On a standard-sized lot in Portland, Oregon, self-taught builders Jeff and Brad built two tiny cottages using mostly salvaged materials. Each home is 364 square feet and with gabled roofs and front porches match the Victorian and Craftsman homes of the neighborhood, until you look closely.
Tomato sauce cans from the local pizza shop became siding. A neighbor’s old chimney became brick foundation. A porch swing was crafted from a Dairy Queen bench. Window boxes from salvaged vent hoods. Rain chains from olive oil cans. Inside, wallpaper is old flour sacks and paper shopping bags (with their labels exposed). Terra-cotta roof tiles are sconces for lights.
Phoenix Vo-Dinh lives in one of the cottages with her 20-something son Christopher Lollar. They share the 364 square feet comfortably, even managing to fit in space for Phoenix’s yoga practice and her sons’ art studio (where he draws and paints in a sitting-room-only loft). Despite the at times cramped quarters, Phoenix feels much more comfortable here than in her previous home that was nearly 10 times the size.