Hello, friends and hello, Wednesday! As some of you perceptive folks may have already noticed, I often quote other literature that either pertains to or directly inspires a specific blog post. I just cannot help it. As human beings, we naturally create comparisons in our mind in order to comprehend, well, everything basically. That’s how we function. Us creative types take it one step further. Not only do we compare other work that we like to our own, but we are basically just recycling what we have seen and are adapting it and calling it ours. Some are really good at this (Marcel Duchamp’s L.H.O.O.Q., or various works from Banksy, or how Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir inspired the whole Impressionist art movement), while others are blatantly ripping off others (for instance, the lawsuits against musical artists like Johnny Cash, The Beatles, and Coldplay). However, I do not see anything wrong with this, as long as we give credit where credit is due. If not, then it is plagiarism. This is how we become inspired and how we keep on pushing ourselves to grow creatively, through seeing, hearing, or reading these influential pieces. If we always keep the bar higher than the level that we are at now, there is no telling how far we will go. Am I right?
That said, the reason behind that big rant of an introduction is that this week I will be posting an article from Saskatoon HOME Magazine. However, it is one that I wrote! It is my most recent and highest paying freelance job thus far, and I could not be more excited than I am right now to share it with you. What is it on? Small houses of course, what else would I be experienced enough to write about?
Oh Little Green, you keep on guiding us even after we have left your four sheltered walls. You are like a wise Buddha as well as a comforting Mother. I wish that all life lessons are just as clear, and just as enjoyable as each one that you have taught us.
The average house in North America has increased by nearly 1000 square feet since the 1970s. Yet over the last decade there has been a shift in some segments of the population towards the building of much smaller houses. It is called, appropriately, the Tiny House Movement. This movement is founded in the belief that a tiny house of 300 square feet can offer just as many life perks as one 3000 square feet or more. They grant the homeowner power of homeownership at a more affordable price point minimizing the feeling of being “house poor”, while also lending to a potentially greener lifestyle.
If you are the proud owner of a tiny home, here are some essential tips to help you make the most out of your space.
Look To The Walls
When your house has a lack of floor space, make use of its wall space. Now is the time to get creative with storage units. Make use of long and narrow shelving, pieces with multiple cubbyholes, and wooden crates of all sizes. Hang your electronics. Use flat surfaces on top of your furniture and appliances. Jamming in crafting or reclaiming items to fit the unique needs of your home is more often than not the best solution.
Why Swing When You Can Slide?
Do not hold onto the idea of interior swinging doors when sliding doors are the better option. They will free up several square feet of much needed floor space. If you build your home, choose sliding doors that are installed directly into the wall. If this is not a possibility, then purchase an inexpensive barn door kit. Either option is more attractive and distinctive than traditional swinging doors.
Let There Be Light
It is imperative for every room to feel as light and airy as possible. Windows naturally illuminate an area while good quality windows can save homeowners hundreds of dollars a year on electricity and heating bills. Lighter shaders of paint instantly create bigger and brighter rooms. Horizontal and vertical stripes on a wall give the illusion of added length and height. Donate or recycle any low hanging, low emitting yellow lighting and invest in units that give off a generous amount of illumination. Quality lighting can do wonders for small rooms.
Away With Room Labels
Do away with the titles of conventionally designated rooms. Each room must serve its own unique roll. If the original function of a room itself is not necessarily needed, then change it into the one that will be valuable to the overall home. This may mean turning an attic into a bedroom, office into a bathroom, or entryway into a dining room. Just because the rooms in your house were designed to serve a particular purpose does not mean that you have to stick with it.
Go Green Or Go Home
If you plan to live in a tiny home, you have made the decision to live greener than ever before. With a lack of room for major or oversized appliances, you may find yourself ridding your home of a dishwasher, dryer, microwave and even a toaster. Your garden may only be watered with purified grey water while your roof may suddenly be covered in solar panels. Want to reduce your output of sewage? Try installing a Loveable Loo (a particular brand of eco toilet). A greener lifestyle is not only healthier for Mother Earth, but for a home’s inhabitants as well.
Less Is More
This mantra holds great reverence in the Tiny House Movement. Keep in mind that you only need to possess the bare minimum. Truly love every item that you do own, and to get rid of those that you do not. Do not let your closets or cupboards overrun with items. Custom build your furniture if nothing else fits. Purge your home of clutter a few times a year. The bottom line is that there is simply not enough space for all of your stuff.
Bigger Is Not Always Better
In these earth-conscious times, owning the largest house on the block is no longer a bragging right. Tiny homes are a great lesson that can teach us the distinction between what we want and what we need, how to live within our means and how to reduce our carbon footprint. Rather than a house becoming a product of its inhabitants, it is tiny homes that shape those who live in them. Size is all relative.
Emory Ann Kurysh