Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Yes, Please!

Tumbleweed B-53

In our society, houses are typically seen as outward reflections of your wealth, importance, social standing, etc... The emphasis seems to be on "bigger is better" and "too much is never enough". Now don't get me wrong, there are days when I think it would be absolutely fantastic if we owned an enormous house with a home theater, library, huge pantry and a restaurant-quality/professional kitchen. But then I look around and realize that somebody would have to help clean all that with me because I can barely keep up with the maintenance, cleaning and - Heaven help me- laundry for the house I do have!

Yeah, bigger is nice and all the specialized spaces are fun, but you know what?? I'd really rather go the opposite direction: smaller.....MUCH smaller. I was reading an article last year about Jay Shafer. He's this guy who designs, builds and lives in these eensie weensie houses not much bigger than a postage stamp. Seriously, some of his designs are intended to be built onto a pull-along trailer frame so that they can be towed to a new location whenever the urge strikes! Watch this video and you'll see what I mean. While I admire the thinking and the minimal environmental impact, I don't think I could go quite that small. For one thing, I have 3 kids at home! And even after they're gone, I'm not interested in going quite that tiny. I adore cooking and absolutely have to have a real kitchen with refrigerator and enough room to store all my "stuff".

Okay, so we've established that I would skip over the tiny house plan designs Jay offers. (And yes, with square footage running from 65 to 140, they definitely qualify as tiny.) However, I do like the other group of small house plans he offers. If I had never married, I would build the Loring with additional bedroom in my parent's backyard in the space of about 2 heartbeats! If I had the money today, I would build the B-53 model, picture shown above. And I'd figure out how to incorporate a basement or a root/storm cellar, because "Hello? Tornado alley, here!". Plus, it's so small that I bet you could set it up to use solar power, water recycling and what-have-you and your bills would be almost nothing. Yes, it's exactly the same design as the Loring, just scaled up quite a bit more. As a matter of fact, at either 743 or 837 square feet, it's the largest houseplan Jay offers. Check out the floor plan below:
If you built it with the additional bedroom on the back, you could just do built-in book shelves all around the "bedroom" walls and plunk a scaled-down dining room table and chairs in the middle. Voila - now you have a dining room/study/library space! Now try and tell me that isn't clever! No, don't even try 'cause I'm not buying it. *wink* And if you didn't have kids, you could finish the second upstairs bedroom as either a guest room or a home office/studio - or maybe some combination of the two, perhaps?

I think the B-53 house is absolutely adorable because I've always loved Arts & Crafts style bungalows, although Dean likes these 2 front elevations better:


This one reminds me of your typical farmhouse. That's not a bad thing at all - it's just not MY thing.


And this one screams "American Gothic" to me. Check out the painting:

I have to say, I like that house plan almost as much as I like the B-53 (but don't tell Dean).

If you'd like to read more about Jay Shafer and his business, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, click HERE.

1 comment:

RockerJewlz said...

Wow, thank you! My husband and I often talk about not needing much house if it was on the right large piece of property where most of our living would be outdoors.

These are very intriguing.