern Caravan book, but just design books, in general, were super important for me in my design build process. Another one that I'll that I'll mention specifically is Abode, which is by Serena Mitnick-Miller really helped me make a lot of aesthetic choices during my renovation. And also shout out to the regular library on top of the Tool Library, I have been really leaning back into utilizing my local library for things that I could add, like, oh, I don't really own this book. But I'd like to spend a few weeks with it. Yeah. That's been a great resource, and also a great thing for folks in tiny spaces to think about, maybe I don't need to own this in my, in my tiny space, but I could like hang out with it for a little while.

Ethan Waldman 37:46

Yeah, absolutely. And also, my shout out is to the to the digital library that you can you can get a lot of these books on your e reader. And then if you're like me like to highlight and that's frowned upon for library books. So then you can can highlight your your digital library book.

Deanna Michaelson 38:05

Yes, yeah. And audio books do like getting audio books through Libby.

Ethan Waldman 38:09


Deanna Michaelson 38:11

That audio books and podcasts definitely fueled a large portion of my nights and weekends. Or working on the shed.

Ethan Waldman 38:21

Yeah. Yeah. No, it's nice to have something to kind of listen to in the background while you while you work on things. Because building, there are so many repetitive tasks, interrupted by times where you like really need to focus and concentrate, but then like, then long stretches of just like painting, or just like throwing in a bunch of screws and in line.

Deanna Michaelson 38:44

Yes. Lots of repetitive, monotonous tasks. Yep.

Ethan Waldman 38:50

Well, I'll post links to Stoked Coaching on on the shownotes episode for this page. Was there anything else that you wanted to say about about that work that you're doing? And you know, what kinds of people you're you're looking to work with?

Deanna Michaelson 39:05

Yeah. I mean, I'm, I'm really interested in working with folks that want to live a less traditional life and that aren't afraid to color outside the lines or maybe are afraid currently, but have a desire to do that.

Ethan Waldman 39:26


Deanna Michaelson 39:27

Yeah, I would, I would love to work with with books that just want something different than what the mainstream has offered to us.

Ethan Waldman 39:38

Nice. I think. I think we'll just leave it there. Deanna Michaelson, thank you so much for being a guest on the show.

Deanna Michaelson 39:44

Thank you, Ethan. Thanks for, for making this for all of us.

Ethan Waldman 39:49

Thank you so much to Deanna Michaelson for being a guest on the show today. You can find the show notes including photos of Shed 1.0 and lots more including a complete transcript of this episode at Again, that's Well, that's all for this week. I'm your host, Ethan Waldman, and I will be back next week with another episode of the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast.

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