Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Recent Obsession: Tiny Houses

Lately, I've been obsessed with Tiny Houses.  I thought maybe the obsession could be traced back to my somewhat recent reading of a book titled Twelve by Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid and Beyond the American Dream, which was awe-inspiring.  I mean, seriously, no electricity or plumbing?

But, then I remembered how my favorite part of IKEA is seeing how they compress everything one needs to live into only 90 square feet or some such ridiculous number.  I love just meandering through the model set-ups they have and imagining what it would be like to live that small.  But, the obsession may go much further back, all the way back to pop-up-trailer camping with my family of 5 when I was growing up.  It was just so amazing to me that we could compress everything we'd need for the trip into that tiny little pod that we'd pull behind the van.  And, the tiny fridge and cooktop?  Adorable.  So, maybe it should be no surprise that I find Lloyd Kahn's Tiny Homes:  Simple Shelter such a treat.  According to Kahn, a "tiny" home is one that is less than 500 square feet.  This makes a great coffee table book and features amazing images of houses Khan describes. 

One company featured in this book is Tiny Texas Houses, the brainchild of Brad Kittel, whose tagline is "building the future with the past."  Kittel builds tiny homes that are 99% salvaged materials.  Houses are built in Luling, TX, and can be easily transported to pretty much anywhere.  This video gives a visual overview of some of his very cool work.

Our family absolutely loves the outdoors.  When the weather allows, we eat many of our meals outside and congregate in our outdoor living space.  If we lived somewhere with a more moderate climate, I could totally see us attempting to live this small because we'd just spend most of our time outdoors.  As it is, though, it's hard to imagine all 5 of us hunkered down in 400 square feet while being snowed in for days.  Oh, well.  I do follow Kahn's blog via my Google Reader feed, so I guess I'll just have to get my Tiny Homes fix that way.  The blog features a new tiny home nearly everyday.  Check it out here

What do you think?  Could you live that small?  What is alluring about it?  What would you miss most if you compressed your life into only 300 square feet or so?

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