POLL: Tiny Houses - Yes or No?
Emily Hurley
June 24, 2014 in Polls
Do you see tiny houses and long to pitch your belongings and live a simpler, smaller life, or does the idea of extreme downsizing put you in a cold sweat?

VOTE and tell us about it in the comments!
Yes - I love tiny houses!
No - I need my space!
Other - Tell us below!
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bluenan
I would go bonkers in a tiny house.
June 24, 2014 at 2:32PM        Thanked by Emily Hurley
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cabingirl13
Only for ice fishing- haha!
June 24, 2014 at 2:37PM        Thanked by Emily Hurley
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Design Details
Only in Japan, and even then I would want it to feel as big as possible
June 24, 2014 at 3:21PM        Thanked by Emily Hurley
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Michelle Scott for Ethan Allen - Laguna Niguel, CA
fabulous idea - but the reality is - I just couldn't do it...
June 24, 2014 at 3:34PM        Thanked by Emily Hurley
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shars55
How tiny are we talking? I guess when I get really old and don't have the energy to clean, and if I lived alone, I could do it. But right now, no way. Its just me and my husband now, my kids are grown, but I need my space. I have 3000 sq. ft. And it's perfect for us. It's nice to have space when our kids or friends visit, too.
June 24, 2014 at 4:07PM        Thanked by Emily Hurley
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Michelle Scott for Ethan Allen - Laguna Niguel, CA
The definition of a tiny house is 100 - 400 square feet
http://thetinylife.com/what-is-the-tiny-house-movement/
June 24, 2014 at 4:10PM        Thanked by Emily Hurley
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lefty47
HI -- Since my son and his wife and two kids had to move in with us I wish my house was double in size and even a bit more would be better . Two women -one kitchen - you know what I mean .
June 24, 2014 at 4:12PM        Thanked by Emily Hurley
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shars55
100-400 sq. ft.???? Wow. 400 sq. ft. maybe, but I couldn't live in anything smaller unless I had no choice in the matter. I can't imagine doing it by choice, though.
June 24, 2014 at 4:55PM     
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jannie
My ideal house is around 900-1000 sq. ft., 2 bedrooms, 1 bath with very small yard. A garage is important due the extreme weather in Michigan. I have very few possessions, and plan to keep it that way. Though I am living solo, I want the extra bedroom so my kids can visit comfortably. Though I have seen some tiny house articles about young families adopting that lifestyle, it would result in too much togetherness for my crew.
June 24, 2014 at 5:06PM     
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vickicz
Small yes, tiny, no!
June 24, 2014 at 5:54PM     
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mfwolfe
We pitched close to half our possessions when we downsized by 50 per cent two years ago. It wasn't that hard. And I like the way we live now. However, we have a guest house for our two children when they visit. Upkeep is so simple. But compared to a tiny house I am still a gluttonous American.
June 24, 2014 at 7:11PM     
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tiamay
Scary thought! I'd be harboring murderous tendencies before the day was up.
June 24, 2014 at 7:43PM     
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adivra
I like the IDEA, but not the reality.
June 24, 2014 at 7:53PM     
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hjs
I lived for a year in a tiny house , about 144 sq feet and absolutely loved it. And then a few years later I lived in a small house, about 768 sq feet. In both cases however, there was a lot of surrounding outside space - and I was living alone. Those two factors probably made the difference.
June 24, 2014 at 8:05PM     
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condomary
I live small. I have a place for everything , not crowded. 850 sq ft. I don't feel the need to have more rooms than I would use every day. We have acres of well kept property with walking paths. Would never consider upsizing.
June 24, 2014 at 8:12PM     
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LB Interiors
Prefer a larger home, doesn't have to be too large : ) Maximum use of space for living and storage is the key for small homes.
June 24, 2014 at 8:25PM     
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fandole44
Best shed ever
June 24, 2014 at 8:39PM     
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joy5390
By myself? Yes, would love it! With my husband? Don't think so! ;-)
June 24, 2014 at 8:44PM     
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summilux
When I lived in a big city (LA, SF) small was fine as I was seldom home. In a smaller city, married, more space is preferable as I'm much more of a homebody now.
June 24, 2014 at 9:01PM     
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krystleo
We would love to have one on the property as a guest house but couldn't live in it ourselves. If you can stand the limitations then they are a great idea.
June 25, 2014 at 5:55AM     
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condomary
Limitations are in the eye of the beholder. Many of us who live small don't consider we have limitations; which would indicate one is not happy with their space. More like we have adapted and are content.
June 25, 2014 at 7:40AM     
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bluenan
Condomary, your home is two to eight times larger the size of a tiny house and whether you could live in a tiny house was the question. No need to defend your condo living, but could you realistically live contentedly in a place a quarter of the size of your current space?
June 25, 2014 at 7:51AM     
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Margo
LOL- In 1979, I lived in a 28 foot mobile home for 6 months in Naples, Florida ;(( By the time I left the Palmetto bugs aka cockroaches *shutter* had taken over the majority of the space, well, they hid during the day... one day I fled after turning on the light and finding the silverware drawer was crawling, Yikes, the thought of this is making me itch lol.
June 25, 2014 at 8:07AM     
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Margaret B
I have been looking at the tiny houses for the past year, I often wonder if in the right setting it would be doable. Maybe not as a full-time home but what do you really need while on vacation? I could easily see replacing my dream of traveling the countryside meeting Houzzers in an RV to pulling a Tiny House behind my Rav4. :)
June 25, 2014 at 8:33AM     
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Meet Me at the Wrecking Ball
I am rattling around in a two-story, 3 bdrm/2 bath home all by myself. In the last several years I have done a major decluttering in anticipation of cohabitating with my partner--I've developed a less-is-more way of living and I love it. Now if only I could chop off the second floor (seems so unnecessary now) I'd be thrilled to live in a single-level home with one bedroom and one bathroom. Outdoor space is a must-have (how do people live in hi-rise condos with no balcony??). My partner and I disagree on our respective space requirements, so I'm afraid I'm going to lose this battle and end up in a home that's larger than I want. In a perfect world, I'd have a small midcentury home with tons of light, tons of outdoor space, and a very small footprint.
June 25, 2014 at 8:34AM     
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Gneiss Spice
Most of our house has turned in to a spice workshop/studio...so we basically live in 400 sq ft. However, it's not well laid out. I could do it, if we had planned out the space better! Small spaces are awesome if they are designed well. We're currently designing a 1200 sq. ft house, which will be plenty of space for us and our growing (currently plus one with baby) family.
June 25, 2014 at 10:25AM     
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bluenan
Sorry, but I have to seriously question the 45 people who have said they would like to live in a tiny house. A small house I can see, but a true tiny house is nothing more than a grown-up playhouse.
Epu Our Tiny Tack House Tiny Tea House Tiny House in Portland Shoebox Tiny Home
June 25, 2014 at 10:53AM     
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Architectural Cabinetry & Millwork
We would love to do some work on a Tiny House. From looking at pictures and articles on them, you could really get creative with some amazing custom pieces that utilize the space to the best of its ability. Pieces like that really let us flex our creative design muscle.

Love them!
June 25, 2014 at 10:55AM     
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bluenan
Where's the john?
June 25, 2014 at 11:01AM     
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shars55
Bluenan.....I have to agree with you! I have a 40ft. 5th wheel that's larger inside than the pics you posted. It's great for trips, but I couldn't live in it unless I had no choice. I would go bonkers in a space that small for longer than a few weeks, even if I had lots of property to roam around on.
June 25, 2014 at 11:21AM     
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Carmel Decor
It's had to live in a tiny house, especially with one or more people.
June 25, 2014 at 11:28AM     
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Robin TX
If you like living in a tent....
June 25, 2014 at 5:41PM     
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wendyperezmonsanto
Not big enough to hold my garden supplies. I'll keep my big house, and enjoy my empty closets and cabinets. Just because you have a lot of square footage doesn't mean you can't be a minimalist. But when it's time to entertain 40 or 50 people, square footage is king.
June 25, 2014 at 5:58PM     
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leemerrick
I love the idea of a tiny house... planning the house well, all of the house being used, not getting sucked into possessions. I also know that I would go stir crazy in a small space like a tiny house during winter (in MN--sometimes 6 months long), and I am not enough of an "out door person" (I get eaten alive by mosquitoes) to be happy with being cooped up..
June 25, 2014 at 7:12PM     
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Michelle Scott for Ethan Allen - Laguna Niguel, CA
There is some good info on the tiny house movement here -
http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/
June 25, 2014 at 7:58PM     
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Studio M Interior Design
Tiny houses are great as vacation homes. Especially if you can choose a few tiny homes over one large vacation home. Perfect for seeing different parts of the country or world :)
June 26, 2014 at 12:11AM        Thanked by Emily Hurley
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Decorative Philosophy
Our home is about 2100 square feet. The art studio is about 150 square feet.
There is about 1/8 acre of land that is a beautiful garden. This is small compared to the mansions that surround us on the NJ Shore. The Midtown Studio Apartment is about 400 Square Feet. The land there is the whole of NYC! But it is not ours alone of course.
Living in a small space warrants more space around for sanity in our opinion whether it is shared space in an exciting metropolis or acreage in a suburban setting. Purging stuff has been priority since the Hurricane Sandy and as we continue to pull the NJ home together, it continues to be purged of the unnecessary. Karen has even purged her closet of many of her "fashion archives".
Small spaces necessitate precise placement of things. Creative people need storage. Thank God for the garage and attics. Could we totally purge and live in a tiny home? Not and work at the same time, we'd need storage and work space. So if we are just talking about living space it is possible, but if your job as ours does, necessitates having odd things on hand for projects, then storage and therefore more space, is necessary.
:)
June 26, 2014 at 2:48AM     
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jmk1955
Perfect
June 26, 2014 at 4:10AM     
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honeypoppet
not tooo tiny....but just cute and cosy...but NO cluttering!!! :-) Soooo romantic for newly-weds!
June 26, 2014 at 4:12AM     
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LB Interiors
Decorative Philosophy.
I opened your website. What an inspiring video.
I loved your video and your write up! Great inspiration for our lives. You truly put life into perspective. Thank you for that! I'm sorry you had to experience Hurricane Sandy. You got up and moved forward with enlightening inspiration and words to remember for all of us!
June 26, 2014 at 12:22PM     
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Decorative Philosophy
Thanks for your wonderful encouraging thoughts and for taking the time to reach out to us.
We just returned from your wonderful part of this beautiful country and as always can't get enough of CA! Yes, the Hurricane put life into perspective, as did the fires we saw raging in the hills when we were in the San Diego area. We met a lovely young woman who had just relocated, in Poseidon in Del Mar. She had just had to evacuate her new home. I was glad I had words to give her. Keep in touch and again thanks for posting the studio video.
I will post a picture of the bench Joseph designed which is now in the finished studio, and a picture of the first in a series of pillows we are hand painting based on the sketchbook we kept while in SD and LA. The incredible trees and vegetation never cease to amaze me when we are on the west coast and always inspire our art.
Regards,
Joseph & Karen
June 26, 2014 at 3:02PM     
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Decorative Philosophy
"Las Brisas" pillow is first in a series of West Coast inspired art. 22" x 22" hand painted on canvas with black linen piping. Doesn't get much better than to get cozy on a fun piece of original ( and washable!) piece of art! Second in the series below: "The Barcelona"
June 26, 2014 at 3:09PM     
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LB Interiors
Thank you and best to you always!
June 26, 2014 at 3:15PM     
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lvstotrvl
We travel in a 40ft. motorhome, it has everything you could want, but it's always nice to go home. Home is 1900 sq. ft. not to big, just right!--:)
July 22, 2014 at 5:14AM     
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rbryant2
I have a 1163 sq. foot home and wish for more sq. feet especially for entertaining I feel the walls are closing in. Also consider expanding our space.
July 22, 2014 at 7:14AM     
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brchbell
I need my space. Tiny houses are cute but with the severe winters we have, I can stay inside for weeks and I really need to be able to move around. I have 9 foot ceilings with lots of windows. I need light and room to be able to handle our winters. No tiny house for me please!
July 22, 2014 at 7:31AM     
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Sharon Harris
I had a 900 sq ft house for awhile & we did it but we more than doubled the size up to 2300 sq ft as soon as we could. Now I live in a 3000 sq ft house & love it. Wouldn't want to go back. If people are doing the tiny house just because it's "green" or less "footprint" or whatever, try "recycling" an older home. You get the size, storage & save something that is already there. It's what we've done in our last 2 homes. One was a 2700 sq ft home with full unfinished basement built in 1965. We got it much cheaper & we did tons of upgrades to bring it into the 21st century. Got our money back and then bought this home built in 1984. It's a fantastic home just needed to be upgraded. We did that 9 yrs ago & continue to do different projects to it. Too many people don't have imaginations to see past the dated & faded or the courage to take on the work. These older homes were well built so the bones are there for a great comeback. I live near a neighborhood that was new in the 1960's. The houses are large brick ranches with large lots where the professionals used to live when I was in school. Drs, lawyers, upper middle class. So they were well built , large & still in good condition, just need lipstick & rouge. New kitchens & bathrooms, repainting, peeling off old wallpaper, new fl& you've got it. You can get them cheap now as the original owners are aging out. The neighborhood is still considered a nice one, but it will go down soon if people don't buy these houses & put money into them to spruce them back up. A house that was worth $275k (in today's dollars) in it's heyday is going for about $165k today. If people just buy them because they are cheap & can't afford to spruce them up, the neighborhood will deteriorate, prices will continue to fall. My point is, the houses are there already. You are "saving the planet" by "recycling". If your issue is not money or physical handicap, then recycle & enjoy your space! Whatever home you buy, do your best by it. Remodel, spruce up, maintain, keep clean, declutter, i.e. keep the value up for you and your neighbors.
July 22, 2014 at 7:42AM     
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gardenarian
Tiny houses are impractical toys. The ones I've seen have no plumbing. I need room to practice yoga, do art, have friends over, play with my dogs. Tiny houses are a step too far. Better to fix up an old small house that is actually livable than to spend money and resources on something that is only a curiosity.
July 22, 2014 at 10:02AM     
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perchiegirl
my issue with tiny houses is I am not a tiny person.... Nor can I climb stairs let alone ladders. I need wheel chair access. I love them though and wish I could live in one... except for those reasons
July 22, 2014 at 1:44PM     
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makaloco
I voted "other". Small, definitely. Tiny, probably not unless I had lots of outdoor space. My current home is less than 800 sq ft, all on one floor. With 9.5 foot ceilings and lots of windows, it's fine for my dog and me. A bigger lot would be nice, but I wouldn't want a much bigger house. It costs more to furnish or paint and takes more time to clean.
July 22, 2014 at 3:36PM     
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Monarch Sofas
wow, close vote ;) i guess it really depends on where you're at in life. i can't quite see myself in a tiny house with my wild toddler. even a 2 bedroom 2 bath condo seems TINY at times.

xoxo eva @ monarchsofas.com
http://www.houzz.com/pro/thesofaworks/monarch-sofas
July 22, 2014 at 3:43PM     
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Gina
I think it’s easies said than done. I agree with Monarch when they say it would probably depend on what stage of life you are in. Teenage children...lol no! But if you are just starting out and trying to save money or retired....maybe.
July 22, 2014 at 4:13PM     
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larkspurproject
I'll take "Claustrophobia" for $500, Alex
July 22, 2014 at 4:19PM     
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Harmoni Designs, LLC
It just has to be the right size. Not too tiny, not unnecessarily huge.
July 22, 2014 at 4:27PM   
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tiny_dancer_303
We think a small cabin-type home would be best for us. DH works hard and doesn't have the stamina for maintenance after a long day. I'm disabled and need a smaller place to take care of.
July 22, 2014 at 11:47PM     
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cordybrown
my current house is 685 sq feet. 2 bedrooms/1 bath. Tiny to some but works fine for me and the dog. the previous owners had 3 little kids here and it worked fine for them. i love the Tiny Houses and have several floor plans (100-300 ft or so) to browse through and daydream about but I think it will stay a daydream for me. Aging is making it harder to imagine living or vacationing in a place where I have to climb into a loft and where i don't have an indoor space large enough to stretch out the kinks in the morning. Ah. to be 20 again.
July 23, 2014 at 12:36AM     
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citipearl
Having lived in small apartments in NYC, my definition of what space is actually needed has been revised and revised again . I am older, my kids have grown, and have let go of possessions more than once. A tiny 300-400 square foot house is entirely do-able if there's a first floor bedroom (enough room for a bed is fine). No more owing money and no more houses or apartments that own me!
July 23, 2014 at 2:41AM     
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momof5x
I recently watched a home show about different homes etc. and it was about people down sizing their homes owing to not being able to any longer afford their average home sizes. Some people commented on how they have more time for themselves, and to get out and about rather than on cleaning a large house. Some downsized as they no longer needed so many rooms.

