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7 Tiny House Highlights

A few weeks ago, I had a lovely dinner with Logan and my friend Dee. It was a perfect spring day for a tiny house dinner party. Logan brought our folding table outside and we created a small buffet. We had bread, cheese, hummus, salad, rice, buffalo steak, stir-fried vegetables, and beer too. It was a big feast for three people. We talked about Dee’s upcoming road trip as well as tiny house living. Dee noted, “people ask me all the time what I like about my house and I’m curious to ask you after your first six months, what do you love about this little house?”

There’s a lot to love about the tiny house. In this post, I’ll share a few tiny house highlights with you.

1. Tiny House Happy Hour. I adore living in K & S’s backyard. They are incredibly kind people and I’m in love with their dogs, Gnetty and Nola. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see why. We’ve been trying to coordinate a dinner with them for months, but our schedules never seemed to coincide. A few weeks ago we finally had them over for tiny house happy hour. It was a perfect day. The french doors were open and we had all kinds of snacks – dried fruit, chips, salami, and cheese – and the puppies even came inside too.

2. Front porch dining & relaxing. Sitting on my front porch relaxing and dining is part of my tiny house dream. Being able to watch the sunset from my house is an amazing feeling. It’s so simple, but it makes me happy.

3. The french doors. On nice days we open up all the windows in the house, the front door and the french doors too. I’m so glad we opted to include the french doors in the design. Open or closed, they make the house feel spacious.

4. Changing seasons. Living in the little house has put me in touch with nature. I know that sounds cheesy, but I’m spending more time outside and I now have a greater awareness of the changing weather patterns, the blooming flowers, and they way the natural light changes throughout the day.

5. Kitten exploration. I thought the cats would be scoping out the entire neighborhood but they stay close to the house and in the yard. Typically, I spend the morning writing at home and they hang out with me. Christie watches birds from the window and is totally entranced by their movements but seems to be too scared to try and hunt anything. Elaina spends her days in the loft, under the covers. When I leave the house, the bathroom window is open so that they can come and go freely. Of course, I don’t know what kind of trouble they get into while I’m out. But when I get home, they are usually in the same location, sleeping. Our cats aren’t very rowdy and the irony isn’t lost on us. They are lazy creatures who sleep in sunbeams and stick by Logan and I, whether we are inside or outside.

6. Reading in the loft. The sleeping loft is one of my favorite areas in the house. It’s perfect for sleeping, reading, relaxing and listening to the rain.

7. You don’t need a refrigerator to eat well. We opted not to have a refrigerator in the little house and it’s worked out really well. A hanging fruit basket outside acts as our refrigerator during the cooler months. The hanging basket holds fresh fruit, vegetables, potatoes, and milk for our morning coffee. When the season turns warm, we use a small cooler for beer and dairy products. Not having a refrigerator has forced us to eat whole foods. For more on this topic read, How to Cook Yummy Food without a Refrigerator.

What do you love about your abode? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

***

P. S. Since my theme for the year is experiment, I’ve decided to be brave and open comments on selected articles. Before you comment, please remember that I’m a human being. I will not approve comments that are hateful or mean-spirited. I do my best to operate from a non-judgmental frame of mind and I expect the same from readers. Be helpful, not hurtful.

Be well,
Tammy 

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • SKM April 23, 2012, 9:31 am

    Compared to my friends who all have larger homes, the 2,200 square feet that I live in is diminutive. (Although, compared to your home, I seem to live in a mansion. :)) My husband and I will welcome our first child into our lives this summer and people keep saying “you’re going to want a bigger house, you’re going to need more room …” My response? “Why?” I’ve been so lucky to stumble on minimalism and on blogs like yours. Yes – I have a large house. When it was built in the 1960s, the proverbial “Joneses” probably lived in a house like this. Fast forward to 2012 and an era of excess … my house is small. But it’s (more) enough for my family. And it’s almost paid off. My husband and I are almost debt free. I would rather live this way than any other. Sometimes small spaces have freedom in there apparent confines.

