Carmen Shenk is a retired chef and restaurant owner who has lived with her husband and dog in 125 sq ft since 2014. She is a speaker, author, and coach helping people navigate the transition to a simple life in a smaller space. Her new book, Kitchen Simplicity, shares her philosophy of purposeful simplicity that makes living tiny a joy.
Carmen Shenk was born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. She earned her B.F.A. in Fine Art and Interior Design at Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana. Shenk is a lover of color, food, words, and yarn.
Shenk owns a pipe organ conservation company www.Geshenke.com alongside her husband, Certified Pipe Organ Builder, Xaver Wilhelmy, who is known as the first to build pipe organ pipes with glass www.FlagPipes.com.
Shenk’s restaurant served inspired southern cuisine in a stylish, old-world European setting and featured world class musicians at their 1963 Steinway Concert Grand.
The demands of running two businesses meant the newlyweds weren’t seeing each other as much as they liked. Therefore, they sold the restaurant and in 2014 they purchased a tiny house of 125 square feet as a way of pushing the reset button on their frazzled lives. Tiny house minimalism gave them the opportunity to recharge, reset, and restore their vision and purpose.
Shenk and Wilhelmy enjoy driving vintage cars including her 1979 MGB and his 1969 Opel Rekord. Together, they are hard at work at turning a 2002 E450 Ford transit bus into their tiny haven-home (Vinnie 3) and this time they will have 128 square feet… three more than their first tiny haven-home.