For many with extended families, larger homes are required, our home was made for that purpose, so a large house is required for us so we designed it with that in mind. each family member has their own task of looking after their unit area, and I try to keep general maintenance and care of major areas.
July 23, 2014 at 2:50AM     
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dreadej
My husband and I just moved into a 400 sq ft attached mother-in-law suite, renting until he receives a job offer. It is very possible and actually can be quite enjoyable. The hardest part is just keeping the most important items, those that receive daily/weekly use. And, for personal items, if you want something new, just replace it with something older so there is no build up of items. :-). The most important part of a tiny home is making it functional and utilizing all space, especially vertical. With us renting, we are not able to make changes and so we have a lot of unusable space, empty walls, and no bigger items (ie Murphy bed, desks, dressers) you can put away when not using. It is quite a challenge and exciting for us and both my husband and I have always loved the idea of a smaller home with less stuff. :-)
July 23, 2014 at 3:19AM     
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Otter Banks
I have an 1125 sq ft home and think it's small but not tiny. I love the smaller insurance we pay, the smaller taxes and easier maintenance. Three people lived here at one time, now two. I would downsize to a smaller apartment or condo when I am too old to maintain the outside by myself. I grew up in a larger home and all I remember is my mother cleaning it constantly and she had paid cleaning help. A tiny house to me is about 500 sq ft but not a closet with a view.
July 23, 2014 at 3:21AM     
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Beth Elkind
If it meant a smaller property and LOWER taxes I would! I currently live in a town that has more than two thirds of the voting residents not voting. School taxes have gone up 10 plus percent 2 years in a row... Enrollment has been dropping... And will continue to over the next 16 years. Sorry for venting.
July 23, 2014 at 3:31AM     
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QMA Architects & Planners
Houses are definitely too big today and once again the average size house is getting bigger with each passing year.

However except as an exercise in minimalism and an example to us all of the excesses in today's homes, a 100 SF house is really not realistic for 99.9% of the country.

I my neck of the woods (the Jersey Shore) a tiny house (let's call it a cottage) is anything under 2,000 SF.
July 23, 2014 at 3:56AM     
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zenfreespirit
I downsized from 2600 sq ft to almost 1600 sq ft and I had to get rid of a lot of items so I can't imagine 100 sq ft. - 400 sq ft. But, I guess if the layout is very open and designed well it could work for some people. I can't see moving children or teens into a tiny house cause I think they need some place for privacy as well as the adults.
July 23, 2014 at 4:37AM   
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tkuhlmann
For myself,no. But it's a great concept, and an economical option.
July 23, 2014 at 4:41AM     
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paulettep2
I have a 650sq tiny vacation home that has everything I need. I have a 3000sq main house that has everything. I can't wait to be able to sell the big expensive to heat,pain to maintain, pain to clean big house and just settle in the smaller space. Think how many hours a week I will regain not cleaning, not having stuff to store! Get the visiting relatives a hotel room.
July 23, 2014 at 4:45AM     
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Frank
I own a summer cottage in Maine that is 750 square feet not tiny but certainly on the smaller size especially by today standards. I spend approximately 3 months a year there and must say this space lives larger than what one would expect and quite comfortable. The nine foot ceiling help and make it feel larger than it is. The cottage was built 10 years ago and much thought was put into making it meet the currents needs of today. My neighbors and I often comment on how easy it is to live in such a small space and surprisingly enough find it much more adequate than we would have ever expected. Down sizing can be quite nice but isn't for everyone. We love our small cottage and what a great place to spend summers in Maine.
July 23, 2014 at 4:48AM     
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boykin2013
The tiny house concept has trigger my re-thinking of how much space do we really need and want. The answer is "less" but "well done". Have been looking and it is hard to find as the former is available but not with the later especially when coupled with the need for green space.
July 23, 2014 at 4:50AM     
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Jody Lebel
It feels like living on a boat...and I'm so over that. But the concept is good. We don't need huge rooms that we have to fill with furniture, heat and cool, and keep clean. Moderation is the key here.
July 23, 2014 at 4:53AM     
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jhayesdesigner
I think it would feel like a pimped-out prison cell. Sorry. Need lots of space.
July 23, 2014 at 4:57AM     
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Donna Yost
Everything in moderation -- Ben Franklin
July 23, 2014 at 5:01AM     
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gdmoore110
I doubt I could live in 400 sq ft for too long. Definitely not 100. I think 800 to 1000 could be done. Room to breathe without feeling crowded, easy to care for and heat. We spend a lot of time outdoors anyways, so would just be a home base for travelling the country in nice weather. It's what we are working towards anyways.
July 23, 2014 at 5:12AM     
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Sue Novick
I long for a smaller space, but not tiny. Think more 50's ranch home. That would be ideal.
July 23, 2014 at 5:18AM     
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Brenda Decker
I like the concept of tiny houses, but with a good budget - a small home would be better for us. We need a small home on our lot, but tiny would be too small.
July 23, 2014 at 5:19AM   
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birdandbee
My husband and I feel fortunate to own two homes. One is 1400 sq ft main residence and the other is a 350 sq ft lakeside cottage about 1.75 hours away. When we are at the lake, I often look around and think, "Seriously, how much more do we really need." There's a fully functioning (but small) kitchen open to a sitting area with a fireplace, a private bedroom, and a bathroom. There are also two lofts that are not counted in the square footage as they are not full height. I'm sure there are city dwellers in studios that would love to have that much space! The best part is when we get ready to return home, my husband and I can have the cottage completely vacuumed as well as the kitchen and bathroom cleaned in 15-20 minutes total. We don't even have to move the vacuum cord - it can all be done while plugged into one outlet! Who knows, someday when we retire we just might try to live there full time.
July 23, 2014 at 5:26AM     
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puppyfur
Nothing at all wrong with small spaces, but tiny ones? Seems to me it's a silly trend that will come and go just like McMansions have, in some places. The trend for comfortably sized, affordable, efficient homes is the one I hope sticks around.
July 23, 2014 at 5:31AM     
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lmmanders
It depends on HOW tiny the house is... 600 - 900 sq. ft. would be perfect for me. Small enough to clean quickly but big enough to entertain.
July 23, 2014 at 5:32AM   
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jpbathroom
Absolutely no to tiny houses! Been there, done that, never again!
July 23, 2014 at 5:40AM     
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Laura Lang
I honestly don't think the average family (not person) could stand to live full-time in a tiny house (under 300 sq.ft.) for a long period of time unless they were outside or away from the house most of the time. Just TOO small. I think most people can live with 1000 feet less of house--if designed right and don't understand people who live in 3500+ sq.ft. houses at all! Just not comfortable to live in a very large place. Those who do have the extra space closed off or upstairs or downstairs--so why even have the space! Instead make rooms convertible--an office could be a guest suite, etc. I think it is great for students, first-time buyers/renters, or people who have no other choice. If you have 2 or more children it would be very hard to live in a true tiny house--especially if they are under 5 years of age! Great option to have for many. If I were a student or just out of college, I would love to live in one for a few years! Also great for retired people. But not a family....unless they were rarely home except to sleep.
July 23, 2014 at 5:52AM     
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forker273
Long before I would ever consider living in 100 to 400 dwelling, I'd be shopping for a motorhome and plan on hitting the road for a total life style change. Of the 560 or so who said they'd love to live in a small house, I wonder how many actual do and why those who would love to haven't done so already?
July 23, 2014 at 5:53AM     
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Donna Sexton
850 sq ft is about as small as I think I could go. Just went from 3500 sq ft to 1000 sq ft and am feeling free! We have lots of windows and high ceilings and the space is perfect for the two of us.
July 23, 2014 at 5:59AM     
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72717271
Went from 2700 to 1700 to 1300 over the years and loving it. Could easily move down to about 900-1000 feet; our home is 9 years old and it uses every inch of space, no hallways, and lots of long windows and French doors to bring the outside in. Luvit
July 23, 2014 at 6:10AM     
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lauralouzader
I could never live in a truly tiny dwelling myself, but I believe that the tiny house movement is a very positive thing, a necessary corrective to two decades of insane debt-financed extravagance and wretched excess. In the "golden" 1950s, most people, including reasonably affluent people, raised large families in 1500 sq ft 3 bed 1 bath houses. How did a 2500 sq ft McMansion with 3 baths, a mud room, a spa, and double-height ceilings that guarantee a monster heat bill, become the minimum standard for middle class buyers? No wonder everyone is broke! These tiny houses incorporate a wealth of wonderful ideas for making your dwelling more functional, efficient, and attractive in far less space, and while you might not be able to contract to such a tiny footprint, they make you realize that the 1200 sq ft , or 1600, or 1800 that you already have, is absolutely sufficient and that you don't need evermore space just to store consumer garbage that you don't need, never really even wanted, and that just clutters up your life and mind while costing you money to store and move.
July 23, 2014 at 6:18AM     
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Artist/ birdofwood.COM
Home/Office/Spaces of typical room size proportions definitely have their place at certain stages in our lives. Young unmarried folks would definitely benefit from the economic savings and the immediate attractive draw a well conceived tiny home has. Older folks like me who no longer need a 4000sq.ft. home, to take my valuable time and resources to upkeep, would find the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a life well lived.
July 23, 2014 at 6:18AM     
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chowdergirl
Maybe not tiny, but small. The smaller the house, the less taxes you pay, your fuel costs are lower and the carbon footprint is smaller. We Americans need to get over this "bigger is better" idea, especially as we approach retirement and a fixed income. Can someone direct me to an Architect who specializes in small home designs?
July 23, 2014 at 6:23AM     
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moegc
I would have to know what the definition of tiny is. I absolutely love smaller homes versus these big, overinflated homes. However, under 1000sf might be a bit, not impossible, problem with a family. Single...a resounding yes!!
July 23, 2014 at 6:26AM     
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ddelora
Definitely "other". Don't want to clean 2,500 sf+, but still want to take a nap on a couch without sleeping diagonally in the living room! Found about 1,600sf is a good compromise.
July 23, 2014 at 6:29AM     
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jason_nyc
Those micro-homes (under 400 sq ft) are third world standards, why voluntarily choose such oppressive conditions? When I was poor I lived in 325 sq ft but I was single and struggling. I aspired to more and earned it.
July 23, 2014 at 6:31AM     
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Caryn Hall
If the layout and design are clever, I could handle 400 sq. ft for a weekend getaway cottage. Something where the purpose is relaxation. A place to sleep and shower and make a light meal after a day at the beach or on a hiking trail.
July 23, 2014 at 6:46AM     
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dawncolony
Think I could enjoy it for a vacation home. But I need my space.
July 23, 2014 at 6:49AM     
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suzan1130
I have been looking into tiny homes for about 4 months now, I think it is a great idea, especially for people like me, I am 62 and live alone, on SSI so I need some small and that I can afford
July 23, 2014 at 6:51AM     
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corianne
We are a soon to be family of 3 in 790 square feet with no basement. Its very cozy (especially in the long Minnesota Winters) but perfect for us. We live as smart as we can by keeping things simple and organized. I wouldn't want it any other way! But I don't think we could go smaller or would want much bigger than this. We plan to raise two kids here in a shared room and get a dog! I think houses smaller than 600 square feet are reserved for singles, those without small children and in warmer climates where the outdoors become a second living space.
July 23, 2014 at 6:51AM     
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camauribuilders
With a small house you get to enjoy the intimacy you do not enjoy in a big house. I used to live in a big house so I know the difference.
July 23, 2014 at 6:56AM     
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kral913
I have been dreaming about a tiny house for about 4 years now. Hopefully some day soon!
July 23, 2014 at 7:14AM   
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betd
I voted no for a few reasons, I need my own space, a "go to place" when I need to be alone. And I want a house with storage, storage, storage. I have a raised ranch with a crawl space attic and a finish basement. I have four bedrooms and one of the bedrooms is a storage room. Just to store the Christmas tree and ornaments and a few other bins with certain things in it; takes most of the room. Next life, next house has to have storage for a few things.
July 23, 2014 at 7:15AM   
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stubadone
When I was a kid (in the 50s) I grew up with four brothers and two parents in a one-bathroom two-story house. I slept in the same room with two of my brothers until I was twelve. Although I can't say that I was "damaged" somehow by the close living arrangements, I do suffer from claustrophobia and I wonder if my childhood had anything to do with this. At the time, our house seemed perfectly fine. Being farmers and of Italian heritage we spent a good portion of our time outdoors. And in the winter (New York state) we played outside as much as we could. We all watched tv together in the evenings. We sat on the floor. My mother didn't worry that there wasn't enough seating for all of us. Visitors often sat on the floor, too.

