Tours
Woman restores old railway carriage into breathtaking off-the-grid home with spectacular views
This home once transported people via rail. Now? It's a stunning home in the middle of serenity.
Cherie Gozon
09.10.21

We all heard about living tiny and off-the-grid. But have you imagined living in railway carriages?

YouTube Screenshot|Living Big in a Tiny House
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YouTube Screenshot|Living Big in a Tiny House

This woman from Central Otago Region in New Zealand found these old railway carriages and turned them into a personal restoration project. As we walk you through her tiny home, you can see that it is made of love and so much passion.

Mandy and her ex-husband used to do restoration projects on boats and yachts.

YouTube Screenshot|Living Big in a Tiny House
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|Living Big in a Tiny House

Little did she know that her expertise would come into handy when she found these derelict carriages and found massive potential for them. She once hoped to find a property along the beach, but these carriages found her, and she never looked back.

She said that restoring these carriages was very challenging.

YouTube Screenshot|Living Big in a Tiny House
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|Living Big in a Tiny House

Its initial state was totally damp. She even found dead birds inside! The windows were broken, and it seemed like a lost cause right off the bat, but Mandy knew that she could bring life into this once lively railway carriage.

The location gives you a fantastic panoramic view.

YouTube Screenshot|Living Big in a Tiny House
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YouTube Screenshot|Living Big in a Tiny House

The moment you step on the deck of either cabin, the beautiful scenery will always welcome you – night or day. Mandy has a small bathtub outside her home, but she said she must be wise in using it since water is not so easy to come by in the area.

Her home is totally off the grid.

YouTube Screenshot|Living Big in a Tiny House
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|Living Big in a Tiny House

She has no access to water and electricity, so she catches rainwater and stores them for her use. Her home is also powered by solar panels attached to a trusty generator. Heating is not a problem, too, because she has this beautiful fireplace that heats the entire place.

On the first carriage, you can find Mandy’s main home.

YouTube Screenshot|Living Big in a Tiny House
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|Living Big in a Tiny House

The moment you get inside, her beautiful lounge space will welcome you. To the right is her kitchen, which she admittedly seldom uses but placed equal effort on restoring it.

To the left are an en suite bathroom and a cozy bedroom.

YouTube Screenshot|Living Big in a Tiny House
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|Living Big in a Tiny House

You’ll find that the toilet is missing, but not to worry because she has a separate long drop toilet outside her home. Her bedroom does not disappoint. It looks cozy and warm, and look at the view outside that window!

The other carriage is another space for guests.

YouTube Screenshot|Living Big in a Tiny House
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|Living Big in a Tiny House

It has ample lounge space, and its walls are adorned with Mandy’s paintings. It also has a double bed with a lot of storage space underneath.

But what you’ll love about this cart is its small den.

YouTube Screenshot|Living Big in a Tiny House
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YouTube Screenshot|Living Big in a Tiny House

This one features a mini library where one can relax and enjoy some downtime. But the best part is the deck right outside, where you can sit down and take in the beautiful scenery around.

One thing that stands out from Mandy’s home is how she retained some part of the carriages’ history.

YouTube Screenshot|Living Big in a Tiny House
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|Living Big in a Tiny House

She didn’t want them to be fully refurbished, cleaned, and polished. She retained seat numbers, old markings, even water stains on the wood. It turns out that these tiny imperfections fit perfectly well in the total beauty of the interior.

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By Cherie Gozon
hi@sbly.com
Cherie Gozon is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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