Tiny House Magazine Issue 22 Hot off of the ePress

Tiny House Magazine Issue 22

The latest issue of the Tiny House Magazine is hot off the ePress. You can get your copy now and subscribe for future issues by click here.

Here is a list articles to read in this issue. Sixty-eight pages of great information:

  •  Tiny Texas Houses “Willy Wonka”
  • Reduce. Reuse. Remodel.
  • Why Unpacking Matters
  • Why Wifi?
  • Campervan Rentals
  • A Metropolitan Love Affair
  • From Your Neighbor (Monthly Reviews)
  • Portable Solar: the Best Deal on Wheels
  • Dianne’s Rose: Tiny Shanty/Houseboat
  • Nine Lies that Keep Our Schedules Overwhelmed
  • Put ‘Em on Ice
  • Rhizome
  • Stealth Hiding in the Light
  • The Cozy Kitchen (New Tiny House Cooking Feature)
  • Kasl Family Tiny House
  • Have You Herd? Basque Wagons

Click Here to To Buy Your Copy

Tiny House Blog Welcomes A New Voice

HELLO Tiny House Community! My name is Jody Pountain.

Jody

I am absolutely thrilled to introduce myself as the newest contributing writer for Tiny House Blog! You may remember seeing my articles in issues 16 and 19 of Tiny House Magazine, as well as being referenced in Andrew Odom’s fascinating Tiny House Tub series about boats and Tiny House History (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3). Hopefully you’ll find an inkling of inspiration in my writing and photos to learn more about my style of ‘tiny’ and follow your own path to simple living.

The ‘tiny’ concept tugs at my heartstrings every time I visit this site. The eloquent design and breathtaking simplicity of tiny homes all over the world both speak in such volume compared to the small physical spaces they create. I see rustic homes in the country and contemporary homes in the city that could melt me into a puddle on the floor. I love how living with less can do so much more for my well-being. The stress factor crumples and suddenly there is so much more to appreciate in the world around me now that I have found my own tiny house.

the boat

Several years ago I lived in a 4,000 sf custom-built home on 20 acres. Bordering the coast in a rustic area of the Pacific Northwest, the views were incredible. There were horses, chickens, 9 goats, 6 dogs, a giant barn, pastures and a lovely vegetable garden. The house itself was gorgeous but often felt empty. Uncontrollable circumstances carried me from a wealth of space in Washington to a concrete jungle in Southern California where I began to learn about sustainable living and ‘green’ building. I went on to further my career in the AEC industry and earned my credentials as a LEED AP BD+C (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional with a specialty in Building Design and Construction).

Involuntary adjustment to a fraction of the living area I was used to was difficult in the beginning, but after awhile the amount of weekly upkeep was much less daunting than it had been before. Electric bills were smaller and chores were completed faster. Downsizing to a smaller house and the shedding of years worth of ‘stuff’ prepared me for my next move into a 600 sf studio apartment in the heart of Orange County, California. Little did I know at the time, I would soon pack up again to begin a journey of a lifetime.

I met Peter in the Spring of 2011 when my job brought me to San Diego. Our weekends were often spent camping in the remote hillsides of the Eastern Sierras and the deserted beaches of Baja California, Mexico. We talked about someday buying a boat and travelling the world to reach the best diving, fishing and surfing. This led us to follow what we call the 80-80-80 rule and we eventually decided that our passion is to go Where The Coconuts Grow, in a tropical paradise.

tobago cays

Living aboard a sailboat with our two dogs, Gunner and Betsy, and all our belongings seemed to be the best and most comfortable way to make it all happen. After Peter’s Mother lost her battle to Breast Cancer, the pieces fell into place for us to begin our journey in honor of her. Though we knew nothing about sailing, we bought a boat in Florida, named her Mary Christine and prepared to sail away. Our belongings had been reduced to only the essentials and we quickly learned that we didn’t need any more than that. Within days of moving aboard, our new ‘tiny house’ felt like HOME!

DSC_0264DSC_0066

living areaDSC_0159

In February of this year, we left Florida and made our way to the Bahamas. We have since traveled almost 3,000 nautical miles through the Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spanish Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts and Nevis, Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and finally Grenada. The best part? We brought our ENTIRE HOUSE with us!! We never get homesick because we have everything we need with us at all times. We get to sleep in our own bed at night instead of hotels or hostels as we continue our travels island-hopping through a dozen different countries.

After Hurricane Season ends, we will travel back up the Caribbean Island chain as far North as BVI to see many of the places we missed the first time around. Eventually we will head to Panama, pass through the Panama Canal and someday we plan to sail to the islands of the South Pacific. Wherever we end up, I know this much for sure… living on the ocean and relying solely on the systems within my floating tiny house has given me a whole new appreciate for simple living. I’m excited to share my perspective with you as I travel around in search of surf, sun, sand and serenity.

Guana

You can read more about our adventures on my blog, Where The Coconuts Grow. For all the updates, ‘LIKE’ us on Facebook!

Hotel Living As A Tiny House Option

You wake up, put on your house shoes, throw on last night’s clothes that still lay in a pile on the floor, amble down to the lobby (of course stopping to speak to the college co-ed manning the front desk), grab a paper from the lobby coffee table, and stop at the occasional table behind one of the oversized couches, just long enough to get a cup of coffee and say good morning to a couple other familiar faces. And so begins life as a full-time resident in a hotel. Okay, so the hotel sounds a bit more posh than perhaps what you or I may be able to swing. But it does sound pretty amazing, no?

