The key to a tiny home life is intrinsically rooted in environmentalism. By living in a very small space, you are forced to utilize every inch. Everything must have a purpose, and if you don't use something, you don't let it take up valuable space. Many homes are built and furnished with salvaged or repurposed materials. A smaller footprint automatically means smaller utility bills. What's not to love about that!? You can even go off the grid with solar panels on the roof.
Tiny homes come two ways - as a permanent structure, just like a regular house, or constructed on a trailer that can be pulled, just like an RV. Being able to move your tiny home provides many benefits. For people who travel often, or have a less stationary job, you can simply pack up and get on the road with your entire home behind you.
Additionally, tiny homes make great vacation places. Got some property at Toledo Bend, or False River, or wherever? Roll up with your 200 square-foot home and start relaxing!
Most homes are laid out pretty similar. There's a living space, small kitchen (with or without a small stove, and usually without an oven), toilet and shower, storage built into every nook and cranny, and most of the time, a loft bedroom, with space-saving stairs.
Decorating is where you can vary wildly. Some homes have a sleek minimalist look, some have a wooden cabin feel, and some look like a salvaged junkyard, pieced together with scrap materials.
If you can't get enough of peeking at other people's tiny homes, there are TV shows and documentaries on Netflix to satisfy you: Tiny House Nation and Tiny House Hunters on HGTV, and Tiny: A Story About Living Small” and “Small Is Beautiful: A Tiny House Documentary.
Think tiny homes are just for wanderers out in the mountains? The movement has even hit New Orleans! Gambit recently wrote an article about tiny homes being a possible answer to skyrocketing home prices in the city. Two years ago, the Times Picayune featured a music teacher in Covington who lives in a 200 square-foot house made of mostly recycled materials.
Curbed NOLA has a tag dedicated to tiny homes, and the main Curbed site has five impressive homes to drool over, along with a tag for tiny homes around the country.
My fiance and I are obsessed with different tiny home styles, and dream of one day being able to have one out in the mountains of Colorado. Bonus points for in the trees near a lake. We debate over just how many square feet we could live in (less for him, more for me, obviously.) We prefer a fixed home over a glorified RV. We love windows and a clean interior design, with space for our cats, of course!
My absolute favorite tiny home, may be on the larger end of the spectrum at 600 square feet, but is cozy and full of style. Located in Little Rock, Arkansas, the house uses the Tumbleweed Whidbey layout. Take a photo and video tour of Lyndsey's home, but don't blame me if you fall in love with it!
Check out some tiny home vendors:
- Tennessee Tiny Homes
- Tumbleweed Tiny House Company (they sell the mobile versions, but sell simply the floor plans for fixed homes)
- Tiny Heirloom
- Atkinson & Stone Carpentry
- LiveScience: Living Small: The Science of Psychology Houses
- Salon: Living Large in 150 Square Feet: Why the Tiny House Movement is Taking Off
- Washington Post: Tiny house, big benefits: Freedom from a mortgage and worries - and stuff