For many families, living in a temporary residence — be it an extended stay hotel, rental apartment or an in-law's basement — while a new, permanent home is being built/remodeled can be a painful, awkward, and drawn-out experience especially when kids are involved. But this Sonoma County, Calif. family of four actually longs for the days when they were comfortably crammed into a renovated chicken coop while a more spacious main house, also a shack conversion project on the same rural property that was once an active commercial chicken farm, was being worked on over the span of 10 years.

"Life actually seemed less complicated when we were living in here," says family patriarch/contractor Chris of the rustic chicken coop digs that he quickly but carefully renovated so that his family could avoid living in a rental home away from the property. "I sneak over and sleep over in here all the time," he admits. "It's like being in a little cabin in the woods."

As for Chris' 10-year-old daughter, she wants to some day move back into the cozy "in-between" home that she has such fond childhood memories of. "There's definitely a lot more space in our other house than this one," she says. "But I think I actually liked living in this house better. It's always so warm."

Lots more conversion magic and tiny house chatter (and really cute goats!) in the video above.

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Coop du jour: Inside a run-down hen house-turned-rustic family cottage [Video]
A family proves that even the most ramshackle out buildings can be transformed into cozy, habitable spaces with a bit of hard work and creative design.