I have long been a fan of tiny house videos. There is something strangely appealing about small spaces. At least to me. Now let’s see if you agree…
There is a very real tiny house movement going on around the world. Much of it stems from the cost of housing and people not being able to get their foot on the property ladder. Building / owning a tiny house is one way to combat this issue.
Many of these tiny houses are on wheels. So, yeah, rather like a RV or camper van. Except, really not. They really are mini houses. (There is video example at the end of this vignette.) They are on wheels as that gets around a lot of ordinances and regulations when it comes to building your own home. Let alone building a home on shared land. Often these tiny houses are on friends or parents land, saving in costs, but more frequently embracing family and community.
Now small spaces come in many shapes. It doesn’t have to be on wheels. These days there are frequently smaller and smaller apartments. As costs go up, smaller spaces can be more affordable.
One of my favourite video series is ‘Never Too Small’. All the videos on this channel are about apartments that are tiny or micro. Generally in the 34 to 44 sqm range (around 365-400 square feet). What makes these interesting, is not so much the size, but the ingenuity that goes into making them comfortable, liveable spaces.
And the key word there is ingenuity. What is truly interesting about small spaces is that you have to take time to think, plan and consider best use of that space. And the consequence of this is some amazing ideas, uses and creativity.
There are so many ingenious ways being developed to space save and make best use of spaces. Drawers built into stairs, multi purpose furniture that may change shape, fold, or completely morph into something different and even, simply smaller appliances. After all, if you live on your own, or there are just two of you, why do you need large appliances?
Liking small spaces, small things, or less things, is sort of a form of minimalism. Now, I don’t consider myself a minimalist in the stark white barely any furniture look. I do consider myself a mindful minimalist in that everything I own has a purpose, more likely dual purpose, gets used (a lot) and/or has real meaning to me.
Contemplating small spaces brings on a very different mindset. It makes you reconsider what you need, or rather how little you need. What is essential, what is not, and what is simply just nice and makes you happy.
As for our own home, we have what some might term a large house. It’s tardis like. Small frontage on the main road, and then as you enter it seems to unfold and go on for ever.
We certainly do not need all the space it provides. In fact, we currently use very little of it. So it’s no surprise that plans are afoot to divide it. It will eventually be 2 or 3 smaller spaces. An apartment to rent, a granny/friends visiting annex, and our own 1 bedroom barn conversion home.
In the meantime, I live (essentially) in one room. Especially as winter descends and not all rooms in our restoration house are heated. I have my studio office set up with everything I need; comfy chair, desk and my all important napping space. (If you haven’t napped, you haven’t lived.)
In understanding my creature comforts, came the realisation that all I need is one room and a good sized garden. I live at least 50% of my time outside. I am much happier being in the fresh air.
If, or rather when, I get a wifi repeater and then ultimately an outdoor ‘office’ space, that percentage will most certainly increase to 80%. Even when the weather is cold. Yes, an outside fireplace is definitely on the ‘to do’ list. I simply love working, sitting by a fire in the fresh air.
Wishing to live in small spaces is all about establishing priorities. What is actually needed. And funny enough, discovering very little is needed.
Here’s my favourite Tiny House Channel (and a good example of the ingenuity that goes into building one, including spaces for cats.)