I have blogged about my infatuation with Tiny Homes before. I find the concept of paring down all of one’s material possessions and moving into a tiny home exciting and a little bit wacky. I know that a tiny home would not be compatible with my current lifestyle — I simply own too many things and love them all — but it’s still fun to dream about owning one.
This past weekend at the Oklahoma Home and Garden show, several local builders set up a Tiny Home Village consisting of half a dozen tiny homes for the public to inspect. I’ve seen hundreds of tiny homes on television, but this was the first time I ever step foot in one.
I don’t know who first said “the camera doesn’t lie,” but it does, almost every time. None of the pictures I took at the Grand Canyon or of the icebergs and glaciers of Alaska did those locations any justice. Cameras lie all the time. Anyone who has looked at a house online and then gone to see it in person can tell you that. Real estate agents know exactly how to make rooms look big, sometimes bigger than they appear in real life. Apparently, so do television crews.
The first tiny house I entered was 24′ x 8′. On television, each section of the home would have been presented individually. “This is the sitting room. This is the kitchen. Back here is the bathroom.” But once you’re standing inside one, you realize that they’re all kind of the same space. In that home, the living room was roughly 6′ x 8′. There was a plush chair and an end table and nothing else because there wasn’t room for anything else. The kitchen ran down both sides of the tiny home, with an aisle down the middle that led to the bathroom. The bathroom felt small, and it was empty. Based on the chalk outlines on the floor, it appeared the home owner could iron one’s clothes, cook eggs on the stove, and poop without ever moving.
Above the bathroom was the bedroom loft. Again, television wizardry has a way of making those lofts look more inviting than I felt as I stood before it. There was less head room than I had imagined. It was higher than I had imagined. The ladder was more steep than I ad imagined. Getting into and out of bed looked less fun than I had imagined.
Every time I’ve put a house up for sale, my real estate agent tells me to get it as empty as possible before showing it or taking pictures. People want to imagine their stuff (not yours) inside the home they’re buying, and empty rooms look bigger. Some of the tiny homes on display this weekend took that to the extreme and had “sheds on wheels” on display. One of them had no interior at all — just particle wood and a few pictures of what the space could look like. I already know what they could look like from watching television shows. It wasn’t until I stepped inside a fully furnished one that my brain realized why they call them “tiny” homes.
Susan’s favorite was this (relatively) large tiny home, made from a shipping container. It’s 40′ long and 8′ wide. Inside there was enough room for a bedroom, a kitchen, a dining area, and a nice sized bathroom. There was even an upstairs loft for a second sleeping area. The downside of the container-based tiny house is that it’s less portable than the trailer-built ones. Without wheels, moving this one involves a large flat bed trailer, so the intention is to drop it somewhere and let it sit.
I still love and will continue to watch tiny house television programs, and I would love to own one someday to act as a writer’s cottage or a lake house, but as for a primary residence… I think this weekend might have cured me.