On West Yellowstone Highway in downtown Casper, the large, rectangular brown box on wheels rises unmistakably in front of Shawn Rivett Design Studio.
This is the future tiny home of Wyoming’s selected “Call of the WY” adventurer, who will roam western Wyoming for six weeks this summer. Each night, the adventurer will lay his or her head down in the 265-square-foot house, the interior of which is being designed by Casper’s Shawn Rivett.
Currently, the house is sided in dark brown wood with bright white trim around the windows, door and French doors leading to the deck. Inside, the crisp white shiplap walls (horizontal wood paneling for those who aren’t “Fixer Upper” devotees) and dark plank wood floors give Rivett, a 1995 graduate of Natrona County High School, a clean palette from which to work.
“Definitely need a big couch here,” Rivett said Thursday, gesturing to the space across from the wall-mounted television. “I see a couch here and an end table to put a glass of something cold while they are watching TV.”
Rivett has three weeks to deck out the interior, a tight time frame for the self-trained photographer and designer.
He will build the couch frame from either old barn wood from Glenrock or from Wyoming-reclaimed snow fence from Centennial Woods in Laramie.
At the kitchen counter/bar, he will use two of his favorite finds — stools from Sharon Merschat’s personal collection of antiques that came from Casper’s original pharmacy. Rivett purchased them from Reed Merschat’s Casper antique store, Survivor AC Dealers Antique Mall.
Rivett said the Wyoming Department of Tourism reached out to him in February to gauge interest in designing the house.
“I couldn’t turn them down,” he said. “I’m thinking I got this because I have really been out there on Instagram and Facebook.”
Once the summer adventure is complete, the house goes back to its owners, Good and Tiny of Wisconsin, and all of the furnishings that Rivett has supplied will go to the tourism department for future use.
Rivett still has many design decisions to make, but a deer mount covered in a red, white and blue Pendleton blanket has already made the cut and will hang in either the kitchen area or on the large expanse of loft wall.
Large black and white photography of Rivett’s, featuring Wyoming, will also be prominently displayed on the loft wall and above the couch.
“Big pieces of art in a tiny house is the fun part,” Rivett said.
The house comes with a two-burner gas stove, full-sized refrigerator and shower, toilet and vessel sink, and a washer-dryer combination.
The staircase leading to the loft features individual storage spaces under each step. The loft can accommodate a queen-size mattress, but Rivett is thinking of using a full size instead to leave more room to maneuver.
The French doors off the living room will allow the adventurer to take in Wyoming’s beauty while indoors. Rivett is considering using Indian blankets from Riverton as curtains on those doors, offering another touch of color to the interior.
His trademark antler chandeliers will hang above the living space, offering beauty and light at the same time.
And while he is responsible for completely furnishing the house, down to silverware and sheets for the bed, he wants to do it with Wyoming touches, such as gorgeous pottery from the Mad Potter in Jeffrey City.
“When we give the house to the winning person, I’m going to spend some time with them and add a couple of things that make it feel like home specifically to them,” Rivett said. “That’s what a home should be.”
Rivett worked for his parents’ business, Wyoming Steel & Recycling, for 20 years after high school, and he bought his space in the Old Yellowstone District next to Sherrie’s Place eight years ago.
At first, he and his brother, Shane, christened it The Haven and used it as an event venue.
“It paid the bills, but it’s not what I signed up for,” he said, so The Haven as a rental space closed and Shawn Rivett Design Studio opened.
He and his brother remain as residents there, each having an upper floor, with his retail space and studio occupying the ground level.
“This is all me,” he said. “I build and manufacture here and sell here and outside of town, so it’s very much what I want to be doing.”
According to the Wyoming Department of Tourism, the adventurer will be revealed within the next week or so, and the adventure through Cody, Fremont and Sweetwater counties, Yellowstone and the Pinedale area will occur July 2 to Aug. 13.
Rivett said the winner gets a driver for the tiny house, so he or she won’t need to worry about hauling it around. It will be moved throughout the adventure.
The adventurer will be sharing his or her first-person experiences at HGTV.com/CallOfTheWy throughout the summer.