It's a takes a lot of patience, but not a lot of personal space to live in a 366-square-foot home, and newlyweds Christoph Kaiser and Shauna Thibault know that better than anyone.
Hailing from Phoenix, Arizona, the couple doesn't live in a micro-apartment, but rather a , which is a bit different than the tiny homes we're used to seeing. "I think there was a healthy level of skepticism from our friends and family when they found out we were going to attempt to live in a grain silo," Thibault told . "But we love it. … It's not just an experiment."
It all began when Kaiser came across the industrial structure on Craigslist. Originally, he was just going to use it to store his garden tools, but found himself strategizing and drawing up house plans at his . "It's easy to cram all the parts that you need to live in something. It's easy to build it, even — relatively speaking … The real challenge is to end up with a piece of architecture that actually feeds your soul, as opposed to draining it."
It took about 18 months to get the structure up and running properly. And although there were a few bumps in the road then, the truly challenging part would be decorating the space.
You see, the silo posed a unique challenge. As most furniture and appliances are designed on a 90 degree angle, and since the silo is curved, Kaiser had to essentially construct everything by-hand himself — from the kitchen cabinets to the doors.
The couple also had to adjust to living in a house with no rooms, other than a teeny bathroom. They cleverly created a functional separate sleeping loft that sits above their kitchen and living area.
As if that wasn't enough, to create a seemingly larger living space, Kaiser created a giant glass door on wheels to serve as an entry-point into the backyard. "To have the benefit of outdoor space, which is an extension of the living space, is huge," Kaiser says. "Whether you're sitting inside and have this 10-foot-rolling door open and you just have a view you can experience … or you're outside enjoying it directly, I think it was definitely something we considered as part of the floor plan."
And while the space has physically brought the newlyweds closer, Kaiser says it has also brought them emotionally closer. "I think there's an intimacy that's imposed on people when they're in one space. You can't find that separation," he says. "… It makes you confront issues more, and it really brings you together."
And his new bride agrees. "I think we've learned a lot about our dynamics, and the way that we work and accomplish things," Thibault adds. "[It's] very coupling."
Well, we'd say so...
Video by Craig Schwisow and Tom Hanny. Photos by Matt Winquist; design sketch by Christoph Kaiser.