Decrease your footprint, increase your design and eco cred

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I stumbled across a very exciting, upcycled cabin photo on Pinterest the other day which led me into the fascinating world of “tiny houses”. Of course I’d heard of this trend before – friends from the dogpark were building a house for themselves and their mini schnauzer to live in, which would fit in a car-towed trailer. This was such an unusual project that it caught the attention of Grand Designs, who spent the day filming their work.

I haven’t caught up with them lately to find out how two tall people and their dog are managing to live in a 6 m2 house but good for them for trying something unique and ultimately good for the planet. People whom have downsized their lives have been reported as feeling more connected with nature, living less wastefully, and experiencing the immense freedom that comes from giving up a life of “keeping up with the Joneses”.

The following upcycled cabin, made largely from disused wooden framed windows, is a dream house for me. I have been teased mercilessly by friends and family for my love of wooden joinery, buying lonely and unloved large windows off auction sites and bringing them home for who knows what. Oh, to be a builder and craft a beautiful and intriguing cabin of them! I had dreams of converting them into mini glasshouses for my vegetables, but a lack of confidence in my building skills led the items to be sadly neglected in a storage space until I finally called a demolition outfit to come collect them. Off to a new set of people who will love them, I thought.

relax shack tiny house 1

glass house 2

glass house 3

glass house 4

The thing about a tiny house is that the designers need to be extra crafty to fit all the necessary accoutrements expected of a normal sized house into its small spaces. Special-built cabinetry, multi-purpose and highly functional furniture, everything doubling as something else, abound.

Most of these houses are off the grid – for example the 240 square foot weekend escape of Foy and Louisa Brown in Maine, which floats out on the bay. Water is brought from onshore for consumption, and the roof collects water into barrels for watering their container garden of flowers herbs and veggies. Originally intended to serve as a weekend escape for the couple, and rented to help with the bills at other times, they have found they cannot give it up and find themselves there most weekends.

Main Home + Design 1

Main Home + Design 2

Main Home + Design 3

Main Home + Design 4

Follow the links below to explore more beautiful and crafty tiny houses at your leisure!

http://www.countryliving.com/home-design/g1887/tiny-house/?slide=1

http://www.livingbiginatinyhouse.com/

http://www.hgtv.com/remodel/interior-remodel/10-extreme-tiny-homes-pictures

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