Shalina Kessman

Highly Publicized and Adored Tiny House Designer Featured and Loved by Millions

About This Designer

Driven by her desire to find a more peaceful lifestyle and escape the struggle of high-rent apartment life, California single-mom Shalina decided in 2015 to move with her daughter into a small travel trailer on her dad’s property to save money while building a tiny house on wheels from scratch. Growing up with a dad in construction, she had always dreamt of building her own home and was happy to join the tiny house community and make her dream a reality. Before moving, she spent months perfecting an original design for a tiny home that would bring peace and comfort to her and her teenage daughter — privacy, adequate space for their belongings, and all the common amenities of a typical home being top priority. Shalina’s experience as a maker and graphic designer, her attention to detail, and her love of a good challenge made this the perfect project for her.

She successfully designed and built a beautiful, fully functional home for her family of two, while gaining some much-needed financial freedom and more quality time with her daughter. She has since used her graphic design skills to create a detailed set of plans for the tiny house she built so others can experience the freedom and comfort that her home gave to her family.

Shalina currently lives with her husband and their two kids in a small fixer-upper in Sacramento County, with her tiny house parked in their backyard. After three happy years of living tiny with her daughter, she merged families with her partner and moved into a home that would better suit their needs as a family of four (with two teenagers). She spends her free time renovating the new house while using the tiny home as a creative workspace, guest house, and possible future short-term rental. She enjoys building, sewing, crafting, and treasure hunting/collecting by way of thrift stores, flea markets, antique stores, yard sales, and being in nature.

Shalina’s 2-Bedroom Tiny House was named one of Dwell’s Top 10 Tiny Homes of 2019. Her video tour by Living Big in a Tiny House has millions of views on YouTube, earning her a spot in their Top 5 Tiny House Tours of 2018. Her home is featured in the book titled “Tiny House: Live Small, Dream Big” and she’s been featured by Apartment Therapy, Epicurious, Brit+Co, and The Minimalist Mom.

Bio photo by Briana Morrison

Press & Media Coverage


Dwell’s Top 10 Tiny Homes of 2019

Be Inspired by This Tiny House Designed and Built by a Single Mom

12 Inspiring Tiny Homes That Were Entirely DIY’ed

Apartment Therapy

The Best Small Space Cleaning Advice—According to People Who Live in Tiny Homes

Small Space Storage Tips—From People Who Live in Tiny Homes

The Best Small Space Organization Solutions—According to People Who Live In Tiny Homes

Living Big in a Tiny House

Solo Mother With Teenage Daughter Builds Amazing Tiny House

The Top 5 Tiny House Tours of 2018

Top Ideas For Kids In Tiny Houses

Tiny House: Live Small, Dream Big

Get the book


Here’s What It’s Like Cooking in a Tiny House


13 Tiny Home Instagrams to Follow ASAP

The Minimalist Mom

The Mom that Built Her Own Tiny Home

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