How to build an outhouse. A really pretty one.

Mar 7



Need some inspiration for creating an outhouse ~ small garden shed ~ or small outbuilding ?  All three buildings are the same same but different.

Outhouse – toilet + gardening tools = Very cool garden shed



How to build an outhouse.  A really pretty one. | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE |

I tried to come up with a pretty name for an outhouse.  No such luck.  So I called in the troops (that’s you) and this is what they came up with :


The Ruby room, the sunshine mission, the pooter scooter, stinky chicken, the sand box, the Mary Jane, the reading room, the dump truck, the library, the la la, the back house, the thunder box, the deuce den, wooden throne, peepee palace, poopy portal.


The good news is that you can create an outbuilding just like this one and it will be no where near icky.   Don’t call it an outhouse.  Give it a love shack name.  It changes everything.   Try it.  Then get back here and tell me what you named your palace.


I had this same ‘name it’ problem with grapevine BALLS.  I still can’t get the word balls out of my head.  I may be scarred for life.  Now I have scarred you too.  My bad.

This {{ boudoir, privy, potty, ladies room, gents room }} outhouse DIY may be adapted as a garden shed [minus the toilet].  Or a small outbuilding.  Or a storage shed.  It all works.



Want to keep the toilet and make a portable outhouse~boudoir ?  I have a cool business idea for you.   An outhouse on wheels for weddings and large events.


Boudoirs on wheels.

How gorgeous would that be?

Goodbye gross port-a-potties.

Let’s start a revolution.

One with nice potties.



Imagine a port-a-potty that you could sit on and not be nervous about what may be lurking beneath you?  Are you afraid that your somethin’ somethin’ will mysteriously dip into the blue water?  Or that an evil beast is swimming around in that blue water?  Do you worry if a sea creature will come up and bite you?  The horrors.

You are not alone in your fears.


I can promise you that.


[insert cool name for it]


Many cities & municipalities will allow you to build a small outbuilding under the size of 10′ x 10′ without a building permit.  Double check first.  Jail won’t be fun.  Never ever never never evvvvha (Taylor Swift never) never make a building inspector or town official mad.  It is sort of like the classic childhood memory where you learned to never ask your Mom to brush your hair while she was mad.  Big mistake.



Here’s the good stuff on why it is awesome to have an outhouse :


1.    It smells pretty freaking divine !

Yup.  It smells good.  What’s the secret ?  Wood chips.  The outhouse becomes a self composting, green machine of awesomeness.  Who knew ?  It really does work.

2.   Sink :

Yes.  We added a sink.   The toilet doesn’t flush, but the sink runs with nice clean water.   A reclaimed old porcelain sink.   I stole it from the same guy that I stole this one from for the treehouse.

A sink with running water in an outhouse.  What an oxymoron.  We tried to keep the true authentic nature of an outdoorsy outhouse.  Sort of.

3.  Lighting :

A chandelier.  It was easy to do.  And inexpensive.  We spray painted an old light with gold spray paint.  Wham.  Bamm.  Thank you Ma’am.  Mini chandeliers and outhouses are amazeballs of awesomeness.  Lighting is something to pay attention to.  It can make or break a peepee palace room.

3.   Toilet paper roll holder = twig

Twigs are your friends.  Cheap friends with ahhhmazing design potential.  Want more twiggyness  in your life?  You can get a few more twig ideas here : 15 Ways to Decorate with twigs. Just like Pocahontas.  You can create epic stuff for free.  Nice price tag.


4.   Windows :

Old stained glass windows that hinge out on a stick.  Nice and breezy.  We lined the windows with screening.  No creatures are allowed in the outhouse ladies room.  Stamped it.   My girlfriends and I hang out in there.  No joke.  With glasses of wine.  The kids have no idea where we are.   Neither do the flies.


5.   Venting system :

Therein is where the magic happens.  The vent thingy {you can see it in a few of the photos}  keeps the ‘air flow’ going out the pipe.  Think of it like a chimney pipe.  Minus the smoke.  It is what makes an outhouse smell awesome.  For an outhouse.  It works like a charm.  I don’t know about you, but if an outhouse smells bad, I’m not going in it.  I would rather do a wilderness tinkle.  Gross, but it’s the gospel truth.


