Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Homesteading Cottage Dream

I’m a firm believer in declaring your dreams and releasing them into the world. Sometimes it’s so easy to hold tightly to the desires of our hearts, but never allow them to grow or become real. So today I’m releasing the dream of a homesteading cottage.

Over the years I've compiled lists, photos, ideas and goals, but decided it was time to keep everything in one place -"The Homesteading Cottage Notebook." While researching home plans and frugal building options, I came across some the most beautiful plans called Katrina Cottages and had to share them with you! (All of the photos in this post are specific to the KC 910 plan)

Marianne Cusato and a team of designers have partnered with Lowe’s to bring a collection of compact and efficiently planned designs along with material packages that are affordable and quick to build. Originally designed as an alternative to the FEMA trailer, the Katrina Cottage has evolved into a nationwide sensation finding popularity as affordable housing, guesthouses and small vacation homes hailed for their design, durability, versatility and affordability.

The cottages range in size from 308 to 1807 square feet and many of the designs have “grow options” that allow smaller cottages to be expanded over time as more funds are available. The plan I've selected costs around $45/sq ft, but the price for materials will vary depending upon size, style and current commodity prices.

I made a few tweaks to the plan above to make the living room and kitchen more open and windows were also added to break up the huge roof line. Below is the landscaping blueprint for the first phase in my "Homesteading Cottage Notebook." I'm visual and having a plan keeps the focus on the dream (:

The KC 910 plan starts out at 910 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath with the KC 1185 plan (the second phase) expanding the home to 1185 square feet with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a study. The KC 1807 plan converts the attic space into two more bedrooms and another bath for a total of 1807 square feet in the third phase.

The Katrina Cottage materials package from Lowe's includes all the products you'll need for the house from the foundation plate up. Studs, wall panels, insulation, fixtures, electrical, plumbing, even appliances are included. The homeowner need only supply the foundation, HVAC system and furniture...and of course a contractor to build the home if you're not a do-it-yourselfer.

This type of build allows the flexibility to pick and choose supplies which helps to keep costs low. Kitchen and bathroom cabinets come with the package, but let’s say you have some great trash-to-treasure finds and opt out of the cabinets included in the package. That’s a good chunk of money saved! Do this to enough and the savings can really add up!

The blueprints will run you $700, but purchase a minimum of $15,000 worth of materials from Lowe's and you'll receive a $700 gift card for additional materials to offset blueprint cost.

The Katrina Cottages caught my eye not only because of their versatility and frugal nature, but it was the way the square footage was embraced. Each and every nook and cranny has a purpose. I don't believe that living large really has anything to do with the space we's a state of mind.

My goal is to create a 10 acre homestead filled with fruit and nut trees, raised planting beds, solar panels, a rain water collection system and the studio of my dreams (: Going green isn't really the focus, but being a good steward of God's beautiful earth is. It just so happens, one thing blesses the other (:

I'm ready to get back to the basics my grandparents and parents held so off of the land and embracing the blessings that nature has to offer. I'm ready to be in a place of quietness where the crickets and frogs sing lullabies at night and the rain on a tin roof becomes a soothing whisper to the soul.

And so I cast my desires out into the world knowing that the time is coming closer...but until then, I'm happily living in my little homesteading apartment, preparing for the day when my dreams come true (:

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  1. Beautiful dear Michele!

  2. It's beautiful, Michele! Hang in there!


  3. What a wonderful post & beautiful home. Best of luck making your goal a reality.

  4. I know this will happen for you! Loved this post!!:)

  5. Love the Katrina Cottage -I grew up in NOLA and am happy to see anything good come out of Katrina. As for the 10 acre dream -I currently have a 1 acre dream -gardens,some raised beds,rain collection system, and well, frankly, it's an incredible amount of work and after 20+ years of doing it I'm now dreaming of a condo with a balcony and some container pots.

  6. my dreams, my motivator! have a great sunday.. verbena cottage

  7. dreams are good and this one especially so - thank you for sharing it with us :)

  8. I think the same way, Michele! I've had my eye on those cottages since Lowe's released them (the bigger one, since there are FIVE of us). I don't believe that a home has to BE big to LIVE big & I've never wanted a home over 2,000 sq ft. {Doug Stone's song "Little Houses" always tugs at my heartstrings!} Love the way you've plotted out the yard space, too - nothing wasted there, either!

    As far as being a steward of our planet, well, I'm Cherokee & Choctaw Indian, so for me that goes hand-in-hand with caring for our Mother & provider of life (Earth), in addition to it being our Christian duty.

    Thanks for sharing your dream & I'm delighted to see that we're so similar in thoughts & tastes!