    • Anonymous April 23, 2012, 12:57 pm

      I love this! We just bought our first house and it needs a little TLC. We have 2 toddlers and 1100 sq feet and it feels perfect. We went with this house because of economics (we were able to put 1/2 down) and we love old things… (1948 built home) We got some comments that weren’t so kind about our “ugly” and “small” house… It’s nice to read of others who feel the same way we do.

      • Carolyn April 24, 2012, 6:53 am

        “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”…some people can not see the the beauty of simplicity. All that matters is that you like it and find it beautiful.

  • DarrenKeith April 23, 2012, 9:47 am

    Whenever I read your site it brings me a smile to my face. Keep them coming. 🙂

  • Frank Martin | Modern Monkey Mind April 23, 2012, 9:53 am

    I live in a basement apartment, which my friends alternately call a Hobbit Hole, or the Harry Dresden Suite. (Named for the main character from my favorite urban fantasy book series, a Wizard who works as a detective in Chicago and also happens to live in a basement apartment). I love the place because its nice and cool on the rare days when its hot out. My favorite spot in the whole place is my reading chair in the outside corner of my living room with windows above it on either wall. During the day I can sit there and read without my reading lamp on. On the days its actually nice out, I usually walk a couple blocks to the local park and sit on a bench to read.

  • Katie April 23, 2012, 10:11 am

    Tammy, you tiny world sounds absolutely lovely. It’s great that you feel so close to nature and find joy in the simple things. So many people aspire to embrace these ideals but you walk the walk. I’m inspired by your mindful, simple, purposeful approach to everything you do. Puppy love.

  • eva April 23, 2012, 10:17 am

    This sounds so wonderful. I think a lot about how I could live in a tiny house. You live in the PNW, right? I think your climate is relatively mild, and I wonder if mine would present some issues (I’m in USDA zone 5a/b):

    *Lots of slush and ice and snow and ick means traditional farmhouses usually have an interior “mud room” for changing one’s clothes prior to entering the house. In apartments, many people take off their outerwear in the hall and change into slippers before going inside because everything gets icky otherwise. In a tiny house I’d imagine the floor and furniture would get dirty very easily without a transition area since it’s so small, is that right? Maybe I could enclose the porch?

    *The french doors are amazing! But how big are they proportionate to the rest of the house? When it’s cold there’s a lot of heat lost through doors and windows…even with winterizing I imagine that would be a challenge. Do you think the house would feel claustrophobic without them?

    *We have a short growing season and strong fluctuations in outdoor temperatures in the winter (freeze/thaw cycles daily), which would make your system challenging, but my last apartment had a small refrigerator and I loved it. My house would probably have one under the counter. Or maybe I would stop eating perishable things except for vegetables (which sadly are usually imported from elsewhere in the US and not so fresh always, which makes leaving them on the counter not the best option).

    Does anyone have a tiny house in a climate with hard winters that could share their story?

    • et April 24, 2012, 7:08 am

      I have a tiny house that has addressed some of your issues. Email me and I’ll share.

      • eva April 27, 2012, 1:28 pm

        Thank you! I would really like to learn more about this, do you have a website?

  • Kane April 23, 2012, 11:06 am

    Tammy what a lovely description of a rich life in a small space. Sounds rather like your own Eden.

    And thanks for enabling comments.

    I ditched Google+ and most of their other services over their new privacy policy so it’s great that I’m not excluded from commenting.

    Best wishes and many thanks.

    Kane.

  • Courtney Carver April 23, 2012, 11:07 am

    Tiny house happy hour? I’ll bring the signature cocktail! (let the brainstorming and experimenting begin)

  • Laura M. LaVoie April 23, 2012, 11:33 am

    Thank you for sharing, Tammy. I love to read your blog and your tiny life is a big inspiration for me as I get prepared to move into my own tiny house.

    So far, my favorite thing about my tiny house is how it fits with the land. We built it into a mountain and I love spending time outdoors as much as I like spending time inside it. I can’t wait to move in.

  • Gail April 23, 2012, 11:52 am

    I adore your tiny house. Because of RA, I cannot climb ladders and such, so living with a loft is out for me. However, I am trying to enjoy my decluttered, paid-for medium size house for a lot of the same reasons you and your kittens enjoy your petite house. I sometimes just sit on my front porch glider with outside cat, Big Boy Bob, sitting on me, just soaking up the spring weather.

