Pye’s Beach House | Standard Creative

This small beach house, elevated for protection from storm surges, has one bedroom and a loft in a 24’ square footprint. | www.facebook.com/SmallHouseBliss

Ten years ago Friday, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Mississippi, its record-breaking 28′ (8.5 m) storm surge virtually obliterating the small coastal town of Waveland. Pye Parson and her family had evacuated in advance, along with most of the town’s residents. When they returned, the town looked like it had been bombed. All that remained to identify their former homesite, just two blocks from the beach, was a 100-year-old oak tree and the brick steps that once led to their front door.

Given the loss of not only homes but also businesses and jobs, schools and other infrastructure, about two-thirds of Waveland’s population resettled elsewhere following the disaster. Pye’s family did the same, however she longed to return, dreaming of the day she’d be able to rebuild. In the meantime, she and her son Quen would return to the property for weekend camping trips, marvelling at how quickly nature was reclaiming the area. What had been a neighborhood of single-family houses was turning into a forest of young trees.

This small beach house, elevated for protection from storm surges, has one bedroom and a loft in a 24’ square footprint. | www.facebook.com/SmallHouseBliss

One day she came across a casting call for FYI television network’s “Tiny House Nation”. She applied and was soon accepted to be on the show’s first season. However the planned house didn’t meet the minimum size required by Waveland’s zoning regulations, necessitating a lengthy variance process. As a result, the home didn’t appear until the show’s third season. Waveland is reportedly considering changes to their regulations that would make it easier to build a small or tiny house.

This small beach house, elevated for protection from storm surges, has one bedroom and a loft in a 24’ square footprint. | www.facebook.com/SmallHouseBliss

The small house was designed by architect Bruce Lanier of Standard Creative. It is elevated 15’ on piers and fortified to comply with new building regulations intended to reduce future losses from storm surges and hurricane-force winds. A 24’ by 24’ square floor print and shed roof were chosen to keep the construction costs lower.

The 576 ft2 (53.5 m2) floor plan is divided in four, with the living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom each occupying a corner. Over the bathroom is a loft accessed by stairs and easily big enough to serve as a second bedroom. The remaining main floor spaces have high ceilings and huge ceiling fans to provide natural cooling.

This small beach house, elevated for protection from storm surges, has one bedroom and a loft in a 24’ square footprint. | www.facebook.com/SmallHouseBliss

Outdoor spaces greatly expand the living area. Pye’s family typically has breakfast on the deck and dine in the outdoor living room they created below the house. If they wish to dine inside with a large group, a fold-down dining table and benches are ingeniously stored in the barn-style sliding bedroom doors.

With jobs and school keeping them elsewhere, Pye and her family are using her small house as a vacation retreat for now, but they plan to move there full time when circumstances allow. In the meantime, it is also available for vacation rentals through Homeaway. Enjoy the photos!

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Photographs by courtesy of Pye’s Beach House.

Text copyright 2015 SmallHouseBliss. All Rights Reserved.

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