October 27, 2010

Tiny House

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately. To front only the essential facts of life and see if I could not learn what it had to teach and not…" – Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau, one of America's greatest Transcendental writers and the father of Environmentalism, lived deliberately in his tiny, 10’ x 15’ self-built cabin next to Walden pond where he began his experiment in “simple living.”

Today “simple living” has manifested into the Tiny House Movement, where people are downsizing the space they live in, and thereby simplifying their lifestyles with beautiful results.

The typical American home is around 2600 square feet, while the typical tiny house, like this traditional example, is around 400 square feet.

There are also Small Houses that are part of this simplicity lifestyle movement.  The difference between the two is measured in square feet.  Tiny houses are defined as any structure  999 square feet or smaller (and can also be mobile like a trailer home), while a Small house is measured between 1,000-1,200 square feet in size and is stationary.

This Fresh Start house was designed by Julie Martin, a New Orleans resident who lost her home in Hurricane Katrina.

An interior shot of the Fresh Start house shows generous natural lighting and an efficient use of space, without jepordizing a comfortable aesthetic.

This modern 850 square foot house features a writing study, library, kitchen and bathroom.  It was "conceived as a mutual presence in the landscape.

"Like many Tiny or Small house designs, the use of natural light and clean lines opens the interior environment to the the perception of more space than is really there.There are cabins that provide a cozy home-away-from-home getaway during skiing season, like this 22 x 17 foot Hearthstone log home.

This log cabin is more Small House than Tiny, and what it limits in total square space, it provides in updated amenities, like video games and a spa bath.

Possibly Thoureau would have agreed, since winters can be long and brutal, why not make them a little less so if possible–as long as it's done with environmental responsibility and in good taste.

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