Saturday, January 24, 2015

Salvaged Industrial LVL Block as a side table or plant stand?

Just a quick share from my factory art studio here. Figured that something like this could make for a plant stand, side table (just add a top, or not), OR, you could use an anchored series of these (at incremental heights) as a table-topped step-way up to a loft in a tiny house.

What is it? Its a large scrap chunk of a huge LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber) beam that was being tossed in a dumpster at a worksite.

The price was right, and I just liked the colors and industrial feel it gave.

Like I said, just a quick idea I wanted to share....

(hey also, and we'll have the registrations up and running soon but here's our next HANDS-ON TINY HOUSE BUILDING WORKSHOP!) We'll give you more details soon!

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Monday, January 12, 2015

SALVAGE as art/decor (some tiny house, budget, decor ideas)

So this past weekend I had a chance to check out the new salvage/maker shop "Farnswood" in Worcester, MA, run by Craig Farnsworth and his wife Karyn. Farnswood really is a family affair as each weekend, with their kids in tow, the shop opens it doors to display its array of funky, one-of-a-kind, unusual, and repurposed wares, gifts, and furniture. I had a blast checking the place out, picked up a few items (the funky tool box lamp you see in the photo below), and a stool made from a model t axle, and immediately saw the potential in this cool industrial space for the possibility of a future workshop..... we'll see..... we'll see.....

Whatever the case, get yer keister down to Farnswood, tell 'em I sent you, and support this family, who are doing something very cool and creative! 

They're at 100 Barber Ave- Worcester, MA

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Friday, January 9, 2015

Great Idea for a Tiny House with Cat/Pet Owners....

Just wanted to share this quick little photo- Its what looks like a heavy duty basket (the kind often used to hide plant pots), but mounted to the wall and used as an "aerial cat bed", making for a neat little, off the floor, hiding and napping spot for your cat.... saw on pinterest, from a non-credited source, but I wanted to pass it on....

Just a quick share....

Thursday, January 8, 2015

2015 CT/Connecticut Tiny House Building Workshop-meets-Art!!!

Here's where we might be for our next workshop! What a COOL space!!!!

Check out this video- THIS might be the space that we're hosting our next two/three day, hands-on, tiny house and shelter building workshop in.... more details very soon! This place ("The Empty Spaces Project") in the cool little art town of Putnam, CT is PERFECT for such a workshop, and the structure we build would be part of the gallery/display- and be built/displayed in the huge front window of this downtown locale for all to see (especially when lit up at night!). It would be another intimate workshop, with many instructors helping you, and about 30 students- with guest speakers, actual building, and much more! We might be looking a mid-march for this one....

We'll update you HERE, and on my personal Facebook page/pages.

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tiny House Space Saver- Make this great coffee table/bench/storage unit with scrap two-by-fours!

     This is a simple little project that could be tackled by anyone of any skill level and with minimal tools. Steven Harrell of posted this how-to video for us to check out, and when you see the end product, it certainly seems to have some tiny house potential, as a sturdy coffee table like this could double as a bench, and has storage underneath as well.

Just an idea of mine: Add some vertical dividers underneath, and if you wanted to store it upright so that its out of the way and takes up less floor space, it could also serve a FOURTH purpose as an upright book shelf.

Anyway, it would be a fun project to tackle if you haven't done much building and want to get a little practice in before working on that cabin, chicken coop, or shed.

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

...and remember! Set those DVR's!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Low-dough furniture piece- indoors or outdoors (dumpster dived n' salvaged)


As many of you know, this blog is not only for tiny houses, shelter, tree house, and cabin photos and ideas (and showcasing the things I design and build), but also for sharing ideas in the world of salvaged-construction, and repurposing- which yes, can certainly be tied to the thrifty mindset of the tiny house and downsized-living world. So…. just wanted to share the simplest of projects, a wooden cable spool table.

In my factory art studio outside Boston, MA- the table is so strong that I can stand on top of it, and jump up and down without any problem...

Its simple….
Dismantle a big ole spool once you're procured one….
Pull or flatten any nails or staples that might get in the way
Slap a few coats of Helmsman spar varnish on the top
Add a few natural maple boughs as legs (which you can cut (carefully) with a chop saw). Glue them in place AND hold them fast with a trim head screw or two through the topside of the table.
And that's pretty much it!

Just a simple idea I wanted to share…
And REMEMBER- THIS WEEKEND…. the debut of my new show, "Tiny House Builders" on HGTV…. Sunday, December 14th, at 1pm.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

NEW Tiny House Builders TV SHOW debuts on HGTV w/Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

SPREAD THE WORD! If you dig the blog, my videos, or anything I've done in the past, I'd HUGELY APPRECIATE IT! This TV show, which I host, design for, and build for, is finally airing! We shot this quite a ways back, so we're psyched to see it air!

So…. as many of you might have noticed, my blog posts have become more and more infrequent as of recently. Why? Well, aside from bustin-butt and building things for clients, hosting several sold out workshops this year (Tennessee, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts), AND getting a brand new factory-space for an art studio, and future design, art, and building classes, I've been working on THIS…..

And it finally will air- episode one- as a hidden/sneak episode on SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14th- 1pm!   HGTV doesn't even list it (and isn't even promoting it at all), but it exists and will air. You'll see!

