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Anti-house porn: tiny house living

by Eric Nuzum September 8, 2011 at 11:00 am 75 Comments

Joe at Jay's House

If you complain about the smallness of your 400 sq ft studio apartment, in five minutes you won’t feel so bad…

Lately I’ve been kind of obsessed with learning about tiny houses. These places aren’t 1400 sq ft–or 400 sq ft. These are fully functional houses smaller than a walk-in closet. Seriously, many are less than 100 sq ft. The guru of this movement is Jay Shafer (he has a company that manufactures these homes which is a fascinating browse).

Many of the homes Jay and others design and build have tiny living rooms, tiny kitchens, tiny bathrooms, a loft for a sleeping space, etc. They are built on flatbed trailers (because they are too small for code-approved foundations) and are kinda like a motorhome or RV in how they are set-up and work. But people live in these things. Here is a page–with a lot of pictures–for the house design that many people seem to favor.

It seems like a kinda cool idea.

I’ve long had a fantasy of buying some land down in the Shenandoah Valley and building an off the grid weekend cabin there. So I tend to immediately think of these for that use. But then a larger question came to me:

Could these be practical for city living?

Let’s say you live by yourself. How much space do you really need? Could something like this be practical?

Jay Schafer, the tiny house guru guy, built his first tiny house and parked it in his backyard. He then rented out his “normal” house, living in the tiny house.

Could you ever see yourself living in a place like this? Do you think it would be practical?

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