There’s a new house on the block and what it lacks in size, it makes up for in spirit. Popping up everywhere from New York to Tokyo, these abodes are less than 37sq metres (compared to the average Australian house that is around 241sq metres) and are small enough to be legally transported across country on a trailer. What started as an initiative in 2005 to house Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans now has enthusiasts around the world who dramatically downsize their lives to move into these cozy cottages. In fact, this niche lifestyle has become a full-scale movement: there are now countless websites, blogs, social media (@cabinporn anyone?) and off-line meet-ups all devoted to tiny house inspiration, as well as practical resources for building and living the (mini) dream.
Here’s why we want to our own tiny house.
Because we’ll be forced to Marie Kondo our lives.
When you make an active decision to live in the smallest space possible, there’s little choice but to shed years of possessions and keepsakes (come on, does it really spark joy?) Even if the innovative design (built from the inside out as opposed to traditional homes that are built as a shell) features clever storage solutions, downsizing is a non-negotiable. There really isn’t enough room for that second, let alone 10th, pair of jeans. We’re talking monks cell vibes, people. But according to dwellers of Tiny Houses, the idea behind simple living isn’t to cast off all of your material possessions; it’s to simplify your possessions down to stuff that really matters.
Because having a tiny house means big living.
Financially, you’re better off if you live in a tiny house. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australians live in some of the largest houses in the world which greatly impacts our finances. Instead of pouring everything into a mortgage, you could potentially purchase a tiny house outright at the same price as a standard house deposit. A radically simple tiny house–which still includes a kitchen, bathroom and heating–will set you back around $41,000 and they can run up to $100,000. To build, they use less resources (in materials and labour, for example) and to run, the costs are also minimal. Some tiny house occupants pay as little as $100 a year in utility bills. The financial freedom will allow you to follow other passions, including all that travel you’ll be able to do with your tiny house in tow.
Because we want to live off the grid in (cosy) comfort.
The tiny house can run completely off the grid. It’s perfect for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint and embrace sustainable living. Many people building their own tiny houses using environmentally sustainable practices like solar power, salvaged materials, composting toilets and insulation panels made from wool. Nearly seven logging trucks worth of wood are used to make the average wood house, while a tiny house only needs half a truck.
Because it’s a force for good.
A growing number of American cities have found a practical solution to homelessness through the construction of tiny-house villages. The Tiny Homes Foundation, a not-for-profit pilot program, doing the same here in Australia. Tackle the country’s growing affordable housing crisis head on by becoming a partner through their website.
Because… really, could a house get any cuter?
You’ve got to admit it: tiny houses are pretty damn appealing with their whimsical woodland charm. Despite its challenges, the tiny house oozes comfort with a cozy, storybook vibe making one slightly nostalgic, thinking about building miniature houses as a child. Forget the caravan, this is real #housegoals.
Edited by Miriam Raphael.