A Tiny House with a Sauna – Hope Island Cottages

This beautifully crafted tiny house can be found in Washington. It’s been constructed by Kerry Alexander of Hope Island Cottages, and features some modern luxuries not often found in a tiny house.


Tiny House - Kerry Alexander - Hope Island Cottages - Washington - Exterior - Humble Homes

The exterior of the house is clad both vertically and horizontally with timber siding. It also contains two shed dormers, one on either side of the roof, and a bump-out on both ends to maximise the internal living space. Like a lot of tiny houses, it has a metal roof which is often a favorite thanks to its weight and durability.


Tiny House - Kerry Alexander - Hope Island Cottages - Washington - Kitchen - Humble Homes

On the inside the floors, walls, and ceiling have been finished in yet more wood. I’m often not a fan of interiors finished wholly in wood because I find it can darken a space, but in this case they’ve opted for a light wood, helping to keep the interior light and bright.


Tiny House - Kerry Alexander - Hope Island Cottages - Washington - Dining and Loft - Humble Homes

The front of the tiny house is taken up by the living area that consists of a built-in storage/sofa unit, and a flatscreen screen in the corner. The middle of the home is occupied by the kitchen and staircase. The kitchen comes with bags of storage space thanks to the under-stair compartments.

Tiny House - Kerry Alexander - Hope Island Cottages - Washington - Staircase - Humble Homes

The end of the house features the bathroom, which is in many ways what sets this house apart. In this tiny house the bathroom has been made a priority. It contains a two-person sauna, a large shower, flushing toilet, dressing area, closet and a vanity sink with storage drawers.

Tiny House - Kerry Alexander - Hope Island Cottages - Washington - Bathroom - Humble Homes

The second floor contains the sleeping loft, which, thanks to the dormers, numerous windows and skylights, is as spacious as they get for a tiny house with a gable roof. The quality of finish, features and location are sure to make this tiny house a great place to relax and escape from day-to-day worries.

For more tiny houses check out this student housing in Sweden by AF Bostader. Or, this Thoreauvian tiny house located in California. See all tiny houses.

Via Hope Island Cottages

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

  1. same thing again as the other houses or apartments that I have seen. On lofts, put up railing facing the interior across the space. Why? falls especially if house/trailer is moving and someone is sleeping in the loft. Accidents can happen. I have seen it happen. A friend died in his loft/room. Don’t remember if he slipped when climbing down on his ladder or had a heart attack in his loft and tried to get downstairs to get to a phone but he died I believe. No cell phones at that time.

  2. nice design! I love that there are stairs instead of a ladder. I would def. like to see more storage for clothes, and I didn’t see a cook top surface, stove or oven?

  3. Tiny House on Wheels is mounted on a 8’2″ x 20′ utility trailer. So about 147 sf. not counting the 8×8 sleeping loft.

  4. Hey, beautiful job here by a great guy . . . head on over to his site for more fun stuff also. He’s not just a good builder he’s a nice person with a great sense of humor.

  5. Hi Linda, thanks for the compliment. Regarding your comment that you didn’t see a cook top surface. We door have a couple of portable induction cook-tops stored in a drawer. Induction cooking heats a cooking vessel by magnetic induction, instead of by thermal conduction from a flame, or an electrical heating element. For nearly all models of induction cooktops, a cooking vessel must be made of or contain a ferromagnetic metal such as cast iron or stainless steel. Copper, glass and aluminum vessels can be placed on a ferromagnetic interface disk which functions as a conventional hotplate. We really enjoy using the induction burners because they don’t get hot to the touch and they don’t burn food to the cooking surface like a electric stove cook-top surface. Also it is much quicker to boil water in about 30 seconds compared to two minutes or more with a microwave or electric or even gas cook-top.
    Regarding the closet storage. There is a his and hers hanging storage closet but not shown in these photos. visit our website at http://www.hopeislandcottages.com for a video tour of our projects page.

  6. I have been checking out online these |tiny house” for well over two years now.
    This Tiny House is the one that has won in my mind.
    A very well thought out building that offers comfort on the main floor and easy access to the upper floor, plus gives a whole lot more in the amount of room it has to offer.
    Thank you

  7. Now what if the government would come along and say…we need a bunch of these tiny houses for people that are living in shelters, on the streets…
    Wouldn’t it be something if the government could help these people the put any monies they get, if any, and if they don’t but help these poor people to live in such a beautiful place with dignity?

