Why would Super Bowl champ Deion Sanders want to live in a tiny house? That’s the million-dollar question that inspired us to tune in to the latest episode of “Tiny House Nation,” where hosts John Weisbarth and Zack Giffin build the NFL Hall of Famer a 600-square-foot diminutive dwelling of his dreams, then squeeze him in.
“I want to go tiny because I’ve been through huge and humongous and wanting everyone to know that I’m successful, but I’m past that,” Sanders explains on the show. “Now it’s about needs, not wants.”
And he’s clearly serious about downsizing: In 2014, “Neon Deion” sold his 29,000-square-foot mansion and has since been living in a 7,000-square-foot rental in Dallas—with his mother, his sister, various nieces and nephews, and his five kids coming and going, and a number of other family members dropping in for extended stays.
As if these quarters weren’t cramped enough, things got especially dire when Sanders’ long-distance girlfriend of five years, “Extra” host Tracey Edmonds, dropped by to visit from Los Angeles. Apparently, quality private time between the high-flying couple wasn’t easy to come by. Awkward!
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So Sanders purchased several acres in remote Cedar Hill, TX. It is here that he hopes that Weisbarth and Giffin will build the tiny house of his dreams.
“I’m a big fan of the show,” Sanders says of “Tiny Home Nation.” “I record every episode.” Can you say superfan?
With typical optimism (or could he be totally starstruck?), Weisbarth sees Sanders’ move from a 29,000-square-foot home to one that’s 7,000 square feet as a positive sign that he can downsize even further, and will feel right at home in the 600-square-foot retreat he and Giffin plan to build for the couple. But once the pair unfurl their lengthy list of must-have features for their tiny house, Giffin squirms. He and Weisbarth can do a lot with a little, but this is probably their biggest challenge yet.
Just how palatial can a tiny house be?
Answer: Very. Check out some of the posh features the power couple demand, and the creative solutions the hosts of “Tiny House Nation” devise to deliver.
A lot of space in 600 square feet
The home itself is just 600 square feet, but to accommodate everything the couple want, Giffin adds another 600 square feet of covered porch area to the front of the home, and uses the entire roof as a deck. This effectively triples the amount of usable space. Cheating? Not really.
Edmonds says she needs a dedicated area for yoga that’s protected from the elements, so Giffin devises a place on the roof, covered by a canvas awning that can be ingeniously flipped to meet another of their needs…
A movie theater
When the couple are relaxing, one of their favorite things to do is screen some flicks. So the yoga awning pivots from horizontal to vertical at the push of a button and becomes a movie screen! The projector is cleverly hidden in a drawer that Giffin builds into the chimney.
Perhaps needless to say, the couple want snacks within arm’s reach, whether they’re inside or on the roof watching movies. Giffin’s solution is to create a dumbwaiter with a cooler and snack holders, adjacent to the fireplace, so the couple can access snacks wherever they are.
Bathroom with a double vanity and multihead shower
Giffin seems especially miffed by this request, believing the bathroom is the one place where you really have to sacrifice space in a tiny house. But because the couple don’t see as much value in a nice kitchen (Edmonds confesses she almost never cooks), he is able to grab a few extra feet, squeeze in two sinks, and devise a doorless shower with enough shower heads to hit Sanders all over “like an Uzi,” as he’d requested.
Plenty of storage for fishing gear
A big celebrity does everything in a big way. Sanders says he always fishes with at least four poles, as well as tackle boxes. But where to store them in a tiny home? Giffin hides a huge fishing closet under the outdoor stairs leading to the deck. He even builds a fold-down, butcher block table into the wall, with a hose hookup nearby, so Sanders can clean the fish outside.
How it all turned out
In the end, Weisbarth tells realtor.com® that Sanders’ tiny house is probably the most luxurious he’s ever built, complete with a spacious bedroom, spalike bathroom, home theater, and more—all of it controlled by a smartphone, no less.
“Basically it was a tiny house worthy of an NFL Hall of Famer,” he says.
And Edmonds and Sanders are also knocked off their feet.
“This is off the chain!” Sanders exclaims as they explore the new home. “This has totally surpassed our expectations.”
In fact, the pair are so thrilled with their new home, they begin celebrating their fifth anniversary together immediately, tactfully shooing Weisbarth and Giffin away so they can (finally!) enjoy some much-needed alone time.
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