The house I grew up in (with my sister, my two parents, a constant but ever-changing assortment of critters, and all the associated clutter one might expect) was 800 sq. ft. In a word: tiny.
But the homes in Lloyd Kahn's Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter give my childhood home a run for its money. Tiny Homes showcases a fantastic assortment of structures under 500 sq. ft. What these buildings lack in square footage, they deliver in character, affordability, energy efficiency, and, in some cases, portability! From prefab tiny homes to tree houses, boathouses, hobbit homes, houses on wheels, and, my personal favorite, the pumphouse-turned-chicken-coop-turned-stationary-yacht, this book is a treasure trove of micro-inspiration, and a testament to the benefits of scaling down. Recommended By Tove H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
These days, homeowners, designers, architects (no less), road gypsies, water dwellers, dreamers, people of all ages, all over the world are making do creatively with under-500 sq. ft. shelters. This is a real and powerful alternative to high rents, or a lifelong obligation to a bank on an overpriced home.
The heart of our 1973 book Shelter was on small buildings, which we recommended as a starting point in providing one's own living space. Now, almost 40 years later, there's a significant tiny house movement all over the world -which we've been tracking over the past year.
John Field sold his 2800 sq. ft. house in upstate New York and built a 128 ft. cabin in the high Texas desert. The "Lady on the Road" (who wishes to remain anonymous), has been living full-time in a highly decorated bus since she was 51 (she's now 72). A couple in British Columbia have a houseboat with adjacent floating garden. A rustic cabin has been built on a remote beach in Mendocino, inspired by our book Shelter, and reachable only by boat. A lot of small houses have been built on trailers, so they can be moved around and don't necessarily require land ownership.
More and more people are living in buses, trucks, houseboats, and other movable shelters. There are a large number of prefabs and kits now available. There are innovative solutions in cities, such as the "capsules" in Tokyo. There are numerous websites with news, photos, and/or plans for tiny houses.
This is going to be a spectacular book, no kidding! It will be our first major building block since Builders of the Pacific Coast was published in 2008. Like our other building books, it will have at least 1000 photos, along with stories, interviews, and insights from people who have chosen to scale back in the 21st century.
"Tiny Homes is an amazing collection....The homes might be tiny but your inspiration is huge."
Richard Zanuck, Film Producer
"...a quirky photo-rich book that preaches the benefits of a 'grassroots movement to scale things back.'"
Jeffery Trachtenberg, Wall Street Journal
"Before McMansions, before the counter culture was granite and marble, there was Lloyd Kahn, champion of the hand-built house . . . progenitor of the new do-it-yourself movement" The New York Times