It’s been a looong time since my last MM entry. But guess what! I saw this documentary on Netflix (of course) and it peaked my interest. Have you ever heard of the Tiny House Movement? I’m usually 1-2 years behind so you probably have ;p It’s basically what it sounds like – people decide to live in homes that are less than 1,000 square feet for ecological, economical, financial, and/or social reasons. Just to give you an idea of how small that is, the average U.S. house was 2,400-2,500 square feet back in 2007 (and a tiny house can be as small as 80 square feet!)
Even if you’re the type of person that can’t see yourself living in a hobbit-sized space, you have to admit…the aesthetics are pretty cool. There’s just something about untraditionally small or large things (i.e. giant buttons, teacup poodles, doll-size furniture, giant watermelons, etc.) Some tiny homes are mobile and on wheels. Some are built in trees. Some look like modern glass bubbles while others are made out of recycled crates. If you don’t have the time to build one from scratch, you can even buy ready-made ones at places like Tumbleweed Tiny House Company.
(Above: 200 sq. ft. cottage on a hill, owned by writer Zinta Aistars in South-West Michigan)
(Above: Tiny houses in Washington, D.C. Photo by boneyardstudios.com)
The tiny house owners in the documentary Tiny: A Story About Living Small are pretty phenomenal to me in that they’ve taken a step back and really evaluated their lives. And to do that, you have to ask yourself some hard questions. Why is it a big deal to own a medium to incredibly large home in our country? What do you want out of life? What are your priorities? A lot of those people realized that they could spend 23-30K on a tiny home and have their mortgage completely paid off so they could live debt-free and have the freedom to do (what they believe) are more worthwhile things in life (i.e. travel, creative and humanitarian endeavors, etc.) rather than work at a job that you may not even like just to pay off material things that you can’t afford (your house being one of them).
(Above: 130 sq. ft. tiny house in Stratford, Ontario. For sale! Click on photo to learn more.)
(Above: Tiny honeysuckle house in Santa Cruz, California. Photo by AJ Jones.)
(Above: Original source tinyhouses.net)
Now that’s not to say that living in a tiny house (or even a small house) is for everyone. It definitely is NOT. To be honest, this living situation is ideal for the single individual who doesn’t have kids or a large pet. It works for couples but adding one more person to the mix definitely changes (often even complicates) the situation both spacially and stylistically. My husband and I talked about this a lot since we saw the movie and agreed that we couldn’t do it – not in a house that’s under 1,000 sq. ft. with plans of having children. But it was fun playing around with the idea and asking ourselves “just how small COULD we go within reason”?
(Above: New Orleans “shot gun” style homes. Photographer unknown.)
(Above: FreeShare rolling bungalow & beekeeper’s bungalow in Point Roberts, WA. Photo by Tatsuya Sato.)
To get an idea of what the interior of a tiny house looks like, see below. This is a 196 sq. ft. tiny house built by Macy Miller of minimotives.com (photos by Minimotives). It’s a beauty!
But I can’t help but admire those who choose to adopt this modest lifestyle in an effort to emphasize the bazillion other things in life. The size of tiny houses alone forces you to buy less, cut back on spendings and be innovative about space (i.e. building storage nooks and crannies under places like staircases). Most importantly I think the message of the movie was NOT that you have to live in a tiny house to be a good person but to start thinking about space in a different way and to prioritize our lives in a way that makes us happy, not just momentarily but for the long run :)