Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tumbleweed Houses

A few months ago, before I discovered minimalism, I was searching for ways to decorate my sort-of tiny house. You know, back when I thought new curtains would make me feel better about my rooms full of junk?

I found Tumbleweed Houses instead. These houses are absolutely amazing. They're truly tiny (ranging from 65(!) to 874 square feet) and, depending on the model, can be mobile.

I was so excited about the idea that I ran to my work-friend's cubicle and said "Look! You could live in a house that's only 200 square feet!" And he said "But why would you want to?"

Um, hello...why wouldn't you want to? Perhaps it's just my personality but a cozy little cottage feels much nicer than a huge McMansion. Perhaps it's my passion for challenges but designing an efficient house sounds more exciting than designing a house with unlimited space. And perhaps it's just my love of extremes but owning fewer posessions sounds more peaceful than owning the newest and best of everything.

I'll feature lots of other cool tiny houses in the coming weeks but I think these Tumbleweed houses are a great place to start. They're very "traditional" in style which, to me, is quite appealing. I enjoy modern style but if I had to choose, I'd prefer an old-fashioned cozy cottage.

My challenge for you today is to imagine living in one of the tumbleweed houses. Which house would you choose and why? Do you think you could actually pare down your belongings to fit in a tiny house? Would you want to? If you have hobbies, would you have the space to continue doing the things you love? Do you think this whole idea is crazy, awesome or something in between?

I'll go first: if I wanted a portable house, I'd choose The Fencl. It comes in at 130 sqft and has the cutest built-in bookshelves. If I removed all the furniture, the main room would be large enough to baste quilts on the floor. Since I spend most of my time eating, sleeping and sewing, this is all the space I'd really need.

If I went the stationary route, I'd definitely choose The Loring. It's 261 square feet and I'd put my bed in the little gable in the loft. The rest of the loft would be my studio, perhaps? Maybe the studio would go downstairs in the main room. I can't decide.

While I love the idea of a super small house, Ian does not. I think the 461 sqft Whidbey would make for a nice compromise. The front room would be perfect for a sewing studio because of all the windows and large closet. The loft could be the bedroom and Ian's office. The "great room" is big enough for his CD and book collection as well as a couch and tv.

Now it's your turn...I want to hear all about your dream tiny house.


  1. I love these houses! If it was just me and my husband, I'm right there with you on the Whidbey. We have two kids and two dogs and plan to adopt teens in the future, so for my full family I'd do one of the larger houses. Plus I want a room for my quilting (selfish I know, but there you have it), and I'd want to design the living room to accommodate my kids' model train layout in a neat way. My favorite look of the larger houses is the B-53, though I'm embarrassed to choose the biggest one. I think I'd build it first without the optional bedroom, then add that on (with a deck on top, not a roof) later when we adopt more kids. Living in Minnesota, I'd want a basement for tornado shelter and additional food storage. Ah, love the dreaming!

  2. I've always loved the pomodo or whatever it's called (lol) as a great escape. When I first came across this site a year or two ago, I imagined that I would buy a plot of land in the woods, and plop the pomodo on it and I would have a place to go alone and write the great Canadian novel. And then I got married. Now I'll never be alone! :)

    I showed BSP the B53 last year as we talked and planned our joint great escape - to where there are more trees than people. Although it's the perfect size for the two of us and our five cats; when you add in adult and nearly adult children, their partners, someday grandchildren, and two home-based business (one of which takes up a lot of space and uses a lot of stuff) the B53 would work with the third floor as a quilting studio, but it would be squeezy. :) We bought the plans anyway.

    I went through a minimalist phase in my 30's and ruthlessly got rid of all my stuff/junk. Nowadays, pushing 50, I'm going the other way. I'm sorry to have given up things that carried history (just history of my own life, not generational); things that were meaningful and well-loved, and I'm gradually beginning to once again acquire things, and take great joy in it. It's not that I want a home filled with tchotkes, but I want a home that has beautiful things in it - or at least, beautiful to me.

    I suppose I'll be striking a balance between the spare look of the homes I had in my 30's and the home I grew up in that felt a bit crowded. But no matter where I end up, it's clear I'm going the opposite end of you! :)

  3. Since I have 2 kids to fit into my tiny house plans, I'd have to go with the McMansion of the tiny houses, the Sebastarosa. It's so adorable! I love the idea of a tiny house where every bit of space is maximized without feeling cramped.

    Have you heard of Sarah Susanka? She's a really interesting designer who works with that idea.

  4. oh also - I thought you might like this cool house: