Friday, January 14, 2011

Book Friend

Shafer, Jay. (2009). The Small House Book. Boyes Hot Springs, California: Tumbleweed Tiny House Company.

Since 1997, Jay Shafer has been living in "houses smaller than some people’s closets". His decision to inhabit 89 square feet arose from desires to live more simply, live closer to needs, reduce environmental impacts, reduce unused or unusable space, among others. His 1st house was called "Tumbleweed"; it was tiny and built on wheels.

His initiatives have resulted in many other such houses and a movement with others seeking to live small in a time when some folks seem to favor gargantuan. This book includes reasons why, living within city codes (which, not surprisingly, favor big houses), pictures and drawings of houses and plans.

I find the tiny houses to be quite pleasing aesthetically. They bear resemblance to other historical houses on the landscape. They are based on what he calls sacred geometry. Visually, the structures just seem to flow. The use of natural materials is beautiful and calming too.

Part of me would like to live in a such a house, but the other part says that is not for me now. We would like to have a guest cabin or residence for interns/apprentices. Just maybe a tiny house will be in our future.

I also chuckle that such structures are probably not too far removed from the homesteads of our forebearers. I think about my Great Grandparents house, which still stands on W. Burton. Built around the 1870s, the house has surely had add-ons, especially in the last few deades. For me as a 3rd grader in the 1950s, that house was teeny. I remember sitting on that little love seat across from Aunt Della's chair and the coal stove. That house was surely no tiny tumbleweed. And at one time it housed 6 people.

No comments: