What’s better than a tiny house?

By now, I’m sure everyone here has heard about the Tiny House phenomenon. Just enough space, ingeniously designed, possibly even portable – what’s not to love?

the entrance

Well, it gets even better. In a town just outside Atlanta, a 12 year old student has taken her love of tiny houses to the next level: Sicily Kolbeck has taken on building her own Tiny House as her school project for the year. She’s also upped the Eco Friendly ante by building her tiny house completely from from recycled and reclaimed materials, AND with crowdsourced funding. WHy? As she says:

“I am building a tiny house to wake up in a place that I have built with my own two hands; I am also trying to be more independent and live on my own, and to show others that we can live more simply,” says Sicily. Her tiny house will be built on a trailer and will be 128 square feet with a 30 square foot loft, full bathroom, solar panels and full kitchen. “I thought about what I needed, and I don’t need a lot of space. Mostly I need a place to bake cupcakes, to read, and to hang out with friends,”

In an era where education has too often become about the test, not the application of skills, Sicily is learning math, physics and engineering all in one spectacular group project, as she and her fellow students build their own Tiny village.

The collaborative nature of the school sees the students asking thoughtful questions about design, materials and use of space. To get used to the tools needed for their projects, each student has designed their own small living space and will be building it entirely from salvaged materials, creating a tinier tiny house village; this process prompts many discussions on the nature of “stuff,” how our society works as a group, and what really matters to people.

What a fantastic way to spend a year.
You can follow her progress here:

and if you want to donate to the project, check out her indiegogo page.
See more tinyhouse photos here, here, or here.

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  1. I think this project is amazing because it teaches so much to the children and i really think that it’s a great idea to have school project like that.
    It covers so many subject sustainability ,architecture,carpentry…
    I really love it and wish to Sicily all the best!
    Thank you for sharing this amazing story!

  2. This article is totally fantastic! Such an inspiring and motivating journey that this little girl is taking on! I’m really excited to keep up with her story and see how the house turns out. :) Thanks for sharing!

  3. Sicily should have her house “dried in” in the next couple weeks and she will post more pix (as will the school on the blog and FB page).

    We are expanding our school, and she said to not bother looking for a building – just a good piece of land, and she would build our house. Huge confidence builder!

    Thanks for this article; I will share it with her!

    Suzannah at HoneyFern

  4. I love this. Education and the act of actually doing is where the experience and learning happens. I can’t wait to see how the tiny house turns out. Maybe Team EcoEtsy can donate some home decorating items.


  5. Just read another article about some 4th graders turning their classroom into a solar powered one:

  6. How cute!

  7. this is amazing and inspiring!I am going to share this with my newly converted public charter school What a great project based learning experience!

  8. What a great project. This kids will learn some amazing life skills as they progress. Please give us an update in a few months so we can see how they are doing.

  9. Amazing project!
    I hope that we’ll get to see the little village in the end.

  10. I cannot wait to see this project as it progresses – what a cool idea! I hope that we are honestly moving away from the age of the McMansion, in favor of reasonable spaces for real honest living.