6.   Toilet containment :

We dug a hole.  A fairly deep one.  I say we.  I had nothing to do with that whole digging business.  Ewwwwhhh.  However, number two was my number one business of solving.   Why?  I didn’t want to smell a thing.  I wanted it to feel like a place that was fresh and clean.  No ickyness allowed.  Steal my idea.  It works.


7.   Weddings :

We do normally rent port-a-potties for weddings and events {for hundreds of visitors} around this neck of the woods.  I have no idea why….because… as soon as someone sets their eyes on our outhouse…. there is no port-a-potty happenin’ for them.  Hence, everyone lines up for the outhouse.  All the other port-a-potties are lonely.


Solution for outhouse heavy use :

Aromatherapy oils.  Have you tried them?  Wowsers.  They smell fantastic.   A scented candle would do the trick too.  Only a beautifully scented one.  No need for an outbuilding to smell like baked apple pie and cinnamon.  The thought of that just made me throw up in my mouth a little.


8.   Curtains :

Ikea sheers.  They are my ‘go to’ curtain for pretty much every window on earth.  They are dirt cheap to buy.   Almost free.   They require no sewing.  No effort.  Zip.   Ikea can be your bestie.


9.   Shelving ideas & display pieces :

The outhouse shelves are important.  People like to sit in there and just stare.  No joke.  Go ahead.  Build one.  Then talk to me.  It is really quite entertaining in an outhouse.

We mix up the outhouse decor every year.  Sometimes we load the shelves with books.  Sometimes candles.  Sometimes nakedness.  Not my nakedness.  Shelf nakedness.  Sometimes baskets of magazines.  Sometimes pretty little rocks and shells.  Colourful bottles are funky too.   This year it was candles and shells……


10.   Walls :

We kept the walls as natural wood for a long time.  It looked fine.  Then life changed around here.  I became a white paint lovin’ trollop and painted everything that didn’t move… white.  For the outhouse,  we mixed white paint with water and did a white wash look.  We = me and the mouse in my pocket.


Happy outhousin’…



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  1. lynneknowlton

    March 7th, 2013 at 10:56 am

    {New Blog Post} A Funky Outhouse #DIY & FREE ticket giveaway:   Funkiness is happenin’ today : 1.   Free ticke…

  2. lynneknowlton

    March 7th, 2013 at 10:58 am

    A Funky Outhouse #DIY & FREE ticket giveaway – available only TODAY for the Toronto Home Show:

  3. CountryChicReno

    March 7th, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Outhouses don’t get better then this RT: @lynneknowlton A Funky Outhouse #DIY & FREE ticket giveaway 1.Free ticke…

  4. northstoryCA

    March 7th, 2013 at 11:04 am

    RT @lynneknowlton: {New Blog Post} A Funky Outhouse #DIY & FREE ticket giveaway:   Funkiness is happenin’ today : 1.   Free ticke… …

  5. gema kochovski

    March 7th, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Hi!!! I just liked you on Facebook. That is some awesome outhouse you’ve designed!! Wow!! There are so many pretty aspects to it. I love the stained glass the most and what a great way to keep the toilet paper covered up! What is your favourite margarita??

  6. Lynne Knowlton

    March 7th, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Hi Gema,

    I have never said NO to any margarita LOL. 🙂

  7. gema kochovski

    March 7th, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Hahahaaaa! You should check out some of the flavours on Pinterest – oh my!!

  8. Lynne Knowlton

    March 7th, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Can’t wait !!! I’m afraid that pinterest may swallow me whole tho. LOL.

    It is dangerously fun 🙂

  9. HomeShowsTO

    March 7th, 2013 at 11:17 am

    RT @lynneknowlton: A Funky Outhouse #DIY & FREE ticket giveaway to @HomeShowsTO TODAY only #nhs13

  10. Kevin Ross

    March 7th, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Love the outhouse, Lynne… I really mean it ! Gave me some great ideas!

  11. Tracey Seemer Tilson

    March 7th, 2013 at 11:28 am

    What a great post on your blog! We live on a farm and sometimes have “riding days” where a group of peeps will bring motorcycles, fourwheelers, etc for they day. (We ourselves have trail bikes and 2 Polaris RZR’s which are so much fun on the trails in our woods). Having an outhouse like this would REALLY come in handy and reduce the chance of our family and guests contracting poison ivy on their bums after a squat in the wilderness! I love the idea of the wood chips absorbing the scents.
    Although I’d love to win tickets to the Canadian Home Show, please skip over me when doing your random drawing. I’m in North Carolina, USA and that’d be too far to travel for us. But thank you much 🙂

  12. Kevin R

    March 7th, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Hi Lynne,
    I have followed your instructions to the T !!! Hope you have a good day !

