Shorty’s Tiny House Nawaka is full of surprises. It’s got a bed that folds up inside of an upright piano. It’s got a giant drop-leaf table that was cut in half and bolted to the wall. There’s a big copper sink with a faucet that *looks* like pump. Why? Because this tiny house is disguised to look like it’s from the 19th century.



Shorty built the house herself over 3 years of weekends and shares her advice on how she continued making progress her tiny house even when she didn’t know how.

Shorty is also a key player in the tiny house festival scene, working with John and Fin Kernohan to organize and run 11 tiny house festivals over the past 5 years.

Shorty’s house is full of creative ideas and things that Shorty had in her life that she didn’t want to give up, but knew they couldn’t fit in the tiny house in their original forms. Like her prized upright piano that she got at a yard sale, or her grandmother’s dresser. These items have been repurposed and incorporated into her home. Even her building itself has some unique antique pieces, such as the 1906 piece of heart pine that serves as her ridge beam.

There are so many ways to not feel like you’re cutting yourself off from your past and your memories. You can take things with you.” -Shorty Robbins (click to tweet)

In this episode:

  • Why it’s important to consider if you want to live full time in your tiny or not.
  • How shorty designed and built her famous piano bed
  • How to incorporate sentimental, non-utilitarian possessions into your tiny house build
  • If Shorty can do it, you can too! It took her close to three years of nights and weekends to finish her tiny house
  • How shorty reduced the weight of her tiny house by 2,000 lbs by using an aluminum trailer
  • When did Shorty meet John and Fin and how did she get so involved in organizing United Tiny House Festivals?
  • How has Shorty seen the tiny house movement change over the course of 11 festivals?

Links and resources:

Here's a photo of Shorty in her tiny house, Nawaka:

Shorty Robbins Online: