I have been interested in tiny houses ever since I saw a photo of a Tiny Tumbleweed House a decade ago. Now it seems that there is a tiny house “movement,” including a series on HGTV devoted to finding and buying the perfect tiny house. They seem like such a good idea but I am either ahead of or behind the curve on this one. None of my friends considers living in a tiny house a good idea.
“Where would you store your stuff?” they ask. “How can you have a good stove in a space that small? These are reasonable objections but would it be so terrible to rent a storage unit for overflow? What is surprising is that no one mentions the coffin-like dimensions of the loft beds. That, to me, is the most serious shortcoming of the tiny space.
Although McMansions are still selling, smaller (but not “tiny”) homes are also gaining in popularity. Part of the trend is undoubtedly due to high housing costs, but it may also be that people are beginning to realize that formal dining rooms and even living rooms are often not used, and that the great room–a space where the family cooks and eats in one section and gathers to watch TV and spend time together in the other–isn’t such a bad idea.
There is a second kind of “tiny house,” one a good man in Oakland, California is building for homeless people. Gregory Kloehn is an artist, plumber and construction contractor. Some years ago, he began taking photos of structures built by homeless people in West Oakland. Eventually, he made it a mission to help them. As of 2015, he had built at least 35 houses, many from discarded materials. This video from NationSwell shows what he has been doing.