In the town of Golden, there is a plot of land that has been in photographer Kelly Musgraves Sutton’s family for more than a century. Lush and dotted with pine trees, these 24 acres have more recently served as a backdrop for family holidays and weddings, including Kelly’s own 2014 nuptials to her husband, Canaan. When it came time for the newlyweds to build a home of their own, they chose to return to her hometown and give the old homestead a decidedly modern-day twist.
Though country superstar—and Kelly’s sister—Kacey Musgraves has immortalized the town of Golden in her song “Dime Store Cowgirl,” to Kelly, it is just home. Inspired by Canaan’s graduate studies in biology and environmental science, the couple decided to build a mobile tiny home, a structure designed to minimize a family’s carbon footprint while maximizing resources.
“We’ve always cared about the environment, but ever since Canaan began working on his degree, we’ve been inspired to act more consciously and responsibly,” explains Kelly. Working with American Tiny House, a custom builder, the design-savvy couple looked for materials that matched their aesthetic without sacrificing cost- and energy-saving benefits. The result is a 312-square-foot oasis where music, books, and their two cats, Sonny and Jubilee, happily coexist.
“It’s so beautiful and peaceful,” she says. “My sister and I were raised here, and I’m so glad [Canaan and I] get the chance to live here.”