Dolly Rubiano discovered her love of tiny places when she saw a cleverly designed house-truck in New Zealand in 2013. Following this, she scoured AirBnB for tiny homes to rent, as a test run to see how small she could go, whilst still living a full life! Dolly explains ‘tiny house living made sense to me, because I like a simple, clutter-free life. And because it is on wheels, the idea that I can take my home anywhere I want appeals to me. I must have been a turtle in my previous life!’
After first creating a miniature model out of cardboard to play with the design, Dolly hired the company Designer Eco Tiny Homes to realise her dreams, on a property in Victoria’s Macedon Ranges. The team there had experience in building granny flats and tiny homes on wheels, so were perfect for the unusual project! Dolly was eager to be involved in the production and build, so rolled up her sleeves and joined in on site for two weeks. She describes, ‘my sister and I painted the walls and ceilings and I installed floating shelves in the kitchen and a floating sink in the bathroom. I also made a compost toilet with The Humanure Handbook as my guide’. Incredibly, the entire build was completed with three months.
At 25-square-metres in floor area – including the loft space – the tiny home has necessitated a minimal approach to living. Dolly highlights ‘the first thing I did was to downsize beyond my comfort zone.’ While she rents a wardrobe size storage space elsewhere for ‘the things I still don’t have the heart to discard’, this is a lifestyle Marie Kondo would surely approve of!
Given the tiny space available, Dolly has decorated based on gut feeling and to reflect an extension of herself. She explains ‘since I only keep what is useful, functional and makes me happy, I feel more content and stress-free.’
The kitchen is Dolly’s favourite space in the home, and was designed to be (relatively!) spacious. She is also incredibly proud of having the first tiny-home on wheels with a walk-in wardrobe, which she highlights is possible because of her height: ‘one of the benefits of being short!’
While this home looks like a complete dream, Dolly leaves us with a few words of caution for anyone thinking of drastically downsizing their life: ‘Living in a tiny house, especially on wheels, is not always a bed of roses. There is a learning curve and it comes with great responsibility.’ She emphasises the importance of low impact living, and embracing the limitations of simplicity. ‘I’m not 100% there yet, but I’m trying to live sustainably and responsibility in a tiny house on wheels. You can too!’