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Tiny House Living: Ideas For Building and Living Well In Less than 400 Square Feet Paperback – July 14, 2014
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About the Author
Ryan Mitchell lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, and has been active in the Tiny House movement for years. You might know him as the main blogger and founder of TheTinyLife.com, a website dedicated to sharing stories of tiny living--whether it's tips for simplifying your life or advice for building your own tiny residence. Because nothing beats one-on-one interactions, Ryan helps people connect with each other through community events at TinyHouseConference.com. Since Ryan built his own tiny house in 2013, he has been able to actively pursue his passions, which include photography, backpacking, and travel. Ryan believes that alternative housing options and sustainable local agriculture are key components to meet the future needs of society.
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This is a book that will appeal to many demographics: those readying for retirement, those wanting to pare down their belongings into a more meaningful and streamlined life, those just starting out in life post-college, those dedicated to living green, those excited by alternative housing and/or repurposed construction, those anticipating a mid-life career or housing change, those interested in cutting expenses, and many others. I love the balance between basic information about zoning and laws, expenses, and reasons for building a tiny house alongside the wonderful interviews and full-color photographs of various people who constructed and/or live in the homes.
Even if living in a small house is not for everyone, the organizational tips alone make this book well-worth a careful read; I began downsizing my clothes closet and donating items (a process I’d been putting off) while reading the author’s suggestions! I love the book’s focus on personal choice and personal change. I found myself sharing excerpts and tips from the text with family and friends.
While there aren’t floor plans in this text—there are plenty of other books that focus solely on floor plans—I cannot think of a single thing this book is missing. The tone is informative and friendly, reminding me of taking a tour with a good friend through the homes. Those interviewed are honest about considerations and drawbacks as well as the great benefits they’ve experienced from living in tiny homes. The three-page appendix of tiny house blogs, builders, books, and websites is fantastically helpful and encouraged me to keep exploring this topic.
Kudos, Ryan Mitchell! As a writer myself, I know how much love, passion for subject matter, and dedication goes into compiling such a beautiful book that invites readers back again and again. I’ll surely keep this one handy on my shelf and recommend it to friends.
A small or tiny house must be less than 1000 square feet to me, and I favor 650 to 850 square feet. I think that's the first thing to learn ... what constitutes a small or tiny home to you. For me I need a reasonable bedroom, comfortable living room, kitchen with breakfast nock, full bathroom, and ... here's the biggy ... an office. Even if that office is only 9x9, I need it! That meant I needed a minimum of 650 square feet and really 900 square feet could prove excessive. That surprised me. In fact I reevaluated my total space and made several important decisions not only regarding space but things I wanted or needed in my living space.
No, I don't have a small house nor will I be moving any time soon. In fact I have a great old California craftsman that totals nearly 2,000 square feet. But there's only me and my large dog and two cats. And I work and live on the premises. For the first time I realized I could physically afford a roommate.
But the great thing about reading this book and others on small or tiny homes is that I am using my space so much more effectively and green. I've learned a lot. In fact I've redesigned my bedroom, kitchen and bathroom ... next is my office. I was surprised with what small changes I could make and enjoy the space so much more. I questioned why I was keeping furniture that actually didn't suit my habits. For example I have a solid oak school teacher's desk I was thrilled to find 20 years ago. But what do I use it for? Well, I'm not getting rid of it ... my first thought. But I am getting rid of two other pieces of furniture in my office to better use the desk and give me more floor space for an Ikea "rocking" chair which has proved a necessity for reading long works.
Finally I think this book helped me see different ways to live in my space as one example is a small home with lots of art. That example meant a lot to me. All these books made me stop looking at total space and turn to living space. I really don't live in a lot of space but the space I live in needs to suit me and support my creativity and living style.