Tiny Houses

In the second to last challenge on HGTV's Design Star, the three contestants each got to decorate a "whole house."  Joke was, the houses were less than 100 square feet each.  At first I thought, no fair!  This is not something a designer would encounter in the course of regular day to day business.  And then I thought, well, designers are problem solvers, and really, is this challenge so different than any other?

Meg's was cute enough.

But Karl's was my favorite.  Not that you can tell anything from this picture.

The whole thing reminded me of a trip to Lake George years ago, where I spent half the drive with my head out the window exclaiming at the lake resorts, many of which have a sort of Mama house and then a row of 6 or 7 teeny cabins, each about the size of a freestanding bedroom.  They were So. Dang. Cute.  And elusive on the internet--I can't find a single photo.

For someone who thinks 2000 sf is about the minimum for a family of 4 to be comfortable (I know lots of people have less; we've lived in far less for most of our adult lives), teeny houses are, well, novel.  Not like a REAL POSSIBILITY.

This guy begs to differ.  I saw this little video maybe a year or two ago as part of the Yahoo "Second Acts" series.

He makes a pretty good argument (and how awesome that he built this career for himself).  However, I know myself well enough to know that my real house could not be tiny.  But a cabin could be teensy-weensy.

When I was 25, a friend of mine started selling properties in the Berkshires, and he wanted me to buy the sweetest, tiniest cabin.  Basically just a room with a kitchen in the middle and a sleeping porch.  We called it "Le Cabine."  At the time I thought it was just too small (plus, what business did I have buying vacation property as a singleton of 25?)  But now I like the idea of a vacation property small enough to require very little work.  In the spirit of the tiny house movement, check these out. (Lots of them have stories attached.  The photo itself links to the source.)

Small cabin architecture





Farm Buildings into Tiny Houses

That last one is not quite so stylish as the others, but I'm always a sucker for houses made out of something else.  Like the box car house I encountered when on extended stay in New Mexico before I started my Master's Degree.

Finally, I just saw this little cabin on an Apartment Therapy house tour.  Kind of has the wheels turning...

What do you think: would you like a teeny tiny house?

Want to get on board?  Check out Tiny House Talk, This Tiny House, and The Tiny Life.  I'm following them all now, because I am totally hooked! 

Heather Peterson