Posts Tagged Tiny Living

Tiny House Book List

These are our top ten books to read when searching for tiny house inspiration! This is the literature that influenced the design and build of La Casita and which continues to inspire us to build tiny houses and attempt to live a more sustainable life.

#1: Go House Go by Dee Williams was the basis for our build. We found this to be an excellent reference and helpful when tackling the nitty gritty of building a tiny house. Check out The Tiny Life’s book review here!

the small house book#2: The Small House Book by Jay Shafer was an obvious choice when determining style. This book helped us to determine our desired aesthetic inspiring us with it’s intent toward sacred geometry and traditional angles that set tiny houses apart from sheds or mobile homes.

 #3: Tiny House by Mimi Zeiger was our coffee table book for about a year. We loved to flip it open and enjoy this visually appealing amalgamation of tiny dwellings from around the world. The book focuses on buildings that share sustainability initiatives which encouraged our inspiration to build a home made of 90% reclaimed materials.

#4: Move House by Sean Topham is the book that led us to the Tumbleweed designs. It had a page featuring Jay Shafer along with many other quirky projects that opened our imaginations to what mobility and livability could mean.

 #5: Ultimate Guide to House Framing by John D. Wagner is a well laid-out, clear guide to framing. From teaching how to use tools to reading blueprints to sheathing a wall-it truly encompasses how to frame a building in terms of construction as well as design.

#6: Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House by Robyn Griggs Lawrence is a lovely book we were intuitively drawn to.  Wabi sabi is,  to quote Lawrence, “a subtly spiritual philosophy that offers a path toward home as sanctuary  a simple place devoid of clutter, disturbance and distraction,” which we are continually striving for in La Casita.

#7: The Composting Toilet System Book by David Del Porto and Carol Steinfeld is a comprehensive look at alternative waste removal options.  More than 40 systems that offer ecological water management options are featured. It helped us gain a better understanding of what’s out on the market and what we can build ourselves.

#8: Make Your Place by Raleigh Briggs is an excellent DIY resource for living a more sustainable lifestyle. Charmingly written and filled with fun, simple and cheap recipes for everything from all-purpose cleaner to herbal hand salve, it’s also a great reference when starting a garden or trying to fight a cold. Such an endlessly useful resource!

#9: Humble Homes, Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages, Ramshackle Retreats and Funky Forts by Deek Diedricksen is by far one of the most lively written works on small spaces. I love it’s zine-esque aesthetic and saucy vernacular!  Deek also has an excellent book list at Check it out!

#10: Little House on a Small Planet by Shay Salomon challenges people to think about their resource use and consider their true living needs.  This book is a passionate endorsement  inspiring the renovation, building and inhabiting of small dwellings.

Your Turn!

  • What books inspire you to explore, build and live the tiny life?
  • What is on your recommended reading list for tiny life enthusiasts?


Living On $20,000 A Year

I found this great article on living frugally and thought it was a good read.

Do you avoid a lot of the expenses that many of your peers spend money on, such as technology and meals out?

For the most part, yes. I have a lower-end Android phone because I needed a new phone. I went as cheap as possible. I don’t own a car, I rely on public transportation, and sometimes biking. I have a laptop, because I need it for writing. I do have Internet access because it’s pretty important to get online. My only extra bill is Netflix, and I’m considering getting rid of that. I don’t go out to eat, or just for special occasions. I cook for every meal. I don’t drink coffee. I try to stick with water. I do go out to bars, but not every night. That’s my best way to meet people and experience cities.

What’s your typical meal?

I usually buy a pound of beef and a package of chicken and make easy Mexican dishes. I get some vegetables and mix it all together and throw it on a tortilla. I do a lot of pasta dishes. When I’m working, I usually pack a lunch, I make a sandwich plus chips or cookies to get me through the day. Then I get home and cook a fuller meal. I try to have a good mix [of food] so I don’t get sick. My brother taught me little tricks to take different ingredients around the house, like seasonings, to make a sauce that’s different and more unique, to give yourself different tastes.

What about clothes?

Once or twice a year, I might get a few new things, like an extra pair of jeans or pants, or a couple shirts, but I still have shirts I wore to college, so they’re six or seven years old or older. If a job requires certain clothes, then I’ll buy clothes for that. I maybe get one new pair of shoes a year and make them last as long as possible. I mostly shop at cheaper places, like thrift stores or Salvation Army or Goodwill. Those are good places to hit up.

Read the rest at here

Lofty Approach

We have been gradually shifting from a production based economy to a service based one here in the United States.  Regardless of how you feel about this trend, it does have several impacts on us; One being that we are left with these large buildings that aren’t being used.  To meet this issue we have been retro fitting these buildings into loft apartments.  This achieves many things, first it converts what is not being utilized to valuable housing and communities.  The other upside to this is that you are up-cycling to help conserve resources.

This loft apartment is pretty neat apartment with a bed loft and a thick wall for additional storage/support.


Skinny House

So frankly, I don’t find this house particularly appealing, but in the interest of covering the topic in full here it goes.   This tiny house is a rather unique approach to housing.  With a focus on outdoor living it comes full equipped with all the essentials, a semi-outdoor living space, a grill, garden tools etc.  One really neat thing I do like is the moon roof on this house over the sleeping area.  While I think it is cool, flat roofs are notorious for leaking and keeping this clean might be less than practical.

I do really appreciate the focus on outdoor gardening, with purpose built niches for tools, watering can, wheel barrel etc.  Its dining area I think would be really fun to have a great sit down dinner with friends on a nice summer night.  All in all it is a very well appointed house that has some serious potential and has been laid out well.