ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Living with Less: Tiny Places and Small Spaces

Updated on October 23, 2015

Tiny House

Karl and Hari Berzins, along with their two children, Ella and Archer, live in a tiny house that measures 8-by-21 feet (total:168 square feet overall) with two separate sleeping lofts that have 3 feet of head space; there are areas dedicated to office, kitchen, bedroom, living, dining and bathroom. Appliances and fixtures include: A 12-gallon hot water heater (under the kitchen counter), an apartment-sized range, under-counter refrigerator, a built-in couch and shoe bench, kitchen sink, hand sink, toilet and shower. There's a clothing cabinet for each family member. And even in a such a small place, there's windows and a full-light door that brings in a lot of natural light inside. "We designed it the way we did so that we could live in it for as long as it takes us to build our main house on the property," says Hari (there's a blog about the house at www.tinyhousefamily.com; A video is available at http://iamgenerationimage.nikonusa.com/profile/tiny-house.

After losing their restaurant and house in 2008 (during the economic collapse), the Berzins purposely set out to rebuild their lives; in February 2010, the couple bought three acres and continued to save for their tiny house. Construction began in June 2010 (by Karl and Hari themselves!); the family moved in May 2011: "This was a big step in our plan to design and build a debt-free homestead," Hari said.

The Berzins say that tiny-house living allows more time for each other and more focus on the things they love to do (like gardening and music-they also give lectures and speeches on all aspects of tiny-house living at home and garden shows across the country. And there's a steadily growing tiny house movement; a segment was recently featured on "Nightline"-one family had actually converted an old school bus into living quarters!).

A bigger house has always been part of the family's plan, however, building 1,400 square feet just up the hill from the tiny one. It'll be one board at a time, paying for it as they go, so the Berzins will be mortgage free (they started in October 2012, with plans to move in later this year).

The tiny house (about 50 feet from the new 'regular' one) will remain in use as a guest house. The Berzins also maintain a 45-by-65-foot garden where seasonal crops are grown for fresh eating needs.

(Portable) Shed Offices

A "spinoff" of the tiny house movement is the portable shed office, extremely popular on the West Coast (according to Global Workplace, San Diego has 4.2 percent-the highest proportion-who consider home as their main place of work. "California is definitely the biggest market for us," says Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, co-founder of Studio Shed).

The sheds are designed online (they're prefab structures) in a range of materials and colors with electrical hookups and varying technology.

There's even a shed spinoff for musicians that features Auralex Acoustics Studiofoam (prices range from $13,000-$30,000).

Other portable offices include KitHaus, modules inspired by California's midcentury modern architecture. The k3 is the company's most popular one (117 square feet, starting at $32,500). LoftCube also specializes in mini-structures, with impending plans to launch in the U.S. (basic models are about $122, 400, two-story ones, about $325,000).

Portable Storage Solutions

Whether residing in an apartment or even in a regular-sized house, you can still face a lack of storage space (such as too-small closets), but you can make the most of limited resources by considering ClosetMaid's new Closet Maximizer; it's a no tools needed (!) system that securely clips to an existing wire or wood hang rod, but easily detaches if needed. Features include: Laminated shelves with an adjustable, double-hang rod (that can be positioned on either side) and storage accessories (like fabric bins and hanging organizers). The affordable Maximizer is available in three finishes (dark cherry, chocolate and white).

Storage should not only look good, but also be completely functional. To achieve this end, ClosetMaid also offers a Decorative Storage product line that's available in three, six and nine cube designs and in three finishes to blend with any interior-and complement it.

For more info and details, visit www.ClosetMaid.com, www.StorganizationBlog.com or call 1-800-874-0008.

Sources: "Less Is More" by Kathy Van Mullekom-Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) (TNS)-The (Sunday) Vindicator, May 3, 2015, "Maximize Your Space" by Family Features and ClosetMaid-Vindy Homes-The (Sunday) Vindicator, June 7, 2015 and "Live & Work" by Lana Bortolot-Entrepreneur, August 2015

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)