Those who are skeptical about tiny house living often point to the potential challenges of having kids when it comes to living in such a small space. While it's true that living tiny isn't for everyone, there are intrepid people who do enjoy it, and yes, there are even those who do it with a child (or two, or three).
Samantha and Robert of Shedsistence are one couple that took the plunge into tiny living a couple of years ago, by designing and constructing their own small dream home. They've since welcomed a baby daughter into their modern 204-square-foot abode, and have made some modifications to make their space more baby-friendly.
The biggest change was obviously making that minimalist sleeping loft safer, with the addition of a sturdy net and DIY safety gate (plus a slim opening for kitty) that permits the same view, without the tumbling-down factor. More privacy and darkness for naptime is afforded with a blackout curtain that can be hung up. A lot of thought went into its design and installation, balancing the desire to keep the space open without sacrificing security.
In addition, the couple made this awesome DIY baby loft crib that allows for co-sleeping, and it looks like they have now upgraded into something even bigger that functions as a safe space for the little one to play. Downstairs, an extra crib has been added. Those open stairs might be a bit harrowing though when baby starts to walk, but it seems that the couple does have solutions later in mind.
The young family's first month together was a restful one, made all the better by both mom and dad being able to really spend time with their daughter in the formative first six months, thanks to the financial freedom (and therefore parental leave) afforded to them by owning and living in a small home.
Most importantly, this new development in the couple's life has brought not only new joys, but also reflections on the future, especially when people ask them: "What about when your daughter gets older or you have more children? How will you make the tiny house work?" Here's their thoughtful and honest response, which I think applies to anyone already living in or considering tiny houses:
We are here to openly admit that our tiny house journey is not forever; at least not from a full-time living perspective. With that said, it is one of the best decisions of our lives and has already gifted us so much more in return than any sum of money could provide. It has been an incredibly fulfilling experience that is far from over.
Our tiny house has been and continues to be an incredible tool and experience for this stage in our lives. It has allowed us to own our home outright while refinancing student loan debt to a very aggressive five year repayment plan and simultaneously building a financial safety net that would allow us to live comfortably for a year even if our sources of income completely stopped. Most importantly we have been able to take extended parental leave. [..] None of this was possible for us three years ago but we took intentional steps (including the tiny house) to design the life we wanted.
And finally, some practical thoughts on what to do once they do cross that bridge of upsizing:
We will utilize the tiny house as long as it works for us and then re-purpose it. The best part about this project is it has the ability to serve our family in a multitude of ways. Should we choose to design and build a small home on a foundation to raise a growing family, the tiny house can serve as a back yard studio, or guesthouse, or AirBnb rental or even be turned into an off grid retreat in the mountains. Its value and positive contribution to our lives will far outlive its use as a full-time residence.
We like that inspiring, non-dogmatic way of looking at life -- regardless of the size of one's home. To see more, visit Shedsistence.
[Via: Tiny House Talk]