Category Archives: Furniture & Appliances

11/15 Unique murphy bed-desk combo in tiny house

Gary Martens demonstrates how his computer desk converts to a bed.

Gary Martens demonstrates how his computer desk converts to a bed.

Don’t do anything stupid for the first twelve months after your spouse dies.

That was the advice given to Gary Martens of Kleefeld. And if that also means waiting a year to move from your house of three thousand square feet into one barely the size of a two car garage, then Martens followed that advice to a T.

In January 2015, Martens’ wife passed away. Thirteen months later, he began the adventure of constructing a tiny house. His journal entry for February 11, 2016, reads:

Went to see Kahlia Wiebe @ Grunthal Lumber to begin drawing the house. $250 deposit opened an account.

Martens then spent the next six months constructing a house that stands twenty feet by twenty-four feet. After putting in more than four hundred hours of labour, this tiny house is now his new home.

If you step inside the house, you will walk into an open area with only three real rooms. The largest of the rooms consists of a sitting area in the corner, sleeping quarters, kitchen and library. A hallway underneath a two hundred square foot loft takes you to his bathroom and then a multi-use room used as the mechanical room, laundry room, tool shed and walk-in closet.

“I like the idea of a multi-use house,” explains Martens.

He says a bedroom in a traditional home is largely wasted space during the day, unless you enjoy an afternoon snooze, as Martens does on cold, cloudy days. So, instead of dedicating a room entirely to sleeping quarters, Martens uses a Murphy bed. The bed folds down out of the wall for the night and then during the day is folded back up and becomes a computer desk.

“It’s a very simple operation, it’s just so slick I don’t even have to clean off my desk,” says Martens. “It’s a very good use of space I think.”

According to Martens, the hardest part of purging was getting rid of his many books. An avid reader and writer, Martens says only books that fell into one of three categories were kept. The book had to be something he knew he would read again in the future, or it had to have sentimental value or be something he could use as a reference.

Read more and watch the video –

10/22 How to Style Your Tiny House

Tiny house by Mint Tiny Homes

Tiny house by Mint Tiny Homes

There’s a worldwide fascination with tiny houses at the moment, and the downsizing movement is really starting to take off in Australia. Tiny houses are a reaction to astronomical housing prices, environmental issues and over-consumption, but they can also make for very comfortable and stylish homes. Living in a tiny house is one way to live a simpler and more purposeful life, with less debt, fewer possessions and more flexibility to move.

Apart from the essential construction and design elements, how you style your tiny house makes a big difference to how it feels. Here are some tips to help you create the feel-good, look-good factor in your tiny house, as there’s no reason why a small-scale space should equal small-scale style.

Embrace minimalism
There’s a freedom that comes with recognising the difference between our wants and needs. Living in a tiny house skews the focus toward what we actually need: a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen, yes. A third living room, maybe not. Make the most of the space you do have by being very intentional in what you bring into your home. Is it functional and used often? Do you enjoy having it in your house? Ideally, everything you have in your tiny house will tick both boxes. If it’s rarely put to use and you don’t enjoy owning it, it might be time to let it go.

Invest in good furniture
When you have fewer items of furniture in your house, you may be able to afford investing more in the ones you do have. Consider getting pieces of furniture (like a sofa) custom made for the space so they fit perfectly and suit the style of the rest of the house.

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10/07 The Sanitizer Waterless Evaporative Toilet

Sanitizer toilet

the Sanitizer toilet

The Sanitizer™ Evaporative Toilet (Patent No. 9,301,659 B1) is an all-American product that sanitizes human waste on site continuously:

  • Protects the environment by not discharging waste
  • Does not use water or chemicals or require pumping or dumping
  • Eliminates expensive sewer infrastructure and sanitation water treatment systems
  • Does not emit odors because the waste is sanitized for safe and easy disposal
  • Is compact 25” l x 17” w x 20” h, portable (43 lbs.) and ADA compliant
  • Is easy to install and inexpensive to operate
  • Is American invented, manufactured, distributed and serviced
  • Is durably constructed and supported by toll-free customer service
  • Dramatically reduces water bills by saving traditional “flush” water.

Failed septic systems can be retrofitted with The Sanitizer™ by simply shutting off the septic toilet and using the rest of the system for graywater only.

Why is The Sanitizer™ different from other sanitation systems?
Other forms of sanitation focus on removing human waste to some form of treatment system. Water based systems result in contaminating water to transport waste to treatment facilities that clean the water only to be polluted again with more waste. Composting processes the waste into some form of organic fertilizer or soil conditioner. Pit latrines need to be pumped and dumped in treatment facilities. But The Sanitizer™ sanitizes the waste on site and renders it harmless for disposal in the household trash.

How does The Sanitizer™ operate?
The Sanitizer™ dries the solids and evaporates the liquids with continuous air flow, and it sanitizes the solids with intermittent heat.

How does The Sanitizer™ treat solids?
Within The Sanitizer™ pathogens are safely killed by heat. The air flows over solid waste and reduces its original mass. The sanitized waste is then ready for subsequent disposal in the household waste.

Does The Sanitizer™ require water or chemicals to operate?
No, water or chemicals are not needed to operate The Sanitizer™.

Does The Sanitizer™ require electricity to operate?
Yes, the Sanitizer™ operates with approximately three kilowatts of electricity daily that is provided by normal household current, generator or solar panels.

Is protective wear required to remove treated waste from The Sanitizer™?
Protective wear is not needed in disposing of the sanitized waste. The process simply requires gloves to empty the waste pan.

How often must The Sanitizer™ waste be removed?
The frequency by which waste must be removed depends upon the number of uses. The average family of four will dispose of the sanitized waste every few days.

Why Is The Sanitizer™ a Zero Discharge Sanitation System?
“Zero Discharge Sanitation” means that no harmful effluent from the sanitation unit re-enters the environment, especially the water source. The Sanitizer™ evaporates liquid into the atmosphere and sanitizes and dehydrates solid waste for hygienic disposal.

How much water does The Sanitizer™ save?
Traditional sanitation systems that use water consume approximately 4,000 gallons per person per year of “flush water”.

The Sanitizer™ Toilet is available from Clean Up America for $1750 plus shipping and handling from Tulsa, OK.
Call 866-437-0672 or email