This Woman’s Self-Built Abode Will Make You Fall In Love With Tiny Homes

Lily Duval's enchanting 150-square-foot home was constructed for just under $35,000.


Tiny homes are all the rage, and it’s no surprise why! When you minimize your living space and simplify life, costs are reduced as well.

Truly, it’s experiences in life and the times spent with loved ones which matter most, which is why many people of all ages are choosing to downsize and invest in tiny homes. 

One such individual is Lily Duval, a New Zealand resident who self-built her 150-foot square tiny home last year.

Credit: NZ House and Garden Magazine

Credit: NZ House and Garden Magazine

Credit: NZ House and Garden Magazine

Credit: NZ House and Garden Magazine

Duval had no previous experience constructing tiny homes, reports TreeHugger. However, she chose to give it a go when she built the abode in a small Christchurch community run by a land trust.

Starting from scratch, she built over a trailer that she purchased for about $8,000.

Credit: NZ House and Garden Magazine

Credit: NZ House and Garden Magazine

Credit: NZ House and Garden Magazine

Credit: NZ House and Garden Magazine

Her charming home was designed to feature a custom-made bookshelf featuring her favorite books, as well as some colorful and creative vintage items in her kitchen.

abode5

One of the main reasons Duval chose to construct a tiny home was to reduce living expenses. She says:

“The idea of having a mortgage just seems too frightening.” 

Credit: NZ House and Garden Magazine

Credit: NZ House and Garden Magazine

The cozy, inviting home exudes comfort and character. Because the house is 5.5 meters long x 2.5 meters wide x 4.2 meters tall, it’s one of Duval’s rules that every item needs to have more than one function. 

For example, the kitchen table also doubles as an office space where she can work. Tools and small items have magnetic tape attached to them so that they can stick things to her refrigerator. In addition, a book shelf on the sleeping loft doubles as a safety rail.

Believe it or not, there’s even a trap door installed that reveals extra storage!

Credit: NZ House and Garden Magazine

Credit: NZ House and Garden Magazine

Being frugal has its creative perks. When you’re looking to spend less and give used items a new purpose, you see the possibilities in ordinary objects.

From the flooring to the $20 galvanized shower-tub, most of the items in Lily’s abode she received free or repurposed. 

Believe it or not, there’s even a trap door installed that reveals extra storage!

Credit: NZ House and Garden Magazine

Of course, some items are worth the investment, such as the stained glass windowed door that Duval bought used off TradeMe. The innovator looks at the door every day and enjoys its simple – yet elegant –  beauty.

When Lily’s father passed away, he left her a $30,000 small inheritance. She used that offering to fund the build which she hopes serves as a legacy to him.

Credit: NZ House and Garden Magazine

Credit: NZ House and Garden Magazine

Building a tiny home was much more to Lily than investing in an economical shelter to live.

“For me, the big motivation was doing something worthwhile with my money, but also challenging myself to not keep acquiring things,” says Duval, who admits she’s an avid thrifter. “Every single thing I ever pick up, I have to say, ‘do I really want this?’”

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