He Found Luxury In a Trashy Place

Outside of dumpster house.

We’ve seen tiny houses on wheels, stilts, in vans and trailers – but this one is the ultimate hideaway. What started out as an experiment in tiny living turned into something bigger. Oakland, CA based artist Gregory Kloehn was interested in learning how to make homes from found objects. With a background in construction, he bought a brand new garbage dumpster and turned it into a home. From the outside it looks like an unassuming trash receptacle, but the inside has creature features that even include a mini bar!

The 6 x 6 little home sits on a set of wheels that enable it to be mobile. Inside, the home includes a kitchen, toilet, and couch that doubles as a bed. For the kitchen, Greg installed granite countertops where he can prepare and cook food. In one corner of the counter is a gas-powered stove with one burner, and above hangs a vent hood. He uses a cast iron skillet to cook. A small, stainless steel built-in sink with running water sits adjacent to the stove. Overhead, there’s a toaster oven that’s been mounted as a wall unit. The pantry is a set of drawers contained under the kitchen set-up where a cooler is used as a refrigerator and stores food.

Greg insulated the dumpster and used red and black cushioning to line the walls and seating area. The sofa also converts into a bed, with movable cushions that take up the entire floor space. Hidden underneath one of the couch cushions is the toilet. And no, it doesn’t flush. For now, it releases directly below the dumpster but has the ability to be connected to a septic system. An electrical system has also been installed and is accessed through a set of power strips. The water is supplied through a tank outside that runs to the kitchen sink as well as an outdoor shower!

Other amenities? The propane tank that feeds the stove also powers an outdoor grill. The small grill is attached to a pole right outside the dumpster’s door. Too keep it airy, Greg also put in windows that operate by a crank in the roof. The retractable roof has two windows that let light in, but can be closed to keep the rain out. Another fun feature about the roof? It can be raised to act as a deck for lounging and entertaining. Greg sometimes sits patio umbrellas above for protection from sunlight. The stealthy and small home is movable, making it easy to move if the trash man comes or if one has pesky neighbors. This one cost roughly $4,000 to build.

Since building this home, Greg’s been busy creating similar houses made from repurposed materials and discarded items. He was inspired by homeless people’s ingenious ways of making homes for themselves. Not only does he build houses and gives them away to the local homeless population in his community, but he also teaches workshops showing others how to create homes for the homeless. His Homeless Homes Project is not just limited to his local area either; he is able to travel and bring his workshops to anyone willing to buy him a ticket. Check out Greg’s tiny home video below. What are your thoughts on the dumpster house project?