I’ve long been intrigued by the tiny house concept and the socially conscience push towards smaller home footprints + simpler living. In our newlywed days, amidst HGTV Tiny House Hunters marathons in our already small 620 sf Downtown Minneapolis apartment, Ken and I would casually dream about the idea of owning tiny, and I remember thinking, ‘Well if we were going to go for it, we’d better do it now before we start our family!’ In the end we decided to purchase a small (non-tiny) duplex in Minneapolis and 2 years later welcomed a baby girl. So basically, we were all talk. Total buzzkill, I know.
So you can imagine my excitement resurfacing on Instagram after maternity leave this Spring to find my Insta-friend, Ashley Petrone of @arrowsandbow had actually done it! She and her family had done what many of us only daydream about: They sold their 5 bedroom house, renovated an RV into a cool, monochromatic tiny home and are living on their land while they build their next place. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, they also have 3 kiddos tow! Ashley was kind enough to give us a tour of her tiny home and share some real life insight into what it’s like living small as a family of 5. So without further ado, let’s take a look around!
How did you decide to take the leap of moving into your RV while building your next home? After looking and talking about all of our options, it just made sense. We moved from a 5 bedroom house, that we had a small mortgage payment on. Most apartments we looked at felt like coffins, yet they were more than our mortgage. But besides the obvious financial savings, the biggest selling point was just the opportunity to experience something different with the kids. Living on our land, the freedom to travel, and living in our RV.
What was the inspiration behind the design of the RV? I did a lot of prep work before hand online, read a lot of blogs about what people did and the advice they gave. I knew I wanted to paint it white, because it’s such a small space I wanted it to stay bright and open feeling. But the best thing I read was from an older couple that lived in their RV, they said to make it feel like you would your home. Otherwise it will feel like a foreign place and it won’t be comfortable. So I picked things that represented me, while also going a little bit on the risk taking side. I figured it was a good time to experiment with patterned tiles, fun light fixtures, and fun textiles.
What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned living ‘small’ as a family of 5 so far? Patience, constantly! I’m challenged by it daily. And who wants to “learn” patience… it’s not fun. But I know it’s good for me. I’ve also learned to allow myself lots of grace and to make sure I carve out my own time. There were a few weeks there that I thought I was going go crazy. So I set up times regularly for Dino and I to go on dates etc. We need our own time away from the RV and the kids.
How has living ‘small’ changed the way you approach the design of your home currently being built? I’ve also learned how much I LOVE living simply. It will definitely impact the decisions we make in our home build.
What creature comfort are you most looking forward to getting back to once your new home is completed? Living this tiny has definitely put all of our normal luxuries into perspective. I can’t wait to have a laundry machine and dryer again, and a dishwasher, and I miss my king bed. And my personal space… oh and a shower…haha. I could go on. But it’s ok for the time, it’s teaching me a lot, and I appreciate all of those amazing things so much more!
Get Ashley’s Style!
Last, but not least, here are a few before shots of the RV before they worked their magic…
Follow Ashley on Instagram at @arrowsandbow
for more RV life inspo!