Bermuda Post

Saturday, Dec 03, 2022

A Yoga Instructor’s Tiny Home Stretches the Limits of Small Space Design

A Yoga Instructor’s Tiny Home Stretches the Limits of Small Space Design

Fritz Tiny Homes packs a micro-gym, an office, and a teaching studio into a flexible 362-square-foot dwelling on Vancouver Island.

Heather and Kevin Fritz of Fritz Tiny Homes just unveiled their latest micro dwelling on wheels-and it’s as much a gym as it is a house. "Our client, a yoga instructor, asked for space for her Peloton bike and an eight-by-eight yoga room, where she could teach remotely," Heather says. "We fit both of these things and more."

Named after the client, Ashleigh Trahan, the home is wrapped in black metal and Douglas fir and features tall windows that showcase the landscape of Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

The tiny home in Canada that Fritz Tiny Homes designed for Ashleigh Trahan and her partner Elyse is clad with metal and Douglas fir.

Heather and Kevin Fritz outfitted the living room/yoga studio with a green velvet Article sofa, which they customized by removing the legs and adding a wood base with large built-in storage drawers. An A-frame window fills the tiny home with sunlight and views of the landscape.

"I dreamed of building a tiny house for years-and when the pandemic hit and housing prices skyrocketed, I realized it was the right time to make the dream a reality," says Ashleigh, who lives in the micro-home with her partner Elyse. "I wanted to build a tiny house as a way to live with less and prioritize what really matters to me," Ashleigh adds. "I wanted freedom of location, space for movement, and the ability to enjoy the outdoors."

The Fritzes arranged an open-plan office area between the living room/yoga studio and the kitchen. The area features hidden storage drawers beneath the concrete desktop.

In response to Ashleigh and Elyse’s love for the outdoors, Kevin milled Douglas fir and applied it to the ceilings, giving the interior a warm, woodsy feel. The material also references the towering pines outside the A-frame window in the living room, which doubles as Ashleigh’s yoga studio.

White cabinetry creates a light and bright aesthetic in the kitchen, where an elongated microwave doubles as a vent hood. A Chateau Lighting pendant hangs above the counter by Phoenix Concrete.

A sofa from Article, covered in brilliant green velvet, enlivens the living room and ties to the green of the pine trees. Heather and Kevin customized the sofa for the space by removing its legs and mounting it on a wood base with large, built-in storage drawers. A fold-out table and stools that accommodate six people are stored in one of the drawers for when Ashleigh and Elyse have friends over for dinner.

An stairway with alternating risers and built-in storage drawers accesses the loft-style bedroom. The flooring throughout the home is Douglas fir.

The office area, located between the living room/yoga studio and the kitchen, features a concrete counter with storage drawers and a Blauberg Vento ERV ventilation system tucked beneath it. A floating walnut shelf with recessed lighting on its underside provides illumination for the workspace.

A coffered walnut ceiling in the micro-gym provides the headroom necessary to stand and ride a Peloton bike. The windows in front of (and beside) the bike provide the feeling of riding outdoors.

The kitchen showcases bright white cabinetry, a full-size LG refrigerator, an elongated microwave with a built-in hood vent, and a propane range from Unique Appliances. "When we build tiny homes, we like to keep everything off of the upper portion of the walls, and we place the functional elements down low," Kevin says. "This maintains an open feeling and keeps from blocking the sunlight that pours in through the windows."

The bathroom features brass fixtures, Hexagonal tiles by Phoenix Concrete, and hexagonal walnut tiles cut by Kevin with a CNC router.

Heather and Kevin’s favorite aspect of the custom tiny home design is the walnut pull-out cabinet near the front door. "It has integrated storage for jackets, shoes, and any odds and ends that need to be handy in the front area," Heather says. "The cabinet also conveniently hides the wheel well."

The loft-style bedroom features a headboard with integrated LED lightning for reading in bed at night. Windows on either side of the bed provide cross ventilation.

The micro gym, where Heather and Kevin placed Ashleigh’s Peloton bike, is located toward the rear of the home beside the bathroom. The compact space is marked by awning-style windows and a coffered walnut ceiling. "The high ceiling allows for headroom to stand on the bike, and the windows make it feel like you’re riding outside," Heather says.

The Fritzes created built-in bedside storage in the loft area, where a Douglas fir ceiling provides warmth and texture.

Heather and Kevin finished the spa-like bathroom with wall tiles made from concrete with glass beads that lighten the weight of the material. For the shower floor, they cut hexagonal tiles from walnut using a CNC router and waterproofed them with an epoxy seal.

The openness of the loft-style bedroom lets the clients view the landscape from bed.

A staircase with storage drawers beneath each riser accesses the loft-style bedroom, where a tall landing area, built-in bedside storage, and a headboard with integrated LED lighting provide comfort and practicality. "Ashleigh is 5’10, so we wanted to include ample standing room for her in the loft," Kevin says. "The landing also makes it easier to get in and out of bed."

Metal cladding provides a durable shell for the tiny home on wheels.

"Movement is a huge part of our lives," Ashleigh says. "I was worried that moving into a smaller home might mean sacrificing space for yoga, weight training, and my Peloton bike. But when I started designing my home with the Fritzes, I learned that preserving aspects of my lifestyle was the key to making tiny living sustainable for the long haul. I’m so happy-we have a micro-gym and a room where my partner and I can roll out our yoga mats."

Kevin and Heather Fritz talk beside a fire pit in the front yard of the tiny home.


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