Retirement Life

Fri, 17 Mar, 2017Danielle McCarthy

Meet the retired couple who live in the tiniest house

Adrienne and Dave Merryweather of Sanson, Manawatu have come up with a truly unique plan for their retirement.

After selling the family home to their son, the couple built a tiny house on wheels where they plan to spend their golden years having fun.

"We thought, let's have some fun, let's drop our mortgage," says Adrienne. "Now we're going to have time for us, do a bit of travelling... We'll have teenage years now. I'm getting a surfboard, and a body board. I'm going to learn to surf."

At roughly 2.5 metres wide by 7.2 metres in length, this tiny house, which featured on tiny home advocate Bryce Langston's website living big in a tiny house, is a huge downsizing adventure for the couple, who previously lived in a larger farm-style home. 

Despite the drastic change in home size, the couple say that fitting their lives into their tiny new home has been simple. “We spent a year living out of a suitcase, so my clothes all fit in one suitcase."

Their timber tiny home has a warm, country-style aesthetic.  The lay-out is simple, and follows a traditional tiny house design.

Adrienne has enjoyed the decorating process, although she says it's still not quite up to the standard of her daughter who plans to take her on a few more shopping trips.

The couple have chosen to use a ladder for access to the sleeping loft. The reason for this was to help create an extra feeling of space inside the house, although Adrienne admits that if they were to build again, they would choose to install a staircase instead for greater ease of access.

In the meantime, the couple have no problems using the ladder for now.

The lounge is simple and comfortable, with breathtaking country views. An abandoned barn which sits on the neighbouring farm is framed by the large lounge window like a perpetually changing painting and serves as a wonderful spot to gaze and dream away the hours.

The kitchen is simple and ultra-practical, with plenty of bench space for food preparation, as well as a full sized oven with grill and a fridge which is designed to run directly off the home's solar system (yet to be installed).

Adrienne even insists that this Tiny House kitchen offers her more functional space than was in her last home.

The upstairs sleeping loft fits with the cottage style feeling of the home and is wonderfully cosy. The bed mattress currently sits on a traditional base and will most likely be swapped for a futon in the future to provide additional headroom.

Still, the tiny loft serves its purpose as a welcoming place to retreat to and rest your head at night.

The house is located on a farm which the couple bought five years ago. Half of the 8 acre section was sold (along with their old home) to the couple's son, and the other half remains on a title still owned by Adrienne and Dave for their tiny house. This gives them the ideal situation of being able to free up some capital for their retirement, while still remaining close to their family.

Everyones idea of the perfect retirement is different. For some, it's enjoying all the material acquisitions of a lifetimes work.

For others like Dave and Adrienne however, it's simplifying life and downsizing to make room for the things that really matter to the couple, such as family, free time, travel and experiences. 

Written by Bryce Langston. First appeared on