Tiny homes don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, especially since designers and architects are constantly finding new ways to make them more sustainable and eco-friendly. But tiny homes can also be whimsical wonders. Just take this theatrical ode to kitsch and Hollywood glamor built by artist Rachel Negrete Thorson and her husband Adrien for example.
Situated in the backyard of the couple’s LA home, this wee work of art may not be the pair’s primary residence, but through its doors one can find all the amenities of home, tucked away in a cute corner that’s brimming with personality both inside and out.
The tiny home itself has an interesting past that gave the LA couple the inspiration for the project. Dating back to the 1800s, it’s believed to have had its own starring role in the bright lights of Hollywood as a prop in many TV shows and movies, including The Wizard of Oz. Traditionally known as a “vardo,” (a word deriving from the Romani word “vurdon,” meaning cart), wagons like these were used as mobile homes by the Roma people while traveling. These wagons were historically full of colorful and ornate details, much like the current iteration in the Thorsons’ backyard.
While the history and Hollywood glamor surrounding this tiny home are definitely big parts of its appeal, it was Rachel’s devotion to capturing its whimsical side that really inspired her to revamp the wagon and preserve it as an “important piece of history” that could be shared with others. The tiny home is currently listed on Airbnb for those who want to experience the magic for themselves.
Though the wagon itself is only 84 square feet, it’s still packed with modern conveniences like a full-size bed and mini-fridge —though guests do have to access what Rachel dubs the “water closet” through a connecting building that’s attached to the wagon via an outer stone pathway. Still, this does little to diminish the effect, as the atmosphere outside the wagon is just as colorful and delightful as its eclectic interiors, complete with verdant greenery, comfy hammocks, and even a hot tub.
With retro touches like hand-curated mosaic tiles reclaimed from a local tile manufacturer, a riot of patterns, colors, and textures throughout, and boho beauty galore, the Thorsons have created a real wonderland in their own corner of La La Land. Playfully dubbed “Vardolandia” by the creative couple, this wagon certainly has its place in Hollywood history and will continue to delight those lucky enough to snag a stay in its curated confines. As Rachel says, it’s a place “to remember what [it] feels like to let your imagination run free” – a bit of Oz tucked away in modern-day Los Angeles.