One might be forgiven for thinking that tiny homes are generally for free-wheeling millennials looking to get out of the mortgage trap. After all, we do see a good amount of young people sharing their stories of tiny house bliss. But there's also a healthy contingent of more mature folks who have downsized and ditched large homes in favour of something that may be smaller, but offers more financial freedom.
Jody and Bill Brady are one such pair of intrepid people, who decided on a big life change. They describe themselves on their blog Simply Enough: "We're a couple in our 50s who decided we wanted to 'rightsize' our lives. We sold our big house and invested the profits in ourselves: we quit our jobs, did a lot of research and then designed and built our own 250-square-foot house in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia." Or, as they tell Apartment Therapy, they once lived in a 3,500-square-foot house, and one day, while looking over their finances, they realized that "The house owned us." They made the switch by building their own smaller home.
In choosing to live more simply and sustainably, the couple chose to build with reclaimed materials whenever possible, which may take a longer time, but results in what Jody calls a more creative and "serendipitous design". Barn and pallet wood is used throughout their home, either on walls or for building furniture. Another good small space strategy: installing lots of windows and doors (this house has three leading to the exterior), so that light comes in and no one feels trapped in a small space.
The kitchen's storage drawers are made out of recycled pallet wood, while the IKEA pendant lamps also remix old colanders. The huge 30 by 18 inch sink has space for washing dishes, clothes and filling up garden pails. The stove is an alcohol-burning stove.
The couple's 12-foot-wide tiny house on wheels is situated on the side of a hill on a friend's property, and has been built to blend in with its surroundings as much as possible. When you live in a small space, it's important to have lots of time outdoors, so here there's a vegetable garden (their solar panels are placed here -- the home is 80 percent solar-powered), exterior deck, and a 160-square-foot screened structure that provides shelter while still being outdoors, perfect for entertaining or a pleasant cook-out.
So far, Jody and Bill have lived in their hand-built tiny home for a year and have no plans to return to a big home. To read and see more of their story, visit Simply Enough.
[Via: Tiny House Swoon]