It was Stephen Proctor’s dream to swap his life in Nashville for something quieter in the Pacific Northwest. He sold his home, paid off his debts, and purchased a rural lot to park a tiny house along the Columbia River Gorge east of Portland, Oregon.
"As a visual artist and experience designer, having a home that reflects my own personal aesthetic was important," says Stephen. "I collaborated with a local tiny house builder, Matt Impola of Handcrafted Movement, finding a nice balance between personal design requests and trusting his overall judgement to create a space that flowed well."
Both the interior and exterior feature contrasting shades of black and natural wood tones, which Stephen first imagined after picking up a Theo coffee mug and teapot by the brand Stelton. The matte-black ceramic base and simple bamboo handle and lid eventually inspired him to mimic the combination throughout the tiny home.
"I previously spent time with Japanese-American artist Makoto Fujimura as well as Keiko Yanaka, a Japanese tea master apprentice," Stephen comments. "Between Makoto's ‘slow art’ and Keiko’s tea ceremonies, I’ve been on a journey of learning to be. I wanted my space to reflect this contemplative posture as a place of peace."
After moving the tiny house to its current location in early 2020, the call from local permitting officials quickly unraveled Stephen’s plans. "I found myself in the middle of a perfect bureaucratic storm," he says. "When it comes to tiny house regulations, every municipality is different, as is every county and state. In my area, rules require the home to be put down on blocks and secured. Although there is a way forward to get it properly permitted, at this point I would prefer to sell and start over from scratch."
Stephen isn’t quite ready to give up on his Walden-esque dream, though. "The [long-term] idea was always to live in a modern cabin, and the tiny house was a step in that direction," he says. "I plan to keep the land and rebuild something else—this time in sync with my local permitting requirements and following the same aesthetic."
Stephen recently listed the tiny house with an asking price of $99,000 (fully furnished) or $89,000 (unfurnished), not including transportation costs. "I hope to find [a buyer] who has a deep longing for a creative space that serves as both an escape from this noisy, chaotic world and a place that awakens their imagination," he adds.
Also, follow @sproctor to check out Stephen’s future build.
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