Be Our Guest: Making This Home

Making This Home is a relatively new-to-us blog, and we’ve been continually blown away by Katie’s insight and adventures. You guys, Katie and her husband, Martin, live in a house made of tires. They renovated a 36 square foot kitchen in Berlin, and now they’re gutting an airplane hangar as a place to settle in and call home. An airplane hangar. I have stars in my eyes just thinking about it. (The possibilities!) We’ve had fun watching her story unfold, so of course we’re excited to have her here today.

Howdy there! I’m Katie – the writer, explorer, and enthusiastic storycatcher behind Gadanke and Making This Home.

My husband, Martin, and I have not done a very good job at traditional living. When I started blogging, we were working on this:

It’s a 36 square foot kitchen in Berlin, Germany. We just couldn’t handle the original kitchen – which had no counterspace or storage. The tenants before us actually kept a fridge in the living room! So we tore down the walls, designed our dream kitchen, and built the cabinets ourselves.

We came back to the United States and needed a place to live. So we started renting this:

It’s a house made out of hundreds of recycled tires.

Two things I really love about Kim and and Scott’s blog are their perspective and patience. They’re willing to take risks in their house, and they’re okay with the long process a transformation can take. They also absolutely love small space living.

So when Kim and I connected earlier this summer, I knew she wouldn’t think I was totally crazy. Because now? My husband and I are on a new mission…

We’re going to build a little loft home in the back of this old airplane hangar:

It’s going to look something like this:

When I put everything in a rushed timeline like that, I start to think we’re a little crazy. So maybe I should give you a little bit of a backstory about dreaming big. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that I have no idea what the physical definition of “home” is, but I can tell you this:

Home is whatever you make it.

Before any of this, Martin and I were working like crazy for The Man. We were always tired, and because my boss was a very aggressive man, I found myself coming home and being very aggressive. It was so miserable. It wasn’t who I wanted to be at all.

We’d always dreamed of moving to Germany one day. (That’s where Martin is originally from.) One day, we slammed the brakes. What if we made some day become RIGHT NOW? Seriously, what was holding us back? It was only ourselves.

We quit our jobs; we moved to Berlin. I started studying German full-time. Martin started working in renewable energy.

We came back to the United States so that Martin could teach me how to fly over the summer of 2009. Again, it was just something we’d always wanted to do. Why not right now? We found the tire house. That’s where I’m writing to you from right now. My toes are pressed against trim that is actually tire. So weird, but also kinda cool.

We’ve been jumping back and forth between the tire house and our favorite little spot in Berlin. And while we have, our business dreams have been growing. I launched my handmade journal shop, Gadanke.

I’ve always been a huge journaler. As a girl, I failed miserably at it. I’d journal when I was sad or frustrated. Or I’d start a journal and never finish it. You too? I actually studied it pretty heavily in college, trying to learn how we could better document our stories.

Moving back and forth allowed me to be home for my grandma’s 90th birthday. That’s when I discovered all the stories she was forgetting. That’s when my grandma discovered how much her stories really mattered.

Gadanke was born!

And the shop is growing so large that it cannot fit on my desk in our bedroom any longer. It’s going here:

But first, we have some serious decluttering to do. We have a geothermal heating system to research and install. And I just have to pause to meet all of you!

Kim and Scott, thank you for your spirit. Thanks for reminding me and giving me courage to keep going, to keep believing that one day, we can make this hangar as warm and welcoming as your home (with that awesome buffalo painting!).

Thank you, Katie!

4 replies on “Be Our Guest: Making This Home”

  1. I love Katie and her blog, AND her fabulous journals. So glad to see her guest posting on here. :) She’s one if my inspirations behind my drive to leave the corporate world behind some day and run my own business (and my own life!)

  2. Wow! I’ll have to start reading you guys now to keep up with that transformation! I love the vivacity and adventure that you guys tackle life with. Love it!

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