Lina Part Two: Making Tiny House Community Work

Lina Part Two: Making Tiny House Community Work

Why live in a tiny house community? Or any community, for that matter? People can experience and interpret “communal living” in nearly limitless ways. To some, living in community conjures images of noisy roommates and messy shared kitchens, while others picture laughter around the dinner table and joyful holiday celebrations.

The trick with community is finding a version of it that aligns with your personal priorities – which is why Lina’s experience in the Simply Home tiny house cohousing community works for her. Read more…

Lina: Finding Balance in a Tiny House Community

Lina: Finding Balance in a Tiny House Community

People often say they’d like to live in a “tiny house community”, but what would that look like? What kind of “home” could balance your needs for independence and interaction with others?

Lina Menard found her answers to those questions in the Simply Home Community, a tiny house cohousing community clustered around a conventional house. Read more…

Macy Miller: Following a Dream to Unexpected Places

Macy Miller: Following a Dream to Unexpected Places

Have you ever had an idea so exciting that you wanted to drop everything to work on it, but you wondered if it would be worth it in the end? Macy Miller is a young architectural designer who found an opportunity to make her professional and personal passions overlap when she decided to design and build her own tiny house on wheels.

She expected that the project would satisfy her curiosity about the construction process and her desire for financial independence, but she got a lot more than she bargained for. Her home also became a flexible space to start a family, and helped her meet some of her most ambitious life goals with the onslaught of publicity she received for its high-end look and surprisingly low price tag. Read more…

John Wells: Fascination Fuels A Life Off The Grid

John Wells: Fascination Fuels A Life Off The Grid

Many tiny house enthusiasts want to get off the grid, and design their homes to run on solar power and catch rainwater. Living off the grid in a rural area has a special romance to it – be independent, financially free, and escape the rat race! It’s natural to romanticize the idea of getting away from it all, but will you like what you get away to?

John Wells wanted to use his time and talents to create his shelter and food directly, instead of using them to make money to pay for food and shelter. He got away in a big way, moving to the Texas desert and building an off-grid, 128 square foot home. Read more…

Alex and Allison: The Community is Their Living Room

Alex and Allison: The Community is Their Living Room

Is it the size of your house that matters, or the community it makes you a part of? Communities give us places to work and play, they are the friends and family who give us purpose and support. We might think of home as what’s contained within our walls, but what’s outside of them can be just as important.

Alex and Allison weren’t concerned with the size of their house, but they wanted their home to provide easy access to the people and activities that make their lives feel full and meaningful. A tiny home was just the path that got them there. Read more…

Erin:  Be Fearless and Have Fun

Erin: Be Fearless and Have Fun

One of the biggest barriers to living in a tiny house is that it can be challenging to find a stable place to put it. Everyone I interviewed who lives in a tiny house that could be asked to move had a different rationale for why that didn’t deter them, but I found Erin’s especially moving: change is constant and nothing is forever. She loves her location, and if she has to move, she’ll just find another place to love.

Her earnest advice to other tiny house enthusiasts was, “Be fearless.” My gut felt that it was risky to choose a living situation that others can force you out of, but as I spoke with Erin, I learned that it doesn’t feel risky when you believe the best about others. Read more…

Esther and Kenny: Quality Over Quantity

Esther and Kenny: Quality Over Quantity

Part of why tiny houses can be so polarizing is that they represent a growing shift away from the priorities that mainstream, material culture assumes we all share.

Esther and Kenny knew their priorities – to do the work they want (even if it won’t make them rich), to have time to spend with the people they love and the hobbies they enjoy, and to live in a beautiful house. The size of the beautiful house was less of a priority. Read more…

Aldo Lavaggi: Count Your Blessings, Whatever Your Square Footage

Aldo Lavaggi: Count Your Blessings, Whatever Your Square Footage

Will a tiny house make you happy? Not that life in a tiny house would fix every little problem, but surely with more money in your pocket or more time on your hands, life would feel a little easier…wouldn’t it?

Many people feel a tiny home would help them live a simpler life, one where they can slow down and focus on what’s important. But what does that really mean, and what does it feel like? Read more…

Candice Ding: A Family Scales Up

Candice Ding: A Family Scales Up

Many are skeptical that tiny homes can work for romantic couples, let alone families, which are still rare in tiny house demographics. While we know intellectually that it’s common for families in other parts of the world to house multiple generations in close quarters, most Americans seem to think it’s pretty out there for a family to live in a tiny house.

That’s part of why I wanted to talk to Candice, who immigrated to the United States from China 14 years ago. Her mother lives with her in the tiny home she built herself, and that she truly made her own with a series of creative features. Read more…

John Labovitz: Through a Traveler’s Lens

John Labovitz: Through a Traveler’s Lens

What would your home look like if one of your top priorities was to maintain the feeling of traveling, where an interesting surprise could be waiting around any corner? After buying a traditional house and finding its location lacking, John Labovitz investigated other options. Tiny houses on wheels looked perfect for him at first, but further consideration of his values led him to want an even more mobile option than a tiny house on a trailer. He opted instead for a flatbed truck, with a separate living space bolted onto the bed. John’s housetruck is just that: truck in the front, house in the back. Read more…

Chris and Malissa: Committed to Home, But Not to a Mortgage

Chris and Malissa: Committed to Home, But Not to a Mortgage

I first saw Chris and Malissa Tack at a tiny house workshop, where a rotating slideshow displayed beautiful photos of the tiny home on wheels they designed and built themselves. I remember Malissa calmly chiming in on highly technical building issues, despite describing her pre-tiny house construction experience as having once built a napkin holder in high school that “turned out horribly”. She and Chris looked like my peers, but they’d taken on an emotional and technical challenge that baffled me.

That workshop was the first tiny house event I attended, and I looked at everyone there curiously: college students, parents, retirees and others had all gathered to spend their weekend learning how to build their own tiny houses on wheels. What motivated these people so strongly, I wondered, to not only to move their life into a house that might be 100 or so square feet, but to also build it themselves? Read more…

Dee Williams: An Independent Spirit Grows into Community

Dee Williams: An Independent Spirit Grows into Community

All year I’d been hearing bits and pieces of Dee Williams’ compelling story: the serious heart condition that made her re-examine her life, the charity construction work in Guatemala that weighed on her first-world conscience, and her tiny house that she “parked” in a friend’s backyard, where she helped take care of an elderly neighbor.

With 10 years in her 84 square foot house on wheels, Dee is often called a pioneer of the tiny house movement. I think it’s brave enough just to be an early adopter of a new idea, but she was one of the earliest adopters out there. I visited Dee to find out, how does a pioneer become a pioneer? What experiences led her to want to blaze a trail so new that it barely existed? What kind of attitude makes that possible? And how has her life been shaped by 10 years of living in her little house? Read more…

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