My point is any size home can work for any size family. To each his own. Although I couldn't live in a small or tiny house hooray for those who can. Why not?
July 23, 2014 at 7:23AM     
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moluck
We live in a 1,000 sq ft house with 200 pounds of dogs and an 8 year old. My dream is to build a tiny house, complete with electricity and plumbing, in the backyard and rent out the "big house". In my dream this is all legal and I can easily get permits. We would get the back yard, renters would get the front. I'm with citipearl though, we would need a small bedroom on the main floor. I find I like the idea of not having as many choices and only having what we love and need.
I saw a cabin while at a friend's RV timeshare spot that had the perfect layout (including a bathtub!) that appeared to be about 400 sq ft. Too bad the ranger had no info on the builder and no desire to help me. Not his job, I know, but it would have been great to be able to find out.
July 23, 2014 at 7:27AM     
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Don R Titus, Residential Designer
I think the great thing about the tiny house movement - apart from the tiny houses themselves, and their impact on their owners' lives - is the way it fires so many people's imaginations. Even if you're unable to live in a tiny house yourself, you just might be inspired to simplify your life, which is always a step in the right direction: less stuff, more time to spend on the people and activities you love. I know that for my wife and our family - three children and counting - a tiny house would be highly impractical. But we are striving to live with the least amount of stuff we can, in the smallest house our family needs.
July 23, 2014 at 7:34AM     
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michellebossert
I have spent the past 2 years living in around 300 sqft while building my 1,000 sqft cabin home. In all honesty I almost wish I wasn't building the house now! I find it very comforting to go home to a small space of my own after a very busy day of work in town. There is nothing quite like pulling into the drive of my small leased piece of property and knowing that there isn't a bunch of business to do yet. I should mention that my only services right now are electricity and an outhouse which has made laundry and dishes, and keeping warm in our -30 Albertan winters the largest change. If it weren't for having to haul everything back and forth from town to my mums place it would be a very easy home to maintain.
I honestly feel that the space still worked well when shared with my significant other and even adding a child to the space wouldn't have been unreasonable. Our ancestors have lived in tiny homes for centuries, and I very much think its just a matter of adapting mind sets and lifestyles and changing your priorities in life :) Make the most of wherever you live- every space has potential and memories to be made there.
July 23, 2014 at 7:48AM     
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michellebossert
I have spent the past 2 years living in around 300 sqft while building my 1,000 sqft cabin home.

In all honesty I almost wish I wasn't building the house now! I find it very comforting to go home to a small space of my own after a very busy day of work in town. There is nothing quite like pulling into the drive of my small leased piece of property and knowing that there isn't a bunch of business to do yet.

I should mention that my only services right now are electricity and an outhouse which has made laundry and dishes, and keeping warm in our -30 Albertan winters the largest change. If it weren't for having to haul everything back and forth from town to my mums place it would be a very easy home to maintain.

I honestly feel that the space still worked well when shared with my significant other and even adding a child to the space wouldn't have been unreasonable. Our ancestors have lived in tiny homes for centuries, and I very much think its just a matter of adapting mind sets and lifestyles and changing your priorities in life :)

Make the most of wherever you live- every space has potential and memories to be made there.
July 23, 2014 at 7:51AM     
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reswe3
We have 800sqft for a family of 4. More than enough space. Storage isn't an issue, though a second bathroom at times would be great!
July 23, 2014 at 8:14AM     
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atearse
I love seeing your articles on tiny houses! They invariably demonstrate creative ways of living with less, and frankly we could all stand a bit of that. I get it that families with children would have a difficult time stumbling over each other in 400 sq/ft, but do they really need 3000-4000? Enormous houses really only are good for demonstrating, publicly, one's wealth, but they aren't sustainable, they aren't cozy, they are a pain to take care of, and they encourage the collecting of more and more stuff, most of which isn't really used. How about a compromise with the "Not-So-Big-House" that Susan Susanka talks about?
July 23, 2014 at 8:15AM     
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zenbox design
The tiny vs small designation is an important one, at least here in portland (where both are legal):
Tiny = under 180sqft and has to be on wheels. no connected plumbing or electricity. you have to be reliant upon someone else for a place to park it, allow you to use power, water, etc.
Small = loosely, anything bigger than tiny but smaller than "traditional". If the space is also considered an ADU (accessory dwelling unit) than it cannot be larger than 800sqft.

We personally couldn't live in a tiny home for long as we need space for entertaining and hosting guests, but we're finding that our current 480sqft is ample for our needs. We have less space to clean, less stuff to store and have the flexibility to easily leave our space behind and travel. For us, it's Perfect and we give up nothing to gain immense freedom.
July 23, 2014 at 8:16AM     
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Jedi Design
The little house I am currently renting is 400sq ft and I would prefer about 300 if I were to build my own. I am single and only need enough floor space for yoga and a few friends to sit in. So long as the space is well designed, with lots of built-in storage, there's no need for more space, it just attracts more stuff!
July 23, 2014 at 8:18AM     
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zenbox design
Well said! Even for the two of us (and the dog) ample storage is huge when it comes to keeping the home tidy and usable.
We also found that flexible space helps transform small into large. The stairs to our lofted bed slide shut when not in use, our sofa transforms into guest bed and our island/bar rolls out to seat 6 when needed.
http://www.zenboxdesign.com/restaurant-bar-and-stools/
July 23, 2014 at 8:35AM     
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Joyce Martin
My spouse and I have lived full-time in a motor home for 8 years now. Considering we have 270 sq ft, I guess you could call that a tiny house. It means nothing comes into the house unless something goes out. Grocery shopping twice a week. All doable, but I'm searching for a stick house now. Would enjoy going back to 2,000 sq ft in one place. LOL
July 23, 2014 at 8:36AM     
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4thgirl
I have been wanting a larger house for 30 yrs. I certainly don't want to go smaller.
July 23, 2014 at 8:38AM     
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uglygerbil
I just moved into a 2 bedroom apartment after 13 years in a studio - never again!
July 23, 2014 at 8:53AM     
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caroleholdahl
For one or two people, absolutely and with great enthusiasm! With my husband and I and our 3 teens, nope! It's not just the 6 more pairs of jeans and the 3 more dressy outfits for those occasions that require them. It's also the larger number of plates, cups, bowls, and the toilet paper rolls and towels and 5 different opinions on what down-time looks like and whether everyone wants to read a book at the same time, or listen to the same music, or watch the same show. Unless you really like to shop daily for veggies and milk, and unless you have nice weather and lots of outdoor space, it's a whole new ball game with more people involved.
July 23, 2014 at 8:58AM   
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hidesertkath
My husband and I lived on our 40' sailboat for almost 10 years. We sailed Mexico and Hawaii and up and down the west coast. We personally could never have done it if we had been in a cold climate or stuck in one place with no change of scenery. That was in the 90's and we are older now and live in a home that is just under 1900sf, still small by many standards. If I lived alone, I could easily live in one of the park model vacation homes (not necessarily this brand) which are 400sf or smaller. I would not feel the need to reinvent the wheel and build my own when there are such lovely ones available for purchase. http://parkmodels.com/southwest/photo-gallery/
July 23, 2014 at 9:01AM     
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Artist/ birdofwood.COM
For those questioning the utility of a small home when young children and adolescents still live at home, think multiple tiny homes clustered, as a friend of my aunt did in the seventies, when I was a teen (12). He set up multiple structures facing a common living area, where a kitchen and living room laid. The bedrooms were each a tiny home themselves. The set up is still working and now that the kids are grown, the extra space serves as rental income. The property is on an Island (Culebra Island)
July 23, 2014 at 9:05AM     
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jacejones
We love living in the outdoor spaces. EWelike going out in the morning and only settle inside a couple hours before bedtime. Tiny spaces don't bother me, but I do like a lot of windows. We live in NC Ohio.
July 23, 2014 at 9:32AM   
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leslieawhite
I would love a 1000 sq. ft. home but I would not want a tiny house with Victorian gingerbread trim. It seems like they usually have that.
July 23, 2014 at 9:41AM   
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makaloco
References to climate make a lot of sense. In my location, most days are sunny with temperatures always above freezing, so windows and doors are open and I spend time outdoors. With long, cold, gloomy winters, I might appreciate more indoor space.
July 23, 2014 at 9:53AM   
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rdemoura
I lived in my 32 foot travel trailer for a year. Space is a PREMIUM, and there is NO shopping for home furnishings! I am presently living in an "American Four Square", built in 1920. I LOVE the home, all the "craftsman style" woodwork, and most importantly, the "GOOD BONES" in a home built by Craftsmen!! I COULD live in a small home, this is WAY too much "space" for just me. My kids are grown & on their own, the ONLY requirement? I will NEED to put my tiny home, near my MASSIVE garage & work shop!!
July 23, 2014 at 10:14AM     
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Cliff Davis
I lived in a house for a year with my teenage daughter and it was great in so many ways, adjusting included cleaning . I had a lot of stuff to move around to get to the corners! I moved in to another house that would be considered really small by today's standards, about 1/3 larger than the last. This one I like but when my daughter moved out I discovered the blessing of extra space.
July 23, 2014 at 10:17AM   
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suekat12
I think it depends on where the tiny home is located as to whether or not I could live in one. If it was in a mountain, lake or ocean view setting with land around it, I think it would be doable. If it was surrounded by other houses, I'd feel claustraphobic. Location is everything.
July 23, 2014 at 10:25AM     
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haglinc
I have lived in a sailboat. That's a REASON to live tiny. I have lived in under 500 sq ft. I was a starving student glad to have my own space, so it was great. I am living in 1000 sq ft on several acres of which is great. You can do it, and you can do it creatively. For me, it all depends on where you live, with whom you live, and what is around you!
July 23, 2014 at 10:38AM     
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hayleydaniels
No, I don't think I could live in that tiny of s house, but space isn't my concern. What concerns me is the political agenda to convince me that living in a normal [1350 sq ft] home is a great evil, and that by doing so, I'm destroying the planet. This is part of the UN's Agenda 21 designed to move people out of the suburbs into the cities, and get us out of our cars so they can rewild large areas of the county. Here's a short article on the subject showing the area of California and Nevada that will be rewilded making it off limits to any human activity:
http://www.savethetrails.us/WildlandsProject.html
July 23, 2014 at 10:39AM     
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Don R Titus, Residential Designer
Hayley, I don't know anything about the UN's Agenda 21, but I do know that those I've talked with and read about who choose to live in tiny, or even just small, houses aren't doing it in accordance with any political agenda; they're doing it because it better fits the life they want to live. Just my two cents. :D
July 23, 2014 at 10:48AM     
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crodg00
I believe a well designed small home including built in storage can live big. My goal is to design the perfect 1000 sq ft 2 bedroom home. Currently we live in a 1400 sq ft home and it is way more than we need. I think people confuse want and need and end up supporting large mostly unused homes. Oh well , thats just my thought anyway. :-)
July 23, 2014 at 10:54AM     
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loripritchett
I have to say I'm intrigued... IF I had a real toliet and hot water, I can downsize.And I agree with suekat12, location location, location!
July 23, 2014 at 10:59AM   
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Sandra Lockhart
Love the idea and if tiny was 1000 sq ft, I could do it with a very we'll planned house
July 23, 2014 at 11:09AM     
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zenbox design
Location does make a huge difference!
Before our current small home we lived in a vw bus that was about 48sqft... but with the ability to see the world it becomes livable. You park that thing on the sand next to a palapa staring at the ocean and it seemed HUGE!

We certainly didn't downsize because the UN sent us a letter...we did so because we wanted to live in an urban neighborhood that allowed to to be walking distance to everything we needed (and wanted to have a real toilet and hot water shower...or 2). It also just happens to allow us to live mortgage free... which means we can still travel the world.

It's all about priorities and which ones best fit your goals. =)
July 23, 2014 at 11:11AM     
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piratefemme
I lived in europe for a decade, selling all my stuff to move there - moved with one trunk, one large suitcase a backpack and a large carrier bag. that's it.
I missed my "stuff" for about 3-4 years then it just... slowly didn't matter. Its like losing anything, you adjust. I never got more what would move in a minivan the whole time.
I lived London where you can't afford anything but a single, small one room suite and in Amsterdam on a canal boat. I never suffered for space. urban life happens outside of the home. home is a quiet personal space. even when I was married, we kept it very small and simple.
Much easier. I prefer it. I find large spaces a nightmare and useless now. too much to clean and all it does is collect... well... stuff!
I prefer to spend money on travel and socialising. and I'd love my home to be mobile. I get itchy feet.
right now I share a 600 foot flat with a mate. even in that... we don't use the dining space. and we could easily loose half the living room as we just need room for a couch to chat on. the rest of it... just has unused space aside from her "stuff." her bedroom is larger than mine and she's rarely there.
I just see about 1/3 of the space in our flat going to useless space.
July 23, 2014 at 11:12AM   
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dellarobbins
Check out: www.cannoebay.com/escape. My dream tiny home on my lake property. Down size and get out of debt.
July 23, 2014 at 11:17AM   
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sweetieint
We downsized from a 7,000 sq ft house to a beautiful condo 2,200 sq ft, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico in SW FL. Besides not having all that work, it is sooo peaceful! If I had another house that was smaller than our big home, it would have to have beautiful views.
July 23, 2014 at 11:36AM   
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godsplansforme
I have kids and i need my (me) time. Id NEVER get it in a tiny house.
July 23, 2014 at 11:46AM     
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Gretchen Dietz
I have 1,000 sf and I really wish I had more space. I like to do a lot of crafts and that takes up room. Thankfully my condo has a shared basement for storage or I'd really be in trouble
July 23, 2014 at 12:49PM     
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julietsbeads
I bought a smaller home to have an annex to my 2200 sq. ft. home, which is too small for us. Why not buy a larger home, you ask. My husband wouldn't move.
July 23, 2014 at 1:56PM   
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tiny_dancer_303
You must have a big family, julietsbeads!
July 23, 2014 at 1:58PM   
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dellarobbins
No comments on my post: www.conoebay.com/escape. I am 79, family all grown and I need to downsize. That 400 sq. ft. house has all the comforts of any home and can be moved at any time which makes it perfect for my lake property.
July 23, 2014 at 2:11PM     
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poetryqn
Love a tiny house as a guest house/vacation home/studio or office. AND I think that many of the homes built today have way too much wasted space. There was a Taunton Press book that came out a couple of years ago called The Not So Big House, that I loved for designing a home around the way we really live. In square footage it wasn't huge, but the spaces worked so much better than what I see on the market.
July 23, 2014 at 2:11PM   
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Caryn Hall
I have a two bed, 1.5 bath condo with a full basement. I bought it because it would hold certain heirloom items, and with the right furnishings, I could host out of town visitors and have a playroom space for visiting kids. And now there are many days when it feels far too large. The real problem is actually that it is a clumsy floor plan for my needs. And condo living has not been the low-stress low maintenance experience I had hoped for. I would trade this 1500 sq ft for the 900 sq ft bungalow that better suited my lifestyle, with the possible exception of the kitchen. I like a big counter for cooking.
July 23, 2014 at 2:43PM     
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myeyzz
Typically, I believe most of us have the idea that more space is necessary than is really needed. How many people think they have streamlined their belongings yet don't ever use a goodly number of them. I used to rattle around in my 1200 square foot house but now rent out half and find that my present separate and openly-designed 600 square feet, with far fewer 'things' in it, feels about right and functions quite well.
July 23, 2014 at 2:44PM     
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Tere Batham
I lived on a 47 foot sail boat for 18 years sailing the Pacific with my husband. Although the floor space was under 100 sq. feet there were cupboards and lockers a-plenty, along with built in sofas, bunks, desks and galley counter-tops, stove, fridge, freezer, washing machine and so on. I seldom felt cramped as the outdoors went on forever. and my swimming pool was over the side. Life was simplified to the bare essentials and it felt great.
July 23, 2014 at 2:45PM     
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cheewawa
For me it really depends on the layout of the house itself. At our age climbing up a ladder to a loft would make a tiny house the wrong place to live and we would have to do scissors, paper, rock for the sleeper sofa if we had one. There are some tiny houses on with main level murphy beds, fold out beds, etc and a ladder up to the loft for either an additional sleeping space or much needed storage space. I also am not a big fan of composting toilets so that is also an issue. I like a tiny space for many reasons but it would have to have main floor sleeping and either in a trailer park where I could hook up to a toilet system or on my property where I would need to put in a septic tank and at that cost it would not make sense to have a tiny house. There is one tiny house that is expensive but built like a stick built home with so many amenities around 400sf and on a trailer called The Escape. That really is more my style because of the total package and so much luxury in a very small space and all on one level. Tiny houses are not for everyone but I won't say a definite no because who knows what this economy will do and at the very worst I might need to really downsize so I will leave my options open.
July 23, 2014 at 3:02PM     
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pcmom1
I don't think I could fit my Christmas decorations into a "tiny house". My aim is to reduce my stuff. I had a whole wall of empty cabinets in my laundry room but then my college daughter got this "great buy" on photography equipment and filled it!
July 23, 2014 at 3:12PM     
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michiganavenuegirl
I think it's brilliant. Downsizing is empowering. For those of us who come from big cities, smaller spaces are something that we're very used to. -Getting used to these dimensions might take some time. But I would think it would be freeing!
July 23, 2014 at 3:59PM     
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dellarobbins
cheewawa - The ESCAPE is what I was talking about. Love it!
July 23, 2014 at 4:00PM     
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Lynda
This Ideabook reminded me of my daughter. 15 years ago, when she was 7, we would drive past a Ted's Sheds on the way to her school. One day, she very adamantly proclaimed that when she was older, she would be "buying one of those sheds and living in it." She went on to tell me all her well thought out plans..."I'll need a small bed, chair, sink, toilet...oh, and a BROOM!" I had to laugh at the broom part.
I think she was ahead of her time with the tiny house trend.
July 23, 2014 at 5:49PM     
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makaloco
But pcmom1, in a tiny house you'd have a lot less to decorate at Christmas!
July 23, 2014 at 5:54PM     
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salvacrispa
yes, a tiny house. It brings many questions and concern about consuming, wast, mobility. Besides that, the architets are there to give space solutions that most of us need.
July 23, 2014 at 6:08PM   
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June Fisher
Nice in theory, but no:)
July 23, 2014 at 7:06PM     
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jean313
I need space to be creative--sewing, scrapbooking, home decorating. I can't imagine living in a space so small; it would stifle me unless all I wanted to do in my house is read and watch TV.
July 23, 2014 at 7:17PM   
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barbaranathalie
I would become claustrophobic in a tiny house. I am single with 1100 square feet. It's cozy and perfect for me. I raised my son in it, but limited him to an hour of loud music each night!
July 23, 2014 at 7:34PM     
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suzanb9
I have a vacation cottage outside Dallas Tx - 360sf on 1+ acres on a lake - windows on 3 sides and a huge deck. Daybed is couch/bed, rocking chair for reading, small bookcase and end table, a dining table for 4, small full bath, small kitchen, clothes closet and laundry space - and a small low ceiling loft for guest sleeping/storage. Don't think I could go smaller or have to give up my outdoor space. I plan to retire there and think I'll do fine. But a 200 sf tiny house would be too cramped. Am currently in a 3300 sf house that I hate heating, cooling, cleaning...
July 23, 2014 at 7:38PM     
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lake1114
400 square feet would work for me-as a bedroom! Never a tiny house! Too many friends and too much family that are always visiting for weekend stays. I need a dining room table that can accommodate 12-14 people a kitchen large enough to cook for them and enough bedrooms and baths for that number as well. For me, it is all about spending time with those we love and making them feel welcome and comfortable. I love having everyone visit but I need to have my own bed and bath for some privacy.