  9. Sounds wonderful! I love dreaming of house plans, getting back to the basics, and just enjoying the blessings that GOD has giving us! I wish you the best! Your plans are great!

  10. I just love it and it sounds wonderful. We are definitely going to downsize when the boys are off in college. We want something small and manageable into our "golden years"!! I will have to check these out!

  11. Congrats on declaring your dream and making plans to pursue it. I am doing the same with my own dream - it's scary and exciting! And this cottage is amazing- and I cannot believe the low price per s.f. So excited I found your blog and happy to be a new follower! Hope you can stop by soon! Kim @

  12. hi michele,

    thanks for following me, i'm a new follower!
    have a wonderful week! off to check out your lovely blog!


  13. sorry, for some reason i am unable to click follow!! its not loading for me...please visit me again and i will find you when the system is clear! crazy thing!!

  14. These are beautiful!! My husband and I have designed many, many homes over the years - most of which have remained in my brain's little 'house plans' file. They're all there, and I can picture walking throughout any one of them.

    I especially love the smaller cottages - would like to build one at the edge of our woods!

  15. Hi Michele,

    thanks so lot for following my little blog,
    yours is also very nice and interesting!
    Whish you a lovely summertime
    and send you many greetings

    from Bavaria


  16. Hi Michelle,

    This is one of my favorite posts yet. I love your idea. My goal is similar. We're looking for at least 10 acres and start off with a smaller home we can add on to. I'd not seen these plans before, but I really think it's a great idea and can't wait to show them to hubby.

    I hope your dreams all become a reality for you in the not too distant future. Thanks for your wonderful upbeat post and inspiration.

  17. I want you to know that you have made me look at what I have here on 3 Dog Farm with new eyes. I sometimes tired of the work that is involved with vegetable gardens and animals but you post made me realize that there are folks out there that would love to live this life and made me appreciate what I have here a little bit more. Thank you.
    I hope that your dream will come true and I do believe that if you really want something badly enough and you move in that direction...It will happen for you.

  18. Hi Michele, It's so nice to read a post that comes straight from the heart! You have a real gift for writing and should think about pursuing that. I think your dream is shared by many of us. Love the Lowes cottage's, I had no idea they existed. Take care.

  19. I've been lurking around here for a couple weeks now, off and on. I admired your home makeovers and creativity but now... now I love your blog more than ever! We just moved into our first home at a whopping 775 sq ft and 1/4 acre for our family of 3 (and planning to grow). It's modest to say the least but we are loving it and making the most of small spaces and learning that just what you said is exactly right - "Each and every nook and cranny has a purpose. I don't believe that living large really has anything to do with the space we's a state of mind." Your plans remind me so much of our home and I really hope your entire dream comes true - it's a wonderful way of life.

    Anyway, I'll definitely be stickin' around your blog a bit more :)

  20. Well isn't this a whole lot of loveliness wrapped up in a splendid blog!
    I'm enjoying all the fanciful photos you have on display!
    thank-you for sharing the inspiration!

  21. Hey my Englisch is nit the best.But your Blog is so beutiful.The lovly pictures and your home so fantastic.lovly wishes from gremany nina

  22. Love the cottage! Your post is beautiful. I'm sure your dream is now out there taking shape. :)

  23. Nifty little house seems to have everythig one would want.

  24. Hi! Found your blog via google-- we are planning on building a version of this Katrina Cottage and are curious where you found your photos? Would love to see some more!! It's not often you find interior photos of houseplans, so it was really nice to run across your blog!

  25. I built the KC 1807 also. Our old house was damaged by hurricane Rita (beyond repair). We were "out of town homeowners" and did not have a good building experience. We came down and finished the house ourselves. It came out beautiful! It is a solid house. It has already weathered one hurricane with almost no damage. I just wish that there was a meeting place for Katrina Cottage builders (maybe there is). Builders feel free to contact me.

  26. We just bought our 10 acres with two small existing 1940's cottages on there. They are in OK shape for now, but our goal is to replace them one at a time with Katrina cottages. I love your whole plan with homestead features on there as well

    1. Writing on behalf of Marianne Cusato. The Today Show is interested in any of her cottages that were built; especially for the purposes of an accessory dwelling unit or granny flat. Please call 203 570 6770

  27. When these were at Lowe's they were fairly easy to obtain, and they sure as heck didn't cost an arm and leg for just the plans. To bad Cusato got greedy, and broke from Lowe's. $850 just for JUST plans is ridiculous, and it doesn't include a very good materials list.

    1. Felix, the break from Lowe's was due to logistics.


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