Kim Lewis Tiny Home with Silestone Eternal Statuario kitchen countertops
Case Studies, News
May 24, 2018
In the kitchen specifically, Kim aimed to design a space that matched form and function, incorporating elements from the past and present. Reclaimed wood flooring was salvaged from a 1960s house are reminiscent of the 1970s and Silestone countertops add a modern, practical touch.
Kim’s tiny home in South Austin, TX embraces her colorful, eclectic and whimsical style in an impressive and efficiently designed 560 square foot space. Designed with the color palette of Joshua Tree National Park in mind, the home embraces global inspiration, elements that offer a nod to nature and maximizes indoor/outdoor living. Kim says a successful design in a tiny home is all about multi-functionality – surfaces must be durable and beautiful and can even double as art to add unique character.
About Designer Kim Lewis
Kim Lewis, “The Little Lady with Big Ideas”, is best known as the Lead Designer behind ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and founder of Kim Lewis Designs in Austin, TX.
In six years with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Kim designed over 120 homes in 43 states. Her work has been featured on television networks ABC, HGTV, TLC, National Geographic, Spike TV, Animal Planet, and FYI’s “Tiny House Nation.” As a Trendspotter in the industry, Kim has done color consulting for Silestone USA, BlueStar and Big Chill Appliances. In 2014, Kim was selected as 1 of 5 Trendspotters to develop her own countertop color with the global solid surfaces company, Silestone. The new color “Olivia” was released in the summer of 2015.
Her brand, Kim Lewis Designs, centers design inspiration around global inspiration and local collaboration. Kim’s work has been featured in many notable publications including The Washington Post, Lonny, The Houston Chronicle, HGTV and more.
Interview with Kim Lewis
What are the benefits you’ve found living the tiny home lifestyle?
First of all, we’ll have our home paid off in the next 2 1/2 years! (An amazing feeling!) Utility bills average $55 per month. We are living off rainwater collection, so drinking and bathing in pure rain water. Living off the earth more makes you feel more connected and grateful for what you have. We’ve grown into less “wasteful” people. Traveling and sharing adventures is one of our biggest priorities as a family, so the tiny home lifestyle allows us to spend time outside of the home, exploring the world!
What challenges do you face as your family expands in a tiny home?
Well, funny you ask! We are actually expecting our first child at the end of August. I’d be lying if I said trying to fit a baby in this home isn’t challenging and a bit overwhelming (especially with the 85 lb Lab!) The baby will not have its own room, so navigating early bed times will be interesting. We’ve already started practicing the “tip toe to the bedroom” moves! We will have to keep only the essentials in terms of baby furniture pieces. She will sleep in a bassinet, bathe in our farmhouse kitchen sink and play outside, just like we do!
What was your inspiration when designing your tiny home? What areas or items were a “must” and what areas or items did you find you could live without?
Years ago I traveled to Joshua Tree Desert in California. A 1972 painting of the desert and one of John Wayne inspired the color palette. I’m drawn to the balance and mix of fun colors combined with earth tones and organic materials.
A claw foot tub was a must in my dream home! Also, windows, windows, windows! I’m happiest in natural sunshine and moonlight. With the LaCantina bi-folding doors, our home almost feels like the perfect ‘indoor camping’ experience. I can lay in bed at night and still see the hillcountry Texas stars!
The first compromise made was not having a dishwasher. Someday that might be a luxury again, but for now, we hand wash it all.
How does Silestone surfacing add to your tiny home living experience? In what ways has it optimized your kitchen and your home?
The Statuario counter top from Silestone was the PERFECT selection for us. I love how the texture looks like marble, but the durability is everything in a small space. We live outside of town, so we cook a lot at home. Our counter top is a mix of beauty, with the work horsepower of a beast. We set hot pans on it, red wine spills, chef’s knives…it takes a beating. My husband loves to cook, so the counter tops are honestly his canvas! (and I try…)
How is it different being a designer in the tiny home space? What do you wish the larger design industry understood about small space design?
Designing tiny homes can be frustrating. A lot of people call me and “have to have a tiny home.” Once they start researching HOW to get in a tiny home, they quickly get defeated by the logistics. Legislation isn’t quite there to support tiny home living in most areas. Land development and utilities are the swords most consumers fall on. I wish communities would embrace the lifestyle more, creating space in the housing industry for more affordable homes. Less “home” creates more space for adventure.