We are downsizing however. We are selling our 4000 square foot primary house to move full time to our 3200 square foot lake house. My husband and I have worked hard to get to this place in our lives and have/are enjoying every last square foot both houses!
July 23, 2014 at 7:39PM     
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81051
It's surprising how little we really need to live comfortably & I think in the future we may be forced to look more seriously at these possibilities because of costs & space in cities. I love the idea but not quite ready yet.
July 23, 2014 at 7:41PM     
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onthecoast1
Tiny houses are ADORABLE, but I need at least 1,000 sq ft, preferably 1,200 sq ft, to be comfortable (and that doesn't include the large storage building out back. haha).
July 23, 2014 at 8:57PM     
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Wayfinding Design
I super love my tiny space (280 sq ft) and the two acres it's on near Lake Michigan. Since it's so small there's little to have to do inside, but lots to do outside! When the temperature drops I spend my time painting, reading and watching the wildlife outside. Simple and wonderfilled!
July 23, 2014 at 9:15PM     
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catladynbadams
I live alone in a 1600 square foot house which is a good size for me. It might be fun to have a tiny house in a vacation spot.
July 23, 2014 at 9:39PM   
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billiesue14
Interesting that the vote was so evenly split. I think, though, that some definition of terms might have been helpful. I've known people who "downsized" into 2,200 square foot homes or who refer to their similarly sized houses as small. When I was very young, I lived in a small studio apartment, probably less than 400 sq. ft. It was fine because I was never home, but I can't imagine living like that now. The largest home I ever had was around 3,600 sq. ft. Even at the time, it seemed excessive. At the present time, my husband and I live in just over 1,500 sq. ft. and it is about right. Any smaller would definitely seem cramped. I wonder if those who chose tiny have ever actually lived that way. I think the reality might not be as appealing as the idea. Also, if being environmentally friendly is the main motivation, tiny house/huge property sort of defeats the purpose. So does living in an RV. I live in a comfortably sized home, but I go weeks between fill-ups. There's no inherent virtue in having the smallest possible home. However, there is definitely something wrong with living wastefully. It's all about the big picture.
July 23, 2014 at 10:30PM     
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alcuin1
I need space for my books and collections
July 23, 2014 at 10:33PM   
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nettienoodles
We just moved from an 1100 sq ft home to an 870 sq ft home. We feel so free from clutter and expenses. The secret is to have lots of organization and I had both closets built in and organized professionally

We got rid of anything we don't really need or use. We have less landscaping to care for and smaller water bill. Smaller tax bill smaller homeowner insurance. Etc.

I just love it

But that being said, 400 sq ft or less would be too small for us
July 23, 2014 at 10:41PM     
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Cristina Valeriano
As my lot area is only 75 sq. meters, it makes me interested to learn how to maximize the space, both for indoor and outdoor. Houzz provides a lot of good ideas to do this.
July 23, 2014 at 10:59PM   
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suebee64
Sometimes it is for necessity that we have to downgrade to a smaller home. We have just sold our 5 bedroom home, study, living, family and dining and purchased a 2 bedroom cottage as I am not well. It is a huge change for us and I am trying really hard to love my new home but it is so hard deciding what I can keep and what has to go as I was already a minimalist as far as my asian theme style allowed. This is still all very new for me so hopefully I will feel better about it all soon
July 24, 2014 at 12:30AM     
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Theresa Maree
I used to live in a very tiny townhouse(111sq/m) in South-Africa - we couldn't breathe. Now we have upgraded to a house (220 sq/m). It is still a small house - but at least we now have more space. In a too tiny house it is difficult to keep it tidy as if there is only one thing out of place the whole house looks like a mess. Especially since everything is open plan. If I could afford a castle I wouldn't mind - but for now I have to make this space work for me at it's fullest potential.
July 24, 2014 at 3:20AM     
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dreadej
I commented earlier, and yes, to the tiny home poll. I said yes because I think I could do it, but one truly doesn't know until they do or have to, whatever the reason(s) may be. I love the efficiency and practicality of a tiny/small home. My husband and I are pretty frugal and simple but what we do have would be hard to fit into a 100 sq ft house. However, we are currently living in a 400 sq ft apartment, renting. We love to cook, do maintenance on our own vehicles/projects, camping, and ride bicycles. So most of our living space consists of a deep freeze, a rolling tool chest as a "tv" stand, two camping boxes, and two bicycles (a road bike and recumbent). These items take up a lot of space. But we are also lacking any kind of outdoor space and have to store everything inside, including my muddy boots from work, we are both foresters.

The tiny house movement is not meant to force everyone into small homes and it is not a "one size fits all". But, it does bring new opportunities and excitement for those that can and want to live in something smaller and the home can also look very sleek and modern. I think the movement is to show that it can be done and single folks, couples, and families have done it and can do it. You also must have the right (positive) mindset when moving into a tiny home. Really, you need a positive attitude anywhere you live; otherwise, 2000 sq ft or 200 sq ft, you will never be content. It's a new/different way of functioning, and I believe more efficiently. I am still trying to get a new routine down at this new place; however I am a morning person and my husband is not so much so the mornings have been more difficult. ;-). But we are both glad we decided to rent this place.

So, I don't think a tiny home is for everyone and the style of a tiny home is dependent upon the lifestyles of each individual. For those that do, it can be an exciting new adventure and for those that may not, it can help make you think about what you do have and how important it may be...and if you've used it in the last year. ;-). There is a great new show, The Tiny House Nation, on FYI.com (I believe) and the two men travel around constructing tiny homes for families. It is a pretty awesome show and they do some amazing, beautiful work.
July 24, 2014 at 3:30AM     
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reyn7767
2000sqft is no McMansion! Personally It is just me and my 7yo son, we need 4000sqft + and a 4 car garage. I have 3 house, one where I have each office (Newport Beach, CA, Newport, RI and Fort Lauderdale, FL) I don't do hotels or condo's. The smallest is FL at only 3000sqft, but we make do. If I wanted to live in a smaller space, it would be on a yacht, not some childhood club house!
July 24, 2014 at 5:40AM     
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forker273
What a truly interesting thread this has become and what interesting insight it has been into how differently many of us view housing. Clearly there is a decent sized population who favor 'small' or accept small as a means to other ends. Financial considerations were mentioned often, sometimes as the primary motivator and other times as a nice side benefit, but not the driving reason for going small.

Having traveled for business most of my life, I've lived in enough hotel rooms to have developed a general dislike for being able to see all four walls all the time...granted I do realize there is a huge difference between a hotel room and a small house :)

As empty nesters we moved out of the city and built a large home on a lake which we absolutely love. We realize most retirees or empty nesters usually downsize, not up size...but after living here for a few years, we are convinced we made the right decision. With plenty of space to accommodate friends and family and all the personal time in the world to do so...we never want for company, be they family or friends. Of course we set the schedule and there are times we enjoy the peace and quiet of being alone, but we also love to have visitors and our family and friends love visiting us in what is a very comfortable and relaxing environment. We're blessed with a great family and wonderful, interesting and engaging friends.

We worked hard, had successful careers, planned to have this type of retirement and we are both glad we did...maybe its not everyone's idea of retirement living, but it certainly is what we wanted and are thoroughly enjoying. When we want small, we actually stay in our self contained guest quarters for a night or two.
July 24, 2014 at 6:02AM     
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Laura Lang
For those who mention the Escape--I remembered seeing that article some time ago and went back to it. Now that size I could definitely live in as a retired person or couple--just not as a family. In fact, if done right, I would prefer to live in something that size! I like the alternate classic one--with an entrance to the bath from the kitchen. I do not like how they have the kitchen down one side (that part is okay) and the couch in front of it. Much too close to the other side so that is the part I don't like. However 14 foot wide is plenty. Just need to rework it slightly. I would put all the water in a row: bath, laundry, kitchen sink to save on plumbing. Add an L side to the kitchen along the bedroom wall and make the long part a lot shorter. Make the porch 2 feet smaller and make a living area 2 feet larger just for the couch, etc. I set up a full wall closet on the far end of the bedroom (could easily add drawers as well). Just a slight reworking and it could be easily livable for most singles or a retired couple--with storage as well. The porch could be used as an office and a guest suite as well as for relaxing. Really good plan overall!
July 24, 2014 at 6:02AM     
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Amanda Sutton
I currently live in just under 400 sq ft. I like small spaces. The tiny houses on trailers are too small for me. However, if I had to pay high rent. I would live in a tiny house made from salvage & found items. You can always add on later.
July 24, 2014 at 6:16AM     
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rosebud3
No to tiny, yes to small.
July 24, 2014 at 6:56AM     
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shars55
Reyn......you don't NEED houses that big, you WANT them, can afford them, and you are ostentatious......HUGE difference. I have a 3000 sq. ft. house, and it's just me and my husband. It's plenty of space for two people, give me a break.
July 24, 2014 at 7:40AM     
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Sylvia Reynolds-Blakely
I think people who live in smaller spaces have bigger interior lives. Look at the European lifestyle we envy. They are more social because they don't obsess over their square footage.
July 24, 2014 at 7:59AM     
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moskowman
Well... First of all, most people who say that they live in tiny houses, are technically living in RV's... People who own homes have a real property including the land at the end of the day. The liquidity and financing are much different for actual houses set on a permanent foundation. So if we are talking tiny homes, I think that we should be discussing permanent dwelling on land...
July 24, 2014 at 8:05AM   
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harpergal
I have a rather small house now and find that I really don't have much room for overnight guests. I want to have 2 bedrooms and 2 baths to be able to entertain guests, as I live a long way from many of my friends.
July 24, 2014 at 8:06AM   
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reyn7767
share55- Each house has a media room, a bar room, office and nice kitchens. I also believe each bedroom should have a bathroom and a few guest baths! Two are waterfront and one has a view of the water all have docks.
July 24, 2014 at 8:12AM   
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lake1114
Sylvia-I would have to respectfully disagree. I do not envy the European lifestyle at all but much prefer having space inside and out in which to socialize. From my several trips to Europe, I do not think they are more social. In some areas of Europe, I have found some people to be less social than what I have seen around a lot of areas of this country.

I certainly do not think obsessing over square footage has anything to do with socializing.

That being said, people who prefer small houses to large ones are no different to people liking large cars to small ones or comedies to romance etc etc. I think it is whatever makes you happy and comfortable. Different people have different needs or wants and why not. You work hard your whole life, and deserve to enjoy life the way it makes you happy.

The one thing though that does annoy me is people who disagree with you who try to make you feel as though you are somehow wrong or uncaring about the world, environment, or life in general. They can take on a holier than tho attitude in an attempt to make others look small.

We all have different ways of doing our part in "saving" the world. Some through charities, helping the needy, or volunteering (to name a few). Living in a small house is just one small way and by no means the only way. Many new energy efficient houses use less resources than other smaller homes. Al Gore constantly preaches to "reduce your carbon footprint" but has anyone looked at the size of his (carbon footprint that is)?

For those of you who say you actually enjoy living in a small or tiny house-God love ya!!
July 24, 2014 at 8:36AM     
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lake1114
ren-are you male or female and are you single? LOL
July 24, 2014 at 8:38AM   
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Michelle Scott for Ethan Allen - Laguna Niguel, CA
I think when I have an empty nest, I would like to build one - maybe live in it for a year or so, then decide if it's right for my husband and I.
July 24, 2014 at 8:49AM   
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Laura Lang
I cannot even imagine a media room, a bar room AND a living area! Can't they be the same room? When my friends gather, we all want to be together in the same room so we can all socialize and talk together. I work at home quite a bit, but even then I only spend 4-6 hours a day in my office--8 to 10 hours on weekends. My office can easily be a guest suite for the other 14-20 hours. With iPads and such, my office is quite mobile anyway. As for bathrooms, I don't think even the most self-conscious person spends more than 2 hours a day in there--that means one bathroom can accommodate 12 people easily! I do like to have two--just in case. As for a kitchen, I barely need one. I believe in eating a mostly whole foods diet, rich in fruits and vegetables. Yes, I do eat everything, but the major part of my diet is whole foods that need little prep or cooking. I am a middle-class person but if I were a one percenter, I would not live in a larger house. It would be a nicer house, but not larger. I would have more than one house as well, but it would not be large either. I am one of those crazy types who tries to do the least damage to the earth as is possible so that future generations may get to enjoy what I do. It is quite possible to make houses that make as much energy as they use--for little additional cost--so I do not understand why builders don't make that choice and instead keep doing the same thing over and over and over....

