Happy, Simply – A Lifestyle Model and Education Project.

by Kent Griswold on April 21st, 2013. 14 Comments

Debt free – healthy, happy, and with lots of friends. Where the best things in life are not things, where less is more and, where just enough is plenty!

The lifestyle model includes:

  • Sustainable living – shelter, food, water, energy, transport, waste, environment
  • Community participation – volunteering, active citizenship
  • Education – learning, simple sustainable choices, self-sufficiency, and rich experiences

A model for life and an educational project to learn from with information and inspiration.

happy simple life

Of most interest to the Tiny House community this website will be the Happy, simply home – a 10m2 house built by a group of volunteers using mainly reused, recycled, or left-over materials in two weeks for under $8000 NZ ($6700USD).

To live simply is the ultimate sophistication and luckily I have been fortunate to live and learn from the world’s poorest who, unfortunately, don’t get to choose simplicity, but are masters of living simply and being more connected to their families, communities, and the environment around them.

Simplicity has so many amazing benefits to the individual, the people around them, the environment, and towards a more just and connected global community. This was the starting point that I wanted to have a home that implemented these ideologies in a tangible way through a dwelling to live in and be an active part of a community.

inside drawing

After traveling to almost 60 on top of my native home of Australia, I stumbled upon a town named Paekakariki (where the girls are cheeky – as the local rhyme goes) and fell in love with the surrounding beach and mountains and also the community. It’s a small but distinct community that cares about where they live and those who live within the community. I was there this time last year and then had to leave for the remainder of the year. I returned in late January to set up the Happy, simply project and the home. Continue Reading »

Living Large in 400 Square Feet

by Kent Griswold on March 20th, 2013. 49 Comments

By Alyse Nelson

Jon and Ryah Dietzen’s 3-year plan entailed getting out of credit card debt, establishing an emergency fund, finding work closer to home, and having more family time. Sitting in their 1,700 square foot house, they realized it would not be easy to tackle their plan. So they made a move most people would consider extreme – they converted a garage into a 400 square foot cottage.

Jon and Ryah Dietzen

Jon and Ryah Dietzen look into their renovated cottage – their home for 3 years. Photo by Royce Tillotson, used with permission. Continue Reading »

Tiny House Fair

by Christina Nellemann on February 11th, 2013. 11 Comments

The Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Vermont will be hosting the first ever Tiny House Fair June 14-16, 2013. The fair will include presentations on tiny houses from Jay Shafer of Tumbleweed and Four Lights Tiny House Company and Deek Diedrickson of Relaxshacks as well as workshops on how to design and build a tiny house, finish carpentry, using recycled materials, alternative power, composting toilets and creating a community.

yestermorrow-class-women

Registration is open to the first 100 people who sign up and the $300 cost will include all workshops, presentations and meals. Cabin lodging on the Yestermorrow campus will also be available for $50 for two nights. Participants may also camp on-site for $20 for two nights and the lodging will be free if you bring your own tiny house or camper. Off-campus lodging includes a hostel and several hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Yestermorrow offers over 150 hands-on courses per year in design, construction, woodworking, and architectural craft including a variety of courses concentrating in sustainable design and green building. Operating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization since 1980, Yestermorrow is one of the only design/build schools in the country, teaching both design and construction skills. Our 1-day to 3-week hands-on courses are taught by top architects, builders, and craftspeople from across the country.

yestermorrow-cabin

yestermorrow- lass

Photos by Yestermorrow Design/Build School and George Soules with David Cain.

Tiny Houses in Gothenburg, Sweden

by Kent Griswold on April 20th, 2012. 43 Comments

by Anders Karlstam

I have attached a picture over a part of our city built up with tiny houses of different designs. This type of building in this type of area are called “kolonistuga” and the tiny houses are called “koloniområde.” This area was built way back to give hard working People in factories a chance to get recreation on vacation.

There are several areas with tiny houses in our city. Most of them are located in surrounding locations of the city, but this one and two to three more areas are located inside the city. It is a very nice contrast to all large buildings.

Sweden tiny houses

Photo Credits Anders Karlstam

Usually, people are not allowed to live in these permanently and they are empty during the wintertime.

Every house is owned personally, but owners have to be a members of a community that rents the land from the city. So every house owner rents the ground from the community, which is called a leasehold.

Continue Reading »