Til’s Tidbit (June 2014)

As a 22 year-old who isn’t a tradie, I feel as though the prospect of buying my first home is almost impossible. Honestly, just thinking about having a mortgage was enough to make me research into the life of a hermit and reflect upon what my amateur Scout training could lend to surviving in the wild. Fun fact, there is actually a wikihow article entitled How to Be a Hermit that conveniently breaks up the discussion into Finding What’s Right for You, Getting Prepared and Reaping the Benefits and Making the Sacrifices. Turns out that I’m probably not cut out to be a hermit. As for the Scout-survivalist scenario, whilst I’d like to believe it would go a little like Wes Anderson’s vision in Moonrise Kingdom, a more logical version of myself suspects it would end up being more like Cast Away (in this scenario I am Winston, the ball). Luckily, when confronted by the same predicament as myself, some more innovative folks have put their thinking caps on, edging the ‘tiny house’ movement ever closer to the mainstream.

Building smaller, livable dwellings is certainly not a new thing, with pioneers like Lloyd Kahn pushing the mindset since the ‘70s. Sure, it’s a big part of the Australian dream to have a sprawling abode, but it’s also a big Australian thing to be reminded that a man’s home is his castle, no matter how big or small. From shipping containers to whimsical tree houses, futuristic prefabs, rustic cabins, homes on wheels and the permanently fixed, there is some serious architectural innovation going on worldwide.

Of course, tiny-house living has its trade-offs, but aside from the huge bonus of saving money, there are other benefits that go with the scaled-down life. Every space becomes simpler, less chaotic and free from all but that is essential and you are forced to spend more time outdoors, engage with the outside world and be a part of your community.

It might seem extreme, but so is the vicious cycle of working all day to pay for a home you seldom inhabit. These images from Protohaus and The Tiny Project may just have you re-considering the space in that cupboard under the stairs…