People are social creatures and really do need each other. The more social people tend to be healthier and live longer as well. Small feeds this need. Just not TOO small!!
July 24, 2014 at 8:54AM     
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pcmom1
Think they might be a good solution when you need to move your aging mom/dad onto your property. Still would need to be around 400 sq ft. I think for comfort.
July 24, 2014 at 9:04AM   
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Laura Lang
For the person who said large is 'just a preference', I do not believe this. As mentioned quite some time ago, there was a study done and humans really do have a preference for certain size rooms. As the study went on, it was more and more noticeable that room sizes larger than the preferred size, were uncomfortable for just about everyone. And the strangest thing was, those who lived in the largest homes with the largest rooms were the ones who tended to move the most often, completely closed off parts of their homes for long periods of time, or were rarely home. They were never comfortable in their house and kept trying to find that comfort zone, not realizing the cause was of rooms that were too large. I am sure there is a small percentage of people who really do prefer large, but like anything else, the vast majority fall into the same area and prefer similar sized rooms. I have acquaintances who live in large houses and ALL of them have a strong need to prove their 'worth' by owning 'things'--the bigger, the better--the more, the better. They are no happier than the rest of us however--despite being in those large homes with lots of stuff.
July 24, 2014 at 9:05AM     
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pcmom1
Interesting. I do find that rooms with soaring ceilings (say 15 or more feet high) feel strange to sit in. Maybe I will carry an umbrella with me!
July 24, 2014 at 9:30AM   
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andreakean1
It all depends on the outside - the climate, vegetation, etc. I would hate to be snowbound in a truly tiny house, esp. with a family.
July 24, 2014 at 9:36AM   
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makaloco
People accustomed to inner city living must be laughing themselves silly and thinking, "What's a bedroom?" When I lived in the US, my studio condo in the central Boston area was 380 square feet. Friends in New York and Paris had even smaller living spaces. It's do-able because you don't have all the paraphernalia of suburban living: multiple cars, lawn mowers, pool equipment, work benches, power tools, barbecue grilles, patio furniture. Guests don't expect to eat at a formal dining table or have their own suite for sleeping and bathing. You order take-out and inflate the air mattress. It's a whole different standard.
July 24, 2014 at 9:38AM     
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Lyn Martin Designs
I like small houses . . . not sure tiny would be comfortable enough. . . perhaps it would be more like a permanent camping trip :-)
July 24, 2014 at 9:52AM   
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crodg00
Dellarobbins, the escape is perfect. Great design and would feel right at home on a mountain lot. Thanks for sharing, I am always looking for new builders to study. They seem to be very well thought out and offer some great options to customize your home. thanks again chuck
July 24, 2014 at 10:23AM     
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dellarobbins
crodgOO - Hi Chuck - I do have lake property (Austin, TX). It has known to flood. I cannot wait to sell my house (it's on the market) and get an ESCAPE. I can live in 400 sq. ft., (not an RV), be out of debt, and have a HOUSE that I can move if I need to. I am 79 and still work. It would be nice to work when I want to and not have to because I have a big house to keep up. Just saying....
July 24, 2014 at 1:16PM   
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dellarobbins
Escape
July 24, 2014 at 1:23PM   
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dellarobbins
Escape floor plan that I like.
July 24, 2014 at 1:26PM     
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dellarobbins
Escape front view
July 24, 2014 at 1:29PM     
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Laura Lang
That is the plan I like best! Since this is a tiny house, two sinks are not necessary in the bathroom. I would shorten the vanity and put in one sink and move the toilet into that area and then move the stackable washer/dryer to where the toilet is. I would move the sink (and possibly dishwasher) down to the end where the w/d are, keeping all the plumbing in the smallest area possible (plus with the right kitchen sink--it could be used for grooming while the other sink is being used by another person). :-) Might rearrange the bedroom slightly but keep the same size/space. Where the table is, I would put a small pantry and a Conserv refrigerator (I have one and will attach a picture of it). This refrigerator is only 2 X 2 X 6 and every shelf (inside and on door) is movable--holds a lot and works well for the two of us. Then a tiny island in the center of the "L" kitchen, that also works as a counter/table--make it so it could extend to a longer table--just need to move the couch over a bit. I would move the wall between the porch and living area down 2 feet. The porch would end up 14 X 10 (instead of 14 X 12), but the living area would be 2 feet longer. This adds enough room to give the couch and chair its own area where the couch could face the tv/fireplace/heater wall! If done carefully, the living area/kitchen could be nearly (less wall space) 14 X 18 in size--not a bad size for a living space at all! I would definitely wire the porch so it could be an office and a guest suite--as well as a place to relax. Could keep open with the screens when nice and have sliding doors to close when cooler or stormy.
July 24, 2014 at 2:28PM     
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crodg00
Laura Lang, Go check out their web page, several floor plan variations are available. Dellarobbins is on to something big....or maybe small, however you look at it. http://www.escapehomes.us

chuck
July 24, 2014 at 3:45PM     
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Laura Lang
Hi Chuck, I realize that this is one of several variations. This is the one I like best however. I don't like the studio one for a living space, and I don't like the ones with the bedroom at the other end by the porch. I like the classic plan, but prefer the alternate which has another entrance into the bathroom--other than from the bedroom. Would not want visitors to have to go through my bedroom to get to the bathroom! A couple of the other plans are longer as well, so one could take the Classic and make it as long as the longest one available. I would keep the porch at 14 X 10 and keep the bedroom the same as well. Use the extra space to make the living area/kitchen larger. Maybe take one foot of the extra length and add to the bedroom for more storage?? My mentioned alterations above were for the standard "Classic" 40 foot length.

In my area, finding a place to put it would be a big problem. If I could find such a place, the Escape would likely be in my future! I could go way out and have no problem, but as I am getting older I want to be near a bus line and everything else. No way to put one of these near a bus line!
July 24, 2014 at 4:11PM     
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Laura Lang
What does everyone think of the Gen Now house? This one is 1200 sq ft--so not tiny, but still on the smaller side. https://homes.yahoo.com/blogs/spaces/is-this-flexible-space-home-what-92-million-millennials-want-011140512.html
July 24, 2014 at 4:22PM     
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crodg00
LL, Gen Now House -Thats a very cool modern home. It looks very livable. I was also thinking on the escape that I could give up the screened in room and have a full size living room and that would allow an island to fit in the kitchen. You could have a gourmet kitchen, and a full size living room. Probably could fit a Murphy Bed against a wall for guests should that need arise. You have a lot of good design ideas, they got me thinking.
chuck
July 24, 2014 at 5:00PM     
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reyn7767
1200sqft makes a good master bedroom......
July 24, 2014 at 5:04PM     
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mugsy1703
I would like to downsize from my current 2400 sq ft house ... But not too much. Maybe 1800 sq ft or so; maybe less if it really smartly designed and has a walkout basement.
July 24, 2014 at 5:07PM     
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reyn7767
Laura Lang...12 people to one bath? Seriously? No one would make it to work or school! Hell, I am a guy and take 2 hrs in the morning! Steam room and shower are 45min! Below is my house in the NE...not on the water, but walk to the community marina and beach! Master is 850sqft
July 24, 2014 at 6:02PM     
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pcmom1
Gen Now House, watched the video. That looks like a home a small family could actually live in!
July 24, 2014 at 6:53PM   
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Kelsy Warren
While I like the idea, and would think about it when/if I became an empty nester & widow, but since I knit, make cards, camp, have a daughter in Girl Scouts, and a woodworking husband, we would all go bonkers with such little storage and work space. This concept has encouraged my family to purge and keep things down to a minimum.
July 24, 2014 at 8:06PM     
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cewp
I am getting ready to move into a tiny house with 7 acres of beautiful land - instead of cleaning I can spend more time outside with my alpacas
July 24, 2014 at 9:13PM     
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Michelle Scott for Ethan Allen - Laguna Niguel, CA
I think the consensus is that with a 1000 square foot storage "shed" a tiny house would be doable for about 20% of the responders... without the shed - 5%... I love the idea, and perhaps when my son grows up, and moves out, it would be workable for my husband and I - but only if there were a music studio nearby for he and his guys to be able to play. Maybe that's the ticket - Land, a tiny house, and an art/music studio outbuilding... and some alpacas...
July 25, 2014 at 7:54AM     
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Design Solution Group
I would love it, it would be awesome to be mortgage or rent free!
July 25, 2014 at 8:03AM     
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reyn7767
Michelle Scott...really depends on where you live! Alpacas need cooler weather, move to the NE! I am no fan of snow, or anything under 60f (I grew up in SoCal/Hawaii), but I do have a house in RI (I have an office there) and you get land and it is CHEAP! My house there is 6000sqft, 1.5acres with a view of the bay and you can walk to the community beach and Marina (see picture, room for a tennis court) and it is only worth $650k!!!!! My House in Newport Beach, CA is on a postage stamp (like I prefer), but it is waterfront and I wouldn't sell that one under $5.5m.
July 25, 2014 at 9:01AM   
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Laura Lang
Yes, an art/music studio separate! It is not used that many hours out of a week and can be shut down entirely when not in use--saving on energy. As for storage, the idea is to reduce consumption and not have a lot of stuff to store. Funny, I do have a significant number of clothes, but wear just a handful of them 95% of the time. I really could get rid of most of them. Have already reduced items in all rooms to minimum, except clothing and kitchen. My kitchen does not have much storage so I don't have a lot of kitchen stuff anyway. Could reduce a bit more, but any of the kitchens in the designs mentioned would hold all my 'stuff'. I'm fortunate in that I design a lot of things, but it is all done on my computer! I've done many websites, loads of custom graphics, written one published book (and have two more in process), design house plans, keep my budget records--all on that computer. We also have an eBay run business (I also work out of the home)--also done on the computer. We do a lot of our own remodeling work but all of that is kept in the garage. Camping gear kept in garage as well. My/our children are well grown and on their own so their stuff does not have to figure into our equation. Grandchildren do come over now and then--they are happy with outdoor equipment, art supplies, books, and computer. We are right in the park as well, which helps with outdoor things to do. Luckily we have little need to store a lot of stuff.
July 25, 2014 at 9:52AM     
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pcmom1
This is America, and to each their own, but I would never want a 6000 sq ft home. If I won a lottery, I could see owning a small quirky cottage near a beach and a ranch house near a fishing stream in Montana for my hubby. I would hit the thrift and consignment stores to decorate both...........
July 25, 2014 at 5:19PM     
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kccasebolt
Maybe later on in life. Right now we need space! Family if 6 and the kids are getting bigger.
July 25, 2014 at 6:35PM   
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belisima
Share 2200 sq feet with my husband, 2 kids and a cat. There are days, I long form my tiny apartment I had in Japan for 3 years. Everything was so much simpler and quieter! Of course I was also single at the time. That apartment was the size of our current living room.
July 25, 2014 at 7:37PM   
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Michelle Scott for Ethan Allen - Laguna Niguel, CA
Hey Reyn... I was kidding about the alpacas, although I think they are adorable! ps... let me know if you need any design work in that Newport Beach place!
July 25, 2014 at 8:42PM   
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wetterer
What a great alternative to a college dorm. When you're out of college you can sell your tiny if you want too.
July 25, 2014 at 8:56PM   
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loveswaterfalls
When I was a newlywed, we lived for 4 years in a studio apartment that was 360 sq feet. It was ok, but the refrigerator was in the living room, and we were grateful to have a storage room in the building's basement. When we bought our first house, it was two bedrooms with 780 sq ft, including a one car garage in that footage! Our huge book collection was on shelves in the attic. We were raising two children there. After 15 years we inherited my husband's childhood home, which is 1900 sq ft, but poorly designed. I think the smaller (not tiny) house was a good size, but I didn't like my son and daughter sharing a bedroom, that's why we moved into the larger home. Been here 17 years, still not happy with floor plan.

I am struggling to get rid of "stuff" so we can downsize when we retire in a few years. (Hubby isn't as keen on the idea as I am so he's resisting my efforts).

My sister wants to retire to about 550 sq ft at the beach, but spend a lot of her time traveling. I will feel better in about 800 sq ft. I love curling up with a book, and need room for my library ;)
July 25, 2014 at 10:37PM     
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stevedenver
For some of us, doing more with less is the answer.

I have never earned more than $45,000/year and my goals were to live easily within my means, take a few week-long road trips a year, and go out of the country for a month every few years. I couldn't do that with half my gross income going to housing. I realized I could easily rent my condo for mortgage + condo fees + $300. I found a carriage house rental within bike riding distance of work: 400sf.

This place has made me passionate about finding one for sale or a house with an auxiliary residence and rent the large house.

Oh, and on my last trip I found out how to make my international trips tax-deductible: establish a business importing belts, wallets and small accessories, such as cufflinks, earrings, bracelets and beads.
July 26, 2014 at 12:25AM     
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reyn7767
Michelle Scott- Sorry, have a decorator by the name of Barclay.......
July 26, 2014 at 4:54AM     
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pcmom1
These husbands are always holding us back. My long range plan is to find some great family and rent out our 2,600 sq. ft. house (month to month just in case with a huge security deposit) and hubby and I move out to our extra garage/pool house.

