Tiny houses are all the rage right now, but large-space living and simple living are not mutually exclusive!
Tiny houses seem to be all the rage right now. A lot of people want to downsize and reap the benefits of small space living, but “tiny” houses (the trailers and 120-square-foot cabins) are the ultimate hardcore minimalist dwelling.
In my lazier moments of working from home, I’ve wondered down threads of the Web and got stuck clicking through photo galleries of these miniature homes for far too long.
They pull me in.
I’m fascinated by the Hobbit-like dwellings built into hillsides, tree houses decked out with bamboo furnishings, cubes on stilts over the water, and adorable cabins rigged with loft beds and fold-down tables.
And at the rate these tiny houses are popping up around the web, apparently I’m not the only one fascinated by living quarters that could double as postage stamps.
It’s got me thinking: what’s up with this tiny-house living craze?
Why Tiny-House Living Appeals to People:
- We like seeing space maximized to perfection
- We like to feel cozy
- We’re fascinated by size distortion
- We want to live more simply
- We have an imaginative, whimsical streak that tiny homes bring out
- We want to live debt-free (a tiny house could mean less mortgage)
- We want to be more environmentally-conscious
And those are just a few of the reasons!
Although these things appeal to me, too, I’ve decided that I don’t want to live in a tiny house.
Not long-term, anyway. We lived happily in 450 square feet when we first moved to Michigan, and I think we could be quite satisfied with the little cabin on my parents’ property if we ever moved back to Alabama. But when it’s no longer just the two of us, I want more space.
Benefits of Large-Space Living:
Besides the ample porches, room for libraries and reading nooks, and floor space for blanket forts, big houses have room for people!
People. That’s the kicker for me, and I can’t help but wonder: does a tiny house shut people out?
I’m all for taking a getaway trip with Eric in a just-big-enough-for-two bungalow, or making an ocean voyage in a tall ship, but living that way all the time? It’s not my dream.
A larger space can accommodate your friends and family (and mine’s pretty big!) when they gather for a visit. A big kitchen is invitational–and we love practicing hospitality! Big houses have space to host overnight guests.
The exact square footage doesn’t matter, but I want our house to be big enough to let people in. And if we live in a really big house? That’d be fine, too! I wouldn’t mind a mansion with wardrobes in spare rooms waiting to be discovered on rainy days.
Large-space living and simple living are not mutually exclusive.
Large-house living is not inherently selfish, gluttonous, or materialistic; people who live in gigantic mansions can still enjoy a simple life! If you’re craving the simplicity of a hobbit hole nestled in the Shire, keep in mind that Bag End was NOT a tiny house! It was a well-lived-in maze of rooms and cellars and walk-in pantrys, but all comfortable, personalized, and authentic. (And it’s one of my top 10 favourite homes from books!)
A tiny house may embody things you value, like self-sufficiency and a personalized touch, but you can achieve all those things in a big house, too!
Think about the elements you want in a house. And then consider: are these things specific to a large or small house, or could you have them in either? For instance, I want my home to be breathable, full of natural light, and able to interact well with the outdoors. I want it to be simple, breathable, and uncluttered.
Most of those things aren’t dependent on size at all.
Regardless of whether you want to live in a converted trailer or a Victorian mansion, think about how you can create the feel of your dream home right now, in the space allotted to you. I have a few ideas about practical ways to do that, but we’ll save that for another post(:
Everyone likes talking about their dream house, right? So tell me–what does yours look like? Do you want a mansion, or the tiniest possible house that money can build or buy?
Do you want lots more simple living ideas? Check out my brand new book! Your Simple Home Handbook is a 100+ page guide to decluttering your home and simplifying your stuff. Work through 30 different areas of your home–at your own pace–and enjoy the benefits of a space that breathes! Click here to learn about my book!