On my way back from Copenhagen, I stayed for a few days in cold and dark Iceland. This fascinating and stark island in the North Atlantic is fast becoming one of the top places to visit in Europe — with or without Eyjafjallajökull blowing it’s top. Reykjavik is stylish and easy to get around in and the rest of the country is a mix of mountains, seaside, towering cliffs and, of course, hot springs like the famous Blue Lagoon. It’s interesting how the Icelandic tourism industry has turned this essentially inhospitable land into a place that is comfortable to stay.
While most Icelanders live in modern homes and apartments, even up until the 1940s, many lived in tiny houses called turf homes. Since wood was so hard to come by on this nearly treeless island, farmers scavenged driftwood from the black sand beaches, marked the wood with a brand to show that they belonged to his family, and planed them down to build small homes. These homes were then surrounded with turf as insulation. These homes were not heated as there was a real fear of fire burning down the precious driftwood homes, so a separate “fire house” was built to hold a fire and cook food.
While there are some beautiful hotels in Reykjavik and the main touring areas in the south and east part of the island, I kept seeing tiny cottages nestled up against the volcanic mountains topped with creeping glaciers. Many of these cottages are available for rent all year long and feature small kitchens and amazing views.
The Hvoll Cottages near the small town of Vik is about two hours from Reykjavik. “Vik” means “bay” in Icelandic and these cottages have access to several black sand beaches, rock outcroppings and many of the waterfalls and parks in the south. Vik has become more famous since becoming the setting for many scenes in the Games of Thrones TV series. Also near Vik are the Hotel Laki cottages. These little cottages are for two to three people and have simple beds, cooking facilities and showers. Most of these little cottages are heated with steam or power from local geothermal power plants. Continue Reading »
Todd from the Oregon Cottage Company sent me an announcement about his recently redesigned website and asked me to share it with you. It is located at http://oregoncottagecompany.net/
Todd has completed four difference tiny cottages and is working on a fifth. Below are two of them and you can view more on his site.
Todd is also starting a blog to keep you updated on what he is working on and has some great testimonials about his work.
Following are a few pictures of his houses. The top one is called the Ynez and the bottom is named the Alsek. Go check out his work and if you are in the Northwest be sure and consider Oregon Cottage Company as a potential tiny house builder.
Attached are some photos of a tiny house nursery I encountered on a motorcycle cruise through upstate South Carolina. I was trying out my new Christmas present; a set of electrically heated gloves and jacket liner for riding my motorcycle in cold weather, when I came upon these little cottages. They are a collection of showrooms for a botanical nursery, but I couldn’t resist sharing them with you. They are across the road from the Gowensville, SC Community center.
As for me and the tiny house movement, I am building a Tumbleweed Vardo (out of wood harvested from family property) for retirement travel and as a living lab to prepare myself for a more permanent tiny house lifestyle in a 16 or 18 foot Tumbleweed cabin, for which I have already bought a trailer.
Hendersonville, NC Continue Reading »
John Woods says: On a recent trip to San Diego, I came across this cute collection of tiny cottages just off the pier in Ocean Beach, California. I snapped these pictures from the pier while looking back towards the shore.
It was a little hazy the day I visited, but what a great place to sit and watch surfers at sunset just blocks away from Downtown Ocean Beach. The cottages are located on Niagara Avenue right at the end of the pier.