  8. Mary, first of all there would not be any people in the Tiny House on Wheels while it is moving down the highway. Secondly, you can’t really see it in these photos but there is a 9 inch high storage area along the open end of the sleeping loft. Where I store my socks and undies etc. Small things I keep handy near the bed. This storage area also acts to block things from falling out of the loft, like blankets that get kicked off while sleeping. I didn’t want to build this storage area any higher because I didn’t want it to look like a partition, which would give a feeling that both the loft sleeping area was more confined or the openness of the high ceiling was confined by breaking up the length of the open high ceilings.

  9. Hi Heidi, thank you for your vote, in my humble opinion I like the way you think. One of the many benefits of Tiny Houses on Wheels: the idea of providing affordable housing for those who don’t like apartment living, for numerous good reasons, but can’t afford a house. But also don’t want cheap! (i.e., Trailers and RV’s lack of quality building products, even expensive RV’s use products that don’t last compared to homes on foundations).

    The idea of providing housing that:
    – people can be proud of …or as you state, “a place to live with dignity”.
    – people can take care of themselves easier
    – a place small enough that makes sense for someone with limited mobility, yet provides everything they need to live independently.
    – Perhaps a place for retired people who don’t want to live in an assisted living home.

  10. Swap out the shower and sauna for a bathtub and it would be perfect.

    I hate heat, that is why I am moving away from south Louisiana, it feels like living in a sauna!

    BUT it is great for people who do like saunas, something I don’t think anyone has thought of before.

    It is beautiful inside and out and for people complaining about storage, I think that is one of the things I like most about tiny houses, I don’t want to store stuff, I want to use stuff…if that makes any sense.

    Maybe a stacking washer and dryer in place of a sauna so I would only need a few pieces of clothing? Now that the kids are grown and gone, I rarely use more than one pot to cook and we definitely do not need a 12 piece place setting of dishes. Since retiring I don’t think I have used more than 2 pairs of shoes or any make-up or hair styling tools. Life is much simpler now, I think a tiny house would reflect that simplicity.

  11. That was a great idea about a stackable washer/dryer combo. 5 years ago I lived in the Marshall Islands and ran into complications from a hospital and ended up in a hospital in Hawaii where I almost died. I had to learn how to walk, write, type and do all of the 1000s of things we take for granted. My sister, Debbie said come to Idaho where she would be my attendant. I lost my job because I could not walk and was no on island and so moved into my own apartment where I went hog wild buying furniture in which I realized last year that I did not need. Overseas I had either roommates sharing a room or a room by myself. I did not have the ranking for a trailer or house to myself. The good thing I realize was that I do not need to hoard things anymore and I do not need all of the things I have bought including clothes, furniture, dishes and etc. I also moved into a small house with carport which helps when we have snow up here in Idaho. I guess you can not take the small housing out of the woman. I do like the small houses I have seen especially since a friend of mine has retired and bought a RV which they love up here in Idaho. I do like several of the small houses and want to know what is the weight one of the homes could hold, either on a trailer or moved to a stationary spot? I love books and that is why I am asking? Thanks for any info and I am glad that when you are traveling no one would be in the trailer. I do like the trailer but I definitely would like more storage room, no sauna for me. Whirlpool maybe but the place would need to be stationary nor on the highway.

  12. Mary, we chose the sauna for a couple of reason:
    • Alternative heat source for heating the bathroom, (and as it turns out it does a really efficient job of heating the sleeping loft). The sauna has a programmable setting for turning on at a pre-set time.
    • We have pretty cool weather here year-round and warming the muscles and joints at the end of the day is something I look forward to. Especially after working outside most of the day.
    • The benefits of detoxing my skin, after working with construction materials, (i.e., cedar sawdust, polyurethane finishes, sanding dust, stain fumes, etc.) The skin is considered the largest organ of the human body. Yet, we have a very small gland that tries to remove toxins from our body. When we sweat, that is a form of detoxing through your skin, the body’s largest organ. Thus, it makes sense to sweat, it helps your body detox.
    • I admit I don’t use the sauna as much during the summer as I do during the winter. But during the spring and fall I am outside doing more physical tasks and the sauna helps relieve the stress and aches and pains for over working my more apparent every day, aging body.

    Your question Regarding the weight a tiny house on wheels can hold:
    • Depends on three design factors: the trailer design, the number and design of the axles, and the tire design and ratings.
    • The specifications for our trailer, it’s a utility trailer, designed to haul things like a car. It’s rated to haul up to 10,000 lbs. There are two axles that are rated 5,000 lbs. each. The tires are rated just under 2,500 lbs. each.
    • I weighed our trailer with the tiny house and everything we use inside after living in it for a year. The weight was 8,800 lbs. So we theoretically, could add up to an additional 1,200 lbs. (in books?).
    • It’s the tires that concern me the most. Usually trailer tires are built cheaper. The tires on a trailer with a heavy load can get very hot, this is why you want to be sure that the tires on your trailer are not just trailer tires, but tires that are designed to carry the heavy load and can handle the heat.  That means you want a tire that has multiple plies on its sidewalls.
    • Tire Pressures can be about 3 times higher than a passenger vehicle.  I was told to consider the same tires as you have for a truck.
    Mary, hope this helps. Keep the comments and questions coming.

