A few weeks ago, an intriguing message popped up in the EM inbox: “I recently built a house for a TV show and thought you might be interested...it is a gigantic amp!” Wait…what? We had to find out more.
Photo Credit: Don Shreve
Turns out that this unusual structure is the home of Asha Mevlana, lead violinist of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. “I travel a lot, and I had stuff stored all over the country,” Asha told me by phone. “I wanted a home base to come back to, but I didn’t need anything huge. I’m used to living in apartments in New York, and everything there is kind of small.” She also admitted that, while she loved the idea of tiny houses, she wanted something “on the bigger side of tiny.”
As luck would have it, she had connections. “I had seen the Tiny House Nation television show and was friends with one of the hosts [Zack Giffin], who encouraged me to apply.” Once she was selected, the process happened very quickly. The entire project, designed by architect and tiny-home specialist Brian Crabb, was finished within two months.
“I hadn’t even thought about the logistics, before I applied,” Asha explained. For example, she needed a place to build and, ultimately, decided on Fayetteville, Arkansas, where her brother had land.
The final design placed two unconnected structures perpendicular to each other—the living quarters on a 10’-wide foundation and the studio on an 8’x20’ trailer that she can take on the road. A spacious wooden deck ties the two together, aesthetically. “They had never done anything like that before, where half the house was on a foundation and the other half on a trailer.”
The living quarters has a loft bedroom above the kitchen, which Asha notes is bigger than the one she had in her New York City apartment. Her mobile music studio is sound-proofed and the interior walls treated with recycled denim. Within the Marshall-esque design outside are four weatherproof marine speakers, which Asha plugs into from inside the building.
“We’re going to start a porch-deck series,” she told me. “I’ve got a band coming today to film a music video on my porch. The idea is to have local bands play here, and have concerts and jam sessions.”
When I asked if it took getting used to the reduced living environment, Asha said not at all. “I love it here. Because I have a huge garage door that looks out on the porch, it feels really open, with a lot of space.”
Check out all that went into designing and building Asha’s tiny home in her blog at ashamevlana.com.