  13. Lynne Knowlton

    March 7th, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    You are such a good guy. You are getting bonus points for that 🙂


  14. Michelle Clark

    March 7th, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Hi, I liked your Facebook page Love the human eating scarf lol and love the ikea hacking!

  15. Lynne Knowlton

    March 7th, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Hi Michelle !
    You know… that knit body cocoon gave me nightmares. LOL.

    The DIY with an Ikea hack will be epic when I post it. You won’t believe how gorgeous it looks.

    Quick… get to Ikea and buy a couple of knit throw blankets. Cool stuff will be happenin’ soon 🙂

  16. Tracey Seemer Tilson

    March 7th, 2013 at 11:33 am

    As for a better name for an outhouse…… here’s a list for ya:

  17. Suzanne

    March 7th, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Your outhouse is beautiful, just give it a french name, everything sounds better in french. Maybe salon du nature, or something like that.

  18. Lynne Knowlton

    March 7th, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Good thinkin’ Suzzzzz ! Another blog reader Tracey added a link to a list of outhouse names too. I added them into the blog post. What a hoot !

    Salon du Nature may just get painted on the outhouse porch this summer 🙂

    Lynne x

  19. Kristen

    March 7th, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Lynn, I really liked yesterdays post about an epic childhood. It brought back many memories and it was fun to read all the others posts that were added. It makes me wish our kids could have had the childhood I had.
    Love your blog 🙂

  20. Lynne Knowlton

    March 7th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks Kristen !

    I don’t normally do back-to-back blog posts but I had a time constraint for the free tickets. ha !

    Wasn’t that fun tho? I had so much fun reading through everyones memories too. It sparked new ones. What a TRIP down memory lane !

    We are the baby boomers 🙂

    Lynne xx

  21. Kevin Ross

    March 7th, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Kevin Ross liked this on Facebook.

  22. Dasal Lighting

    March 7th, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Dasal Lighting liked this on Facebook.

  23. Tracey Seemer Tilson

    March 7th, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Tracey Seemer Tilson liked this on Facebook.

  24. Gema Kochovski

    March 7th, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Gema Kochovski liked this on Facebook.

  25. interior_decors

    March 7th, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    A Funky Outhouse #DIY & FREE ticket giveaway

  26. Tunde

    March 7th, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    You are so creative! Love it!

  27. Lynne Knowlton

    March 7th, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Thanks Tunde,
    Now I need to learn some photography skills. You know how to rock the photography world. I wish that could rub off on me. LOL.

    You aren’t far…. time for a treehouse visit this summer and a *photo shoot * 🙂 ?

    Ohhh hells yah.

    Lynne xx

  28. Tunde

    March 7th, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Would love to visit you Lynn. Seriously, lets do it! 🙂

  29. Lynne Knowlton

    March 7th, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Perfect ! Let’s do it foooooshur ! As soon as the snow has left this province. A cold treehouse and outhouse. Eeek. No way. We will do the summer version 🙂
    See you soon ( sort of ) xx

  30. pacearly

    March 7th, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    @lynneknowlton Fab shed/outhouse! Nothing like the one I used on the farm in the dead of night as a kid! Glad we were only visiting! LOL

  31. pacearly

    March 7th, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    @lynneknowlton And how did you know my mom used a wooden spoon? LOL

  32. lynneknowlton

    March 7th, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    A Funky Outhouse #DIY & FREE ticket giveaway

  33. tinalovespinot

    March 7th, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    RT @lynneknowlton: A Funky Outhouse #DIY & FREE ticket giveaway to @HomeShowsTO TODAY only

  34. tinalovespinot

    March 7th, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    @lynneknowlton thanks for the National Home Show Love @homeshowsto #nhs13 … and awesome blog post as always!

  35. lynneknowlton

    March 7th, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    You are most welcome @tinalovespinot and thank you for the tickets that I’m giving away today ! @HomeShowsTO

  36. Janet

    March 7th, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    “The Oval Office”
    You’re welcome. Ha ha
    It really is the most beautiful outhouse I have ever seen (or smelled). Stunning. And that’s not a word i would use for an outhouse every day 🙂

  37. Lynne Knowlton

    March 7th, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Ah Schmanks Janet !

