Seattle PI Article

Seattle PI Article


Allison Arth and her husband, Bo Kinney, live in a 509-square-foot home in the Central District that was built in 1916. “It’s just a very cozy way to live,” Arth says. Empty nesters, greens and first-time buyers are finding tiny houses a good fit

by Cecelia Goodnow

If Dee Williams had the arms of an orangutan, she could touch every corner of her home without leaving her one-burner kitchen. As it is, she comes close.


With only 84 square feet of living space, Williams is an expert at living large in a do-it-yourself home the size of a garden shed.

She built her 7-by-12-foot Tumbleweed Tiny House for $10,000, including solar panels, trailer, eco-friendly denim insulation and high-performance wood windows. It brims with dollhouse charm. Her overhead: $6 a month to run the propane heater.

“I hadn’t ever taken a project from blueprint to real life,” said Williams, 45, whose tiny frame and intrepid spirit are a good fit for the Tumbleweed. “It’s, like, a really cool, empowering thing.”

Williams, a hazardous-waste inspector at the Department of Ecology in Olympia, is an extreme example of the “small-house movement,” which seeks to counter the McMansionization of America with an ethos of sustainability.

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