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Tiny House: A Place Of Your Own

Many of you are familiar with the book An Omnivore’s Dilemma, written by Michael Pollan.  What you might not know is that he built a little cabin in the woods to write much of that book in.  His Tiny House is mainly for writing check it out!

Wanting to have a place of his own where he could think and write, Pollan decided to erect a small structure in the woods behind his house. Fancying himself a modern-day Thoreau, he wanted to build his “dream hut” with his own hands, even though he had no carpentry skills or experience. We learn very little about how to build a small structure; the majority of this book is devoted to Pollan’s pretentious musings about a variety of architectural theories and about his interaction with the architect and carpenter who helped him (wasn’t this supposed to be a simple structure?). Although it cost Pollan $125 per square foot and took him two and one-half years to build, ultimately it is the reader who works the hardest.

outside

winter

insidevia

15 Comments
  1. That’s a cabin, not a house. It doesn’t even have a toilet or kitchen.

    • Isn’t that what he said?

      “… What you might not know is that he built a little cabin in the woods to write much of that book in.”

    • no, you’re right it isn’t. Sometimes I do post these types of things that are not full fledged houses to give people ideas for designing their own. I really like the look and feel of it, so I thought it would be fun to share.

      That said a Tiny House does not always have to have a bathroom and kitchen. The paradigm of a house does need to have these things, but what is powerful is that we do not need to necessarily conform to the mold.

      For Example Gregory Johnson from Resources for Life talks about “outsourcing” things so he doesn’t have them in his home. There are many people in NYC who do not have kitchens, maybe a mini fridge and microwave at most, because there are so many good places to eat, healthy ones too.

      Ultimately you are right, It does lack these things, but I think is servers for good inspiration.

  2. Pretentious, expensive, and not even insulated!
    “Interaction” with the architect and carpenter is putting it nicely. They did most of the work.

  3. It’s a nice little place. I think perhaps you guys are giving this man too hard a time for not being a DIY type a guy and having the money to pay someone else to do it. He was sort of busy doing the research for two very influential books instead of building this himself. His writing on this might be “pretentious” but the comments on this page smack of snobbery.

    • Agreed Kacie! Michael Pollan is the opposite of pretentious! For much of the book he is self deprecating, realizes his limitations, and gives due respect to architects and carpenters.
      Place of My Own is a wonderful read and inspires holistic thought about space and place.

  4. BTW I love “The Tiny Life”. This is the first time I’ve been bothered by a posting or reader comments.

  5. Kacie: I suggest you read the book.

  6. This cabin is beautiful. I’ve read much of the book and enjoyed seeing how the design evolved. Not insulating it was a conscious decision of the owner. It may not have a dedicated kitchen now, being a writing cabin not a house, but it does have plenty of counter space, storage shelves and power. Bring in a basin for washing dishes, a bar fridge and a microwave or toaster oven and you’ve got a kitchen.

    • The exposed beams are really nice, I wonder how well it handles a cold winter?

  7. We have a vaulted ceiling and exposed beams in the upper bedroom. There’s an arched window over a slider at the peaked end of the building. The slider goes out onto a small balcony where we view the gardens and forest. I love lounging out there…

  8. To stay for the day:
    Bring a perishable lunch in a collapsible cooler bag.
    Try a camping porta potti

  9. Try a handheld computer and clipboard – rather than a desk, office supplies, books, entertainment center, art, alarm clock, etc.

    Rather than shelving and cupboards, store items in pull-out baskets under a daybed, sofa bed or chair.

    Try a daybed beneath an arched window.
    Rather than an end table or bedstand, try a floor lamp.
    Store handy items in a tote bag, on a window sill or small folding shelf.
    Hang a tote bag on a nearby hook.

  10. To stay for the day:
    Bring a perishable lunch in a collapsible cooler bag.
    Try a camping porta potti.

  11. Store wardrobe, kitchen and bathing items in pull-out storage baskets under a bed. Place each basket on the bed as needed.

    Position a small folding shelf adjacent to the head of the bed – about one foot higher than the mattress.

    Use the shelf:
    As a bedstand.
    As a desk or to dine while sitting on the bed.
    To cook with a portable stovetop while standing next to the bed.

    Use a basin on the shelf with a camping shower bag on a hook above the shelf to:
    Wash dishes
    Wash clothes
    Wash your hair
    Take a sponge bath

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