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LIVING SMALL in the New York Times

by , 02/20/07

Small Living in the New York Times, Photo by Peter DaSilva, Living Small in the New York Times

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
It’s a great start to simply use less. But how about living in less? Friday’s New York Times published a great article on a few pioneers of smaller living. Forget the McMansions; no need for a 2,500-square-foot “starter home.” These folks have turned their backs on the desire for extra bedrooms, opting instead for a more “distilled way of living.” The article profiles buyers of several tiny (and mostly prefab) dwellings we’ve profiled at Inhabitat, from the 65-square-foot Tiny Tumbleweed Homes to the palatial 700-square-foot weeHouse.

Click here to read the article.



Tiny Tumbleweed House, Inhabitat, Prefab Friday, Living Small in the New York Times

Some of those who have found themselves comfortable in these tiny houses have purchased them as second homes, which we find a bit ironic. The romantic notion of a large vacation plot of land, barely flecked with a 10′x 8′ footprint is nice, but probably not exactly what Small House Society represents. Do you really get credit for adjusting your lifestyle for the sake of a small house – if you own two?

Nevertheless, we are encouraged that there are a few others out who have realized that they just don’t need all that extra space – and spreading the word. It’s noted in the accompanying audio slideshow that ‘being in a small space makes the land seem bigger,” and we couldn’t agree more.


Think Small (The New York Times)

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18 Comments

  1. Kim April 24, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    The house is great but by looking at the chemtrails in the sky in the first picture, the location isn’t.

  2. andrew cauthen December 16, 2007 at 6:48 am

    check out all the chemtrails above that first house. Tumbleweed houses redid their site. looks great, check it out. they have plans so that you can build your own to. That’s also what’s great about living smarter and healthier with a smaller footprint. http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/ Still they should have a volunteer program where you help somebody build theirs or maybe a few people, and they will help you so it can be free, or close to it. Do any of you know of any of those programs on the internet? Like a habitat for humanity for people that live on purpose not just because they’re alcoholics.

  3. maryella st.germaine November 7, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Could you send me some infor? I am looking for a garage with apt. above. Send to M.St.germaine
    12 Atlantia St., Worc., Mass.01603

  4. pem June 24, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    For five years, my husband and I lived in a 650 sq.ft. shack, retro fitted with a gas stove for heat. If it was designed a bit differently and in a different location (not next to RR tracks), we’d still be living there. We had loads of visitors. It was such a comfortable environment, everyone stopped in when in the neighborhood. With some creative storage ideas, it held all my husbands windsurfing gear, my big, old computer and progamming books, plus a sewing area with multiple machines. We had plenty of room for cooking — it’s all in how it’s arranged.

    We searched for several years to find another smaller home (we wanted less than 1,000 sq.ft.) that didn’t have to be completely renovated due to our age. Never could fine one and we now live in an 1,8000 sq. ft. home that we hate.

  5. Royal March 9, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    I don’t think it’s very useful to merely live in a smaller shack. Having the space being used efficiently as in some of the RV models would be quite a nice thing, though.

  6. Nick Simpson February 24, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    Quite interesting and a great concept, but if we want to make a difference the size of our homes isn’t the main problem here – it’s the energy we use within them (I guess if you have a small kitchen you can’t cram it full of machines that do things you ought to be doing manually anyway) and the space we leave around them. Instad of the tiny house making the big plot feel even bigger, why not a larger, more liveable house on a medium sized plot? Or even, shock horror, get rid of those useless, dark little strips of land in between so many detached houses and live in a terrace?

    But as I say, a very cool article and I guess even if these are being used as second homes, better a tiny second home than a big one…

  7. Kevin Muncie February 24, 2007 at 2:25 am

    Fantastic article! Just what I needed to help my family and friends see how real this movement is!

  8. Buffy February 23, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    I am facinated by the whole small living concept. As a lifelong apartment dweller, I’d LOVE to have my own little house to call my own. The smaller the better for me. I am single, have a small (15 lb) dog, and the barest essentials for furniture and belongings. A 400-550 sq ft home would be my dream! (not to mention easy to maintain). The thing I’m having a hard time with is finding affordable land near the city! YIKES!

  9. Celeste February 22, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    I love the idea for myself, but to really live this way I’d have to give up entertaining (except for perhaps 2 people at a time). Of course, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to have a big house just to throw the occasional big party, but for anyone who wants to have even modest dinner parties for 8 people, such a small house won’t do. Okay, now I really want to know how many square feet my house is!

  10. cj February 22, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    Im on the same page as Armitt. Sure id love to have a small house but you must also be able to afford to be small.

  11. Eric February 22, 2007 at 9:02 am

    I’m not sure where this leads either. After living in the states for 30 years, I’m living in a terrifically unremarkable 900sqft home in the UK and it feels… huge. Habits, restrictions, context and availability are major factors – of course – but I don’t think Americans will scale down until there is a pressing reason. (there are millions of them but…)

  12. Amritt February 21, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    I just feel this is all the same stuff as we had about downsizing your life a few years ago.

    It only works or gains kudos for those who have already upsized or are scaling back from their over scaled lifestyle.

    Millions of people already live in small spaces – because they have no choice.

    I’m not saying it isn’t a positive thing just that it gets blown out of proportion into the next greatest idea to chat about in parties.

    How about letting 6 other families share your big house – then you don’t have to even demolish or new build.

  13. Ron February 21, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    I have a hunch these small homes will never catch on as permanent abodes for the general public, but think they may have a great future as disaster relief housing, or, if you’ve got a little extra room on your property, detached office space, meditation areas, workout rooms, studios, “granny” units, or just a place to toss the kids when you’re ready to give them back (different kind of disaster relief).

  14. PaulS. February 21, 2007 at 3:41 am

    Hmm…
    Not enough room for all my books,
    Not enough room for all my photography equipment.
    Not enough room for all my art.
    Yeah, I could live in a house this small.
    If it has a 1,500 sq.ft. basement.

    (I’m such a cheater!)

  15. jojo February 21, 2007 at 2:44 am

    I applaud you micro-enthusiast comrades. Small is smart! I love my 120sqft home.

  16. MP February 20, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    Yay for Jay Schafer!

  17. Bob Ellenberg February 20, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    Space wise it’s not really much different than baby boomer retirees living in their RVs. As to the 2nd home issue, I think this will be a good but miniscule market segment. What is more likely to be adopted on a broader scale are more conventional living arrangements that are smaller than the McMansions. Rethinking how we live in our houses (for example, ideas that are championed by The Not So Big House series) should result in a reduction in footprints and energy consumed that appeals to a large number of more environmentally conscious buyers.

  18. art donovan February 20, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    Amen!

    As was quoted in another article, “Small is the new black”

    But aside from the cute quotes, smaller homes are more human-scaled, speak of a greater maturity, greater social & environmental responsiblity and, not the least of which, is the intentional disregard for the ego-fulfillment that the monster homes induce.

    McMansions be damned. I’m looking forward toward the new era of design “sobriety.”

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