Last weekend, two of my friends and I attended the Tiny House Jamboree in Col
orado Springs. Not because I want to consider living in a tiny house, but because I love the idea of small space organization and wanted to see how others were solving the issue. (Curse of an organized person!) The ingenious ways of making a small living space livable truly surprised me!
Since around 2008, the tiny house and small house movements have been gaining momentum in the U.S. Tiny houses are made less than 400 square feet, and houses made between 400 and 1,000 square feet are designated as ‘small’ houses. They are said to be a return to The Progressive Era of 1890 to 1920, when industrialization lead to changes in how and where the workers lived, often in small homes provided by the workers’ employers near the work sites. It was a simpler lifestyle. Today, the economy and a desire for many people to return to a more self-sufficient, less complicated lifestyle have led them to seek out these homes. The houses are built onto large trailers, although they can be built upon a foundation. Building codes are different depending upon whether you wanted to tow it or build it in a permanent location.
My friend, Donna, said that at least 10,000 people were expected at this event. I thought, “They won’t all be showing up at once.” Well, it appeared that all 10,000 did, indeed, show up on Saturday morning! Reports from other attendees state that it was crowded all three days of the event. Wow! I never guessed there would be so much interest and that those varied interests would be cross-generational!
While some of the houses were very plain on the outside, they held exquisite décor on the interior. Some were a little more fancy on the exterior as well (a couple had porches!). It was fascinating to see how each builder solved storage problems, managing to utilize every valuable square inch for full efficiency optimization.
(Taking photos inside the houses was a bit difficult due to the crowds and the limited space!) We were able to chat with some of the builders, especially an impressive young man, Ryan, who introduced us to his own home; which he brought to the show. He began his business by building his home by himself in about four months and now builds tiny houses for others. (www.KonaContractors.com)
My favorite exhibitor was Scout Wilkins’s display that Donna dubbed “The She Shed”–a brightly colored structure that drew one in like a moth to a flame. This fabulous shed that she and her business partner are building is part of their Women’s Building Workshops. They help women learn how to build. The pride in her work showed as she led me through the shed, showing me some of the details. A photo scrapbook displayed some of their past tiny house projects. She said she had always been in construction and that she gains great pleasure from building. Definitely shows. Talking with her gave me great joy. (Makes sense now–After returning home, I looked up her information and found that she’s also a life coach.) You can find more information at www.facebook.com/tinylivinggiantjoy or scoutwilkins.com/my-life-in-tiny-houses.
While the reasons people were interested in seeing the tiny houses varied, they all had one thing in common—they were all very nice, down-home people. Chatting while standing in line to see inside a house (Remember—they are tiny—only 3-5 people can enter at a time!), giggling with everyone who entered a house saying “It’s so tiny!,” visiting about small farms, a general wave “hello” certainly made the day a pleasant one.
Would you consider a Tiny House?