    You may be the only person in the comment list that has actually witnessed the oval office outhouse experience first hand.

    Who knew that an outhouse could be kinda fun ? 🙂

    Get back here ! *tapping fingers , tapping toes *


  38. Alex @ northstory

    March 7th, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    This is the first outhouse I have ever seen that has never scarred me for life. That’s nicer than my main floor washroom that is er, has been on my to fix up list for oh 2 years now.

    I know there’s a good name in there somewhere. Let me have some wine and get back to you!

  39. Lynne Knowlton

    March 8th, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Alex, you crack me up. Wine solves everything.

    Lynne xx

  40. Design The Life You Want To Live

    March 7th, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Thanks Tracey Seemer Tilson !! I loved the list. I updated the blog today with YOUR NAME IN IT :)) and some of my faves from the list. whoooohooo.

  41. Rachel

    March 7th, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Love your blog and the photo apps…hides my bad photographic skills 🙂
    Am in midst of bathroom renovation–inside not outside!

  42. Lynne Knowlton

    March 8th, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Hi Rachel,
    So happy that you adore photo apps too. They save our butts on photos don’t they ? I adore ’em.

    I am writing a free ebook right now on photo apps and how to use them, my favourites, and other cool stuff.

    It will be free to my blog subscribers. An exclusive thaaaaang. It should be out next month or sooner if I get my butt in gear 🙂

    Cheerio !
    Lynne xx

  43. Dee Dee Mozeleski

    March 7th, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Dee Dee Mozeleski liked this on Facebook.

  44. Kelly

    March 7th, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Oh, I love it! It’s so beautiful. Now I would definitely use a place like that..heehee. My son (i know random) watches a cartoon and one of the characters is called “little nutbrown hair” yea..thought that just somehow tied in. Wish I could go to the home show 🙁

  45. Lynne Knowlton

    March 8th, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Hi Kelly
    I knew your son would be as cool as you. haha. Little nutbrown hair ?! Oh my goodness, I will have to name some of my treehouse squirrels that name. Not the pesky squirrels. Just the ones that behave themselves and not eat everything in the treehouse. We don’t want this to happen again :

    Crack me up 🙂

    Lynne xx

  46. tinalovespinot

    March 7th, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    A Funky Outhouse #DIY via @lynneknowlton & FREE National Home Show ticket giveaway til Midnight tonight #nhs13

  47. HomeShowsTO

    March 7th, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    A Funky Outhouse #DIY via @lynneknowlton & FREE National Home Show ticket giveaway til Midnight tonight #nhs13

  48. Lina

    March 8th, 2013 at 12:08 am

    OK…you got my attention! I never thought that I’d be reading a post about a DIY biffy (I googled that) in this day and age! Your blog seems like lots of FUN–love it! =D Also love this font…what is it?

  49. Lynne Knowlton

    March 8th, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Hi Lina !
    This font is called architects daughter. Isn’t it awesome ? I love how simple it is to read and yet still a bit funky and fun. Just like us 🙂

    Are you near Toronto ? Would you like tickets to the Home show ? Or do I need to fly somewhere in the world and deliver them to you ? Like Barbados. I would be happy to hand deliver them there. 🙂

    Lynne xx

  50. Lina

    March 8th, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    I agree–fun & funky!!

    For better or for worse, I do live in Toronto. However, should i fly somewhere else to meet you for the tickets? 😉 That’d be FUN! But, yes, I’d love some tickets to the Home Show! 🙂

  51. Tracey Seemer Tilson

    March 8th, 2013 at 12:45 am

    🙂 Awww, thanks dear!

  52. Marg Townsend

    March 8th, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Been there!!! Still loving it!!

  53. Marg Townsend

    March 8th, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Marg Townsend liked this on Facebook.

  54. Linda Bryant

    March 11th, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Did you build the outhouse or buy it? If you purchased it, can you let me know from where? We live about 20 minutes south of you.
    Thanks for this blog. Perfect timing for our outhouse planning.

  55. Lynne Knowlton

    March 11th, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Hi Linda,
    Our contractor ~ Chris Wilkes built our outhouse. He is the same contractor who built our treehouse too. He is one really nice man and he is a master of outbuildings 🙂

    He doesn’t go on line a whole heck of a lot, but you can reach him on his cell phone : 519-369-8721
    The outhouse is his design. Pretty cool, huh ?

