Good things, small packages

Small rooms or dwellings discipline the mind, large ones weaken it.
~Leonardo Da Vinci

So J. Grant asked me if I was going to do a post on mini-houses (<1000 sq ft). It was then that I realized I had not yet done an actual post on the topic. So here it is.

In short, I fucking love tiny houses. I also fucking love ridiculously small cars. But I digress.

I’ve mentioned a time or two that I feel apartments are a better bet than houses. And yes, in a strictly environmental sense, apartments are better than tiny houses, too.

But while you can paint herrings green and nail them to walls, you can’t exactly pick up an apartment and drag it around the country with you. Which is precisely what I want to do. And there are always those people who want to have sex with their windows open, thus making their downstairs neighbors piss themselves with laughter. And that guy down the road who insists on painting his house purple, much to the chagrin of the homeowners’ association.

So the next best thing to an apartment is a tiny house. They don’t have to be mobile. You get many of the same benefits as apartments…they’re small, cheap, easy to heat and cool, quick to clean, and can’t be filled with nearly as much bullshit. And they’re just fucking adorable when being pulled down the road.

However, there’s a hiccup in the whole tiny house thing. While there are plenty of small houses for sale, and used RVs can be easily found and converted, they’re not as plentiful as standard housing. Which means that a lot of people going into the tiny house/small living movement (especially the <400 sq ft group) are building new instead of going used. There are people out there building tiny houses from reclaimed materials, but that’s still more resource- and energy-intensive than buying a used house or RV.

But I think that the benefits may very well outweigh the negatives in the case of the tiny houses. Especially when compared to the McMansions that were fast becoming the norm before the economic bust.

I’ve personally found myself more at ease in apartments with smaller square footage. I don’t own enough furniture of the size necessary to fill out even the 600+ one-bedroom I lived in at one point. The bedroom was too large for just a bed and a desk (I moved a couch in there, even) and the closet was the size of my kitchen before I managed to fill it with bullshit. I’m quite content now in my tiny apartment, and would like to live in a 100-200 sq ft tiny house on wheels, be it a Tumbleweed or an RV.

Small things just make sense. I’ve never been one for conspicuous consumption, and tiny, cheap things, or tiny, not cheap, but very very nice things, just appeal to me.

And there’s always the whole still-working-for-effectively-minimum-wage thing. That really puts a damper on house sizes.

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6 Responses to “Good things, small packages”

  1. Dargon Says:

    Hell yeah to small houses that are mobile.

  2. Danke!

    Personally, as you well know, I don’t give two shits about my carbon footprint, whether I’m recycling or not, etc.

    I do support green energies and better small living because I find them more attractive, more self-sufficient, and financially less impacting on my wallet.

    My twenty year plan is to get out of this mansion in Dallas (purchased by our in-laws, and hey, not turning that down for now) and buy a 20-50 acre parcel in the boonies of Texas. Preferably within an hour of Dallas, preferably northward of here.

    And I will build a “house” comprised of five small houses. Little bitty things, not mobile, but each structure under 800 sq ft. Each one will have a toilet, shower, and fridge – but aside from that, one will serve as bedroom, one as media room, one as kitchen, etc. I envision building them possibly with conjoining tunnel walkways, as shelter from the elements, but then again, maybe not. Arranged in a pentagon with a courtyard in the center. I want to see if I can make each one solar/wind powered, and serve it all off a well.

    Then I will fence the whole thing in with concrete walls and machine gun turrets, and protect it with a trained pack of 300 killer wiener dogs.

  3. http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/9/view/5763/schemata-architecture-office-jo-nagasaka-paco.html

    The Japanese really know their minimalism, but here is one, out of many, small house ideas passed around in the architecture world. Very playful pieces. The size is almost perfect IMO.

    I probably have more bookmarked, if you want more links.

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