Here is our little house story in Spokane, Washington.
In the spring of 2006 I was walking through my neighborhood, as I had done so many times over the years and for some reason I really noticed this small, tired and neglected building with its Mission Revival architecture, very unusual for Spokane. As an Albuquerque, New Mexico transplant, I was automatically drawn to its style. It turned out the owner was a local contractor preparing to demo the building and construct a duplex. My partner, Val, and I made an offer and were soon the new owners of the North Hill Substation, built in 1930 as the local utility power distribution site with a mere 374 square feet and 13ft ceilings. We started ever so slowly, huddled in a corner with an electric heater, pen and paper and tried to wrap our heads around our vision for this great piece of history. It has evolved to what it is today affectionately called “The Little House.”
One big obstacle to this adventure was learning to let go of all my stuff. As a dealer and collector of antiques I had a daunting task ahead of me! For 4 years with the help of eBay, Craig’s List, thrift store donations and the dump I was able to whittle things down. Two years ago I was ready to vacate my 1500Sqft apt and see if I could really be happy in one fifth of the space. I made due with a woodstove for heat. I also had a propane cook top and refrigerator I used previously for camping. I found not only was it do-able, but soon realized that less is truly more. After 13 years, Val and I decided to move in together into her house. But with 2600 sqft, 3 bathrooms and kids grown and moved away plans have changed once again. Together we are diligently working towards the “small move” back to the Little House.
Over the past 6 years we have come to realize that all of our possessions and collections were nothing more than a burden. In the meantime, the Little House has evolved! Today there is a 6ft stucco wall surrounding an organic garden, fruit trees, and a chicken coop. Little House has a loft bedroom, a kitchen with real appliances, a bathroom with tub, hot water, and flushing toilet! It has turned into an oasis in an urban environment.
Due to the limited space we did have to make some compromises. For example, the bathroom sink was a great find, but only 8″ X 8″. What more do you need to brush your teeth? The hot water is provided by two 7 gallon electric Bosch tanks which have proven to be just right! And one of the best parts is the European washing machine/extractor.
If you ever find yourself in Spokane, WA we are currently renting the Little House on Airbnb https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/638847 so if you want to give our Little House a try before we move in, it is available as we rent it daily, weekly, or for special events.
P.S Val & I have spent the last 6 weeks in a 40 sq ft camper with our two dogs and are beginning to wonder if the Little House is indeed now too BIG?