  13. This is the most beautiful tiny house I’ve seen yet and I’ve been looking at thousands! I am a woodwork fan and your house is heavenly. Plus you have the design eye of an artist, you have really created a beautiful spacious ambiance. Well done! Thanks for sharing. Like others, I have to ask what you would charge? Pretty humdrum compared to your design, but I would put stackable washer/dryer and storage where sauna is…. :D

  14. Shannon, thank-you for your gracious comment. Currently, The only charge is staying a couple of nights in our Bed and Breakfast. I am happy to help you because I just haven’t been able to put a price on helping people discover hope for improving the quality of their life. I have no desire to become a “manufacturer”, I just enjoy building as a do-it-yourself project. And I do desire to help others experience doing it themselves, rather than being a contractor, I rather prefer being a consultant. I suggest anyone first experience staying a few nights to discover that you don’t know what you don’t know. Then we can take it from there based on your unique needs and desires. You can contact me through our website or Facebook pages.

    FACEBOOK: Hope Island Cottages
    WEBSITE: http://hopecottage.webflow.io/

    Kerry Alexander

  15. Very nicely done, but the space that sauna takes up in any tiny house I’d assume would be put to better use for maybe a closet or storage area of some kind ( after all it is a tiny house.) And what does anyone need a sauna for? If you want to sweat in a sauna then go join a gym.

  16. Love the house, it is beautiful. i am interested in down sizing into a tiny house. But i am at the beginning stage attempting to learn all i can before making the leap into tiny house living. Would like to subscribe to your newsletter. Would also like to book a few days somewhere to get the feel of a tiny house. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thank you for teading this post.

  17. Dominick, thank you for the compliment. I know the thought of a sauna in such a tiny dwelling seems exorbitant and maybe that is the point I’m making. I justify from my point of view why I decided to put the sauna in my design on a post above (June 21st). However what I wanted to achieve in the design of the floor plan for this tiny house on wheels was the fact that tiny doesn’t have to be sacrificial and it can be glamorous but still be economical. We had the sauna in the big house and I noticed how it helps heat the house very quickly. Since many of the tiny house heating solutions were either too hot or took to long to warm I decided to give it a try. Its not convenient to travel to a “gym” with a sauna. I like detoxing after working on projects and it made sense to make it convenient and easy to heat up the tiny house at the same time. With a bed located over my “head” with a sauna, I achieve the multi-purpose use. There’s still a his and hers tiny clothes closet next to the bathroom vanity. Some people have mentioned to me that they would rather use the space that is occupied by the sauna for a bathtub or a washer/dryer. I’m just not interested in having the noise and vibration of a Washing machine or dryer within the tiny house. And a bathtub uses more water than a shower and adds weight to the trailer load. I’m considering a soft tub for outdoor soaking

  18. Absolutely beautiful! The woodwork is lovely. Boy a small space like this would require a person to choose their possessions wisely. I do agree with Dominick that a storage closet is the more practical use for that space- but the sauna is so awesome. My older friends often talk about living in a community of small houses with a shared cabana-like space for social gatherings and entertaining. Great job Kerry!

  19. Hello, I love this design! I recently decided to ‘downsize’. It just makes more sense economically and financially. The property I’m going to put a unit on requires the unit be on a solid foundation. Is it possible to build this type on a slightly larger scale (750sf). This is the minimum size allowed by the zoning commission in our county. What is the length of the unit? The space is in the backyard of son and daughter-in-law’s soon to be new home. I’m selling my 2000sf home to them since they need a bigger home and I’ve always wanted to live in a ‘tiny house’. I was hooked when I first saw the homes and felt I can definitely live in smaller quarters. My first apartment was 500sf, and would actually prefer to build this home to that size. I look forward to reading your reply. God bless you and Happy New Year!

  20. I have a question. I saw your answer that you are using the sauna as a heating mechanism, my question is to you have electric outage or strips. so that if so can you use a electric heater and use the other space for the sauna for storage or a bathtub or whatever you want to. Since it would be a smaller area to heat up, the heater would heat the smaller area also. I use to live in a mother-in-law house, (1 bedroom) and used my small electric heater to heat up the living room.

  21. The trailer is 8’6″ including the wheels. Is the deck ~7′? What is the interior width after building the walls?