    He also has an outhouse and treehouse on his property. He is known locally as a ‘master tree house builder’ 🙂

    Don’t ask him if he has any spare sinks sitting around. I already stole them all from him. LOL.

    Cheers !!
    Lynne x

    P.s. You are 20 minutes south of me? Where are you ? We are practically neighbours ! LOL.

  56. Stacy Gordon

    March 21st, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Absolutely loved your blog. Dashed against it while searching for some of the best home blogs out there and impressed I am. Anyway, your outhouse plan was lovely but no shame admitting I was paying more attention to the humor than to the design details!

  57. Lynne Knowlton

    April 1st, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Hi Stacy
    Sorry I didn’t respond sooner… your comment was in my spam folder. Waaaahierd. Geesh, I hope you are legit.
    Thanks for the beautiful blog compliment !!

    Have a fantastic Easter weekend…
    Lynne !

  58. Rosa Tackett

    April 15th, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Very creative use of twig for holding toilet paper roll. The Ikea sheer also add to the look of the windows without hurting your pocket.

    PS: Love your style of writing as well.

  59. Lynne Knowlton

    April 16th, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Cheers Rosa !
    Twigs are so handy for so many things, aren’t they ? Toilet paper rolls, curtain rods, coat hooks, drawer pulls.. ahhh. Have you used the ikea sheers yet? They are so easy to ‘hem’ too. I just cut them with scissors and puddle them a bit on the floor. Done. So easy.

    Lynne 🙂

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  61. Kathy

    June 30th, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Gorgeous outhouse! Thanks for all the tips and tricks. My one comment is that while I love the candles, it seems rather dangerous to use them in a building with only one door!
    Nonetheless, the entire post was inspirational. Thank you!

  62. Lynne Knowlton

    July 1st, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Hi Kathy
    I agree that it probably looks kinda scary having those candles in the wee outhouse. I lit more for the photos than I normally do.. and I always keep them in a glass container. I am married to Elmer the safety elephant. LOL. xx

  63. Kathy

    July 2nd, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Ah-h-h, I see! Thanks for the reply. Anyway, I’m so tickled to see a “romantic outhouse.” Now that is something I never knew existed. Awesome.

  64. Inspire Me Heather

    July 15th, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Yay – I love your outhouse post!! I never thought to use wood chips for the smell, GOOD idea! I have this linked to my outhouses project post too today, it’s a keeper!!

  65. Lynne Knowlton

    July 18th, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Hiya Heather,
    Thanks for sharing the outhouse on your blog. Big hugs from one Canuck to another xxo
    Ps. loved your Tshirt -> pillow idea. Very coolio !!
    Lynne xx

  66. Ken DeLoach

    August 22nd, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    I love the outhouse and want to build one like it. Could you provide some sort of plans which include the measurements and dimensions.? (Door size, window size, sq ft., etc. thank you

  67. Laura

    September 19th, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    I have found my people! I plan to build an outhouse near my barn for the ladies that ride here and no I don’t want just ANY old outhouse – I want one with a front porch and white paint and candles (battery operated becaue I am the safety officer here) and a place to change into riding gear and yes, an outhouse that could be used as a place for sipping wine. Your outhouse design is zactly what I am looking for and now i can show the men folk that I am not the only one that believes sheer curtains might be needed in the ‘wine closet’.

  68. Lynne Knowlton

    June 16th, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Hahaha Laura
    I missed your comment and a few others and found them over a year later. TODAY.

    I just laughed out loud at …


    Lynne xx

  69. Laura

    June 16th, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    so glad you found my comment! I did build a wine closet and it is lovely. I can’t upload a pic but I will tell you it has a front porch with rocking chair, a glass pane door, a beautiful window, and a fanzy schmanzy PVC vent system. Candles to be added later. My friend placed deer antlers at entrance and we now refer to it as ‘The Lodge’. 🙂

  70. Lynne Knowlton

    June 18th, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Fancy schmanzy PVC vent system??!!

    The lodge???

    I’m a smitten kitten. That sounds adorbs !!

