WALK IN TO JESSICA Tevis’ converted barn in downtown Novato, and your first thought is not “Wow, this place is tiny.” It’s, “Oh, this is so cute.” The home, which measures 330 square feet and
was once a hay-baling barn, showcases Tevis’ ingenuity as an interior
designer, recycler and garage sale devotee, as well as that of her tenant,
Kim Rose Lundgren.
Tevis has owned the property — which includes the 1912 farmhouse
where she lives, as well as the barn and a garage — since 1992, when she
and her former husband bought it. They were young and broke when they
purchased and needed to make the place more affordable. So he gutted
the barn’s interior, installed plumbing and utilities, and created a rental
property, leaving as is the barn’s exterior brown shingles and interior
Over the years, Tevis, a home stager, has furnished and decorated the
home in her own unique style: part vintage, part shabby chic and 100
percent utilitarian. “Because the place is so small, I needed everything
to be multifunctional,” she says.
The cushioned bench in front of the desk, for example, opens up
for storage. The Ikea island that separates the kitchen from the living
area serves as counter space, shelving and a kitchen table, with two
bar stools nestled into it. The media cabinet in the corner, which Tevis
found at a garage sale, is on wheels, so Lundgren can wheel it from the
living room to the bedroom.
Tevis maximized the space in other ways, too. In the bedroom, one
entire wall is consumed by the closet, which holds a dresser, a place to
hang clothes, and extra shelving. Over the queen-size bed — which is
covered with Lundgren’s own pink and rose-themed bedding — there’s
a three-by-five-foot mirror, making the room and house appear larger.
Also flanking the bed are two antique bed stands, possibly the smallest
ones the French ever constructed.
After Lundgren, who moved into the place in 2014 following a divorce,
moved out briefly last year, Tevis decided to rent the cottage on Airbnb.
She covered the home’s walls with French posters (all purchased at garage
sales and Goodwill) and topped the kitchen cabinets with playful items like
chess pieces, replicas of the Eiffel Tower and (pseudo) vintage suitcases.
When Lundgren moved back in, she liked the decor so much she kept it.
“Jessica has taught me how to live in a small space and be strategic
about everything, especially storage,” Lundgren says. “I just love it.”