Longtime readers of this blog may remember that I've written before about the tiny house movement -- a proposition for radically downsizing and building houses with a very small footprint - no larger than, say, 300 square feet. A lot of them are much smaller than that - less than 100 square feet - usually with a loft for sleeping and clever solutions for bathrooms, kitchens, and power.
Most of these houses are owner-built; some are constructed from prefab components; some from recycled or free materials; some are even built on trailers so that, like a turtle, you can take your house with you when you decide to live someplace else! All are just waiting for handmade innovations and off-the-grid, and low- or no-tax living.
As for many people, these buildings appeal to me not so much as a primary dwelling but for their hobbit-house-like coziness, their energy efficiency and environmental sanity, and the privacy of having one's own minimal but comfortable shelter in the woods. They seem like the epitome of less-is-more.
Lately I've been looking at what people have done recently, and I've found there's a lot more on the web about this than when I first got interested. The guru of the tiny house movement is arguably Jay Shafer, who has been building and extolling the virtues of these little houses since the late 1990s. His company, Tumbleweed Tiny Houses, sells plans and already-built houses of less than 140 sq ft.
Michael Jantzen's blog Tiny House Design and associated newsletter, Tiny House Living, is the best place I've found to keep up with what's happening in this movement. For instance, here's a post on his design for a free house made from recycled pallets.
The New York Times even got into the act recently, with this feature on small houses including a gingerbread cottage makeover of a hunting cabin (left) which is way too twee for me.
I was most pleased, though, (and amused) to see the video embedded at the top of this post, about Vermont tiny house builder Peter King. Peter is soooo Vermont, and it makes me happy to see and hear him extol the best of what makes/made my former home state unique.