by Kirsten Dirksen
One of the most elusive goals in life is determining just what you need to live. As co-founders of a site on simple living (faircompanies.com), we’ve spent the past eight years examining the unencumbered lives of others, but this summer we had the opportunity to try out micro-living first-hand when we packed our family of five into a Westfalia campervan for a filming roadtrip through the Pacific Northwest.
Limiting ourselves to one backpack per person, the five of us moved into our 50-square-foot mobile home (a 1981 VW Westfalia “Westy,” purchased used off craigslist). We hit the road determined to cook all our own meals (propane stove and refrigerator included) and to create our home every night in a different location (RV parks not included, infant potty included).
With no advanced reservations and only interviews to guide us, we visited the homes of regulars in the tiny house world. With each stop we picked up some new piece of wisdom about life’s essentials. Tiny house builder Dee Williams (Olympia, WA) asked us to consider: “What do you want to hold in your arms when you die?” Boeing engineer and Seattle micro-apartment designer Steve Sauer explained he’s less interested in simplicity and more focused on having control over the things in his life. Oregon Coast surfboard-maker Lanny Shuler thinks you can be happy anywhere as long as you give your mind time to heal through meditation.
Between interviews we found places to sleep on small side roads, downtown streets and even a Walmart parking lot (they’re well-known for being open to overnighters). We learned to live with our chosen basics: a frying pan, one pot, a wooden spoon, some utensils and a few plates, Swiss Army knife, castile soap (for dishes, body, hair), water bottles, sunscreen, a few changes of clothing and a smartphone (for navigation and communication).
Last week Gabriella Morrison introduced you to their new hOMe. A tiny house on wheels. Gabriella sent me the note below and I wanted to give you this update.
Thank you so much for all of your interest and positive comments about hOMe! The response has been so amazing that we have created a walk through video tour by request. In it we show all the details and nooks/crannies that make up hOMe.
You can follow the Morrison’s blog at www.TinyHouseBuild.com
Derek “Deek” Diedricksen of Relaxshacks.com, has not only been working towards organizing his 5th hands-on Tiny House Building Workshop (slated for late October in New England…more info soon!) but has been doing some hosting work for HGTV.
Here are a few episodes he hosted in NYC, showing off some truly wild and inventive tiny apartments….
If for some reason the videos do not show up in your browser go to this link and view all three episodes:
Deek has also been working on another tiny house/micro-dwellings book….one that will feature many new designs of his AND a few full-out plans sets for tiny structures. This follow-up to his “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks” book, will also feature many other builders from around the world.
Its been a busy two weeks, from teaching a Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop in Nashville, TN (what a great city, and great group!), to shooting and hosting a few days for an HGTV program, working on a new tiny, tiny, trailer house project (to bring to the Yestermorrow Fair in Vermont), continuing work on a plan set with David Stiles (one of MY favorite author/architects), AND finally finishing THIS video of Steve Sauer’s 182 square foot guest house in Seattle!
Christopher Smith (“Tiny: The Movie“, which is GREAT!) and I actually shot this well over a year ago, but time and funds to complete these have been scarce…..in fact, we’re looking for two small sponsors on our next 4-5 mini videos…kidcedar at gmail.com. Continue Reading »