Spanish Hórreos

Last week I made my first trip into Spain to visit friends and spend some time exploring the land of tapas, paella and mountain villages. While on a trip to the region of Asturias in the north part of the country, we made a game of calling out each hórreo we saw by the side of the road. It turns out that hundreds of these tiny historic structures, unique to the northern area of Spain and Portugal are surprisingly well preserved.

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A hórreo (pronounced almost like the black and white cookie) is a granary raised up on pillars that has been used since the 15th century for storing hay for feeding animals. Hórreos are made of either wood or stone and have ventilation slits to keep the hay dry in this rain-prone area. The pillars were topped by a large flat stone called a “muela” which prevents rodents from getting into the hay. Small doors and staircases to access hay were also built into the side of the buildings.

Horreo-Spain2

horreo-Spain

Many homeowners in the Asturias region have been working to preserve and maintain the structures not only for farm materials and firewood, but to use for garages (cars are parked under the shelter), for storage and potentially for tiny houses like this hórreo for rent in Villa Bajo, Spain.

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Photos by Wikipedia, Esacademic, Airbnb and Christina Nellemann

 

 By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Steve’s Thailand Dome

Steve Areen, a world traveler who has been visiting remote locations around the world, decided to put down a few roots in northeast Thailand. These roots grew into one of the most beautiful dome homes you may ever see. This work of art (that only cost $9,000 to build) sits in the middle of a mango farm that belongs to Steve’s friend Hajjar Gibran.

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Hajjar had already been building dome homes at his retreat center on the farm and taught Steve how to build this cement block and clay brick home that uses local materials and lets in light and fresh air. Hajjar’s son, Lao, helped build the home with his masonry skills and the dome was completed in just over six weeks. Steve added his own details with the handmade front door, pond, upstairs hammock platform and the stonework and landscaping. Some of the most beautiful features of this home is the shower/greenhouse from local river stones and the natural bamboo sink faucet.

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The home’s large, round windows are screened against insects and act as curved seating areas, and when Steve heads off to travel again, he seals up the round windows with rat proof inserts. A handmade wooden staircase ascends to the roof where a steel rod and palm frond covered hammock platform offers fresh air and views, and screened skylights on the domes let in even more light. Continue reading

Ethan’s Tiny House

This 100 square foot tiny house which my girlfriend and I built is now our beloved home. We live on a farm with several other tiny houses in central Texas. For the construction of our tiny house we utilized only readily accessible and simple materials, such as roofing aluminum, plywood, and dimensional lumber. All of the framing and support lumber was reclaimed from a previous project we had worked on, and the bookshelf, desk and counter top are constructed from stud, loft and floor scraps.

Ethan's tiny house

The floor was made from 1x12s and the walls are simply painted plywood, excluding the plywood in the kitchen, which had aged in our friends back yard and we felt would add an interesting texture to the kitchen. We were really surprised at how it turned out. As for utilities the only concession we have is electricity, we do not utilize running water or indoor plumbing. The majority of our furniture is moveable because we do like to redecorate and change things up from time to time. We have braved the hot and humid central Texas summer and so far have loved every minute of it, now that the weather is becoming cooler I can only imagine our love for tiny living will continue to grow.

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Downsizing our clothing was an interesting task, I never realized how many items I never really wore. Our rule of thumb for clothing was if it has not been worn in 6 months it can probably be donated. As far as our running water and indoor plumbing “experiment” is going, we have an outhouse on the property with a plumbed toilet, and we shower at our city rec. center. A yearly membership at the center is actually cheaper than having a water bill and keeps us active.

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Having to collect water for our bottles and canister is somewhat of a chore, but is still nowhere near what some people in the world have to go through to get water and we realize now how those luxuries can be over looked.

I hope you enjoy the pictures, because we sure do love our little home.

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loft bed