I would convert that entire space into living (would be 800 sq. ft), add a carport outside of that. Plenty of room. We stay on the property (2.5 acres) we love, keep our friends and neighbors, but have the expense of maintenance and taxes covered.
July 26, 2014 at 10:01AM     
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rupert2002
We. Have downsized from a larger house to a 2000 square foot colonial. I have a galley kitchen instead of a large spacious one. Instead of an open plan now have boxy separate rooms. But I love this smaller home. I love the galley kitchen. The work space is much more convenient ....no more wasted steps for cooking. The house feels more cozy and homey.
July 26, 2014 at 11:08AM   
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reyn7767
PCmom1, hard to find someone to rent with the landlord on the same property. A huge deposit on a month to month? Some states have laws regarding deposits (security and cleaning). You cannot charge for normal wear and tear. Month to month won't help to evict a tenant, most states favor tenants.....Damn Liberals!
July 26, 2014 at 11:13AM   
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SIMPLE SQUARE DESIGN
For a solo getaway from reality, yes! Like living in a tree house for adults. Ahhhhhh!! I can feel my brain relax already.
July 26, 2014 at 11:31AM     
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pcmom1
Probably unworkable, I know. And probably illegal.
July 26, 2014 at 12:12PM   
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gathrighta
I am building my second house at 28 years old. 1st house was 1788sf new home is 2688sf.... If I didn't have small children I would love a tiny house. I just watched the documentary TINY on Netflix loved it.
July 26, 2014 at 1:33PM     
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Kate Hoffman
Living in New Orleans, in particular the Irish Channel neighborhood, an Historic District, "tiny" to me is 1000 to 1500 sf. My home is 1300 sf to which I could add approx 6'x21' by replacing an unused deck thus increasing sf to approx 1426. And if the budget allows, I'd like to increase ceiling height back there either for a full load of windows sun room or do a traditional camelback add-on. Sounds like I need an architect. I was living in an 1100 sf loft condo in the warehouse district when Katrina hit. The layout was perfect and felt bigger than my 1300 sf house. Lost the condo to fire, not water. Anyway, I don't think I could live in anything smaller. So Houzz, would love to see small traditional New Orleans house makeovers, partcularly shotguns (mine is a 2-bay with front door on side). Thanks!
July 26, 2014 at 7:53PM   
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crodg00
Kate H. Have you seen this modern take on a shotgun.
http://www.dwell.com/green/slideshow/lowest-utility-bill-block#1
July 26, 2014 at 8:53PM   
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Kate Hoffman
Very cool, but my house sits on a very narrow lot. Not sure how I could incorprate dog-trot elements. Thanks for sharing!
July 26, 2014 at 9:41PM   
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Margaret Fenney
On the question of tiny houses, I think they are even more of a lifestyle choice than larger homes. I think they are interesting and have read about them for quite a while. It seems that most people who live in them have an outward-oriented lifestyle. Their interests and hobbies are elsewhere and much more time is spent away from home than for most people. I like the idea of it but couldn't live in one in part because of health issues but also because I do a lot of crafting and need a room for that and I also need a reasonably sized kitchen. I live by myself in a 920 sq ft ranch and find it just right although the rooms are all smaller scale than most newer homes. I have thought, though, about how this home was probably built for a family back in the 50s and I now consider it "just right" for 1!

I'm now past my child-rearing years and in retirement. I've lived in a number of homes and have to say that "the perfect" home changed as my lifestyle and circumstances changed.
July 27, 2014 at 10:50AM     
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KS MB
I would love a small house with individual rooms, but, with a large kitchen, for a sofa, a table that seats 6 and a center island, 1 large Master bathroom suite with walk-in closet, 1 medium sized bath, and a large family room with cathedral ceilings and fireplace, complete with a screened/glass porch, 2 car attached garage :)
July 29, 2014 at 8:20PM   
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Cast Glass Images Inc.
It's missing the HIS and HERS smart cars in the driveway! :) They are cute....but I think I would be claustrophobic!
July 29, 2014 at 9:12PM     
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reyn7767
KS MB You would like a sofa in your kitchen?
July 30, 2014 at 5:45AM   
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foreverfarm11
I LIVED IN a tiny house and moved to a home 3x's its size and actually got rid of a lot of my junk - the small house was to packed -
August 1, 2014 at 6:47AM   
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aireapparent
I had a great little bungalow in L.A., but the key was a fabulous back porch where I spent most of my time. There's a cute little 1 bedroom 1.5 bath called the Sea Grass on The Bungalow Company website that I am longing for, but the key is the traditional second floor bedroom with a staircase. I couldn't do a ladder to a loft because I have dogs. I am at the point in my life where I am longing for simplicity and a bit more solitude.
August 1, 2014 at 7:19AM     
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dellarobbins
The bungalow is nice, but I need to be able to move it.
The ESCAPE works better for me.
August 1, 2014 at 12:02PM     
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Republic Gardens
Don't need a huge house, but need some space to spread out with the fam and friends!!!
August 1, 2014 at 1:13PM   
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peetsoo
I cannot answer the question (the poll) without seeing the inside. What I can say is that I live in a home that is 3200 square feet on two levels...........a lovely home .......but one that I feel is excessive for my needs. I long for a home that is a quarter the size (if well laid out) on a nice property...........................I have been looking and when I find it I will make the leap.
August 1, 2014 at 5:37PM   
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Wayfinding Design
People are often surprised how much room there is on the inside of my small space, based on what it looks like on the exterior. The best analogy was a reference from a Harry Potter movie where they enter a pup tent and it's super spacious inside. How you layout/design a space is the key!
August 1, 2014 at 6:00PM   
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Susan
I would like to say yes, but I really don't know. I would have to have everything in the house to serve more than one purpose. We had a 36ft sailboat with two staterooms, and about 12ft at the beam. We did take a 10 day vacation, and it was wonderful. However, a couple weeks later, we just spent the night on the boat, and I woke up in the morning quite sick. The only thing I wanted to do, was go home to my king size bed.

I also have clothes that fill three closets, and I have a lot of art, rocks, shells and fossils. It would be difficult to part with any of these things(not the clothes), because most of them represent vacations or have some kind of sentimental value.

If I had to, I could, but it would be difficult. About a week ago, tiny homes were featured. It would be nice to see the interior.
August 1, 2014 at 6:02PM   
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Crystal Wall
I could do it if there was a way to put the bed on the first floor. Fear of heights would make sleeping up top impossible. O.O
August 1, 2014 at 6:12PM   
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Tracey White
I live in 450 sq feet now, but the tiny homes are normally under 200 sq feet. That takes a whole lifestyle alteration. When I get older, I don't believe a loft will be feasible. I would like a 800-1200 sq ft vintage home to remodel so I can live/sleep on the 1st floor and have room for family/grand kids to stay/relax. I've enjoyed my downsizing, but I don't want to limit myself quite that much. Also, we love the holidays and I need somewhere to store the boxes of decorations that we enjoy so much.
August 1, 2014 at 7:00PM   
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Tracey White
BTW- some Tumbleweed Tiny Homes do have 1st floor bedrooms.
August 1, 2014 at 7:01PM     
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Eldonna Ruddock
I would have to have another house for my stuff.
August 1, 2014 at 7:27PM   
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katarzyna100
I already live in a small house.
August 1, 2014 at 8:43PM   
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Laura Manning
I just moved from a 1000 sf home to a 3000 ft home. With just 2.people and 2.dogs. I spend 99% of my time outdoors. A tiny house is very appealing!
August 2, 2014 at 3:42AM   
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reyn7767
Laura, what's wrong with 3000sqft? So you spend time outside, that's great, but having interior space is a wonderful thing as well! All these people that are into these fricking kids playhouses are liberal hippies!
August 2, 2014 at 5:00AM   
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dreadej
Reyn7767, there is no need to be hateful. There is nothing wrong with 3000 sq ft. What's wrong with folks who want 100-300 sq ft? Everybody is different and what they need varies, that is why we have the option to choose whatever size we want to live in; just hopefully within our financial means. Tiny houses allow one to use their imagination, more for/with less, if that is what they choose. No one needs to get nasty on here. If it's not your cup of tea, just pass on the poll and don't read about tiny homes. There is no sense in getting angry/worked up over it.
August 2, 2014 at 5:25AM     
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Laura Lang
There are only two ways for a house to be 3000 square feet. Either the rooms are VERY large (and therefore uncomfortable to live in) or there are a lot of rooms that are never used or rarely used. If you buy a house already built and completely turn off all heat, air and electricity to those rooms never used, there is nothing at all wrong with 3000 square feet. If you are building a new house, you are using valuable resources to add those extra square feet of house--much of which will never or rarely be used. If you keep the rooms heated, air conditioned and so on, you are also using valuable energy resources. If you can make your own electricity for heat and air, etc. then there is nothing wrong with it. It is using valuable earth resources to build something that is either not comfortable or not used or takes energy to run that is not so good. My eco-house was 3500 sq.ft. for two families. When everyone else was gone, I NEVER went into the other 2000 sq.ft. except to clean now and then. It was useless space since I didn't use it. I was lucky in that my house had 4 heat zones so I was able to completely turn off 3 of them when not in use. Also it was insulated really well, properly oriented with correct number of windows, so it did not need to be air conditioned. The only thing I did was build more house than was really needed and that used up valuable earth resources, but luckily I did not use the energy. Most people do not have that option however. Not a whole lot of insulation, not oriented, need a LOT of air conditioning and heat (depending on where you live), so there is a ton of wasted energy that really does not need to be used.
August 2, 2014 at 6:25AM   
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rdemoura
AMEN to that dreadej. I could not have said it better. Laura Manning,... I bought this home (2) two years ago. I LOVE my 1920 "American Four Square", the beautiful wood work, and the craftsmanship that went INTO BUILDING this home was a good selling point. HOWEVER, with 4 kids grown & on their own, its like living in a HUGE house now. The cleaning & maint. can be overwhelming at times. I have realized, all I do is eat, bathe, & sleep. I could MOST DEFINITELY live in a tiny home... within walking distance to my HUGE shop/garage. I could sell EVERYTHING inside this home, & sell the house in a MINUET! But I never sell tools, or something I can use to earn money.
August 2, 2014 at 6:30AM   
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Margaret Fenney
reyn7767
"These people" see value in living a life that is simple, inexpensive and usually outwardly focused. Many get very involved in charities and other people-focused activities. Some do it when they are young and single in order to save money to eventually buy a home for a family. Why be nasty to them? Or to anyone? Did it make you feel better somehow to write something that mean?

Laura Lang
I get what you are saying about resources but there are other ways for 3000 sq ft to make sense for 2 people and 2 dogs. For example, people in wheelchairs require larger spaces in order to have access to everything - larger doorways, hallways, rooms etc. When you add that "extra" everywhere in a house it can really add up in square footage. A second possibility that I can think of is 2 people who both make their living working at home and each has a large workshop, studio or office. Or both! I can tell you as a "retired person" that I could not live in a tiny home because I can't move around that well plus I have hobbies. When I had my kids, I had a house that was 3000 sq ft including the basement (which was 1200 sf) and it did not have overly large rooms at all and was the most comfortable house I ever lived in. The large play room in the basement was heaven for my kids as they grew up and we used every part of the space.

What is the purpose of judging people on their housing and decorating choices, especially when you don't know anything about them or their circumstances?
August 2, 2014 at 7:05AM     
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Emily
Define big, small and tiny house by sq ft, and how many people live in. Though the idea is great, has to be practical.
August 2, 2014 at 5:30PM   
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echoblack
I LOVE tiny houses! I spend most of my day making plans of tiny houses
August 10, 2014 at 1:49PM   
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pcmom1
Am I the only one out there that sometimes thinks that having the current home burn down would be freeing? It is having to decide what to keep and what to part with that makes downsizing so difficult. The idea of having nothing (or taking twenty minutes to save the most important heartwise), starting fresh........
August 11, 2014 at 6:49PM   
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lake1114
pcmom-in a word-yes you are! I do not see how losing every important document (ie: birth cert, marriage license, bank records etc) photo, piece of clothing, memento, whatever else and possibly a life would ever be "freeing". Ask anyone who has lost everything in a fire.
August 11, 2014 at 6:57PM     
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Margaret Fenney
pcmom1 - no you are not the only one. I have thought that before and joked that I would burn it all before I moved it again. I know that you do not seriously mean that you would burn your home on purpose (and certainly not important documents, photos and other things precious to you) but are expressing the feeling that our homes and accumulation of *stuff* can feel like a burden. Plenty of people feel that way. I have had to downsize and it was difficult to decide what to keep and what to part with but it was certainly freeing to get rid of a lot of stuff. If the stuff doesn't have any sentimental value, ask yourself how long you've had it, whether you have used it much, whether or not you would want to get it again if it did get burnt up and what it would cost to replace it down the road. Those kinds of questions help make the decisions. Another one that really helped me with my craft stuff was suggested to me by my sister - consider one category of stuff - lets say fabrics or yarns. Decide how much you will allow yourself to keep (enough to fill a particular container for example), then pick what you want to KEEP instead of what you are going to get rid of. It really makes it a lot easier for some things. If something has some sentimental value but not that much - something associated with an aunt or cousin vs. a parent or sibling - and you really don't want to keep it, take a picture of it and let it go. If it helps, give it to someone else in your family. That goes for other stuff too - it is easier to let it go if you know it is going to someone who really needs it, like the homeless or a library or an orphanage or a women's shelter. Take the time to find charities that really need the stuff and it will be much easier! There are lots of other tips out there on how to whittle down your belongings and since you do feel so burdened, take a room or a group of stuff and downsize it. See how it makes you feel and if it makes you feel good, pick another room or group of stuff and do it again. Repeat as you feel like it! Do NOT tell yourself you are going to get rid of ALL your stuff because that will just overwhelm you - you eat an elephant one bite at a time! LOL. Best of luck to you!
August 11, 2014 at 7:40PM     
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pcmom1
Just so all of you don't think I am nuts, would never do this! And we had to deal with a terrible wild fire in 1999 where 26 homes in our area were lost. One of our neighbors, and very good friends, had their home burn to the ground and lost everything. Only thing that made it thru was a few coffee cups in the dishwasher. Remember all of us copying photos for them that we had of their family. We held a Christmas ornament making party to help with their first Christmas afterwards.

Our own home was completely encircled by that fire, thank God for a large green lawn on the north side and a gravel play yard on the east side. Fence on the west side and the garage on the south side caught on fire but firefighters saved our home.

We had just a little time as it approached to decide what to throw into the cars. After the kids and the animals, it was the family photos and letters saved. Then some art I loved, an old quilt.... I remember telling all of us as we ran around the house, "If you can replace it with the charge card, don't take it!"

Right now just feeling burdened as I had pretty much pared things down and it felt so good, but looks like my son will have to move back in with all his stuff! Looking around and wondering where to put it all.
August 12, 2014 at 11:00AM   
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lake1114
pcmom1-I know you would never actually do this. It just sounded a little insensitive when I read it. Especially to people who have lost everything. And God knows there certainly are plenty of other ways to scale down! It was wonderful the way everyone helped out in your neighborhood. What a tragedy. I am happy for you that the firefighters were able to save your house.

Personally, I have never felt burden by belongings as I do always try to purge. Good luck scaling down. God love you if you can live in a tiny house. I will be the first one to admit that I am too materialistic and LOVE my space too much to live in a tiny house. I cannot even imagine it. Sooo, If you have anything you want to get rid of, maybe I am your girl! LOL!!
August 12, 2014 at 2:57PM   
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pcmom1
I seem to take a trunk load to Goodwill every week. Eventually I will get to the bottom! Biggest problem is photos: way too many and so hard to let go of! I spent today sorting and throwing away....
August 12, 2014 at 4:34PM     
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writerinfact
Since I basically live in approximately 250 sqft (except for the bathroom and kitchen, which are downstairs and shared with my son), I have to say that tiny is not in my plans. The main reasons are: 1) cats' litterbox; 2) hobbies; 3) room to cook, bake, and store the equipment; 4) prefer bathtub with my shower; 5) can't say I would be thrilled with a nonstandard toilet; 6) my tent is bigger than most tiny houses; 7) I would need at least three or four tiny houses - one for each activity/hobby - clustered on a single lot. Plus, I'm looking forward to someday having a garage so I can buy a plug-in electric vehicle. Long story short, I'm still looking for plans for the perfect small house. I truly can't imagine living for more than a week at a time in less than about a thousand sqft, and I have done time in both my tent (3 rooms!) and my sister's travel trailer (25'? No slideouts).

