Kent Griswold started tinyhouseblog.com in 2007. I don’t remember when I got on his email list, but it cannot have been much after that.
I love these beautifully made tiny houses. Many are reminiscent of the Craftsman homes so prevalent in the Pacific Northwest where I started my life journey. Most Craftsman homes were small, 600-1200 square feet, but the big ones get photographed for books.
I have a 10×12 outbuilding that is partly pushed into the hill behind it. It is wired for 110, 220, and lights. Part of me would like to turn it into a tiny house. It would be darling with stone on the outside and the 12 foot workbench turned into a kitchen. It would violate code, but no matter how cute they are, it is too small for me.
What I have learned from the tiny house movement is to prioritize what you personally want against what the consumer economy spends trillions telling you that you should want. Logic tells me that if they have to spend trillions to convince you, it cannot be something you really want. It is the basic lie of advertising, that you will be better looking, younger, sexually fulfilled, and happy if you buy their products.
That does not include things you love. For me, 5 acres of forest is why I bought this place. I did not give up original art, either. In fact, by needing fewer pieces, I have already replaced a few pieces with higher quality art. Nice. Now I’d I could just buy that early Caillebotte.
I decided to give up a lot of unnecessary stuff, including empty square footage. Outbuildings and garages can store stuff without heat or airconditioning. Not original art, mind you, that stays in the house with me and the Little Guy.
Oddly enough, by giving up the extraneous, I will free up money to buy the things I do want like time and money to travel. Life is good.
So my design includes 400 square feet of living space. I kept a 12×12 kitchen, because cooking and preserving go with gardening. The kitchen includes a front load washer. The opposite end is a 12×12 living room with a Murphy bed for sleeping. The center has a simple 6×8 bathroom and a french door opens to the patio and sunken garden.
A simple shelter plus a garage for parking and storage, and greenhouse for me to play in during the winter. An outbuilding for a studio/workshop and storage. Can’t forget the Wabi Sabi greenhouse! A patio, raised beds, and 5 acres of pinyon-juniper forest. Seems like plenty to me!
My bankster said I need to put a pricey house on this pricey property. I say what I am doing won’t matter when I am gone. If the next person wants a McMansion, my small house can be a guest house.