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  73. Jacki

    December 1st, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Google-searchin’ for outhouse ideas as we design a shelter for our composting toilet. Lucked on your site. What a super fun read. Not to mention outhouse design. Can’t seem to find anything more inspired online other than moon shapes on the door. We just moved our family from the ‘burbs to the woods and put up an off-grid geodesic dome. And you can’t just stick a shack next to it. WWBD? (What would Bucky-Fuller do?) Not sure, but your outhouse pictures sure gave us more to work with. We had the sawdust, already. But not the twig t.p. holder. Or the curtains. Or the pretty (read: not Home Despot orange) buckets. Think we’ll call ours the shouthouse, since ours will be a shower/outhouse combo. Though I might steal Oval Office from your commenter, Janet. Our shouthouse will, in fact, be oval. Because you can’t just put a square next to a dome, either. Joining the outhouse revolution. Even though I’d call it a movement. If you know what I mean. Thanks, again. – Jacki (Watch it happen here:, which you can delete from this comment if it seems like I’m trying to increase my current readership of 43, 40 of whom are my family and friends. Just thought I’d give you some context, if you’re interested.)

  74. Lynne Knowlton

    June 16th, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Hi Jacki

    So sorry I missed your comment until now ! I am about 2 years late. LOL.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment. Tell me more 🙂 You rock out loud !

    Lynne xx

  75. pattie meyers

    June 12th, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    hello lynne, it’s like you dropped out of the sky for me!! see my website – this an event venue with no pavilions, bathrooms, etc. it’s for those who want a natural event in gorgeous surroundings. can’t afford to put in an approved septic system for weddings and parties. struggling with how to handle this issue. have lost bookings to folks who don’t want portapotties at all. really can’t blame them. have thought about outhouses and there you were. i am curious about your idea for making them portable, on wheels. please let me know more. thanking you in advance, pattie

  76. Lynne Knowlton

    June 13th, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Hi Pattie !

    I saw your website, and it looks gorgy gorgeous !

    We have had weddings here for family and rented porta-potties too. Everyone avoids them (even when they are half way decent) and goes to our outhouse. LOL.

    Do you definitely want one on wheels? I think it is do-able, but I love that ours isn’t on wheels too.

    Basically, the base of it would be a big metal square box (deep and wide) and you would need an mini opening/door at the back to empty it once a year.

    That sounds gross, but really, after it sits for a year and composts with all the saw dust, it sounds worse than what it is. I’m sure you could have a septic dude drain it for you too. Whew.

    The shavings/sawdust really do a great job. The vent also works fab too. (pipe up the side of the outhouse that vents out of the roof).

    It smells and looks DREAMY in there!

    I hope that helps !

  77. pattie meyers

    June 14th, 2014 at 10:19 am

    hi lynne, thanks for the quick response. would like portability (but may decide against it) due to infrequent heavy rains that cause some flooding and for convenience and proximity. but what i’d be creating is just another form of portapotty, wouldn’t i???? so i’ll probably create one like yours in a high spot in an unobtrusive but convenient location. it sounds as though yours is “classic construction” with only a deep hole below your concrete pad. – is that right? no periodic compost removal? very grateful for any info and advice.


  78. Lynne Knowlton

    June 16th, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Yes, mine is a classic construction with a deep hole below the concrete pad. We do periodic compost removal too. We let things sit (ewwwwh) over the winter for 6 months and then shovel it out. It is literally like earth and not stinky. Yup. I asked. I haven’t done that job. YUCK.

    Hope that helps!

  79. lynneknowlton

    June 13th, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Yup. I know my poopers 🙂 @dohertycm @colinjustin teehee

  80. DIY tiny cabin. LESS is the new MORE. | Design The Life You Want To Live

    June 27th, 2014 at 10:10 am

    […] We do have an outhouse, which is mighty fine. […]

  81. Best bathroom ideas !! | Design The Life You Want To Live

    November 5th, 2014 at 8:08 am

    […] with any reno project, there are realities.  Pfffft.   An almighty throne can be a challenge.   It’s worth it.   You’ll have years to enjoy it.  The non-shitty version of […]

  82. Ernie Garza

    March 5th, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    I am starting a photo studio out in the country. i have a composting toilet indoors (five gallon bucker, swdust) but was looking for something with more capacity when I have a large group over. I love your design and ideas and will start constructing soon. I may decide to make it portable to transport to various functions. I am sure it will be a big hit!

  83. Lynne Knowlton

    March 8th, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Hello Ernie

    Sounds like you have a great plan underway. If you make one that is portable, send me a photo on my Facebook page I’d love to see it!

    The important part about our outhouse is the air vent to the outside. It really works!

    Happy constructing!

  84. Sharon

    March 7th, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Good idea!!!

