Karen’s Tiny Turtle House

Today I’d like to introduce you to Karen Batchelor, a Baby Boomer life coach who’s attracted to a simpler life – and just how do you simplify your life? Well, one way of going about it is to lose 8000 pounds in a single year! Of course, I’m not talking about body weight, but the weight of your house and all stuff it encompasses that can complicate your life. And so, Karen is downsizing from a 1,400 square foot home to one that’s just 230 square foot.


Karen's Tiny House

Karen contacted me in September with regard to a tiny house design based on the BRV1, but with some modifications to make the home more suitable for an older person. After a series of conversations we came up with a list of modifications that would help Karen live comfortably in the Turtle house, namely:


  • A first floor sleeping area with a wall-bed that can be folded up to create a desk/workspace
  • A secondary sleeping area in the loft for when family visit, with a ladder that is stored in the loft joists
  • Two skylights with a large picture window for lots of light
  • A larger, 5 foot tall refrigerator
  • An induction cook-top, and enough counter space for a Breville Smart Oven
  • A small, energy efficient combo washer/dryer
  • A large farmhouse style kitchen sink 
  • Plenty of closet storage space – always an important one for the ladies!

For more information why not follow Karen’s blog, Livinglargewithless.com which is full of helpful information related to downsizing, and will also document the construction of the tiny house and what it’s like to live in the Turle House. You can also follow Karen’s progress on Facebook too!

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. Niall –

    Thanks for posting about Turtle House – my dream home that you’re helping to turn into reality!! When I first landed on Humble Homes, I was a little frustrated that most of the tiny house plans I’d seen all had sleeping lofts. I wanted to go tiny but didn’t want to climb a ladder every night to go to bed.

    After seeing your BRV1 model, I felt like I was home. I’m so grateful for the creativity and effort you put into customizing the plans to make Turtle House uniquely mine:) And thanks again for the very liberal dose of education and supportive virtual handholding you provide along the way.

    My goal is start building next year and I’ll keep you posted on my progress. In the meantime, know that I think –

    Humble Homes rocks!


    1. Haha, thanks Karen! I’m glad I was able to come up with something that works for you, and of course you can contact me at any time throughout the process.

      I’m looking forward to seeing how you get on. Best of luck with your tiny house project!