A TON of work went into the first build you'll see- one that is part tree house, part tiny house, and part seasonal cabin, so I hope you'll enjoy it. Its an hour long program and one focused more so on building and design, and not the downsizing aspects of the scene.

We build from the ground up, off grid, and with a very small crew. No kit houses, no hidden building crew, and no half-built shells to start us off. Its grueling, but the end result is pretty darn fun, unique, and loaded with character.

Our crew: Aside from me….
Dustin Diedricksen (my brother, and co-workshop host)
Jim Shippey- Builder/tinkerer- who has been a teacher/presenter at many of my past workshops
"Creature"- Carpentry animal and always there with a smile (no, not really)
Johnny "Milwaukee" Lyman- Brew City salvage builder/designer (and former workshop attendee)
Melissa Teper/aka DJ Melissa- former radio co-host at WBCN Boston, and interior designer.
Phil Laplante- Salvage Pro and Barn Builder from NH

SO…. Sunday, December 14th- 1 pm- HGTV…. don't miss it!

By the way, we also will have a small one day tree house design and build workshop in my factory space in mid January 2015, and MAYBE, a larger hands-on class with a small backyard office build (in another big factory space) in that month as well. Keep checking for the updates, or if interested, leave a comment below and we'll get back to you when things are official!

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Check out this TINY HOUSE Pallet Wood Door We Made!

So at our last workshop (see our most recent post), we found an old door (a heavy duty oak one) that was behind a factory and being thrown out, and repurposed it. With a little love and elbow grease, plus a new paint job and some inset, recycled, forklift pallet wood, we turned this "bound for the dump" door around. Its all about seeing the potential in roadside junk, and realizing the money that could be saved, and the custom touches and look that could come from such a simple project.

Check out this short video explaining what we did…. not rocket science, but it might spark some new ideas….

If you want to join us at one of our workshops, our next on in North Carolina (near Wilmington) is bound to be ALOT of fun! 

TO Sign up, click on the banner link on the top of our blog (before Nov. 20, 2014)

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Monday, October 27, 2014

"The Lunar Lander"- an AFFORDABLE and MODERN Tiny House/Backyard Office….

A few people exclaimed "Hey, it kinda reminds me of a lunar lander!". I thought the same myself, hence the name (until we think of something better!)

Check out this cool backyard office/reading retreat cabin that we built outside Boston, MA this past weekend as part of our Tiny House Building and Design Workshop (our TENTH one!). There were MANY demonstrated techniques worked into this one little structure (standing about 11' tall) from framing, cedar shingling, tongue and groove use, and constructing, leveling, and squaring its base, to trim work, roofing (Ondura), and installing a polycarbonate Tuftex wall. The project started as an A-frame, and then I decided on the spot, with a group consensus/approval, "Nah, lets toss in a knee wall, give it a steeper back wall, and give it a modern, asymmetrical front supports". So we did….
The plans are never set, and we build, design, and decide certain things as a group, which is half the fun, If someone has a new or different idea, they can bring it to the plate and try to sell us on it.

It was a fun, involved, and intimate workshop (capped off at only 16 allowed to attend), and the weather was GREAT!


SIGN UP (and find more details) by clicking the banner link on the top of this blog- (before Nov. 20th, 2014) 

MANY MORE PHOTOS, including the interior and other close up details (the AWESOME funky door we made, the pallet wall, etc) are coming soon! Once we decorate the interior, we'll also shoot a tour video.

Above: Dustin "Dr. Demolition" Diedricksen helps a student with shingling one side wall of the cabin.

      A salvaged-wood Lego-man art piece looks on as wood hits the chop-saw station for siding….

Kari Cooper works on shelving for the cabin made from disassembled wine boxes, scrap wood, and other salvaged items….

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Out next HANDS-ON workshop? (above) November 22-23rd in Carolina Beach, NC- right near Wilmington. Its only limited to 20 people, so don't delay! We're all going to build a funky backyard workshop-office near the beach! LOTS of recycled windows will be used- almost a whole wall of them!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

TEN simple salvaged chair and bench projects that are OUT-THERE!


     I've seen these at the Brimfield Fair in MA this year, and quite a few places online, and apparently they sell very well! LOVE 'em! So simple to make too, and this might make for a fun addition to the porch or deck of your tiny house or cabin, or even inside your home- adding a dash o' funk and creativity to the mix. File Under: Lo-fi DIY


Also, if you missed it, THIS is going to be a heck of a good time! A Hands-On Tiny House Building Workshop near Wilmington, NC! Limited to 20 attendees, and LOADED with hosts, carpenters, guest speakers, and tiny house experts!!! Its filling up fast!!!

Above: A great BEAM bench- an old recycled timber beam, hollowed out on one end for a planter, and made into a long seat. VERY simple, but creative- from 

Loaded with character and lots of patina! from 

More simplicity, and that with a modern twist, above, from

A hunk of a salvaged door- courtesy of 

Pallet wood given new life! From WOODZY SHOP on etsy…

Rope threaded through plywood make this threaded-rod reinforced modern chair a very eye-catching one! from 

Now THAT is one GREAT Crate! from  


-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Also, check out my DIY Shelter/Tiny House/Tree House/Salvage concept book! 
If its out of print, it will be back up really soon!