Adina Hotel

photo of the Adina Apartment Hotel Norwest in Baulkham Hills, Australia

I can easily think of a number of perks that living in a hotel might provide including free and reliable WiFi, on-site fitness room, access to a pool, fresh towels upon request, in-house laundry service, and even an on-site restaurant/bar! The idea of living in a hotel is not so far fetched either. In fact, a number of celebrities have called hotels home though the years.

New York’s Hotel Chelsea – a Queen Anne-style landmark that first opened as an apartment cooperative in 1883 –  served as home for the likes of Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Arthur Miller. Overlooking L.A.’s Sunset Boulevard, the Chateau Marmont has been home, sweet, home for people like Greta Garbo, Robert DeNiro, and Johnny Depp while the St. Regis in Washington, DC counts among its past residents, Howard Hughes, the eccentric billionaire. And those are just a few.

On a more practical note though hotel living is a style of tiny house living on its own. Most rooms available for long-term lease are only about 325 square feet according to BoardingArea.com and feature a small kitchen, a bathroom (usually with tub/shower kit), a master bedroom (2 queens or 1 king), a sitting area, and some sort of workspace be it a simple desk or a fully dedicated corner. It features the essentials; typically nothing more and nothing less. But is it feasible? Can one truly live in a hotel? Absolutely!

NOTE: The hotels talked about in this post are usually called “apartment-style” hotels. Rates are based on a minimum of a month’s stay (30 days).

POTENTIAL PERKS OF HOTEL LIVING

  • No long term commitment. Perhaps you have been bitten by the traveling bug and have a location-independent job? Maybe you don’t want to build a tiny house trailer or live in an RV or even sublet a room in a house. This might be the best arrangement. It offers privacy, small amounts of luxury, and a lot of freedom.
  • Choice. When I moved to Brooklyn some years ago I was limited to my budget in a major way. I could choose between a 7th floor apartment with only two windows and bathroom at the end of the hall or a garden apartment that literally faced The Garden; a sushi restaurant that was open 24-hours.  Luckily something else came along out of the blue. But when when you live in a hotel you can decide what you want to be close to, what kind of atmosphere you want, and how large/small you want your accommodations. Remember, this is not a long term commitment so it can be changed quite regularly with no penalty.
  • On-Site Services. While most full-time hotel dwellers don’t abuse this service there is still housekeeping and room service available. You can have fresh towels as you need/want them. You can have someone else make your bed. You can have someone replace your dirty dishes. The list goes on. It is important to note though that because you are living there you will gain some sort of reputation (be it good or bad) and tipping is STILL polite. Skipping this and doing things on your own could save you money and make you great friends in the building.
  • Free newspapers, coffee/tea and/or breakfast. This is typically included in your rate so feel free to take advantage of them. No more excuses for running late to your next appointment either!
  • Having your own kitchen. Just like a sticks ‘n bricks or your own tiny house trailer, with a hotel room/suite you have a kitchen or at least a kitchenette which – more often than not – comes with plates, bowls, silverware, glasses, mugs, strainer, chef’s knife, etc. You still have to grocery shop but at least you can cook your own meals whenever you like.
  • Front Desk Support. Looking for a donut shop in the neighborhood? Need a cab to take you to an event neighborhoods away? Waiting on a package from UPS that will arrive just moments after you leave? No worries. The desk clerk is there….24/7!
  • Handyman Support. Your coffee pot is not brewing? Your TV stopped turning on? No problem. Every hotel employs a small staff of handymen and service personnel. Call them. Tip them.
  • Security. This is huge! Between lobby cameras, hallway cameras, key card elevators, etc. security is usually top notch at a hotel.

UPS DeliveryUsing the desk services at a hotel will keep you from ever missing one of these again. 

POTENTIAL PRATFALLS OF HOTEL LIVING

  • Nowhere to call “home”. While it is true that home is where you park it or home is where you hang your heart or a number of other cliches living in a hotel means you won’t have a physical address. While hotels will allow you to have mail delivered there in care of their direct address they – nor the government – will allow you to claim the location as your permanent address.
  • Loneliness. Like living in a campground or other community-type setting there are in-seasons, off-seasons, perk weekends, and quiet times. On normal days and nights it is likely that you won’t see many guests at a hotel so you’re interaction will be limited. Living in a hotel may also keep you at some distance from friends and family unless you are huddled down in your home town.
  • Lack of personality. Don’t like the artwork on your bedroom walls? Does that picture over your bed make you think of clowns parading through lollipop factories singing a chorus of degenerate laughter? Too bed. Without causing damage to the room there is nothing you can do about the overall appearance. The colors, pillows, comforters, and dishware are there to stay. This is however a good exercise in adding personality to your surroundings. You can use colorful scarves, small houseplants, live flowers, digital photo frames, etc to add a personal yet portable comfort to your accommodations.
  • Space. A hotel room/suite is usually a standard, corporate design with furniture designed or purchased to fit in an exact spot. There are few options, if any. If you feel cramped with the desk in a certain spot chances are you can’t move it anywhere because there is nowhere to move it. The space is laid out for you. You are the guest in this situation. The furniture is there for good.

Living in a hotel room or suite is not conventional at all. It is not part of the American Dream so many of us grew up to understand and look forward to. But it is an adventure like no other and could possibly make your next tiny house. Don’t ever be afraid to hang your heart anywhere there is a good cup of free coffee!

 

By Andrew M. Odom for the [Tiny House Blog]