I agree fervently with the idea that outdoor space is a requirement, especially with less indoor space. Regardless of how much outdoor space, however, I need separation from the litterbox. Not negotiable! ;-)
August 17, 2014 at 5:13AM   
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reyn7767
pcmom1, I hope you realize that Goodwill is a For Profit Corporation. He has the best business plan, get free stuff and sell it....The CEO takes home $3,000,000.00+ a year, all from people like you!
August 17, 2014 at 6:38AM     
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pcmom1
I use the term "Good will", actually stuff went to our local Discovery Shop that is part of local, not for profit hospital.
August 17, 2014 at 5:08PM     
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demere12
Tiny is relative as it's more about simplifying and minimizing. I'm on the road and am excited about using less and having less to maintain while doing and spending more time with my friends and family. And outdoors is a must, for sure!
August 31, 2014 at 8:39PM   
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cami19
I have lived in a few tiny houses (or spaces) at one point in my life when I was poor. It GAVE me claustrophobia -- I never had it before having to live in a space that small. So for me? Never again. I'd rather live in a tent in a field than in such a small enclosed space ever again.
August 31, 2014 at 9:09PM   
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Jared Lewis Construction
Very cool and for me someday. But for now with two young kids this definitely wouldn't work
August 31, 2014 at 11:43PM   
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Renaissance Home Staging
I'm looking to build a small cottage ...about 15-1600 square feet. Single story. And I've designed it to have creature features, like a screen in porch off a living room with a nice fireplace. Walk in closets, a den/spare bedroom, and lots of windows so I can see the views around the house. The cabinetry will be from Crown Point in CT for sure, and it will have a basement so I have place for things like furnaces, water heaters, and Christmas packages. LOL.
September 1, 2014 at 7:33AM   
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pcmom1
Our house really isn't too large, but I sure wish I could simplify and minimize the yard/pool while still keeping the same amount of privacy!
September 1, 2014 at 10:54AM   
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Susan
We looked at a 1200 sq ft condo. I loved the lay-out, and the storage was such, that I think I could have done it. However, I don't think I could go to anything tinier. As a vacation home, I think I could do a tiny house. In fact, I have seen some that were really cute and efficient.
September 1, 2014 at 11:17AM     
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bigredkate
I am trying to think of how to say this without giving too much offense. 1200 square feet is not tiny, it used to be average. My parents raised 5 large kids in a home that size and I don't remember feeling cramped or lacking privacy.
September 4, 2014 at 2:19AM     
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lake1114
bigredkate-tiny is a relative term. To someone who lives in a 5000 square foot house, 1200 is tiny! To someone who lives in a 250 square foot house then 1200 would be a mansion. It would be helpful if the term "tiny" had a square foot maximum assigned to it so we all could be on the same page, just as what square footage qualifies as a McMansion"? That term varies to different people as well. We need specific dimensions!

I, too grew up in a 1200 square foot house which seemed comfortable at the time. But, I do not think I could do it now unless I had no choice. Current house is 3000 and that is quite comfortable for us. Would not go any bigger though!
September 4, 2014 at 8:10AM     
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makaloco
Article from msn.com that discusses some of the issues and also supports bigredkate's point about average home size in the past vs. now. http://realestate.msn.com/for-many-homeowners-less-is-so-much-more
September 4, 2014 at 8:36AM   
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pcmom1
One thing that grew the average house size was the addition of the family room. There use to be a 'Rumpus Room" in the basement where the old furniture was put and the kids could go wild without worry.

Then the "family room" was added, usually within sight of the "living room". Since it was public, it had to look nice, so no more kids having a great time there. Everyone ended up spending their time in the kitchen/family room and the living room died until Christmas, when it became the Christmas tree room.
September 4, 2014 at 9:11AM   
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writerinfact
Pcmom1, I cannot agree with you more wholeheartedly! I have complained for years (looking at plans in the hope I would discover the Perfect House) that redundancy is - in a word - redundant! ;-) Houses have a living room, great room, family room; formal dining room, morning room / breakfast room, snack bar; media room, den, home office; and let's not forget bedrooms with sitting areas! I currently occupy about 250 square feet, plus use of kitchen and bathroom, with 2 cats and their litter box. I watch television, use the computer, and dine in the same chair - which is also my sleeping space. My Christmas tree? That would be my computer wallpaper! :-) Although, to be completely honest, this arrangement is more from economic necessity than by choice.
September 4, 2014 at 1:13PM     
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bigredkate
Lake1114, you are right. I remember reading a story about Prince William going on a play date aged about 5 and in his childish innocence informing his hostess that her house was really small. I guess if you live in a palace everyone elses house would seem small.
September 4, 2014 at 2:41PM   
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lake1114
bigredkate-Isn't that the truth! Their entire house probably fit in his closet!
September 4, 2014 at 2:43PM     
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pcmom1
Writerinfact, I have never gotten the concept of a sitting area in a bedroom. I do like some extra floor space for some exercise space, yoga, etc., but why would I want to carry my morning coffee and paper in there?
September 4, 2014 at 4:44PM     
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lake1114
pcmom-one of the more recent trends is putting a mini fridge and coffee maker in the master. That way, you can have your morning coffee in your sitting area of your master bedroom. Go figure.....
September 4, 2014 at 5:16PM   
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pcmom1
I know, go figure for sure! Build all these extra rooms and then hide out in the master bedroom?
September 4, 2014 at 5:26PM     
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writerinfact
Morning coffee and paper . . . Isn't that why we wanted the front porch? Back patio? Not the bedroom, in a perfect world. But that's just my opinion, and "your mileage may vary"! ;-)
September 5, 2014 at 6:28AM   
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lake1114
I guess to each his/her own. Maybe if I had a dozen kids I would need the sanctuary of a sitting area in the master. But if I had a dozen kids, then I probably wouldn't be able to afford it! LOL
September 5, 2014 at 1:14PM     
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pcmom1
If you had a dozen kids, I would think less time in the bedroom would be advised.
September 5, 2014 at 4:17PM     
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reyn7767
writerinfact, who gets the paper anymore....I read the news on one of my computers.
September 6, 2014 at 5:19AM     
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pcmom1
My hubby still likes the paper, although he is always on his ipad!
September 6, 2014 at 2:48PM   
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lake1114
pcmom-good point!!
September 6, 2014 at 2:56PM   
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writerinfact
Reyn7767, I also read the news on screen rather than paper. . . It just doesn't "sound" the same! ;-) I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I have never been a news watcher, though, since I have yet to figure out how to delete those stories in which I have absolutely no interest. Just sayin'.
September 8, 2014 at 10:32AM   
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pcmom1
You can read books on a screen also, but give me one I can hold in my hand, take down again and again from a shelf, any day!
September 9, 2014 at 2:08PM     
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Artemano
small house, around 800 square feet, I can deal with. A shed-sized home, not so much..
September 9, 2014 at 2:48PM     
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shars55
Laura Lang........wrong! I have 3000 sq. ft. and it is VERY comfortable for me and my husband. The rooms are large, but not so huge they are uncomfortable, and we use all our space......Maybe not on a daily basis, but we use them all most of the time. I have a nice big kitchen which makes it so much easier to cook and bake, which I love to do. I have nice wide hallways, which I LOVE!!!!! We are perfectly content here, and have no plans to move to anything smaller. It's VERY energy efficient, since it's a newer house. My energy bills here are less than my smaller houses.
September 10, 2014 at 10:51AM     
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shars55
Reyn....I also read the news on one of my computers, but local news around town is almost impossible to find online. I would STILL get the newspaper if they could find delivery people who actually delivered it every day without me calling to nag them to do their job!
September 10, 2014 at 10:53AM   
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reyn7767
Shars55,It is now a career for illegals etc...they have a thousands of houses each morning. I am not old and remember kids on bikes delivering the paper. Like fast food jobs, the uneducated think they can afford supporting a family with a job meant for kids in school!
September 10, 2014 at 2:24PM     
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Laura Lang
shars55 Maybe you are one of the very few who really loves being in a large house and actually uses all of it. I know my 3000+ house was MASSIVE and I only used 1/4 of it. Had to heat and clean all of it however--well to be honest I was smart and put in 4 different zones so I only had to heat the zones I used. I'm in a 2200 sq ft house now and it is also too large, but then again it is an investment. When it is completely remodeled, I will be moving into something much smaller. When my other house sold it was winter and there was little to choose from so I went with the best investment. Can't wait until I move into that smaller home! I like a nice simple life. Little maintenance, little cleaning, little heating, little cooking (whole foods diet). I do as little damage to myself and the earth as is possible. Once I am 'there' I will be spending all my time being with friends and traveling from time to time, and volunteering as well. I most definitely WON'T be using my house much! I don't watch tv so don't even need a living type room! It is only for entertaining which I love to do. I need a bathroom, a small kitchen to throw together a whole foods diet, an office to work in and a bedroom to sleep in. Plus one room to entertain in. All the other rooms are 'extra'.
September 10, 2014 at 4:41PM   
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shars55
Yes, Laura, I do love my house, and we use all of it, though the guest room is only used when we have company. I also have different heating and cooling zones, which helps with the utility bills. I don't spend all my time cleaning, far from it. I do clean because I can't stand a dirty house. I really don't have any more furniture here than I had in my smaller house, just more space. It doesn't take that much more time to clean this house. We have a nice RV, and we travel a lot in that, and also without it. We love our outdoor space, and use it as well. The thought of living in a smaller house makes me claustrophobic! I guess I'm just a person who needs her space. Different people make the world go round! We all live differently.....neither way is good or bad, just the way it is.
September 10, 2014 at 6:30PM     
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reyn7767
Laura Lang, You seem very judgmental. I don't own any small homes! 3000sqft is not that big at all. Just a nice size for a couple. I have a friend that is single and lives in a 10,000sqft house with his house manager (cooks, cleans, does errands, manages shopping, does all the book keeping and party planning). So you cannot wait for a tiny cottage, that is good for you! I would say most Americans like their space...........
September 11, 2014 at 5:50AM     
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lake1114
Ah Laura-It must be pretty lonely up there on your high horse LOL! Comfort is indeed relative. I too, live in a 3000 square foot house and cannot imagine anything smaller. It is only my husband and I who live here but family and friends abound on a regular basis. Cleaning is not difficult and I do not spend a ton of time cleaning. I too, do a lot of cooking and entertaining and my home is filled with love and laughter. We do our part for the environment as well. Living smaller does not equate to living more environmentally friendly! Our heating bill (in New England) by the way was $1500 for all of last year which was a very long and cold winter!

There is an old saying that goes something like this May your house always be too small to hold all of your loved ones! Hmmm....
September 11, 2014 at 8:45AM     
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shars55
Lake1114....same here! I want my house to be comfortable when we have family and friends here. Living smaller DOES not equate to living more environmentally friendly.....well said. My house is newer, and has every energy saving feature you could think of! I bet we use a lot less energy than a smaller, old, drafty house. I suppose if one lives alone and doesn't have a lot of family or friends come over, then a smaller house would be great. I never say never.....but for the foreseeable future, I LOVE my house!!! I'm very comfy in my "massive" rooms! My house is my peaceful place, I need it to be comfortable, not just a place to throw food together and sleep.
September 11, 2014 at 9:22AM     
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pcmom1
Everyone has their own idea of "Home, Sweet Home"!
September 11, 2014 at 10:48AM     
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lake1114
shars55-could not agree more. But that is one of the many wonderful things about our great country
September 11, 2014 at 12:00PM     
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lake1114
to each his/her own! It is just that I do not appreciate people assuming that because you live in a large (and who determines what large is anyway) that you are environmentally unfriendly. There are many ways to help the world out besides living in a "tiny house". Some people to need to get off their high horse and stop making judgments about others whom they do not even know!
September 11, 2014 at 12:05PM     
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PRO
Beautiful Habitat: Design & Decoration
"Tiny" is a relative term - it has a different meaning to someone in Japan, or a large city compared to someone in Texas.I'd need to know more about the definition of "tiny" to answer!
September 11, 2014 at 12:28PM   
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lake1114
I have said that in numerous posts!
September 11, 2014 at 12:39PM   
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Laura Lang
Every problem in the world--global warming, war, burglary, murder--has to do with wanting MORE, wanting something we don't have, wanting what we don't even need. This is a world-wide problem. No one seems to ever have ENOUGH! We want more than we have, we want more than we need, we want something we can't have! We are WANTING right into extinction, slowly but surely. The majority of people want what they want and they want it now, but they are completely unaware that their EVERY choice impacts all of the rest of us and especially the world. There is no way you can say two identically built houses, one 1000 or 1500 square foot is going to cost as much in materials to build as a 3000 or 4000 square foot one or cost as much in energy to take care of. Electric, gas, maintenance--all of it. None of us can make a single choice without it affecting others and this earth we live on--yet most of us live completely as though our choices DON'T affect anything or anyone but 'us'. It is a sad situation in the world, especially in the USA. Awareness is almost non-existent with most people.
September 11, 2014 at 3:10PM     
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pcmom1
The greenest thing to do is buy an existing house, rather than building new. Also keeping the old kitchen/bath rather than remodeling, put on a sweater, or sweating, rather than turning on the heat or AC. Got to look at the big picture.

And, yes, wants are infinite. And they seem to go up geometrically the larger the emotional hole in the heart is. The one that needs filling and will never have enough.
September 11, 2014 at 3:34PM     
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lake1114
Once again, I will say that Houzz is a place to exchange ideas and have some fun looking at peoples homes and ideas. It is not a forum for people to display their political platform. There are plenty of other on-line forums in which to belittle and criticize others in the world whose opinions and life styles you disagree with.

This is still America and if you do not like the fact that people are still free to make their own life style choices and spend their money (which supports the economy and tax base as well as environmental programs) then people are free to live in socialist countries. It is not up to anyone else to decide what is enough for me or anyone else nor, do you have any idea of how others support the environment, the community or the world. Assumptions should not be made about people due to the size of their house. I, myself, do not care if your house is 150 square feet or 15, 000 square feet. If it makes you happy then good for you. Life is short.

The owners of all those large homes also support landscapers, plumbers, painters, decorators, house cleaners, furniture makers, electricians, and pay for the sick, the homeless, the poor, the starving, the naked, the imprisoned, foreign aid across the globe for natural disasters and man made disasters as well. Most of us do our part one way or the other. Intolerance only begets hatred.
September 11, 2014 at 3:40PM     
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shars55
Laura, I beg to differ. Most problems in the world stem from religious intolerance and over population. I for one, do not want more of anything. I am blessed with an awesome family, and a great life. We donate to lots of different charities to help people less fortunate. I could have a bigger house, nicer cars, more vacations, etc, but I don't need any of those things, I am very happy with what we have. You be happy in your house and I'll be happy in mine!
September 11, 2014 at 7:19PM     
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reyn7767
Laura, get off your high Liberal Horse! The homes I have were all built before I was born! Hell, the RI place was built in 1789! I with Shars, the problems we have are over population! You cannot have 10kids and think you are not doing harm! The harm of over population is basically religious....Between the Catholics and Mormon they breed way to much! A larger home can be even more energy efficient than a smaller home, it really depends on the build. Seriously only wacked out idiots would have two kids and live in a mini house! The kids should be taken away!
September 12, 2014 at 6:19AM   
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pcmom1
Ok, Reyn, tell us how you really feel.... Now, everyone calm down before war breaks out.

