Posts Tagged Small Apartment

Sustainia Pod

This tiny space started out as a unique work space, but evolved to include a fold out bed, solar panels etc.  Wrapped in R30 insulation and a price tag of $10,000 it is a surprising low cost for some of the custom woodworking that is included.



This video while I feel like it lacks some substance, it brings up a good point about building something with your hands.  I think that an appeal of Tiny Houses is that they are approachable for people with little to know building experience.  It reminds us of something that is lost in our culture, where lack of this skill, charm and hard work sometimes are cut out of the equation when it comes to a home. Anyway, for your consideration:

16mm color film. 6:43 min.

Lloyd Kahn claims that shelter is more than a roof over your head. As the author and publisher of over a dozen books on home construction, Lloyd has been grappling with the concept of home, physically and psychically, for over five decades. Situated in the financial and housing crisis, this film profiles Lloyd’s ideas on do-it-yourself construction and sustainability.

Sri Lanka Lakeside Retreat

This house is obviously suited for more warmer climates, but I really like the styling of it.  The top deck is huge and with open sides to allow a cross breeze.  The house overlooks a lake in the Maduru Oya area of Sri Lanka.  The house is made form a shipping container and most of the wood has been reclaimed from weapons boxes!  The total size is 700 square feet, but that included the top deck, so the enclosed house is around 3-400 square feet.


Help Design A 400 Sq/Ft Apartment

Over at Apartment Therapy a reader has turned to the blog for help trying to make a 400 square foot apartment livable.

I’m moving into my first apartment next month and I’m starting to get cold feet! I signed a lease for a 400 sq ft studio in Chicago. I’m looking for suggestions of how to lay it out and decorate it without making it too cluttered but still keeping it somewhat “homey.” I don’t know if I should try to squeeze a bed and a couch in the unit or suck it up and sleep on a futon! And, if I get a futon, how do I make that look nice?

Lend a hand with the design here

Is It Ethical To Raise A Child In A Tiny House?

So one of the most frequent questions I get about Tiny Houses is: “what if I have a family?”  It is a good question.  To paraphrase Jay Schaffer, “it’s not the size of the house that matters, it is the size in relation to the number of people living in it.”

But this question always bring to mind a question for me

Is it ethical to raise children in such small spaces?

Now I would love to hear you all weigh in on this in the comments section, so please, share your thoughts, I love discussion!  But here is my take on it all, it might not be right, so take it with a grain of salt.  It is also important to know, as a matter of full disclosure, I don’t have kids, nor do I plan on having any.

Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs

I personally think that the raising of a child is successful when the child is loved, is socialized properly, is taught life skills and intellectual ones.   This combined with consistency, safety, room to be a kid and financial resources are also very important.  I feel that as a young child, living in a 400-500 square foot home would be excellent so long as there is a safe place to play outside.

As a child my mother almost never let us watch TV, we didn’t have video games or a computer and if it wasn’t raining outside, out we went.  Luckily we lived on a decent lot in a small town in New Hampshire.  My mother would always dress me in a bright red jacket, which happened to be my favorite color (here I was thinking she encouraged it because I loved red), and I would make forts, climb trees, jump on the trampoline.  In the winter it was snowmen, snow caves and munching on icicles.  I couldn’t imagine having anything less for a child of my own.

Family Bedroom

The reason I tell this story is that one of the big appeals to Tiny Living is that it gets you outside and reconnecting with nature.  The outside world becomes your second home.  This rare in our society and it is to our downfall, in my opinion.

There are two instances where I think that a Tiny House might not be all that ethical or good for the child.  These two, privacy/boundaries and evaluation of social services, really concern me.  As a child gets older she/he needs their own space, they need their own privacy, a dedicated space solely to them is important in my mind.  It also builds in responsibility for keeping up one’s own space, cleaning, folding, how to make a bed, personalization, and a place for solitude when needed.

The final issue that I think that is a huge issue and this has yet to be tested in the real world is how a representative of social services / child protective services would view a child living in such a small space.  It is often the case that Tiny Houses are not legal, that they in fact by definition (however  deeply flawed) is not a habitable space and would be condemned.

I fear that a child would be removed from the home and the custody of the parents.  That the Tiny House would be boarded up, the parents might be charged with neglect.  It is simply a parents worst nightmare, to have their children taken from them because they are labeled bad parents.

What do you think?

What would social services think?

Is it ethical to raise a child in a Tiny House?

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