Meet Tiffany, the tiny house that lives in a tropical paradise on its own tiny island
Tiffany is a 2016 build. It was built by Adam Lehman as the very first kid in his brand new small business, A New Beginning Tiny Homes, based in Orlando, Florida. Lehman had been working in home construction and remodeling for over 15 years when he decided to give the cottage movement a try and give it his own twist. He was able to do this from the start with his first product, Tiffany.
A Fresh Start Tiny Homes are no longer open for business as Lehman moved to Colorado, but Tiffany is still on her feet. And it’s just as impressive today as it was almost six years ago, if not more.
In early 2017, Lehman sold Tiffany to Tim Davidson, a Floridian who had just been told he had to leave his parents’ vacation home immediately. Although Lehman was asking between $ 72,000 and $ 85,000, Davidson got Tiffany for less than $ 70,000, and he completed the payment in mid-2021. He doesn’t live there anymore because it’s been turned into an Airbnb, but it’s in a great location and in good company: Tiffany now lives on a small private island in Sarasota, Florida called Shellmate Island, with another small one.
Tiffany offers only 270 square feet (25 square meters) of living space, but anything that lacks space, it makes up for in personality. Despite its tiny footprint, it’s very welcoming, thanks to lovely classically-inspired touches like stained glass, Louis Comfort Tiffany lighting fixtures, bespoke cabinetry, and a slightly domed wood ceiling.
In fact, it’s the light fixtures that helped name the tiny one: everywhere from the kitchen to the bathroom and master bedroom to one of the lofts, you’ll find these vintage-looking wall lights, which perfectly match the stained glass on the door and some windows. Tiffany’s layout isn’t new – it has a separate kitchen and bathroom at each end, with a living room tucked in between, and two lofts. One loft is used for sleeping – the master bedroom – while the other was originally intended as a second bedroom, but has since been converted into a storage room.
The kitchen is almost full, although there is little room to move around. It has a sink and a four-burner stove, with a large cooking surface and a large fridge / freezer. Custom hanging cabinets provide plenty of crockery storage and a decent pantry.
The living room is a dining room, an office and an entertainment area. There is a bespoke sofa to one side, with twin ottomans with folding legs hidden underneath. Poufs are also the seats for the drop-down table on the opposite wall and can double as a sofa extension for a makeshift bed. To the side, right next to the fridge, is a ladder leading to the smaller loft, which can accommodate a single mattress or act as a storage room.
The bathroom is a beauty, especially by small house standards. The marble shower includes a removable reclaimed cedar tub that is light enough to lift with one hand. There is also a composting toilet and vanity with sink, and more space and storage than you would expect in such a small house. A retractable wooden door with matching stained glass separates it from the rest of the living area.
Tiffany comes with an LG mini-split, on-demand water heater, washer and dryer, and oscillating roof fan.
The master bedroom is over the bathroom and while you can’t stand in it, you can at least sit in the bed thanks to the 44 inch (112cm) clearance. Here, too, you get wrap-around windows and deep cabinets for storage, reading lights, and enough room to make yourself comfortable.
Like many other famous tiny ones, Tiffany has her own website and has been covered extensively by the US media. Tiffany is a star, so, in a way, it’s not a huge surprise that Davidson was able to buy his own private island (for $ 200,000) to place her after just two years or that in early 2021 , he also bought an apartment nearby so he could turn the whole place into a business – while touting the benefits of downsizing.
It would seem like irony or outright hypocrisy to some, but Davidson says downsizing is about living intentionally and saving money. And he does it thanks to Tiffany, an elegant and very small house that he has lived in for years. Now it offers the chance to experience it for others in the middle of a tropical paradise surrounded by native fruits.