The Matchbox: A self-sustaining tiny home in DC

About two years ago, I set out to build a harmonious home: a simple dwelling that would allow me to live a simple life, zero-impact and filled with community and close to nature. The result of that exploration is the Matchbox, a 140-square-foot home that, once completed, will be entirely carbon-neutral, off-grid, and self-sustaining.

Housed within the Boneyard Studios tiny house community in Northeast DC, I designed and built the Matchbox—with the absolutely invaluable assistance of Tony Gilchriest—to be functional, comfortable, and sustainable. For more about the house and its features, check out Matchbox-related posts on the blog, or head on over to the Matchbox page at Boneyard Studios.

The Matchbox has been featured in the Washington Post, CBS NewsDwellthe Atlantic, Treehugger, the Washington City Paper, NPRArchitectural Record, the National JournalUrban Turf, Country LivingThe Daily, UK Mail Online, the New York Daily NewsABC7, FOX5, FOX NewsWAMU, ReasonInhabitat, and more. For media inquiries, say hello.


  1. Hi Jay ~ I commented a month or two ago on a site I can't find anymore, asking you about the pitch of your roof (I'm still trying to convince my builder that I don't need a 4:12 pitch in Portland, OR). What did you use for roofing material? Thanks so much for your help and for building such a beautiful, inspiring home.

    1. Hey Anna! It's about a two-degree pitch (about a six-inch drop from back to front) with EPDM rubber. Hope that helps! Let me know if you need anything else.

  2. Hi Jay! By any chance do you offer the plans for this tiny home anywhere?

  3. Alas, I don't have any plans, but let me know if you have any specific questions and I'd be happy to help. For the most part, it's just a simple 16"-on-center box. :)


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