  85. 10 Ahhh-mazingly Simple Design Ideas | Design The Life You Want To Live

    June 14th, 2015 at 8:46 am

    […] Outhouse  LOVE […]

  86. An Outhouse Makeover: From Crappy Crapper to Pretty Privy | Tiny Cabin, Big Dreams

    July 20th, 2015 at 11:19 am

    […] a place where people wouldn’t mind going.  So I checked out Pinterest and I was inspired by the outhouse this blogger built.  Awesome […]

  87. Stephanie

    July 20th, 2015 at 11:25 am

    I love this idea! You inspired me to make over our outhouse at the cabin. I hope you don’t mind I added your page to my post so I can show others your awesome ideas. (Still learning blogging etiquette.) I’m definitely saving this page for when we have to build a new one.

  88. Lynne Knowlton

    July 21st, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Hi Stephanie,
    I just popped over to your blog and admired your outhouse awesomeness. 🙂

    You did a FAB job with your outhouse and your blogging etiquette. Woot woot!

    I’m totally curious about your outhouse toilet. It looks like a regular toilet but without running water. HMMMmmm.. How do you use it? I’m totally the curious cat here.

    We are still using shavings in ours and it works like charm. Whoop! whoop!

    Lynne xx

  89. Stephanie

    July 21st, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    Well, that’s the funny thing. It is a “real” toilet but there is no tank and the inside of it looks like it was smashed out with a sledgehammer. Yep. Smashed. With a sledgehammer. There are so many things in this little cabin that have been done very…uh…”creatively”. So yes, it is a tried and true outhouse. 🙂

  90. sue

    September 4th, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    3 metal coffee cans stacked and taped together with the bottoms of the top and middle cut out works well holding 4 rolls of toilet paper then either seal it with a plastic lid or create a wooden one to hold the paper securely. This keeps the critters out and keeps it very clean!.

  91. lynneknowlton

    August 10th, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Build your own outhouse: it’s funky butt awesome!

  92. Nikki

    March 27th, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Beautiful! I’ve never built anything in my life! LOL are there detailed plans on how to build this anywhere on your blog?

  93. Sayra Slife

    May 28th, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Loved seeing your beautiful potty house! While constructing ours I came across yours! We found old fencing that was laying by the side of the road in a nearby neighborhood.. Asked the owners if we could come take it away, they said yes and now we have a wonderful peepee shed for our guests right next to our guest house that had no bathroom. Now, in the middle of the night, they won’t have to trek all the way up to our house to use the bathroom. I want to send you a; picture to inspire others. IT turned out so nice and the wood has that aged patina. IT has a “commode” I found at the Goodwill, really a night stand. The compost bucket fits perfectly hidden inside. We put a toilet seat on the top and found a wonderful sink to go inside too, laying on the side of the road the day we were going to pick up the fencing. My husband installed it using more of the old fencing. Would love to send you a picture! Sayra

  94. vanessa

    April 25th, 2018 at 11:38 pm

    please send me a picture… were considering spending upwards about $8,000 to put in a bathroom next to our guest house, but h=this is looking like a much better idea! need help ! ~Vanessa 🙂

  95. Katie Coffield

    August 2nd, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    So you just dug a hole? You didn’t have to put anything in the hole?
    So you just went to the bathroom in the hall wiped put the toilet paper down there and it just decomposed enough overtime that it didn’t fill up?

  96. Stacy

    April 21st, 2019 at 9:31 am

    I would love to see a picture too of the commode you made from a night stand.

  97. Emma

    June 4th, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Love your outhouse, love ours too, “The Little House BEHIND The Little House on the Prairie”. It is really little, barely enough room for one person to turn around. Painted it white inside, tarted it up with a nice porcelain canister to hold the potting soil that goes in after the human deposit [keeps the stinky away]; original artwork; tp in a metal canister so mice can’t use it for nesting [tp left for more than 20 minutes becomes shreds]. It always has a clean “carpet”, woven placemats from GoodWill. They can be tossed after they get too grungy looking. I make sure they’re 100% cotton so they can go in the compost pile.

    We thought about a sink or washing up station with water, but decided against it because it could encourage people to put added water or other materials [beyond human material, toilet paper and potting soil] in “the hole”. So there’s a little basket on the door that has hand sanitizer, biodegradable wipes and bug spray. Folks can wash with soap and water back at the cabin.

    LH never stinks, always looks nice, has one job, does it well, we’re so glad to have it.


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