This post, dealing with Tiny Houses, sort of opened the door to the airing of political outlooks and views on many things. The way I see it, we live in a country where each of us is allowed the "pursuit of happiness". And each person has their own ideas as to what that is.

None of us is all that pure. After all, Al Gore can justify flying around in a private jet and living in very large homes. And building/maintaining large estates does put a whole lot of people to work. Would I ever want that lifestyle? No. But also could never go smaller than around 1200 sq. ft.

To each, their own!
September 12, 2014 at 9:45AM     
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shars55
People get a little hot under the collar when other people who don't know them judge them for their life choices. I agree, to each his own! PS...reyn, I'm Catholic and I have a grand total of two kids! So do each of my brothers. (I have two brothers....shame on my parents for having too many kids! Lol)
September 12, 2014 at 11:18AM   
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pcmom1
I count myself lucky to have had a mom who was the second oldest of 11 children who grew up in a shack in the Oklahoma hills. The grandparents (ok, my mom was 38 when I was born so we are almost talking great grandparents), simply did not know how to stop having children. Really.

But my mom said even though they were dirt poor, and went hungry, they would read aloud from whatever book they could get their hands on. And their children went to college and became doctors and lawyers, etc.

As far as I am concerned, that is the embodiment of the American Dream.
September 12, 2014 at 1:28PM   
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Laura Lang
As they say "Be the change you want to see in the world". If you can't do it yourself, then don't expect anyone else to do it either. And that means our politicians as well. As for religion, that is for the same reason. Wants that are more than they have, more than they need. Wants can be material things, attention, money, power, religious beliefs. All the same. Just because one person says one thing and does another shouldn't mean we should ALL do it! It is our 'to each his own' thinking that got us into this position in the first place! And never, EVER, forget all YOUR choices affect every single one of us AND the earth we live on. None of us lives in a vacuum where our choices only affect us. Our choices DO affect every single other person and the earth as well. If you read my posts, I never say to NEVER live in a large house, I say you should only have as much as you NEED. A single person who lives alone, works outside the home, and rarely entertains cant possibly need more than 1,000 square feet. A family with 10 children may well need 3,000 square feet or more (I know a family like this--9 children but 7 of them are adopted--4 of them brothers and sisters from one family--ALL special needs--a very special couple). A retired older couple whose family lives across the country and don't entertain much shouldn't need more than 1500 square feet. If you work at home and need a workshop or art studio--well of course you need more space. The book I'm writing isn't about tiny houses. It is about 400-2000 square foot houses, but each of them will 'live' like a house double its size. It is important to take into consideration how many people you have, how many times you have people stay over, if you work at home and what type of work that is and how many hours each room is actually used each day. Get rid of HALLS! Wasted space completely. A house can be well designed with no halls or fewer than 10 square feet of hall space. A guest room can also be a den. An office that is used only during the day can be a guest room at night. BE SMART. You don't need 3 or 4 bathrooms if there are only 2 people. You don't need an 18 X 20 bedroom when you also have a den/family room and living room! This goes for buying a used home as well. If you plan to remodel--remodel SMART! Reposition windows and doors, add insulation, combine rooms, etc. Just be smart! Stop wanting SO MUCH. All of us and the world will be much better off if the wanting would be curtailed--and this includes those politicians.... Don't wait until it is too late.
September 12, 2014 at 2:21PM   
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reyn7767
Laura Lang, That is your opinion......Even if I were single I wouldn't live in 1000sqft, unless it was a cool pad in Bali. Even in Bali the houses are large, at least the one my family and I vacationed in.
Your wasted space and my waste of space are totally different. In RI we have guests all summer, even when we are not there. In Newport Beach, CA I am a few houses from my mom and we also have 2 boats there. In Florida we have friends use it for vacation etc.....Every house was built before I was born, the have been upgraded and especially the RI house have been brought up to todays standards and above for energy efficiency. The houses with pools are solar and both are salt water. They all have the best appliance for the best energy efficiency. Actually I want to make the CA and FL house to run on solar panels charging banks of batteries and run the house with a inverter.
My guest rooms have ensuite bathrooms, I really do not like naked people running around the house (unless it's a party). Hall ways are needed for art and privacy, are you walking through bedrooms while people are having sex to make a sandwich? My largest bedroom is 720sqft, that includes 2 closets each 10x10 and as a male I have that sucker packed (I have over 100prs of shoes). As for number of bathrooms, I grew up with my own bath and believe everyone should have their own. My other half and I share a good size bathroom (two vanities, a toilet room with toilets and urinals, spa tubs and each with a 5x5 shower). The boys are just normal baths, but we got rid of the tubs and put large showers and ToTo toilets in each and every bath (Toto's are the best, heated, bowl lighting, bidet, heated seats and a dryer). Sorry, but my boats have more room than the bathroom size houses......I wouldn't allow one for the boys as a play house.
September 12, 2014 at 5:25PM   
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pcmom1
A guy with a 100 pairs of shoes...

Gosh, everyone their own bathroom.... spent the first 11 years of my life in a house with three adults and three kids and only one bathroom. That sounds practically third world today! Somehow we seemed to manage.

Ok, who would buy tickets to see Laura and Reyn together in a boxing ring?
on Monday at 12:10PM     
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bungalowmo
As a single woman with no children, I know that until I bought my home, I was in an insane tax bracket! read: I don't need my $$ because my neighbor had 7 kids from different daddys and the govt thinks SHE should get my $.

Enough on that topic....

Small place here...1250 sqft. She will be 100yo in 2 years. She's strong as an ox & has nearly ZERO plastic anything on her.

No matter what you choose to live in...no matter how many hands your home may employ, when ONE starts calling out ANOTHER here, there is an underlying issue. That issue is usually an intolerance. Of what? Who knows.

I can't waste my time with intolerance.
on Monday at 12:42PM     
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shars55
Lol....pcmom!! If my husband had 100 pairs of shoes, it would make him go into seizures trying to decide which pair to wear! I have a lot, ( never actually counted them), but I'm a woman! :). I would pay money to see the boxing match!
on Monday at 12:44PM     
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bungalowmo
I'll clean a big house for front row seats.

I think a battle of wits might prove to be more interesting! hehe
on Monday at 12:48PM     
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shars55
bungalowmo......Right you are!
on Monday at 12:55PM     
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shars55
@reyn............funny..........you said earlier in this thread that it "was just you and your 7 year old son", but in your last post, you talk about your "other half and boys". You really need to keep your stories straight so you don't look like a prevaricator.
on Monday at 1:04PM   
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bungalowmo
One thing I have to disagree with...

Laura Lang: "A single person who lives alone, works outside the home, and rarely entertains cant possibly need more than 1,000 square feet."

That is your opinion.

Mine is 1250 & it's on 1/2 acre of land. Is this considered wasteful because I live alone? When you consider I am slowly restoring every inch back to it's original state...is that wasteful?

There was so much more I considered when I saw my house. I knew in my gut this place needed me as much as I needed it. If that's wasteful, then I'm guilty as charged.

Don't judge til you have walked in my shoes.
on Monday at 1:06PM     
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bungalowmo
I will add that my place is in the old part of town. I can easily walk to my downtown 2 blocks down the street. There are about 12 shops & 8 - 10 restaurants. One is our favorite Friday night fun spot. We (my neighbor has become my best friend. 2 single ladies in twin 100 yo houses!) can walk there & walk home too. Except to go to the grocery store, my car can sit in the driveway & not move all weekend except to cut the grass!
on Monday at 2:55PM     
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poetryqn
Bungalowmo' you just described what I'm looking for - a walkable life with room for a garden. Plus great neighbors. When that comes with a historical, well loved house it sounds wonderful to me. When you hit a speed bump in your restoration, just know that there is at least one person out there who is cheering for your dream.
on Monday at 4:15PM     
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Laura Lang
I think some of you are taking this much too far and much too personally. Obviously you can't have a 1,000 square foot house that is already built very easily. VERY few are 1,000 square feet! Some are 800-900, others 1100-1200. Just HOW many houses are MADE at 1,000 square feet on the dot? Let's not go overboard and nit-pick teeny differences. 1250 is right in the area since your house is already built. The thing is when designing and building a NEW house, you can do a MUCH better job with the space than they did way back when those older houses were made. So many are compartmentalized in such a way that a 1250 square foot house might live the same as a newly-styled 900 square foot house. My book is going to deal with buying a used home and adapting it to an eco-house as best as can be done.. What I am talking about is a single person, no family or family lives across the country, few friends, doesn't entertain, but just HAS to have 3-4000 square feet of house for no reason other than 'image'. Obviously that person is NOT going to use much of the house! Unfortunately there are a tremendous number of people who just HAVE to have double or triple (or more) than what they truly need. They WANT large because of the image it projects. They don't NEED large. These days we have to stick to what is needed. We are already seeing big problems with global warming. If we don't curtail our wants, we are going to speed up global warming. It is no longer 'do whatever we want because we deserve it'. We have to put our earth BEFORE our wants or deal with the devastating consequences.
on Monday at 4:24PM   
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lake1114
A 1250 square foot house is 25% lager than a 100 sf house. 25% is a significant difference. I know I would sure be happy with a 25% pay raise or a 25% reduction in taxes.! One persons want is truly another persons need and it is not up to you or anyone else to decide who needs or does not need a house size or anything else for that matter.

Not to be personal or offensive, let's look at things in a different way. How would you feel if someone was telling you that you must/should live in a 3000 square foot house because the world needs you to pay more money in taxes to support the poor? What if I told you that you were not doing your part in supporting society because you don't pay your share of taxes and the poor and needy will die of disease and famine? Wouldn't lack of money to feed, clothe and provide medical care have an impact on everyone in the world too? Doesn't your choice of living in a small space cause others of us to pay more in the sense that you could have 2 or more people in your small house contributing less to society than one person living in a large home? What if someone said we don't care if you want a 1000 sf house you need to have a 3000 sf house so you can pay your fair share! Seems kind of ridiculous to you doesn't it? Someone forcing you (or strongly suggesting) to do something you don't want to do. I am sure you would have a strong opinion on that as would lots of other people as well. People do not like anyone telling them what they want, need or should have. That is why so many people are commenting on your posts.

It is not that people don't care about the world,it is that we are adults and do not need other people telling us what to do or how to live. We are old enough and educated enough to make our own choices. Just because someone has a different opinion on an issue does not make your opinion or their opinion wrong, just different.
on Monday at 5:18PM     
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Laura Lang
A bit too anal for me! You are taking this MUCH too specific. Of course no one wants anyone to tell them what to want! It is obvious! That is exactly why we are having global warming that is destroying this earth! People want what they want, and they want it NOW, and do not think about what their choices do to the earth and the rest of us. It is THAT type of thinking that got this world into such bad shape in the first place. We really have little choice anymore. We either find a way to live with only what we need, or we will lose our earth. I have little worry about asteroids hitting this earth, the way people are so focused on getting what THEY WANT, chances are a lot higher people will destroy this earth way before an asteroid will. It is quite frightening to me that people are so overwhelmingly focused on getting what they want--and the sooner the better, even when they are finding Bluefin tuna in waters they have never been in before because the ocean is so much warmer. Humans are wanting themselves right into extinction. When will it end? Funny thing is, people are in an uproar about politicians in the USA, yet they too are the same way! They want what they want and they want it now and to heck with what it does to the rest of us. Just so much wanting. Are people really that unhappy that they have come to believe their wants are actually needs?
on Monday at 7:31PM   
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shars55
Laura, I don't mean to be rude here.....I am really curious. If you feel that we should all only consume things we really need, then I would assume that decorating your house is not a thing you would do. You would only NEED a bed, a table and a few chairs, maybe a comfy chair to read in since apparently you don't have a TV, and a few dishes, etc. Why, then, would you be interested in a house decorating site? Also, do you feel that it's only people in the USA that want things we don't need???
on Monday at 8:24PM     
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bungalowmo
@poetryqn.....thanks for the "love". I really do love my little town. It was chartered in 1780(ish) and has some Civil War History here as well. I have researched my previous owners & found the family in the local cemetery. As I have been restoring this place, I honestly feel their presence...I make sure they know I'm doing everything with love...to preserve what they built.

It really does take everything I have to do this, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I love my little place!
on Tuesday at 6:38AM     
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stubadone
Laura, how does owning a 1500+ sf house constitute lack of caring for the earth and our fellow humans? Obviously you need to live in a tiny house in order to satisfy your concerns about the earth. Go for it!! But, please do not tell us we do not care about the earth or poor people because we live in homes of various sizes. You couldn't possibly know how we think about these things. Good luck with your book........

Bungalowmo, your life sounds wonderful. I'm so glad you've been blessed. You sound like you do not take these blessings for granted. Good for you.
on Tuesday at 8:07AM     
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lake1114
Laura, it seems to me that you are the one taking this seriously as you are the one using caps in your posts and telling others how they should be living. We are only pointing out a different point of view. If your way works for you then great for you. You need to understand that way does not work for others and your very strong opinion suggesting that others who differ from you are somehow beneath you or are uncaring about the earth or environment becomes very controversial. I wonder what type of reaction you thought you would get? To me it seems that if people did not aspire to get more and improve their lives then we would still be living in caves and using clubs as utensils and weapons. I can honestly say that that would not work for this chick! I admit it, I love material things and enjoy a beautiful home, clothes, jewelry, cars, china , artwork, vacations, etc, etc, etc. does that make me a bad person? does it make you a better person? I think not nor do I think I am a better person than you.
on Tuesday at 8:24AM     
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lake1114
Whoop's forgot to mention, I live in a 3000 sf house not because of the social status it may or may not represent but because of the emotional and physical joy and comfort it brings me, my family and friends every day. I guess this probably isn't the best time to mention to Laura that my husband and I actually own four houses . . .
on Tuesday at 8:43AM     
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shars55
I agree, lake. The bigger problem is over population. Instead of making us all feel bad because we don't want to live in a hut somewhere, she might be more productive by volunteering with the curb the world's population movement. How many people can this earth sustain? Personally, we donate to the cause every month. Even Stephen Hawking says this is the largest problem facing mankind.
on Tuesday at 8:52AM     
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lake1114
yes, their certainly are several.other problems plaguing this world. and really none of which, in my opinion need to be argued on a website like houzz. this should be a fun place to go for ideas and the only arguments should be regarding paint colors or traditional vs contemporary styles. there are plenty of places to go to argue politics and religion-so to speak.
on Tuesday at 9:23AM     
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bungalowmo
Thanks stubadone! You're right. I do not take things for granted. It's a mix of being blessed and working very hard to get to where I am today.

I also give. A lot!

This is my favorite quote. I try to live by this:

"You can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone".
on Tuesday at 9:45AM     
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stubadone
bungalowmo, well said. As a nurse I know this all too well...
on Wednesday at 5:44AM     
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bungalowmo
That is one profession that insists upon a giving, caring nature. I commend you and all Nurses. Can't imagine all you've seen.
on Wednesday at 9:50AM   
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stubadone
I haven't seen this slogan. Thanks so much. I'll have to show my husband!
on Thursday at 5:57AM   
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litehearted
I like the idea of downsizing in general, not sure about the 'extreme' bit. ;)
2 hours ago   
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