  • Colleen April 23, 2012, 11:56 am

    Hi Tammy and Logan. Thanks so much for sharing your world with us. I’ve been reading your blog, Tammy, since you were featured in an online article about downsizing–way back when you were in your apartment, and still planning your tiny home. Your home is tiny, but your lives and hearts are HUGE. You’ve inspired me to jump on the downsizing bandwagon. I’m getting married in a couple weeks. The relationship has meant a move to another state for me, and combining 2 households (and getting rid of one house altogether). It will take some time, but my goal is to lighten way up and live lighter and larger. We’ll stay in my soon-to-be-husband’s house for a while, but I want it sparsely furnished and easy to clean. I want to be very intentional about what stays here. Our ultimate goal is to move into something smaller and work much less. Though living in a tiny house is a cool fantasy, I don’t think it’s realistic for us. We’re in 1900 sq ft, so smaller is surely possible.

    All the best to you!

  • Lynne April 23, 2012, 1:49 pm

    Yeah, comments are back. First of all I wanted to tell you how sorry I am to hear about Mahlon & the difficulties you are experiencing. Love the post on your tiny house & living the tiny life. Keep them coming!

  • Trish April 23, 2012, 2:54 pm

    I absolutely love your lifestyle, free of the trappings of modern gluttony. Whenever I see someone building a new, probably 2500+ square foot house these days, it seems silly. I love how, at a relatively young age, you were able to identify what was truly important to you and live in a way that is very different than the average North American.

    I have been purging over the past few years. My line is that I want to do things, not have things.

    I so appreciate your blog.

  • Mama Minou April 23, 2012, 7:36 pm

    It seems to me that your world has expanded even larger since beginning tiny house living.
    I love to read of how you are building this life!
    Like Colleen above, I found your blog some time ago through the NYT article.
    I have found it very inspiring and thought-provoking, and you have definately influenced my thinking about living small (not ready for tiny, not quite yet).
    When my husband and I built our 1000 sqf home (with two small boys) I remember how small it felt to me. Now, with two large teenagers, it feels so spacious. Fewer possessions…and different thinking.

  • Carolyn April 24, 2012, 6:43 am

    Love your pix and articles as well as your tiny house. I so want one but I am concerned because of my age and size that anything with a ladder might not be a good idea. I do live in a one bedroom apt. which I love except for what it cost me. I am aiming to buy a cabin or cottage. I love all the natural wood of your home and the french door. Best wishes and looking forward to future articles.

  • Erin April 24, 2012, 6:58 am

    I love this post. It seems that your tiny house has made it easier to notice the tiny things that make life awesome. Although I love my house it is the garden that make me the happiest. After a long winter in Montana the the first flowers started to bloom this week and I have spent a ridiculous amount of time walking around looking at them and smiling!

  • Kathleen April 24, 2012, 8:41 am

    I love love love your house! and I love love love your blog! Thank you for being a inspiration. We own a not so Tiny house outright(1700sq ft) and it will be hard to get my hubby out of it… but I am hoping to start building a tiny house in the next couple of years, so that we can rent this place out when my two very BIG boys move out and live in a tiny abode. I always talk to my husband about your beautiful dwelling and he hasn’t said “No!”… baby steps. Thank you for all you write! Looking forward to your book!

  • Sara April 24, 2012, 10:39 am

    In my home I love the light that streams in from the many windows, as it makes everything magical. We (me, my husband, our three dogs, his two children half the time) live in a rented apartment of around 753 sq ft and we have so much space, it seems to me! We don’t have a lot of stuff and don’t really tolerate clutter, but I would love it if we had even less. Also, I can’t imagine living with more space than this, and will cherish the day when we can live small again.

    I love your blog and the tiny house explorations are an inspiration! Keep up the good work and have a lovely spring 🙂

  • Meagan April 24, 2012, 11:14 am

    Hi Tammy,

    I have been following your blog for over 6 months now and I was to tell you how much of an inspriation you are to me! Although I do not live in a Tiny Home, my duplex is less than 900 square feet inclusive. From reading your blog, you have given me the courage to begin to clear the clutter from my life and begin to relish in the relationships of those around me, rather than the possessions I own. I look forward to reading each and everyone of your posts!

