1949 Railroad Boxcar Converted Into a Tiny Home in the Woods






What did you like best about this 260-square-feet railroad boxcar caboose to tiny house in the woods conversion?

“In the middle of beautiful Lake Washington, nestled amid four acres of wooded land, sits a tiny red caboose from 1949. Colorfully out of place among the giant evergreen trees and sprawling rhododendron, it’s a small jewel full of light and warmth. Full-height picture windows on one side overlook a large 8 foot by 20 foot private deck, all the better to take advantage of a sweeping western view of the wooded ravine and of Lake Washington. The railroad car sits on actual rails and serves as a live/work space for the Davidson family and for the occasional (and lucky) renter.” (source)

Learn more about this home here.

If you enjoyed this caboose to house conversion you’ll love our free daily tiny house newsletter!

Facebook Comments



  1. I’m sorry they elected to bring the roof down by putting in all of those cross-beams and filler. Effectively, this gives the space more of an unpleasant cramped, boxy feeling; I would have kept the vaulted ceiling/roof with long steel beams running the length; as in vardos. Love the colors, though; very nice and inviting.

  2. What do I like?…..um…everything. I also am not usually a fan of modern design but I have been converted for this caboose. Sandra mentions it looks way cool from outside, then there is this surprise waiting inside. This pleasantly unexpected design change upon entering the old changed by the new. Nice location, nice exterior kept simple and original, then the great renovation of the interior into a wonderful living space. Very inviting and very well executed. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I liked the windows and deck. I’m not a fan of modern though. Not enough pictures, would like to see the bedroom and eating area. The price would be to high for me, and the cost of moving it would put it way out of my price range. “Cute” toy for the very rich.

    1. Well, someone’s got to be rich, right? Isn’t that what Lotto Fever is all about? LOL I’m happy with the “very rich”; they keep myself and my crew employed for the past 23 years!

    2. @cahow…..I agree with you, this country would go no where without the rich. Guess a little envy was showing, lol. It is a nice remake, I just would have done it differently, more “country”. Have a good day, hope you and your crew keep busy.

      1. I sincerely “Thank You”, SusieQ, for a reply I wasn’t expecting. I become saddened and exhausted defending my client base: the multi-millionaires and Trust Fund children of former generations. Yes, there are scammer’s and thieves in that set but aren’t there scammers and thieves EVERYWHERE…in all social circles? The Bill Gates Foundation has an endowment of $36.2 billion dollars; he donates 75% of his income to his foundation. Every time someone turns on a PBS station, the voice-over will tell the viewer how many private foundations paid for and funded said programming. Most of our libraries, museums and nature sanctuaries are named after someone wealthy who died and left millions to the creation of that instituion, which allows ALL people to enjoy dance, butterflies and other rare things not possible without their donations. If wealthy people didn’t travel and stay in nice places, the entire staffing population would be on welfare. Same goes for art fairs (not craft fairs), wineries and devices as mundane as smartphones and tablets. Think of the 100’s of people who were employed by the above owner’s and how that money paid their rent/mortgage/groceries/put their kid’s through school! If someone can’t drive the economy, we’re in a depression and then we’re ALL screwed and standing in bread lines. I just wish that people who have become wealthy weren’t all painted with the same prejudice brush; I personally don’t know a soul that states, “I enjoy being broke and worrying about money!” LOL

  4. Did the owner’s design this house with ME in mind?! 😉

    It’s a rare day, indeed, that I actually copy & save tiny house photos to my hard-drive. Today, I saved ALL of them, but especially that Wall O’ Windows which I ache to mimic in my own kitchen. I am mad-crazy for this place and would live here in a heartbeat if single. I admire the owners philosophy so much; and…it’s all for SALE!!!!

    Copied from the SOURCE: “There is much privacy and nature surrounding this odd little structure and it makes the perfect getaway for those looking for a quiet retreat. The homeowners love its quirkiness and functionality. Many of the decorative materials were salvaged, like the Otis Elevator metalwork in the bathroom and the stained glass window on the outside door. The studio, although small, is incredibly comfortable thanks to a complete installation of electricity, heat, water and other amenities you’d find at home, like a washer and dryer and full kitchen. One entire wall is covered in windows, creating a vast amount of natural light and framing a picture-perfect view of the woods. Thoughtful design touches like the rockery bed behind the sink and stove are perfect for plants and flowers to soften the space.

    The Davidson’s purchased this 4.25 acre waterfront property (which is currently for sale) in the 1950’s and there are several homes on the estate including the caboose, the original homesteaders cabin from the 1900’s and a mid-century modern home designed by the renowned Northwest architectural firm, Tucker and Shields. This type of property is incredibly rare on Mercer Island and the homeowners are very aware of its unique size and splendor. They are preserving this land by working with the Nature Conservancy to ensure that future owners cannot change the footprints of the original structures nor subdivide the property.”

  5. Well, I spoke too soon. The main house, pioneer cabin and caboose ‘were’ on sale; now they are sold for $3,675,000.

    If anyone is interested in seeing many more photos of the caboose and the main home, click on SOURCE and then click on “for sale” and also “Enter House Tour”, where there are many more photos.

    Best of luck to the new owners!

  6. I like the idea and the house especially the inside. With some colorful pics and plants it could be much nicer. But in a small place you should keep it all simple and on a low scale otherwise it gets cramped.
    However, as others I would like to know how sleeping arrangement is looking like.
    What footprint has the caboose?

  7. Very uncharacteristic of me to say this, but the “modern” interior of the rail car clashes with historical exterior of the rail car. Would have loved to have seen a vintage interior.

  8. Uh, on the “step” side of my family there is a long line of railroaders, so, excuse me, but that is a caboose not a box car. Google “caboose” and you will discover that they were phased out in the 1980’s, and I have been toying with the idea of turning a Union Pacific one into a tiny house, I agree Zen that they should have maintained the “vintage” feel of this car to match the outside. For a project like this, it has to be delivered to the site on a large flat bed then hoisted by crane onto whatever you may use as a foundation, but I would suggest in order to maintain the “vintage” feel, one should use rail then weld it to the rail. Unless you remember the days of real rail travel, not AmTrack, it will not look or feel romantic if the “vintage” feel is kept. A huge caution though, in a metropolis, children will want to “play” on these.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.