I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of living in a really small space, and suddenly it seems like the concept of downsizing has come of age. Suddenly, everywhere you look, there are tiny houses in the news. From the prefab places that get delivered in one piece, to the homemade kind that you can learn how to build at a weekend workshop. Who knew?
Since 1997, Jay Schafer, founder of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, has been living in houses smaller than some people’s closets. The first of his tiny, hand-built houses had 89 square feet. He called it the Tumbleweed. Since completing Tumbleweed, he has continued to design small houses, all composed with meticulous attention to light, warmth, energy efficiency and proportion. He makes the most of interior spaces by minimalizing transitional areas like hallways and stairwells and by using otherwise wasted space as storage. How each house gets used depends on the occupant’s particular needs. What one person would enjoy as a quiet studio in their backyard, another person might choose to inhabit as a full-time residence.
Schafer spends much of his time driving the Tumbleweed across the country, teaching people how to build their own tiny houses. He was in Salt Lake City last spring. I haven’t seen Salt Lake back on his itinerary, but I will keep you posted.