    Thank you for opening up my eyes to this beautiful way of living!

    Meagan

  • Dirk Benson April 24, 2012, 3:33 pm

    Love the house, your embrace of the lifestyle, love the blog.
    Don’t love the cats, but the kitty pix rock! (I’m a dog guy…) You sharing your excitement about the ‘Tiny House Movement’ is one of the main reasons I am moving to Portland in 2 months with an intent on building my own tiny house. Leaning more towards a larger slant on Dee’s Vardo; I’m 51, the sleeping loft, me and 2 miniature dachshunds don’t mix well–we need a 1-story home. Hope you might give me some tips on where to stay and where to set up shop once I get there. In the meantime, you are an inspiration to many. Thank you for your blog, your work…

  • Lydia April 25, 2012, 1:09 pm

    Hi Tammy, I have been a fan of yours since January. I love your little house and hope to live in a smaller space than I am now (a 3 bedroom rented home with two other girls). This will happen very soon when I move into my boyfried’s 1 bedroom apt. (still I wish I could go smaller). I have been down sizing little by little, donating what I do not need; my final semeser of college has prevented greater strides however…. soon I will be all DONE and can declutter and downsize even more! Thank you so much for your blog and helpful ideas!

    -Lydia ^_^

  • Jill April 25, 2012, 2:42 pm

    I’ve been reading your site for a bit and really enjoy learning about the possibilities of small living. Me, my husband, and my 3 year old live in a 1000 sq/ftish condo. We lack a yard, in unit laundry, and a lot of direct sunlight due to the direction we face, but we love it. We have a balcony that we sit on when the weather is nice and we love just the fact that our home is so cozy. The balcony is perfect for storing all our beer before a party when the weather is cold. People have said we need to move but I can do without mowing a lawn, paying a massive heating bill, and all the dusting/cleaning. My husband I hope to go tiny someday after the little one has flown the coup.

  • Ellen April 25, 2012, 9:26 pm

    I am currently living in a 575 square foot apartment with my 2 kids. I like that I am forced to keep things minimalistic. If I accumulate too much stuff, it clutters my mind, which isn’t beneficial to myself or anyone around me. I am aware of what I have and the purpose of everything that is here. My favorite thing about my apartment? Sitting in my favorite cozy chair ($5 thrift store find!), drinking my coffee in the morning, and watching the sun come up, since my chair faces east. As much as I love my apartment in the city, I’m moving into the mountains in June and I’m stoked to sit on the deck there and drink my coffee with breathtaking views…I get giddy every time I think about it! And your blog rocks my minimalist world, BTW! 🙂

  • Natalie April 26, 2012, 2:28 pm

    Tammy,

    Every time I see your blog (and specifically your tiny house posts), it reminds me to think and try to live more simply. For some reason I need a reminder. I love getting a look into your living arrangements and how you manage things in your tiny home. It’s really a great looking home, and I think the design is great (as you mention the french doors open it up). Thanks for sharing it with us. 🙂

    Natalie

  • Stacy @ Stacyverb April 26, 2012, 2:29 pm

    My husband and I (and our three cats) live in a 1000 sq. ft. house that was built in 1901. It has its problems, but we adore it. And whenever we start to think it feels cramped, we do a big purge of STUFF and free up more space. It also helps to remember that when the house was first built, it was a duplex! And one half of it housed a family of five. Several of our elderly neighbors have lived in the neighborhood their whole lives, so they’ve been able to fill us in about our house’s history.

  • April April 26, 2012, 10:24 pm

    My favorite thing about our tiny house is how we incorporate salvaged and found items into it. It takes longer to find the things we really like, but that works out because we’re always broke. 🙂 I see the remodel/home improvement shows on cable where they’re designing a kitchen or bathroom for $20,000 and my husband and Iaugh. We estimate we’ve spent around $5,000 altogether, with maybe a couple more thousand to finish it off. Feels great to be cheap! And only have to work a few days a week.

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